Quitting her corporate job at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), Aysha Sanam worked hard to find her startup. Founded about a year and a half ago, she started Treatcard along with her brother, Ahmed Sagar, a designer/copywriter Shehjah Salam based in London who helped her shape the brand from the beginning, and her newest partner, Naseeha Machingal, who recently left Goldman Sachs. Through her startup, she visualizes to offer an exquisite dining experience by partnering with a list of pubs and restaurants that is sure to give maximum return on your investments. Treatcard gives you a 50% off or ‘Buy One Get One’ offer all year round at economical prices. Talking about their business, she says, “Food and beverages is such a vibrant space and we saw a great opportunity to help customers experience great dining everyday instead of just the weekends. There are many discount cards/vouchers in the market, but none that consistently gives you 50% off.”
I received warm words of encouragement from people who wanted women to step up more in taking leadership roles”
The beginnings of their startup was not easy, but they somehow managed to get funding for their business. As an outsider in the industry, Aysha found it difficult to work with business owners. However, with continuous inspiration and support from people, she found the encouragement she needed to carry on despite the odds. The entrepreneur has faced a number of obstacles but has gone a long way by learning how to overcome them. One major obstacle for her was the sexism she faced as an entrepreneur. Starting out as a woman was different and difficult for Aysha. However, she was determined to work no matter what problems crossed her path. Sexism prevails in the industry, but she feels it should not stop one from growing. The confidence and attitude of women to thrive in a male dominated space has been a great learning experience for her. Sharing her experience she says, “I received warm words of encouragement from people who wanted women to step up more in taking leadership roles. Like this, all the associations I made were through friends I made in Bangalore. Everyone helped in making introductions and through them I made more connections.”
For all the people who might want to put you down, you will find twice as many to support you.”
The associations and connections that she had formed while working for Treatcard has helped her grow her business and simultaneously allowed her to emerge as a better person. Apart from her external connections, she feels privileged to work with an excellent team and considers them to be the strength behind her success. Even tough and challenging tasks for the business gets easier with the right team by side.
Treatcard has changed Aysha’s life. She has had the opportunity to meet many inspiring people and most importantly it pushed her to be a better entrepreneur. Growing personally side by side with Treatcard has been the best education that she has gained. She would also like to share her wisdom with aspiring entrepreneurs. “For all the people who might want to put you down, you will find twice as many to support you.” Aysha advises the budding entrepreneurs to continue working with persistence as that will bring them respect and favourable results.
In an age of fast growing entrepreneurial businesses, her story challenges you to think over your goals twice before quitting.