Passion is the driving factor behind successful business projects. Some people are uniquely positioned to put together the winning combination of passion and expertise, and ENVO Drive’s Ali Kazemkhani is just one.
A new immigrant to Canada in the 2010s, Kazemkhani and ENVO Drive didn’t even launch their first bike until 2017. Now, just five years later, the business brings in over one million dollars per month. Kazemkhani knows his product and his strategy, and has implemented it intentionally on the way to tremendous success.
Kazemkhani rode his bicycle as a kid, and he relished downhills. Downhills are always the most enjoyable part of a bike ride — moving quickly without having to exert any energy is a uniquely freeing experience.
He said that downhills “weren’t always the case,” though, and with the inspiration of his childhood biking, he set out to find a way to get up hills more easily. After earning BS and MS in mechanical engineering from Iran University of Science and Technology, he designed the first conversion kit, designed to convert a standard pedal bicycle to an electric bike.
His first sale came over a year later, after his migration to Canada. The buyer in Newfoundland was oblivious to the impact that his purchase would make, but it was the kick start that Kazemkhani needed.
“I was excited because if it sold once, it could sell again,” he said.
Division of Labor
Kazemkhani is the mastermind behind two different brands, ENVO Drive and EBikeBC. ENVO Drive is the engineering, design, and manufacturing arm of the business, and EBikeBC sells E-bikes, E-trikes, E-scooters, conversion kits, and more, mainly to a Canadian consumer base.
The two are meant to be kept fully separate entities, though. “To distinguish our retail brand EBikeBC from our manufacturing brand, we rebranded all products to ENVO in 2018,” Kazemkhani said.
ENVO Drive products dominate the digital landscape at EBikeBC’s website, but the company offers more diverse offerings than just what ENVO Drive produces. Anything from an electric SnowKart to a motorized unicycle or wheelchair is just a few clicks away.
“By gaining legitimacy and customers’ trust, I became a trusted website for conversion kits in Canada,” Kazemkhani said. “This was how ENVO was born.”
Consistently High Quality
Ali Kazemkhani isn’t satisfied with being one of the best-performing electric mobility companies in North America. He and his team are constantly looking to grow their reach and satisfy customers, and the most logical way to do that has been through ensuring that every safety and quality standard Canada can throw at their product.
Though it’s not economically feasible to manufacture all of the parts they need locally in British Columbia, Kazemkhani has no time for cheap knockoffs jumbled together overseas. Everything that comes across the pond to the ENVO Drive warehouse is double checked for the quality that they expect.
“Electric bicycle factories are mostly located in southeast Asia, so while many of our products are produced in Asia, they are engineered in Canada for domestic requirements, regulations, and applications,” Kazemkhani explained. “Furthermore, 100% of our products go through Quality Control in Canada to ensure that we can guarantee a high level of quality and customer satisfaction.”
Their commitment to quality and customer satisfaction has paid off. Nearly 150 reviews on Google rate EBikeBC 4.7 stars, and the content is glowing. Dozens of the comments highlight customer service, others the hardware of the product, and still others the quick shipping time or longevity of their bike.
The process of drawing customers in is one of the most challenging parts of launching a business, and Kazemkhani gave Starter Story some insight into the most effective strategies he employed.
One major piece has been keeping blog content fresh. All of the design is done by ENVO Drive, so the experts are right on hand, and educating the public about electric mobility is an excellent way to increase overall sales.
The frequently refreshing content also makes ENVO’s site more likely to pop up in search results, and when people get to the site, they’re far more likely to trust it if they can read all about the products right on the landing page.
Secondly, ENVO Drive has bet on their product. They’ve relied on customers to have good experiences and write reviews, and the feedback has come as expected. When a company puts out a good product, people will recommend it to friends, to the internet, to random strangers — ENVO made the commitment to allowing their bikes to speak for them.
Answer Your ‘Why’
As mentioned earlier, passion projects are those that most frequently find success. Kazemkhani realized that his passion was getting people from place to place in a way that was quick, effective, and sustainable. His business was founded on those principles, and it’s blown up as quickly as he could have hoped it would.
“The mission and reason you wanted to start your business should always be the core of what you do,” Kazemkhani says. “Financial success will come if you successfully answer your ‘Why.’”
Ali Kazemkhani started his business to make a profit while doing good for the planet and the people around him, and it sure seems he’s answered his why.