Komal and Anoop Choong are two first-generation American brothers whose family came from Northern India to the United States to open a restaurant chain. Growing up they were always fascinated by the entrepreneurial spirit of their father and when the time came, they decided to combine this work philosophy with their obsession for cars.
In this episode of Before It Happened, our host Donna Loughlin tells us the story of Zohr, a mobile tire service that grew from a minivan into a rising startup with presence in three American cities. Tires are the most important safety component of any moving vehicle, that’s why the Choong brothers’ business specializes in them. Listen now and learn how these brothers made a successful business out of a side hustle in their garage: Zhor, The Tire Shop That Comes To You!
Before any world-changing innovation, there was a moment, an event, a realization that sparked the idea before it happened. This is a podcast about that moment — about that idea. Before IT Happened takes you on a journey with the innovators who imagined — and are still imagining — our future. Join host Donna Loughlin as her guests tell their stories of how they brought their visions to life.
JUMP STRAIGHT INTO:
(03:26) - The Choong family’s entrepreneurial mentality - “We really value honesty, straightforwardness and working hard. I think that goes a long way for our parents and anybody who originates from Northern India because it is very much an agrarian society.”
(06:07) - Hot Wheels and magazines: Their childhood love for cars - “From a very small age, the idea of creating things was just always there, that’s sort of the reason why I went to engineering school.”
(08:09) - From college to building an automotive company - “The minute I got exposure to what corporate America was really like, that was the moment that I decided I needed to start exploring other ways and opportunities of creating and building a company from scratch.”
(12:44) - Anoop’s journey to figuring out his future - “I felt that there's more experience to be had running a startup and working on it than there is going to school.”
(14:57) - Komal’s eye-opening car crash and the idea for Zohr - “That was another factor that contributed to us focusing on tires; because it's the most important safety component of any moving vehicle.”
(23:17) - The beginning of Zohr - “We had to teach ourselves the ABCs of changing tires, and then to get this business off the ground, we needed to go and change tires and start generating revenue.”
(25:35) - How Zohr has been making people’s lives better - “From a safety component you're borderline saving someone's life. That's really powerful.”
(28:36) - COVID-19, social distancing and offering a contactless service - “We serviced multiple nurses and doctors during the pandemic. It was so rewarding to be at these hospitals servicing these customers that just fundamentally didn't have time.”
(33:04) - Growing Zohr into new markets - “We strongly believe that we'll be the number one mobile provider for tire services across the country.”
(36:59) - What do you wish you knew before? - “Nothing could have prepared us because you literally have to go out and do it and fail at it countless times to be able to understand the dynamics in the business.”
Connect with Anoop through LinkedIn
Learn more about Zohr | Mobile Tire Shop
Watch Komal’s interview with Proactive: Zohr looking to scale its 'tire shop of the future' business
Before IT Happened is produced by Donna Loughlin and StudioPod Media with additional editing and sound design by Nodalab. The show coordinator is Deanna Morenci and the audio engineering was provided by Dave Clarke McCoy. The Executive Producer is Katie Sunku Wood. All episodes are written by Jack Buehrer.