Telenor Velocity Ducking Out Failures and Accomplishments with Duck Stories

Telenor Velocity’s Duck Stories has carved a name for itself as a platform that shines the light on stories of professional and entrepreneurial failure. Through the series, Telenor Velocity aims to create the perfect recipe for aspiring entrepreneurs to learn to use failure as the condiment that gives success its true flavor. 

DuckStories is a series of regular events where accomplished entrepreneurs and professionals share their career mistakes and failures with the audience. They share instances from their lives where they had to ‘duck’, get back on feet and tread again towards their goals. The prime objective of the program is to eradicate the fear of failure and foster experimentation to strengthen the country’s startup landscape.

Lahore, 2018

The recently held virtual session of Duck Stories featured Irfan Wahab Khan, CEO Telenor Pakistan, and Muneeb Maayr, CEO and founder Bykea, to share their humbling stories of failures and the lessons learned from them.   

Muneeb Maayr shared his personal duck story on failing, going back to the drawing board and pivoting, and then coming back with a stronger strategy to make Bykea the household name that it is today. Irfan Wahab Khan provided unique insights into the development of a positive culture of innovation and risk taking.

Stressing on the importance of start-ups knowing their strengths, Maayr said “Startups normally have limited budgets that need to be spent with extra caution, and that’s where customer segmentation comes in. So often we get it wrong by not focusing enough on our core strengths and wanting to do everything but that doesn’t always work. Young founders may struggle to differentiate between their brand’s various demographics, but thanks to segmentation, they can target the right consumers with the best strategy.”

This month’s session especially focused on customer segmentation and why that has been an integral cause of failure in startups. Participants had the unique opportunity to learn what failures and risks led to Telenor Pakistan becoming Pakistan’s top cellular and data provider, directly from the CEO. 

DuckStories have a characteristic fun element to them which make the whole event both amusing and enlightening. This episode was no different where the speakers shared both laughs and sighs as they recollected their lifelong struggles.

Speaking on the importance of celebrating stories of failure, Irfan Wahab Khan said, “In running businesses, risk-taking and success go hand in hand. It’s important that the entrepreneurial minds of tomorrow learn the true meaning of failing fast. Whether it’s for a new product, or a change to existing practices, innovation cannot occur without an element of risk. Failure can’t become a stigma for us. It is only through risk and failure that entrepreneurs learn from their mistakes and grow further.”

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