Each year, OBJ and the Ottawa Chamber of Commerce choose 40 of the region’s top young entrepreneurs and business executives and recognize them for their professional achievements, expertise and community service.
In these profiles, OBJ highlights some of this year’s recipients – their impressive accomplishments, what drives them and how they like to spend their downtime away from the business world.
Birthplace: Isfahan, Iran
Company: Automotive e-commerce platform specializing in wheels, tires and auto parts.
Education: Master of engineering degree in engineering management, University of Ottawa (2010)
Charitable involvement: Canadian Red Cross
Biggest biz achievement: Launched and bootstrapped CanadaWheels.ca to become Canada’s fastest-growing online retailer of automotive wheels, tires and parts. Already having served tens of thousands of clients nationally via organic growth, our team is preparing an exciting expansion into the U.S. market under the brand USAWheels.com.
Biggest obstacle: Learning the art of bootstrapping and growing our company organically. While bootstrapping has not allowed us to grow as fast as we want, it has forced us to be efficient and enabled us to become a lean startup.
Biggest influences: My father, Amir Taebi, and my mother, Farzaneh Shafiei. I grew up watching them work hard and sacrifice everything for me and my two siblings so that we could gain higher education and succeed. My father is the most ethical and hard-working person I have ever met, while my mother is a master at balancing many different tasks seamlessly while being exceptionally strong and driven. Both of them have been our biggest supporters and toughest critics.
Biggest lesson learned: Understanding that having challenges is entirely normal, essential and healthy for one’s growth. Mario Andretti said it well: “If everything seems under control, you’re just not going fast enough.”
First job: Auto detailing
Advice I’d give the younger me: You are what you dream, so make sure you dream a great one!
What’s left to do: I just got started, and the show must go on! On my personal side, I want to establish my own family, and on the business side, I want my platform to become the Amazon of auto parts in Canada, the U.S. and beyond.
Favourite pastimes: Travelling, playing sports and collecting antiques
I’m currently reading: The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon by Brad Stone
Favourite movie: Scarface
Favourite song: The Forgotten (Part 2) by Joe Satriani
Favourite local pro sports team: Ottawa Fury FC
Favourite local summer event: Canada Day
Preferred social media platforms: Facebook, Linkedin, Instagram
Twitter handle: @canadawheels_ca