Welcome to the latest installment of Q&A, our regular series of one-to-ones with some of Greater Vancouver's leading business figures.
Our subject this week is Shumaila Javed, Director of Marketing, Food Carts Manufacturing.
What was your first job?
Growing up under the wings of career-driven and accomplished women in my family encouraged me to explore the professional world at an early age. For my first job, I found myself working as a Business Analyst handling accounts for Energizer and AT&T.
What inspires you?
The idea is that a person can make a difference. One thought, one action, one idea can change things and pave the path for a better, brighter, and stronger future truly inspires me.
How do you balance work and maintaining a personal life?
I have always believed in Jim Elliot's quote, "Wherever you are, be all there." I ensure wherever I am, I have my 100% focus, energy, and presence in that place irrespective of if it is work or personal life.
What is the biggest challenge facing Greater Vancouver?
Many would say housing is the biggest challenge facing Greater Vancouver. I consider the growth rate of population versus the available infrastructure to sustain and support this growth a big concern.
What do you like most about doing business in Greater Vancouver?
Our strategic location, diverse diaspora, promising youth, and the fact that unlike other places we have not yet reached saturation point make Greater Vancouver a business-friendly place.
What is your most prized possession and why?
Material possessions are insignificant. Mental capabilities that one possesses and uses for the collective benefit are irreplaceable.
Where do you see untapped potential in Greater Vancouver?
Across all industries – from tourism to clean energy solutions.
What is the most important lesson, business or otherwise, life has taught you?
People first. Otherwise, it is all pointless.
What keeps you awake at night?
We are currently working on providing a clean energy solution for our business. It can disrupt the industry for good reasons.
What do you think makes a great leader?
I believe a clear vision and an ability to empower people in understanding and reaching their true potential makes a great leader.
Where is your favourite place in Vancouver?
Vancouver is a beautiful city. I resonate with nature. I will say Deep Cove is one of my favourite places in Vancouver.
What do you think Greater Vancouver needs more of?
Process improvement. I also see a big room for the digitalization of businesses in Greater Vancouver. I think it is high time businesses look into how to make to integrate technology for a more modern & progressive society.
Who has helped you most in your career?
I have been lucky to work with many experienced mentors throughout my career. My business and life partner Mohammad Mahvelati inspires me to think out of the box and find ways to bring a positive change to our community through our business.
What do you do when you aren't working?
In recent times, I have been spending time exploring the virtual reality world.
What might someone be surprised to know about you?
I am a climate activist. I strongly believe everyone at the individual, corporate and community levels need to take measures to support, encourage and implement green solutions. We have already started seeing the impact of global warming here in British Columbia and worldwide.
Food Carts Manufacturing is a professional procurement agency for the manufacturing of food carts and trailers headquartered in beautiful Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. The team's experience and connections mean their clients are offered professional consultation during the food cart selection, design and customization process all the way to the actual sale and final delivery of the product.