Having A Plan And Working It Hard Breeds Success
Sometimes the genesis of stories will determine and shape who we are and how we work. I recently interviewed Shuja Pakhliwal, a fellow Texan and multi-sector executive who found his passion in both distribution and the medical industry.
I had the opportunity to interview Shuja recently. Here are some of the highlights of that interview:
Jill Griffin: Please introduce yourself.
Shuja Pakhliwal: My name is Shuja Pakhliwal. So, I was born in Kashmir. It’s a disputed territory between India, China, and Pakistan, right between the Himalayas. I did my studies in India and then moved to Europe. As an SAP recruiter, I worked in most Scandinavian countries, including Denmark, Norway, and Finland. Then I worked in London for several years before moving to Texas in 2013.
I wear different hats in terms of work —- I’m the Vice President of Marketing for a company called Riceland Healthcare. It’s a complete healthcare system. They have a critical access hospital, surgery centers, imaging centers, urgent cares, labs, home health, and hospice. I am also the chief operating officer for a distribution company called Starco Impex. It’s one of the top 17 distribution companies in the US, serving clients like Walmart, Sam’s Club, Circle K, etc. They supply everything that you find in a convenience store apart from liquor. And then, in 2019, the Farm bill was passed, and I co-founded a Colorado pure Hemp company. And we came up with a pure hemp cigarette. Smoking anything isn’t necessarily healthy, but It’s just an alternative because traditional cigarettes have tobacco, tar, nicotine, and other chemicals. Our brand was the first brand that was picked up by a national chain. We were in four regions of Circle K, with stores in Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, North Carolina, Colorado, Missouri, Utah and El Paso, TX.
Griffin: Does it help people quit? Or if you smoke them, you’re not at that much of a health risk.
Pakhliwal: You know, I had been smoking myself, but I quit a year ago, and more than smoking, it’s your hand-to-mouth coordination that is usually habitual, and any kind of smoking is wrong, but then what you have in a tobacco cigarette is nicotine, carbon monoxide, and then you’ve got probably 50-60 other chemicals. But with Colorado Pure Hemp, you can use it as an alternative to smoking cigarettes without having to inhale other chemicals found in a traditional cigarettes.
Griffin: Who has helped you find success?
Pakhliwal: My mother has always been my inspiration. I was nine years old when my dad got sick. As a child, I grew up in a household where I had access to everything I wanted, but suddenly, going through a financial crisis, I saw my mom struggle. My mother started knitting sweaters to make ends meet and looking at how hard she was working and how focused she was on us to study and get educated, especially in a third-world country, that inspired me a lot.
Griffin: Is she proud of your success?
Pakhliwal: Yes! She is and still pushes me to give my best. Even though I am a grown-up man, when you are born in a Desi family, a sandal or a slipper is a mother’s tool to spank the kid if they are mischievous or not up to any good. When I am video chatting with her, she will show me her sandals and tell me that if I don’t behave, she will spank me. I love her, and she will never cease to inspire me.
Jill Griffin: Mothers are so inspirational.
Pakhliwal: After the crypto boom, I started doing more research about NFTs (Non-fungible Tokens)Fungibility is the ability of a good or asset to be interchanged with other individual goods or assets of the same type. The US dollar is a fungible asset. An example of a fungible exchange is if you give me four quarters and I give you back a dollar. We exchanged something of value for something else of equal value.) I started buying some NFTs on different platforms
Pakhliwal: I spoke to my partners and developers about the idea of developing a cross-chain marketplace with a user-friendly interface that will make it easier for everyday users to buy and trade NFTs. It’s a tedious process and will probably take 6 to 7 months to develop. While the work is being done on this marketplace, we are building the community for this project and launching an NFT called Royal Goats Club that will provide perks to holders when this marketplace is launched.
Griffin: With the crash of crypto in the last several weeks, how does that affect your project?
Pakhliwal: Honestly, I feel it’s a good thing that crash happened. Because we were witnessing a lot of scams and junk projects out there without any fundamental utilities. The team at Royal Goats Club would like to assure everyone that we are not stopping. We will continue to build towards our goals. The macro-environment does little to affect our plans in the NFT space. This gives us time to work on the tools for this marketplace and come up with ideas as to how we can make this space better and more user-friendly. The holders of the Royal Goats Club NFT will have various perks, including no-fee transactions, premium listings, token airdrops, and access to all of our tools and IP rights to their NFTs.
So this bear market gives us time to build the excitement for this project and a solid and inclusive community.
We all are aware that this crypto market is volatile, right? Everyone knows that. But it also works in parallel with how the stock market is behaving, the stocks are up, and crypto is way up. And if the stocks are down, crypto gradually crashes. But eventually, it’s going to go up. Blockchain is here to stay. Web three is, is here to stay. And you know, people who remain focused in this situation and on tools that will be helpful in this space will thrive down the road.
Griffin: What pieces of advice do you for being successful?
Pakhliwal: Success can be different for different people. But if you’re trying to succeed in your career or as an athlete or a musician, you know, whatever you do, you do it with passion. Because if you’re not passionate about what you’re trying to do, you will not justify your efforts. And planning is essential. My grandfather used to say, you go to a bus station, and you don’t know your destination, any bus will do for you. As long as you have a plan and know your goal, you may not hit that goal, but you will at least get close. So be passionate about what you do, plan, and stay humble. Don’t forget where you started and why you’re doing what you’re doing.
original post 2022-07-14