Anyone who is afraid of failure and afraid to face challenges will never taste success, so said our Professor in Marketing. I did laugh it off at that time but got cold feet when it actually happened in my life.
I landed in this small tiny Arab State of Qatar in the Middle East to set up a joint Business venture. The project was to set up a world class Car Rental firm, possibly with an International tie up. Having decided on the project, I earnestly settled myself in getting into the details of registration, premises, stationery, finance, staff etc, etc. With a positive mind, I told myself nothing should stop me now. Having travelled miles away from home, I was more than keen to make this Business Venture a success. The name of the Company was chosen: SPEEDY Car Rental.
We were into Business for about 2 months and the least expected thing happened. Iraq invaded Kuwait. I realized that we were in a tight spot now. Tension ran high in the region. Eventually the war broke out in January 1991, many people fled the country and the region leaving SPEEDY in deep trouble.
As usual, "when things become difficult, and every effort seems to bring disappointment, it can be tempting to lower your expectations or even water down your goals and ambitions." It was no different with me. I thought of running away, hanging up my boots and calling it quits. I remembered the words of Thomas Edison, the famous scientist who said: "Many of life's failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up." How I wished it was true in this case too!
I decided to hang in. I kept telling myself, "I am not afraid of challenges and obstacles", after all they are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goal! I stayed on through those grilling months of uncertainty and insecurity. Finances ran low, banks were up and above to get their dues. To add to all this, the banks even threatened to take all my vehicles that were hypothecated to them. In all this, I felt I made a wrong decision to move to the Middle East. I was now ready to face FAILURE.
I was living against all hopes. I prayed that the war may end soon. After 2 months it did, but not before I piled up enough debts for me and my Company. Each day I kept believing that something good would happen.
My Persistence and Perseverance paid off: as soon as the war was over, people started flooding back and the car bookings picked up. The company which was started off with 10 cars now grew five times over. It so happened that all who returned back to the country had no cars as they had already sold them off !
Speedy went on adding to its fleet and very soon entered the Top 5 bracket of Car Hire firms, which included the top names like Avis, Budget, Europcar & Hertz. We were invited by HONDA to visit their plant in Japan, which was a clear indication that the company had joined the big league.
Things were not the same and easy for Speedy. We had to work hard and improve on our sales and service. In a short span of 2 years Speedy grew even more. There were newspaper articles both in the local & international media (Gulf times, Khaleej Times, TTG Middle East etc) about the Fastest growing Company in the region.
Success, I believe, comes to the one who dares, even after failure, to think positively and look forward confidently. If I had to give up and do like others did, run from the troubled spot, I wouldn't be writing this article.
After all, it's only the experience that makes a man tough. I have learnt 2 lessons from the above experience and would like to share them with you.
- Failure doesn't mean you'll never make it. It means that it will take a little longer.
- Failure doesn't mean that God has abandoned you. It means that He has a better plan for you.
Copyright © 2010 Savio Fernandes
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