In every life, there is a turning point and three years ago Bilal Khan, founder of Zemcar, experienced his. Sitting in a boardroom in New York City, Bilal received a phone call from his wife who was ill and unable to drive their two children to school. None of the neighbors were reachable. Feeling uncomfortable about putting his children in a taxi, he researched rideshare companies and was frustrated to learn that none of them were insured to transport children under the age of 18. Like most families, Bilal has faced the option of either leaving a meeting or having his children miss a scheduled activity, only this time he was too far away to help in any way. “There must be a better way,” he thought, “Families deserve so much more.” Bilal had watched countless employees lose time on the job due to the family transportation dilemma and the lack of trustworthy options available. That day in New York City, Bilal realized that this was a problem that deserved to be solved wholeheartedly and he decided to be the one to solve it. Not long after, Bilal left his job and has since made it his mission to provide a trustworthy rideshare option for families, just like the one his family needed so desperately that day when he got a phone call in the middle of a meeting from his wife.
“There must be a better way! Families deserve so much more.”
For some, Bilal’s passionate determination to leave his job and tackle this problem may have seemed like too big a risk and too immense a challenge but something you must know about Bilal is that he was born a risk taker. As a youth, Bilal found thrill and purpose in excelling in both sports and academics and proving that he could do anything he put his mind to. He spent his childhood in Pakistan and skipped grades by his sheer determination and love of learning. Keenly driven and always up for a challenge, Bilal broke records and became the student leader of his boarding school. He played cricket, soccer, basketball, hockey and table tennis. He drove a motorcycle, much to the chagrin of his parents.
Bilal earned a degree in Computer Science and Engineering at the University of Texas, then moved to Boston. Upon moving to Boston he took classes at Harvard and finished another Master’s Degree at MIT in business management and engineering. Persistence is his power. All of these scholarly pursuits did not get in the way of Bilal’s thirst for adventure. Just as he was fearless in the face of academics, he was also driven to master adventurous sports. Bilal’s friends invited him to try his skill at white water rafting. On one wild afternoon, Bilal’s boat took on a 30-foot waterfall and his boat capsized. Most people would pack it up and call it a day after an experience like that but not Bilal. He went back upstream and tried and tried again until he completed the falls without capsizing, and only then was he ready to pack it up and go home. Bilal’s mindset has always been about persistence and his belief that there is nothing that can’t be achieved with hard work and determination.
“My motto in life: always keep learning, keep trying new and interesting things, and keep your hunger for knowledge fed and driving you in life!”
Bilal had a larger vision in mind when tackling the problem of transportation for families and conferred with the people who would know best: mothers. Once the fire to solve this problem was lit and burning, Bilal went home and talked to his wife and to many other moms, starting with his own neighborhood. He asked them important questions and listened intently to their answers. Just like his intense and devoted rafting days, Bilal kept going back to the drawing board, again and again, brainstorming solutions to make families feel comfortable and safer, not quitting until he got it right. Bilal worked tirelessly to redefine the rideshare experience focused on trust, safety, and security for families. The Zemcar app was designed with the intelligence and innovation of a determined father and the care and wisdom of steadfast mothers.