Lessons from an entrepreneur: How failure is pivotal to achieving success

“Without the early setbacks in my career and the invaluable lessons I have learned, Storepay would not be the success that it is today,” writes Khangal Nergui, Founder and CEO of Storepay
Khangal Nergui
Founder and CEO of Storepay

From the first tentative steps on my journey as an entrepreneur, I understood that the path I had chosen to take in life would not always be as straightforward or profitable as it could have been had I pursued a career in politics or business. However, from a young age, I knew that my inquisitive spirit and creative nature would push me to consider new ways of doing things. Knowing this, it is easier to adapt and overcome the many challenges that rear their head during the entrepreneurial process. Prior to creating and establishing Storepay, a fintech company headquartered in Singapore that offers Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) solutions, I had already built two businesses from the ground up. The first, which I started at just 18 years old, was the first-ever sports magazine in Mongolia. I spent my summer holidays producing and designing content and graphics and sold 5,000 copies over the first six months. I had hoped to make the publication monthly but quickly realised that with the hours and labour involved in the production, this would not be feasible. Knowing when to stop was important, and while to many, including myself, it was a failed business, the lessons I learnt were significant and actualised my passion for entrepreneurship. 

Unhindered by my first dalliance with developing a company, I got to work soon after building the next. Moving away from publishing, my next venture was in advertising. Like before, my idea was the first of its kind, rolling out car seat headrest displays in taxis throughout Mongolia. Initially, the business was a success, but problems began to arise when passengers complained about exposure to bright lights or when some of the more intoxicated taxi users vandalised the screens. Ultimately, I decided to shut down the business after just a year in operation. Again, it was an endeavour that had fallen short, but the experience I gained was invaluable, instilling me with mental resilience and fortitude and the belief that I knew that I shouldn’t give up. 

Overcoming diverse and differing challenges is key to achieving success as a CEO and business founder in today’s tumultuous and ever-evolving environment. Adaptability is significant and a founder must be able to pivot when necessary and be receptive and open-minded to new ideas, prepared to take risks, and possess an ability to make quick decisions. An awareness and strong understanding of financial management is important knowledge to possess. When I started my current business, Storepay, I worked from my uncle’s kitchen table managing sales, marketing, and accounts. Without this experience in the premature days of the business, I would not be as proficient in making smart financial decisions as I am today. Strong communication skills are non-negotiable when it comes to achieving success as a founder and, ultimately, as a CEO. Being able to communicate with employees, investors, and customers is paramount in realising the company’s vision, strategy, and progress. Developed over time and nurtured through pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone, networking skills are pivotal in every successful founder’s toolkit. Building strong relationships with investors, mentors, and other entrepreneurs can be critical in accessing capital, finding and acquiring top talent, and navigating any regulatory challenges you may face. 

Having recognised and developed these abilities within myself as an entrepreneur I am excited for the important year that awaits Storepay in 2023. We have successfully established ourselves as the first and leading Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) provider in Mongolia, and will be expanding Storepay further. Expansion, however, is not without its challenges and we are prepared to take any cultural differences, language barriers, and geopolitical risks that may arise that may hinder the success of such an enlargement of our company. 

Very little success can be gained without some element of risk, and we are more than prepared to take this next step. I have ambitions to enter international markets including Bangladesh, UK, Vietnam, and Thailand. I am also confident that Storepay is on track to become the first-ever Mongolian startup to achieve unicorn status. Without the early setbacks in my career and the invaluable lessons I have learned, Storepay would not be the success that it is today.

About the author

Khangal Nergui is the founder and CEO of Storepay. Khangal grew up in the Mongolian capital of Ulaanbaatar. He holds a Bachelor's Degrees from the National University of Mongolia as well as a further Bachelor’s degree from the Law Enforcement University of Mongolia. He also holds a Master's in International Business from Queensland University of Technology (QUT) in Australia. 

A serial entrepreneur, Khangal has over 12 years of experience in creating innovative businesses. After studying in Australia and returning to Mongolia, he founded Storepay in 2019 which quickly became the leading BNPL company in Mongolia.

About Storepay

Founded in 2019, Storepay is a Singapore headquartered fintech that offers Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) solutions, as well as crypto capabilities. The company is bridging crypto with real-life applications through its BNPL ecosystem and its native cryptocurrency, the SPC token. Storepay has 450,000 active users, 2,700  partner merchants, and over $36  million USD in sales to date. With offices in Mongolia and Indonesia, Storepay employs 30 people. For further information, please visit https://storepay.global/ 

Written by
Khangal Nergui