An Interview With Clearoute CEO Shoaib Khan

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Shoaib Khan is a Canadian entrepreneur and philanthropist who founded his first company, Clearoute, in 1999. Khan has led projects with major companies such as Google, Pepsi, Honda, General Motors and Sprint. With decades of experience in operations and a thriving network of talents and resources, Khan has successfully grown brands, revenue, and market share that consistently exceed client expectations. As a CEO who can balance the big picture with the intricate details of a growing business, Khan is a valuable asset for entrepreneurs looking to make a global impact. Shoaib Khan is also the founder of Humaniti, a charitable organization that empowers and supports people in developing nations, promoting social justice and human rights.

Q: Can you describe the scope and focus of Clearoute, and how it’s evolved in its 25 years of existence?

SHOAIB KHAN: The short answer is that I created Clearoute to help make entrepreneurial dreams come true. I wanted to provide the kind of service that I needed when I first got into business for myself. Entrepreneurs, when they’re starting out, mostly need help with breaking down the big picture into manageable A to B steps to build that solid foundation for an enduring business. Clearoute helps new businesses with defining their long-term strategies, along with developing tactics around marketing, branding, sales, and the integration of technology. We’re committed to making sure their bright and beautiful business concepts survive through the long and often painful process of bringing them to life.

Q: What kinds of clients appeal most to you? Who does Clearoute want knocking at its door?

SHOAIB KHAN: We’re excited by the entrepreneurs who are still mostly in the shadows, but who have demonstrated strong enthusiasm and a commitment to a clear vision. We want clients who are not afraid of the hard work, and who are dedicated to making their dreams a reality. One of the main traits we look for is resilience in the face of multiple struggles and obstacles. We know that if we see this kind of resilience, we’re going to have a partner that’s passionate enough to take the risks that are needed and to pursue their vision to its fullest potential.

Q: What unexpected hidden aspect of Clearoute makes you proudest?

SHOAIB KHAN: I think it’s our values, which we demonstrate through the care and empathy we show for both our employees and our clients. We place a big emphasis on getting to know the people we’re working with, as well as the people we’re working for, our partners. For me, I come from a strong faith background, where we value family and a culture of love and respect for each other. It’s important to me that those values translate into how we run our company. We create opportunities for friendship and closeness, sharing meals and just generally being involved in each other’s lives with conversations that go beyond business meetings and Zoom calls.

Q: Your Company is called Clearoute: What route did you take to become an entrepreneur?

SHOAIB KHAN: Fortunately for me, I knew early on that I wanted to create a business. My motivation was less to do with finding the best money-making venture, and more to do with the thrill that comes from bringing an idea from concept into creation and, ultimately, to a sustained competence of organization and execution. That’s what’s led me to seek out and work with energetic and ambitious entrepreneurs who have that same passion. I had no doubt about the course of study I would pursue at York University. When I graduated, I immediately began putting that knowledge to use, first as a manager with TD Bank Group and then as a consultant at Aimia Inc. But I knew I wanted to direct my energies towards something I could call “my business”. I had a destination, and I set out to recruit a solid crew and chart an efficient course with a top team of professionals.

Q: Where does your passion for philanthropy come from, and what led you to found Humaniti?

SHOAIB KHAN: I started Humaniti in 2016, when I had the means and resources to really make an impact in areas where there were urgent needs. It’s something that’s always been a goal of mine as an entrepreneur, to be successful enough to take on charitable efforts. The work we’ve done with Humaniti has gone way beyond those original goals, and as I get further along in my career, it’s become more central to my life and my focus. My family immigrated to this country, and the example of my mother’s generosity and sacrifice in moving us to a land where my ambition and imagination would have few constraints to flourish has given me a well of motivation to improve the lives of others, to invest my time and resources for the betterment of fellow humans. Humaniti focuses on giving people tools and skills that encourage financial independence. Ultimately, our goal is to identify individuals who can enrich their families and communities and nurture them along that path.