Assean Sheikh - Flavourly

Assean Sheikh is Co-founder and CMO of Flavourly, an online craft beer supplier. The company’s mission is to help consumers discover their new favourite craft beer, by collaborating with leading breweries to supply exclusive products, unavailable anywhere else.

The Saltire programme has allowed Assean to continue to pursue his ambition and passion for starting, building and scaling businesses. From first-hand experience at Babson College in Boston, to the cohort of like-minded people he met through the Fellowship, he believes the programme offers a unique mix of experiential learning paired with building a strong network, to help those looking to start, grow, take over or become leaders within a business, to really and truly thrive.

image-000.png

THE OPPORTUNITY:

When running his previous business, Assean first met Entrepreneurial Scotland CEO Sandy Kennedy, through
Entrepreneurial Spark founder Jim Duffy, a mentor and source of much inspiration.

Assean explains; “Jim was one of the very first cohort of the Saltire Fellowship. I got to know him well, and was incredibly impressed by what he had achieved, but also by his approach and mindset. A lot of what Jim taught was inspired by his time on the programme at Babson College, and it sparked my interest in being part of the Saltire Fellowship first-hand."

Following the Saltire Fellowship, Assean took up a placement at a Move Fresh business Diet Chef, where he got to immerse himself in the world of ecommerce, meet his Flavourly co-founder, as well as entrepreneur Kevin Dorren who would later invest in Flavourly.

IMPACT:

Looking back on the experience he gained, Assean holds the programme in high regard, and still draws on the Saltire Fellowship materials, mentors and network more than six years on. Even today, he acknowledges he would always do all he could to help those he met on the programme and many of those contacts have supported him, or introduced him to someone who has helped over the years.

When he had completed the programme and founded Flavourly, he began to witness the true value of the Saltire Fellowship and put what he learnt into practice. He says; “There are some key lessons I learnt at Babson that I still try to live by each day – experiences around focus, execution and taking risks are those that have resonated most with me and have really helped me improve my performance as a leader. There were so many takeaways from the programme but for me, these lessons really helped me up my game.”

What I found really valuable was the unique combination of experiential learning and the long-term friendships I’ve built through a brilliant network. I got to meet a really, really friendly, top notch network of individuals, who were - and continue to be - very collaborative supportive and like-minded.

He also learnt that, in order to build something impactful and meaningful, good people and the right mix of people are essential. He’s applied these learnings to Flavourly where the business has a strong focus on culture and the mindset of their team, centering on aptitude, passion for learning and a drive to continuously push high standards.

I came back from the programme feeling like I had the ability to get things done – on my own and by collaborating with some amazing people. I’m lucky to have the ability to call on those people and because it was such a diverse group, there’s always someone who is there to offer advice. I’m also really grateful for those four months at Babson College as I got to really immerse myself in that world.

An advocate that life-long learning can help to equip people and businesses, to be the best they can be, Assean is a believer that mindset, culture and trust are key. He concludes; “There are lots of ways to learn, improve and innovate, but programmes like the Saltire Fellowship are immersive, fast track ways to improve yourself and your team, but also adapt to change, which is absolutely key to being part of or running a successful, entrepreneurial business.

My programme ended six years ago but at some point, I’d love to return for a refresher – I want to make sure I never stop developing and expanding my mind.

-----

If you would like to talk to Entrepreneurial Scotland about our leadership programmes and how they can benefit your business please email andy.macnicol@entrepreneurialscotland.com