Rizwan Ali is one of the co-founders of Rashanlelo.pk, foremost online grocery store of Pakistan. Rizwan is qualified, dynamic, and seasoned professional and an exponential variable behind Rashanlelo.pk entrepreneurship. He recently shared his experiences and opinions with Technology Times in an interview
Tell us briefly about yourself and your team?
We are five founding members named Harris Imtiaz, Faisal Khan, Zeeshan, Asim and myself Rizwan Ali. We all were university friend and did many academic and commercial project together during and after university life. We mulled together to decide about launching new proper commercial business, which should be unique and market appealing with all demanding attributes.
After so much brainstorming we have decided to start an online grocery business, which was new in Pakistani market in 2012. After couple of months we have completed our research work and SWOT analysis about Grocery market and its behavior, and then we indulge into entrepreneurship and started this business in 2013.
How you plunge yourself into cyber entrepreneurship?
Today, with new technologies/gadgets been introduced and their importance in our daily life is of so much importance now that people prefer to stay connected with their gadgets and applications all the time, even prioritize before family sometimes. Which we personally believe is not good, but on the other hand the convenience and opportunity for entrepreneurs to take an initiative and reach the world is so unique in a way that has never seen before.
Also the tools and resources to have a technological start-up are much easy to acquire and maintain than before. We too wanted to take the benefit of these technologies and help people make their life more convenient where they can have quality time with their families as much possible they can after a long day of work. So, with this we jumped into cyber entrepreneurship and are making our way successfully.
Where do you see Rashanlelo.pk after 5 years?
Apart from successively managing one of the largest and premier online grocery in Pakistan, I want to help other start-ups with all possible means.
How you recognized the need of creating an online portal like Rashanlelo.pk?
Grocery stores have always been there, but in todays world it has now been established as an industry itself with unique concepts and hypermarkets.
This is where we decided to match the uniqueness and arrangements of this industry with Technology and came up with the idea of Rashanlelo.pk, an Online Grocery Store for all your grocery needs with the convenience of free home delivery and CoD as primary payment option. Our focus was to help peoples get their daily needs at home using their favorite Technology and Gadgets, while enjoying quality time with their families.
What was the turning point of your career that led you to take Rashanlelo.pk to the level it attains today?
Well, honestly I was good and satisfied with my career, but the factor as I described before you miss the opportunity to spend quality and quantity time with your family at times because off course you have to look after all their needs, Grocery is one of them.
Secondly, being the bread earner you are at times tough on budgets; these big stores rip you off through different offline marketing strategies that you end up buying things which were not on your list making your budget cross.
And there are many other involvements of factors which we all face, its not hidden. Being said that, and facing all these issues myself, I wanted to do something which could help people not only with the convenience but also actually providing them a tool to manage their own budget at the same time.
We work hard to provide quality customer services, and open to any feedback and suggestions from our valuable customers which in return help us make our product and services much better.
What makes Rashanlelo.pk distinct from other online shopping portals?
Interestingly, we are the only one with an Inventory Management at a warehouse which helps us not only maintain the qualities of the product but also to provide the best possible discounted rates and occasional deals. We do have contracts with other Wholesalers, in case we are short of any product or require something which is not available at the time of order processing. We also have our own delivery channel with trained riders, we do not use 3rd party deliveries which helps us to provide better and quality customer services.
How did you manage to cope with the difficulties that hindered you in attaining your objectives, both professionally and psychologically?
Well, this is not a one man job. We the team of Rashanlelo are like a family and we make sure each and every team member is motivated. We help each other out in any difficulties as a team and make the work place a fun area.
Can a small online business could also be setup with small investment?
Yes, the tools and resources to have a technological start-up are much easy to acquire and maintain than before. And require less investment. But, to reach the world out there, either your product/service should be unique enough to go viral or should have at least enough budget to market your product/services.
What factors do young entrepreneurs must take care of before setting up an online business?
First thing no doubt, have a team of trusted and understanding co-founder(s). Secondly, research and understand the market and peoples behavior before you decide to build an online store. Do homework; don’t worry about how much time its going to take. Its better to start prepared if you want to make your dream a success.
What future of cyber entrepreneurship do you see in developing countries like Pakistan?
It is getting better and an ecosystem of entrepreneurship is building up very quickly. Many incubators, co-working hubs and international investments in start-ups are what you hear every other day even with few successful exits. Especially with international investors and venture capitalists taking interest in emerging markets shows the potential of our entrepreneurship ecosystem and if things go well, the future is very bright for all of us.