The founders of QuikLiq are college buddies that all attended the prestigious HBCU, Clark Atlanta University (CAU). Navarr Grevious (CEO) and Mikael Pyles (President/Chief Strategy Officer) originally met on campus in 2006 at their freshman dorm, Brawley Hall. While Navarr and Mikael were always friendly, it wasn't until 2008 that they became really great friends / brothers after pledging together to join Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. Shortly after becoming members of Kappa Alpha Psi, their fraternity brothers voted to elect Mikael the President and Navarr the Vice President of the chapter. Working together to lead their fraternity, Navarr and Mikael realized that they worked really well together; and the two went on to lead other on-campus organizations together, such as Toastmasters International. In 2011, shortly after graduating from CAU, Navarr and Mikael came up with the idea for QuikLiq—a disruptive, on-demand alcohol delivery service.
Fast forward to the summer of 2018, after many years of roadblocks and barriers to entry, Navarr had the genius idea to bring in the company's third founding partner—a friend and fellow CAU alum, Aaron Carter (Chief Marketing Officer). Adding Aaron’s copious understanding of the alcohol industry and years of experience is just what QuikLiq needed to take off—and finally with his help, the company was ready to launch! Hence, in 2018, QuikLiq launched and became fully operational in the company’s new headquarters, Miami Beach, Florida.
Navarr Grevious (CEO) has a Master’s Degree in Accounting from Clark Atlanta University where he spent time studying abroad in China—receiving a 4.0 gpa during his matriculation at the University of International Business and Economics (Beijing). He also excelled as an Auditor for Big 4 accounting firm, Deloitte & Touche. Mikael Pyles (President/CSO) cut his teeth in the corporate world as a Buyer for Target Corporation, where he managed a $400 million portfolio in the Household Commodities division and won various merchandising awards for his performance. In 2015, Mikael decided to leave his decorated career in the corporate world to establish himself as a luxury real estate broker in New York City. This move proved to be promising, as he quickly became a top-producer at his Manhattan firm and spearheaded many multi-million dollar transactions.
Aaron Carter (CMO) has a decorated background in the alcohol industry working for some of the largest multinational companies in the industry, such as Brown-Forman and Diageo. Amongst Aaron's many accolades, he was responsible for leading and managing the budgets for over 100 highly-visible industry activations, including the Super Bowl, NBA All-Star Weekend, Atlanta Food & Wine, Music Midtown Atlanta, One Music Fest, etc.
1) How did you get your idea or concept for the business? The concept for QuikLiq came out of pure necessity and the realization that there was a huge void in the market for this sort of service. In college, the founders threw fraternity parties that were very well-attended; oftentimes, the alcohol would run out, and no one wanted to leave the party to get more alcohol (or no one was sober enough to drive and get more). Wouldn't it be great to have a service you could call that would just deliver more alcohol to the party so no one had to leave? Enter QuikLiq.... the idea was conceived to solve that problem (and many more).
2) What service(s) or product(s) do you offer/manufacture? Our most consumer-facing service is on-demand alcohol delivery; however, we offer much more than that!
For Customers: We solve the problem of safety and convenience when it comes to finding, accessing, and transporting alcohol. By using our mobile app or website, customers can find their favorite beers, wine and spirits, and have it delivered to their door, office, or party in less than 45min. Additionally, our service helps prevent the urge to drink and drive by having our drivers transport the alcohol to you so you don't have to get behind the wheel to keep the party going if you have already been drinking.
For Retailers: We help antiquated liquor stores and small, mom-and-pop businesses establish a digital presence and reach a wider audience of consumers. We also provide our retail partners with a revolutionary, app-based inventory management service, which leads to better accounting, decreased labor costs, and more efficient processes.
For Suppliers and Distributors: We help expand their footprint in the marketplace and streamline their supply chain by providing an e-commerce platform that complies with all federal, state, and local regulations. Ultimately, by connecting these brands to a more tech-savvy audience, it deepens their brand resonance and connection with the customer.
3) What is unique about your business?
Unlike our competitors, we are positioning QuikLiq as a lifestyle brand. We are young, vibrant and innovative, and we relish the fact that we are able to align ourselves with local small businesses. We connect with our customers in novel, yet authentic ways by partnering with lifestyle retailers (i.e. Fashion Boutiques, Barbershops/Salons, Spas, Yacht Charters, etc.); this not only creates rapport, but it allows us to innovate by providing on-demand alcohol delivery to nontraditional venues. Additionally, in order to bolster our marketing efforts and drive brand awareness/credibility, we establish partnerships with local “influencers” and tastemakers. Our hyper-local, community-based approach sets us apart from other competitors in the alcohol delivery space who only care about their 'bottom line'. We actually take the time to educate our account partners on how we are modernizing the industry, and work with local, small businesses hand-in-hand to grow with them—and not just use them for monetary gain.
4) What do you enjoy most about being an entrepreneur? What's hardest about it? The thing I enjoy most about being an entrepreneur is the journey—the rollercoaster ride that ensues when you are trying to create something life-changing from the ground up. The ability to make your own decisions and create your own destiny is amazing, but it is a gift and a curse. When times get tough (which they always do for entrepreneurs), there is no one to blame but yourself; however, when things are going well, each small achievement is so gratifying and fulfilling, because you know that you worked hard to get it! Being an African American entrepreneur in tech that graduated from HBCU is so rewarding, because I know that my journey is so much bigger than myself. The African American community is grossly underrepresented in tech and entrepreneurship in general, so I am uber-motivated to succeed in order to be an example to my community and the younger generation that we can accomplish anything.
The hardest thing about being an entrepreneur is the fact that there is no one-size-fits-all roadmap to success. Unlike being an employee, you can't rely on a consistent paycheck or even a guide to fulfill your job. The ultimate success or failure of your business entirely depends on you, and if you fail, it could result in dire consequences for yourself and the people that depend on you. It's a tremendous amount of pressure and very hard work.
5) Who do you look to for advice or mentorship?
I have many mentors in my life that I confide in and seek counsel from—both professional and personal. Professionally, I look to individuals that are more successful than me and that have been there for me as role models during my development and growth as a businessman. Personally, my family—especially my wife and my mom—are my backbone that keeps me lifted up even when things aren't going my way. Having family in your corner is important as an entrepreneur, because they always keep you grounded and are there to support you in good times and bad. I also seek advice from my business partners and co-founders, Navarr and Aaron; we are building this company together and always lift each other up, as well as compliment each other's weaknesses.
We are the 1st black-owned marketplace / delivery service for alcohol.
QuikLiq was founded by 3 HBCU graduates (Clark Atlanta University).
We are black owners in tech—a space where our community/culture is grossly underrepresented.
QuikLiq is debt-free, and we built the company from the ground up without any outside investment.
We are disrupting an industry that has been around for 100s of years.
QuikLiq is cool, innovative, organically grown and millennial-inspired.
We care about social responsibility, and always reinforce the importance of responsible alcohol consumption and never drink-and-drive.
You can follow us on Instagram: @QuikLiq_