Clasf.pk is a leading classified advertisement website having its presence in more than 15 countries including Pakistan, Canada, France, Colombia, Portugal, Italy, South Africa, Peru, Argentina, Mexico, Spain, India, UK and Venezuela. It is a part of a Digital Group without a unique owner. One can effortlessly estimate the consumer trust on Clasf.pk. Each month we are posting more than one million ads on the website. The web portal can be termed as the superhero of the classified ads in Pakistan. The clasf.pk team shared their thoughts in an interview with Technology Times recently
Brief us about clasf.pk group, team, and objectives?
Clasf.pk is a classified ads website in Pakistan, available for private sellers and professionals. It has its presence in over 15 countries and a large customer base uses Clasf.pk to post their classified ads.
The Clasf team in Pakistan has 3 developers and 3 content managers and our objective is to provide a platform of classified ads for the Pakistan users so they can sell, buy or advertise everything they need for free. Everyone have access at www.clasf.pk.
What is your inspiration, how did you get idea to establish such a portal?
A lot of people have in their home products they no longer use. Most of the time, people do not find ways to promote and sell these objects to get some extra money. Similarly, there are people who can provide services and do not have much money to advertise and promote their business. We get inspiration by all these people that are in need of an online platform to reach customers, buyers, among others.
What skills does a cyber entrepreneurship must exhibit?
Well, there are many skills that must be incumbent in an entrepreneur that are necessary to run a successful business. Those skills make an entrepreneur distinct from a common man because an entrepreneur thinks beyond the conventional mode of thinking.
In case of cyber entrepreneurship the necessary parameters required are to aptly identify market trends, understand the needs of users and find ways to facilitate their lives.
The skills required are innovative thinking, improvisation, problem solving and analytical skill, tendency to sustain in pressure situations, decision making, and above all the execution strategy in accord to the trends.
We see many of trading sites claim big but when it comes to quality only few meet the commitments. Do you think the scenario is hurting the web space of Pakistan and it is difficult to filter out serious contenders?
This is a real problem, mainly for webs like Clasf.pk where users are creating content. In order to control as much as possible our content, we have made some videos, where we explain how to create a good ad to sell products and services. Unfortunately, some users insist on being spammers by publishing a lot of repeated content. We really care what we are publishing on our website, so we have a team to revise every single ad.
How much weightage do you give to consumer/client behavior in your cyber venture?
As we said before, our content is made by users. Their behavior is very important for their own success and also for our business. In addition, we have created our website thinking about our users, so we want to offer the best experience they can possible have when visiting Clasf.pk.
What are your main goals and how your online work is serving towards community at large?
Clasf.pk is growing in Pakistan and we have a lot of users who are selling products and promoting this business by using the Clasf.pk platform. With our free service we are helping to creating new opportunities in the World Wide Web community. The convenience we have brought in for the customer also brings social harmony and integration. In todays competitive world, time is the most crucial thing and clasf.pk saves a lot of time for consumers.
What are the variables that govern the dynamics of successful cyber business, in your experience?
There are many factors that are significantly important in determining the success of a cyber-business. It is depending upon which category of enterprise one is running on cyber platform. Such as e-retailers, digital publishers, brokers etc.
Generally speaking in most of the cases the maturity and experience of the target audience, the visibility of products/services of cyber entrepreneurs, marketing campaign, and the final outcome of their sales play decisive role in determining the success or failure of a cyber-business.
Customer feedback is really important in improving the service quality of the products and services. In order to cash maximum potential and remain in the competitive circuit, frequent upgradation of business lines and operational facilities are essential for cyber entrepreneur. Apart from it, innovation in the business can remarkably enhance the potential of a cyber-business.
What is checklist for young cyber entrepreneurs before practically stepping into online business? What is the necessary homework to be done?
The young cyber entrepreneurs must be well versed with the dynamics of their business and following things must be on their tips:
- Clarity about the target market and consumer behavior
- The geographical spread of the clients
- Updated information about the competitors
- Analysis of best selling platforms on the internet
- Optimized customer service facility
- Overdo the expectations of the customers
Is technology knowledge mandatory for cyber entrepreneur or any other professional and layman can make mark in it?
Technology knowledge is not mandatory for cyber entrepreneur, but if the person has no experience on this field it is really important to have someone on his team with the necessary knowledge, so he can get more results from the Internet.
What is the mechanism of filtration of classified ads? How you verify them as fake or scam ad postings may hurt clasf.pk repute as well?
Our team validates manually all the ads. They check the title, the content, the categories and the images. We do not accept duplicate content. We also take the time to contact the advertiser if we have any doubts about the veracity of the publication.
How much impact e-commerce is imparting on conventional business? Is it hurting the vendors sitting in market (In your case the ad agents) to much extent? What do you assess?
In our days, most people work online or use the social media. The Internet in general is a great channel to sell or build relationships with the clients.
Depending on your business, the shipping specifications and whether or not you can adapt to any country laws, you can sell easily your products all around the world avoiding many physical aspects and one-one dealing as well which many times causes annoyance.
In case of e-commerce, everything i.e. payments terms etc are pre decided and in black and white form so neither e-retailer nor the customer can swerve afterwords. In other words, it is a secure mode of trading.
What measures must be taken to promote cyber entrepreneurship culture in Pakistan and where we are lacking?
The government and the sector associations need to promote and teach the owners of conventional business about the importance of being on the Internet and how they can increase their sales.
What is the formulation of financial assets that one must have before setting up an online startup?
The cyber business can be started with little financial capital but to persistently operate it for longer time may need a continuous recycling of funds which is not guaranteed if you don’t have surplus amount in the pocket. Additionally, it is more dependent on the type of cyber business and category of your services/products.
Some cyber businesses need small investment in beginning whereas others require huge amount. It is also pertinent to first start with a pilot project and based on the results of that, it should be launched properly and expanded. This is the more calculated way of investing the financial resources.
How mentoring of young entrepreneurs could be done?
The gap between senior professionals and young fledglings must be bridged and they must be brought together at common platform through organizing various events, seminars, workshops. The IT corporate sector, academia, and the media outlets can play a key role in gelling up and initiating such events.
The successful entrepreneurs must deliver fundamentals in lecture series, workshops and other forums so to impart skills in youth to become cyber entrepreneurs. This way the development of cyber entrepreneurs will be done at adequate level because researches show that people learn more from real world examples.
Without science and technology promotion, Pakistan cant progress and Technology Times is beholding the same slogan being a forerunner newspaper in Sci-Tech. How do you envision our efforts for SandT popularization in Pakistan?
Yes we affirm that Pakistan cannot progress without science and technology. At clasf.pk we highly support the role of Technology Times. It is mandatory for any country to have associations, people, and publications, among others, that help promote, support and sponsor technology projects.
We are strong proponents of engaging people in Sci-Tech related activities through popularization. The steps taken by Technology Times and its vision are highly commendable. In Pakistan it is an unprecedented effort which marks the beginning of a large scale change in the society.
What are your suggestions for rising entrepreneurs?
First of all, be sure to know how the online business works. We need to explore this vast world. Be aware of the differences between running a conventional business and having one that is online. Try to take advantage of the social media. You will really surprise of how much you can reach by using the appropriate tools.
Cyber business is an extremely huge planet of opportunities. Besides its development at rapid speed, it is still explable. Young individuals can cash in the immense opportunities that cyber business offers in order to practically employ their entrepreneurial skills. It is to gain number of benefits of the web space, plenty of which is still need to explore.