We had a chance to meet the Co-founder of Darzionline Usama manj. To our astonishment the guy is quiet young and charming.
In what was supposedly a formal interview, we just sat and talked about his start-up for hours over lunch and coffee, in Lahore. When asked how did it all started, the reply was quite interesting; “About a year and a half back, me and my teacher, Ms. Maryam, (Co-Founder of DarziOnline) were sitting at the English Tea House, planning to start a food-delivery business, when Ms Maryam told me that her tailor is very negligent and never delivers on time, we started talking about this problem and how sometimes these tailors can be very difficult to handle. Some days later, DarziOnline was born.
P.S. (Miss Maryam taught Usama Entrepreneurship)
At first, they thought of creating an “Uber for Darzi’s”, where the business idea was to refer the customers to the tailors get their dresses stitched and make a profit in through the deals. They started out with a Facebook page and started promoting it. That was it, until their first order came, AN “ENGAGEMENT DRESS” WHICH WAS TO BE DELIVERED IN 4 DAYS. That’s when they realized they needed their own Darzi’s and that’s when Ms Maryam’s infamous tailor came to rescue. Just like an entrepreneur, Usama, on this first order, was himself the delivery guy. They started off with almost zero budget. And yes, they delivered their first order in three days. DarziOnline had no direct competition when they started off, people were giving stitching services online but they all were serving in a niche. Some were making only men’s suits, while others making Bridal dresses, but not like DarziOnline. DarziOnline’s stitching services are beyond ordinary. They provide stitching services for Formal Men and Women suiting, Bridal Dresses and customized dresses for children and last but not the least there is another category which they are calling, BULK STICHING. Bulk stitching, is for boutique owners or people who would buy in bulk like a school planning to procure uniforms. Their biggest USP is 3-day delivery. They pick, design and deliver in three days. They charge Rs.1100/- for a simple shalwar kameez suit and deliver in 3 days with no extra Delivery Charges. The customers can send their sizes online following a simple measurement chart or else they can send a sample suit for the sizes. This was the conversation we had while having lunch.
The real story however, began, when the coffee arrived. Usama told me about how they got into NSPIRE-NETSOL’s incubation program, sipping hot coffee, while sitting in the sun in the winters of Lahore, at Lawrence Garden. Lahore has its own way of producing entrepreneurs, I thought to myself. Luckily, we were at the acceleration stage, not the idea stage, he was saying when I came out of my thoughts. They needed the right kind of acceleration, and NSPIRE provided it. They went to conferences, and were given stalls at different exhibitions by the incubator. During all this, they found a woman at one of the exhibitions who owned a boutique in London. She was their first bulk client. It was time to hire their own tailors and get busy. They now have a huge clientele in Lahore, they even serve a lot of overseas Pakistani’s as well. A software engineer who was doing a routine 9 to 5 job, started his own venture and now hires people, and with a team of 4 they are now planning to expand their business outside Lahore, in Karachi and Islamabad initially, and all over Pakistan later. This is how entrepreneurship changes lives. Time is never enough when you are witnessing such a fascinating story, it was almost three hours and we both were just sitting and talking. We had to leave it to the next time, and I had to end it with a formal question like what would you advise to the new startups, to which he replied consistency, “Sabar” and then he said “Team, Yes! Team, you must be very, very vigilant in choosing your team.”
Such epitome of entrepreneurship and business.
We wish you a very good luck and I hope to see you soon again.
Here is a link to their Facebook page, You can even call or Whatsapp on their customer support number which is: 0320-22DARZI(32794), +923164500604.
Here is a a video ad of Darzi Online
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