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Interview With Shoaib Khan, Clearoute CEO And Founder Of Humaniti

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Below is our recent interview with Shoaib Khan, a Canadian entrepreneur and philanthropist.

Q: Could you provide our readers with a brief introduction to Clearoute?

A: When I founded Clearoute in 1999 here in Toronto, it was with the goal of providing consulting services to entrepreneurs like myself – individuals who were pursuing a dream by turning an idea into a business. Getting from A to B involves a broad range of essential steps, and that is where Clearoute comes in. We help with strategy, performance marketing, branding, sales, finance, technology, innovation, and much more.

Clearoute reflects my perspective on business, which is that ideas are great, but without follow-through, they’re only fleeting thoughts, something that will never come to market and transform an industry or improve the lives of customers. I often cite Steve Jobs as an example. We all know what a magnificent ideas person he was — he’s practically the textbook definition of out-of-the-box thinking. But he was also deeply involved at every stage of Apple’s success. He took his great ideas from his garage to the world stage, and he fundamentally changed our civilization. Honestly, can you name a political, social or cultural leader who has done more to impact the way we live our lives today?

And it has always been this way. Visionary entrepreneurs can have a much more profound impact on their societies than presidents or prime ministers and are remembered long after other famous figures of their day. Few can recall who the world leaders were at the time Henry Ford unveiled the Model T. No law passed by parliament or Congress could ever impact the world as much as a game-changing invention, an idea that was developed with hard work, boldness and precise timing.

Q: Can you tell us about your services?

We act as a strategic ally, clearing the way for businesses to reach higher levels of efficiency and profitability. We work to enhance the vision, drive and creative spirit that inspired a business at its founding, to make the dream of its founders real. I apply my decades of experience to the task. Over the past 30 years, I’ve partnered with a range of major corporations. I’ve also managed a billion dollars in investments for M Worldwide Inc., including ventures that span real estate, marketing and technology.

For our clients, we focus on the necessary details of business operations, such as design, project management, business development, sales, marketing, revenue management, financing, technology and customer service. In partnership, we generate new ideas, tactics and strategies that accelerate growth and maximize revenue.

Q: Who is your ideal client and why?

A: We love taking on clients who are not famous, not even yet well-known within their industries, but who radiate enthusiasm, potential, competence and dedication. We like emerging companies, especially those built on the dream of one person. Helping to make that dream real is rewarding in so many ways. These types of companies are not bogged down by administrative bureaucracies. They haven’t learned the counterproductive lesson of playing it safe. They take risks because they have to — and also because it’s in their DNA. Partnering with leaders like this is exciting. Hard work, yes, but frankly lots of fun. And at the end of the process, everyone involved can feel a great deal of pride in what has been accomplished.

Q: What can we expect from Clearoute in the next 6 months? What are your plans?

A: We see some incredible opportunities in both the Canadian and U.S. markets, and are actively pursuing these. We will continue to search for diamonds in the rough, people and companies who will be setting the pace for their industries over the next decade and beyond. We will continue to color outside the lines, to view established practices from new perspectives, to reimagine and reinvent.

Q: What is the best thing about Clearoute that people might not know about?

A: That we are an intensely people-focused company. Last night, for example, we had an informal dinner with four or five people, some guests who came from out of town. These folks are potential new employees. They brought their partners, and we broke bread. We had an amazing conversation, purpose-based conversations. Inspiring conversations. I think those are the best things that people can do, because everything we do is so transactional. I think breaking bread, having a meal with somebody today is far more valuable and important than having a Zoom call. Sometimes you can learn more from one conversation with somebody than you can from reading a dozen books.

Q: How did you become an entrepreneur? Was it always your goal?

A: Mark Twain said, “The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.” I was so fortunate that I understood my passion and purpose from a very early age. I’ve always felt a great sense of excitement when it comes to business, in all its aspects: the innovations, the organizing, the testing and the execution. At York University in Toronto, I acquired the practical academic background that is the foundation for much of my business success. I then went on to gain experience as a manager with TD Bank Group and a consultant at Aimia Inc. Those were valuable experiences, and I learned a great deal, but I always knew that I would ultimately be the captain of my own ship in business: choosing a destination, recruiting a team of top professionals, charting a course and setting out on great adventures, exhilarating voyages. I’ve always been drawn to what’s over the horizon.

Q: What was the genesis of Humaniti, the charitable organization you founded?

A: My faith and the gratitude I feel for all the blessings in my life have always inspired me to give back, to lift up others who face challenges and to do it on a global scale. Humaniti is designed to provide critically needed resources and assistance to populations in developing nations. We empower individuals to take control of their economic destinies, while also advancing human rights and justice in their societies.

When I launched Humaniti in 2016, I talked about my desire to etch a positive mark on the fabric of humanity, and to build a brand where humanity itself is the shareholder, the customer and the beneficiary. Our goal is to add love and hope to our world, and to help often-desperate people to have faith in themselves, and reach for their dreams. Teaching skills and promoting financial independence are key parts of that. An educated population becomes a society filled with high-achieving professionals who enrich their families and communities, for many generations to come.

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