“Penticton Top 40 under 40 is presented by Prospera Credit Union in partnership with the Penticton & Wine Country Chamber of Commerce and JCI Penticton, with support from White Kennedy LLP Chartered Accountants”
Not daunted with the time commitment required of one startup business project, Tarik Sayeed is in the process of launching three unique business projects in the Penticton area:
Taking advantage of his IT background as a Network & Systems Manager with Valley First Credit Union, Tarik’s technology startup is pioneering software development of a program that can code and recognize hand gestures of the visual language of American Sign Language (“ASL”). The program will be able to through motion capture technology effectively translate ASL into voice and text. This advance would provide a vital new communication tool for the historically marginalized deaf-mute population. Tarik and his team are ambitiously estimating that a working prototype will be ready by April 2014.
Tarik’s second business venture aims to provide small business owners in the Okanagan with a new method of advertisement. By observing the needs of a market segment of small business owners who are put off by the high costs of advertising in traditional media Tarik has partnered with local merchants and organizations to install digital advertising boxes at various high traffic/profile locations. By providing local businesses a more affordable way of advertising specifically targeted at reaching the local market, Tarik is aiming to “transform the way we do advertising in the Okanagan”.
Lastly, Tarik started an ambitious green initiative aimed at reducing the number of plastic bags in Penticton and the surrounding area. Most consumers are familiar with reusable shopping bags but often forget to bring them on their shopping trips. Tarik’s goal is to offer these consumers the option of purchasing 100% compostable bags at the grocery stores rather than using the current plastic bags which take about 1000 years to decompose. Tarik is confident that given the choice between the two, consumers will overwhelmingly choose the environmentally friendly option. Tarik notes that many retailers are already charging 5 cents/bag as a disincentive for their use, and believes that consumers would much rather pay the 5 cents towards keeping the plastic bag out of circulation. Additionally, by starting this campaign in Penticton, Tarik sees this as an amazing opportunity for Penticton to set an example for the rest of Canada.
In addition to his varied business projects, Tarik finds the time to participate in community organizations such as the Penticton Okanagan Rotary Club. Through the Rotary, Tarik has been involved in humanitarian development projects in Bangladesh aimed at reducing poverty in two remote villages and to improve the quality of life of its residents. By working with professionals from various backgrounds, Tarik has been able to assist in steering projects aimed at tackling various needs ranging from: providing clean water, developing small business, education about sustainable farming/cultivation, youth sports programs and spreading awareness on the prevention of HIV and AIDS.
As busy as Tarik’s business and community commitments keep him, Tarik draws inspiration from the “challenges and road blocks he faces as it gives me a reason to look beyond conventional methods to reach my destination.” Tarik is energized by the challenge of overcoming these obstacles and feels a strong responsibility to give back to the community. “Money and influence should be secondary, and the main motivation should be that you want to create a fundamental change in the market.”
For more information on the Penticton Top 40 Under 40, including how to nominate someone click here.