Obstacles Are Opportunities

Utilize them to take your business to the next level

It is an inspiring conversation with an entrepreneur whose journey began with working in the private sector, but his vision led him to build a renowned entity that is not merely for business purposes but to guide and broaden the horizons of Pakistani youth in this globalized world. This man’s vision has given him the strength to overcome all the obstacles in his path and reach the point where he can confidently declare that there is no excuse if you truly want to accomplish something and realize your objectives. For Pakistan’s youth, his institute, PNY Trainings serves as a guide, a point of inspiration, and a beacon of hope.

Wahab Yunus and his Company PNY Trainings was the subject of an exclusive interview set up by the Startup Insider and conducted by the host Saba Saeed. The conversation covers a variety of topics, including his startup path, hardships, problems, lessons he learned, and his best advice for Pakistan’s youth. Indeed, his startup serves as both an inspiration and a compass for Pakistani youth. Let’s have a chat with the CEO.

Tell us something about yourself and PNY Trainings.

I am basically an MBA graduate and I did my specialization in marketing in the year 2010. I worked as a sales and marketing executive for various corporate companies after graduation. My previous position before being promoted to manager’s designation was as the Head of Communication Marketing. I started an institute called PNY Trainings while I was still doing my job. I offered IT training in the institute as it was the demand of that time. The fact is that I introduced the institute at that time when no one knew much about IT training.

As a result, you can say that I am the first social media marketing trainer, having learned the technique before introducing it to Pakistan. I have worked as a freelancer as well. Additionally, I have designed the courses of my institute incorporating all my experiences and everything I learned from my experiences. I successfully established PNY Trainings in 2015, and today we provide more than 100 skill-based and lucrative short courses with durations ranging from 2 months to 1 year. Through this program, we empower Pakistani youngsters and enable them to start earning money at a young age. Nearly 50,000 alumni from Pakistan and other countries are part of the PNY Trainings panel because we also provide remote services and training. A lot of our students are from the Middle East and Europe.

During your entrepreneurial journey, what challenges have you faced, and how have you overcome them?

I have followed a completely different pattern. I have not sought any initial financing from anyone. The main reason behind it was that nobody was willing to finance me. Nobody was willing to support my idea. My parents always wanted me to work in a high-profile position. I, however, had a different outlook on my profession and earning money. According to my opinion, I think private and small companies can give you a good learning experience so, I decided to work for a private company. I always chose jobs where I could learn from them and get something in return. I started PNY Trainings once I had enough experience and had learned enough from my working experience.

The biggest challenge I encountered as an entrepreneur was that I didn’t get any help. There was no financial support for this idea, either from the family or elsewhere. In those times, I learned a skill and I decided to pursue freelancing. I earned a sizable sum from freelancing and used that money to fund my startup. 80% of whatever I used to earn in a month was going towards the startup of my institute. At the same time, I was actively engaged in learning through several international online platforms, including boot camps and short courses.

There have been ups and downs in my career as an entrepreneur, but I have stayed consistent, kept learning new things, and fully funded my startup on my own. Throughout my voyage, I adhered to the maxim “Never Give Up.” I maintained my composure and my attitude.

How do you implement team building strategies and keep your team motivated?

I believe that you are nothing without a team. It is your team that drives the whole process. Since ‘PNY Trainings’ vision is not to gain money, I seek out those individuals who share and own that vision while team building. This is due to the fact that if you follow the money, you will only be able to acquire money and not advance your vision. I’ve always wanted to do something to the welfare and growth of my nation. As a result, I will base my hiring of the team on this vision. Although you cannot survive without money, I emphasize our vision strongly when building a team instead of the budget. As a result, it is important to communicate your vision to your team during team development. Additionally you must look after your staff and support them during difficult times. I am pleased with my team, and I appreciate their help to accomplish my vision.

Tell us about your personal development during your entrepreneurial journey.

You’ve asked a pretty intriguing question. Everyday life, in my opinion, is terrific learning. A person is foolish if he fails to learn from his mistakes. As a human, you will make mistakes, but you must also learn from them. I have groomed myself a lot, personally as well as professionally. Ten years before, I wasn’t the person that I am today. I have succeeded after making several sacrifices and facing numerous obstacles. I’ve faced a lot of difficult situations, but long story short, I’ve learned from them and extracted three fundamental principles: maintain optimism throughout the process, put your best; and the third one is dedication and commitment.

What advice would you give to the Pakistani youth?

Everyone will try to discourage you and tell you that you are incapable of doing something. For instance, I received my early schooling in Urdu medium, and because of this, I was told that I would be unable to achieve something, and this fear was ingrained in me. I thought of it as a weakness first. Later I started practicing public speaking and communicating in English. I travel internationally for work, and when I do, I speak English. I’ve filled the void inside of me. Therefore, I would advise young people to never take something personally. If you lack a certain skill, work on it, and develop it in yourself. All that is asked of you is to work diligently and with consistency. Never surrender. The Warriors concentrate on their exercises. If they give up, it makes training difficult. Live a warrior’s life and take on obstacles in life. Secondly, I will encourage our youth to participate in some sort of physical activities to maintain their physical health as well.