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3 Core Objectives to Help You Lead Your Startup Through the Pandemic

Muneeb Mushtaq

Muneeb Mushtaq

Co-founder and CEO at Airzai
Muneeb Mushtaq is a serial entrepreneur and currently CEO of a Canada-based tech startup called Airzai that is creating products that transform the home fragrance industry. As a CPG based tech-first company, Airzai recently announced the launch of its initial product: a patent-pending smart home fragrance diffuser called Airzai Aroma. In the wake of the global pandemic, Muneeb Mushtaq shifted the focus of Airzai to create a new line of products called Airzai Care. This new product line includes all-natural air, surface disinfectant which is the flagship product of Airzai. Muneeb Mushtaq also introduced apremium hand sanitizer product to the Airzai Care line that is developed to contribute to the shortage of sanitization products in the market.

Muneeb Mushtaq is also an award-winning keynote speaker who has spoken on prestigious stages around the world. Muneeb Mushtaq has also done a TEDx Talk on collaborative consumption that shaped the basis for his second company AskforTask. To date, Muneeb Mushtaq has co-founded three tech companies and sold one. He considers himself a serial tech entrepreneur. When not busy with his companies, Muneeb Mushtaq invests his free time giving back through his social media channels.
Muneeb Mushtaq

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Navigating through a global pandemic is something that no entrepreneur can prepare themselves for. Past experiences and successes go out the window once uncertainty hits and we are forced to make quick, unprecedented and ultimately risky decisions.

As a founder and CEO myself, production of our flagship device was just beginning as the world came to a sudden pause. With factories shutting down and the economy in flux, it seemed as though the new business was set up for failure.

Despite the grim outlook, a strategic pivot to the business model and quick innovation of a new product saved the company from collapsing. Just a few short months later, Airzai is flourishing, creating new jobs and products to aid in the adjustment to a new normal.

Throughout this experience, I’ve learned more about leadership than I would have ever imagined. This all came from maintaining a single objective, constant internal communication and staying optimistic in the midst of chaos.


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Persistent communication

Collaboration is something we all took for granted before the pandemic. It was simple to just stop by someone’s desk to discuss things in the office in real time. In adjusting to the entirely different ecosystem that is remote work, it’s essential to get your entire team on the same page in terms of communication expectations. This means laying out the preferred platforms, turn-around time for responses and more.

Be proactive in your communication with your team and encourage them to do the same with each other. It’s crucial for the lines of communication to be open at all times and to be as transparent as possible. Remind your team to always include all necessary team members on emails, daily updates and other communication channels.



Positive mindset

It’s easy to get discouraged about the unpredictable future. Although the economy is unstable, it’s important to remember that some of the best startups and companies began during an economic recession. Now is the time to negotiate deals. This “nothing to lose” mentality will become your strength!

It’s also important to be cognizant of the stress and burnout that your employees might be feeling from dealing with the uncertainty of the world. Checking in with employees individually and offering your assistance and positive outlook can go a long way.


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Define one main objective

Our company built its success through a global emergency by identifying one key objective to focus on. For us, this was preserving as many jobs as possible within our team. All of our strategies, plans and executions revolved around this goal and we would not have survived as a company without this inclusive, collaborative mindset.

As the pandemic began to become our reality, we knew that tough times would follow for people and organizations across the globe. As a young, growing business entering this time of uncertainty, it is vital to decide on one overarching objective to focus on. Embrace this goal in everything you do, and you will likely prevail.

The bottom line for startups

At the end of the day, collaboration, communication and a growth mindset are what will set you apart and ultimately help your business establish a strong foundation. With these core intentions, you’ll set your business up in the best possible position to weather any kind of storm that may arise.

There will always be times of ambiguity and shifts in societal norms. I truly believe that these core objectives are what allowed us to continue succeeding during these tough times and can help you to do the same. We will continue to implement them, no matter what the future holds.

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