Tanveer Ubhi is the definition of a small Canadian business owner. He built his company from the ground up, through connections he worked hard to build. Before he started his own marketing agency, he worked in the retail and marketing space for over 10 years.
He worked with some of Canada’s biggest companies: IBM, Canadian Tire, Loblaws, and Maple Leaf Foods. Fun fact: when he wasn’t conquering the corporate world, Tanveer spent his weekends as a drummer in the Bollywood music scene and spent 7 years touring throughout North America. While he was on the road, he built up quite the community and network of people who became close to him – this would pay dividends later on.
“I got exposed to literally our entire South Asian community,” says Tanveer. “My colleagues and friends said, ‘You’ve built quite a network. You always have a hookup for something or a referral for someone. Maybe this corporate world isn’t for you – maybe you could do something on your own.’”
Motivated by the idea of a new adventure, Tanveer started reaching out to friends who had businesses and offered his marketing advice. He started building online strategies for companies on the side and gained perspective on whether this was something he felt he could do on his own someday. He knew that the entrepreneurial life wasn’t the same as his 9-5 comfortable paycheck, but he was intrigued by the idea.
During his transition to become a small business owner, he left the corporate world in 2015 to start a marketing agency which quickly shifted to owning an HVAC business with a partner where his primary role was marketing/operations. During this quick pitstop, he realized it was not for him and in 2018 Kick Media Group was born.
“I just realized that being creative was what I was meant to do. At that point, I felt like I really didn’t have much to lose. If I’m going to take a risk, it is the best time to take that risk. Like any journey, it was painful. In the first year, you really don’t have any customers. You’re trying to build your own brand, trying to get your word out there. It was a slow process, but I think it’s tracking the right way.”
Kicking it into gear
Today, Tanveer has built a Toronto-based marketing agency comprised of marketing specialists, graphic designers, web developers and content creators and continues to provide holistic marketing solutions to businesses of all nature. From brand management, to digital marketing and advertising, to design and print.
“Every customer is unique in terms of what their objective is. Building a marketing strategy is like a GPS – they provide the destination, then it’s my job along with my team to create the roadmap, which is the strategy on how to get to your destination. So, every turn you’re making, every street you’re turning on, is going to be a different component that falls under marketing.”