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Aayush Thakur

Aayush Thakur, 37

CEO

FR8relay

Bentonville

Professional achievements
• Received four Small Business Innovation Grant awards.
• Received three Arkansas Economic Development Commission grants.
• Owns U.S. patent for route optimization system and methods of use.

Community achievements
Member, board of the Arkansas Association of Asian Businesses; mentor to undergraduate students at the University of Arkansas.

Professional “aha” moment
“My graduate research work led to an exploration of myriad pain points in the trucking industry. I realized that most of these problems could be solved by an innovative tweak to the traditional long-haul trucking model. Soon after, I applied for a patent on the novel solution and started my company.”

Advice for future 40 Under 40 honorees
“Congratulations on making the list, but we have a lot of work to do. Diversity is America’s greatest strength, and we would all benefit from welcoming different ideas to solve our common problems. Let’s embrace new perspectives, and make our world better.”

One word to describe you
“Persevering.”

Top challenge facing Arkansas
“Arkansas is an amazing state to start a business, with amazing people and resources, but the state needs to do more in the field of workforce training in technical fields. Technological developments are moving at a lightning pace, and we need to invest more in making education adaptable and accessible to our fellow Arkansans. I believe that technical education should be free or very low cost, and I am concerned that too much focus is given to the expensive college degrees that have led to the student loan crisis.”

Most fulfilling career moment
“My most fulfilling career moment has been the validation of my assumptions about the potential impacts of our patented relay technology. It’s truly exhilarating when folks in your industry share your vision!”

Making Arkansas more attractive to young professionals
“Arkansas is a great state to start businesses and raise a family. With limited distractions, great natural beauty all around, and supportive people to work with, it’s a great place to be! Maybe a visit is what young professionals need to see this.”

Best thing about Arkansas
“Arkansas has an amazing support structure for young entrepreneurs, a low cost of living and great people.”

First job and lesson learned
“My first job was working at my mom’s food stall during cultural festivals. I did a little of everything from preparing meats and vegetables to cleaning utensils and managing the cash counter. Here are some lessons I learned:
1. Mom is tough, so don’t mess up.
2. Accounting and bookkeeping are critical skills to have for a business owner.
3. Customer needs are paramount for any business to be successful. Little things like napkins and ice-cold water go a long way in terms of customer satisfaction.
4. Team members need guidance and support, and should have a solid understanding of expectations.”

Professional inspiration
“My parents are my professional inspiration. My dad taught me the value of your word, and the personal commitments needed to maintain that value. My mom taught me how to identify the markets for your product and how to successfully go after them.”

Learning from a mentor
“My dad is my mentor. He taught me the value of hard work and maintaining the value of your word. He always encouraged me to be kind to people I meet, as everyone is fighting their own demons, and simple acts of kindness can help them power through their battles.”

Most valuable lesson
“Early to bed and early to rise makes things work smoothly all around!”

Career dream as a child
“I always dreamt of becoming a neurosurgeon so that I could better understand how the most complex machine part in all of creation — our human brain — works and find out what consciousness truly is.”

Where you see yourself in 10 years
“Hopefully, continuing my entrepreneurial journey and developing the next cutting-edge technology products that help improve the lives of everyday Arkansans and Americans as a whole.”

Advice for your 18-year-old self
“Don’t take everything you are told at face value. Do your own research, and develop your own thought processes and opinions. Invest time in learning new things. Listen more and speak less. Then you can trust yourself to make informed decisions.”

How you define success
“For me, success is the ability to lead a comfortable life, in which you can meet your family’s daily needs while progressing toward your life’s goals.”

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40 Under 40

June 10, 2025

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