Alumni Profile – Gary Wazir

Gary Wazir

What are you doing now?

Since leaving the University of Kent I’ve been on an incredible journey. I’m CEO of Wystle, the UK’s newest ride-hailing app created right in the nation’s capital. I built Wystle to offer the best rates to drivers, the safest ride to riders, a great range of cars, more affordable fairs, and a greening & ethical approach in an industry not exactly renowned for it.

Prior to Wystle I amassed 9 years’ experience spanning transport, health, investment, and charitable endeavours – I am a member of an NGO named SELF, based in Jammu and Kashmir. The organization works with orphaned children to provide food, accommodation, access to education, and financing to help ensure these children achieve their potential.

What attracted you to your course, and to Kent?

For me it was three things. Firstly,  Kent being ranked among the best universities in the world and having its campus located in two of the most historic cities in Europe, it would have been my loss to turn down the opportunity of studying here. Secondly, to be at Kent Business School and soak up the skills I need to succeed commercially. Thirdly, it was an important part of my transition from India to the UK. Kent remains among the top 50 universities in the UK because of its credibility and I’m proud to be an alumni of an institution with a great reputation.

Which aspects of your degree did you enjoy the most and why?

Apart from the theoretical knowledge, I thoroughly enjoyed the hands-on experience that was provided which helped me develop the entrepreneurial and leadership skills I hone today. I remember we had to do a business plan for starting an Adventure Park as an assignment – I enjoyed that immensely. And, of course, my course mates and friendship with lecturers.

Which skills/knowledge did you learn on your course that you use most now in your career?

It’s the entrepreneurship, marketing, finance, and people skills that benefit me the most – so all of it! Or rather, have been benefiting me throughout my journey thus far; as the CEO of a ride-hailing company in London, and with plans to expand across the UK, UAE, and India, all those skills come into play.

At Kent, students were always encouraged to create things they wish existed and lead the way to make it happen, and the exposure to students from all over Europe and the world gave me access to different cultures and their thought processes – this was extremely helpful in understanding a consumer today.

Could you describe a typical day in your current job?

Leading a Start-up in a very competitive market has good days and bad days. In the early days when the team is small, you find yourself working late to brainstorm how to improve strategy, marketing, positioning, and the user experience on the App with my Tech team. It’s a massive learning curve working in a start-up as you find yourselves involved in the smallest part of the operation to key negotiations with strategic external partners. Motivating your team with appreciation and responsibility of decision-making is key.

What are your future plans/aspirations?

My plans are to grow Wystle. We intend to make Wystle a Global ethical alternative to Uber. To achieve that, we intend to launch in other UK cities after London and establish a strong foothold domestically before we start expanding our footprints in the Middle East and India. I’m also investing in an energy and job creation project in rural north India, just to complicate things further!

What is your favourite memory of Kent?

The fondest of memory must be sitting on the benches near the Duck Pond at Dolche Vita and doing my course assignments with friends. Despite being in Parkwood, I used to come down to Keynes to study. Somehow, I was the most focused on those benches, when it wasn’t raining.

What advice would you give to somebody thinking of coming to Kent?

I would advise the next generation of brilliant minds to not think twice.

How would you describe your time at Kent in three words?

Can I make it four? – “Time of my life!”

Are you currently working on any interesting projects that you would like to tell us a bit more about?

Apart from Wystle, I have also ventured into manufacturing Copper Cables and Wires. As India is developing at an encouraging pace, infrastructure development is at the heart of the new Government policies. Copper products are essential to such developmental work. We are in the process of setting up an $8M manufacturing plant for Copper and its allied products in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir, India, under the New Central Sector Scheme for Industrial Development of Jammu and Kashmir. The plant will commence production in October 2022.