ITLoW talks to the guys behind Tohfay & MamooinPakistan
When I first heard of MamooinPakistan, I thought it was an amazing concept. There are so many Pakistanis that live overseas who constantly worry about parents or other family members back home. They feel helpless when they can’t be there to lend a helping hand. So MamooinPakistan must have come as an answer to their prayers.
I hadn’t realized the total scope of the services that Maamoin Pakistan offered until I spoke with Mehdi Hasnain and Shahzad Qureshi, the CEO and Chief Resource Officer of Tohfay Inc, the parent firm.
In this episode of “In the Line of Wire” Shahzad and Mehdi tell me that people ask for (and receive) all sorts of services – including getting copies of birth certificates, selling and buying real estate, making marriage arrangements, taking people for medical check-ups and even saying fateha (prayers) at gravesites on behalf of those who are too far away. Their business model was simple. They recognized a need and fulfilled it, after which they didn’t wait around for customers. Unlike those who believe “build it and they will come”, they spent a significant amount on marketing online and on ethnic channels in the US – Geo, ARY, PTV. And it worked.
With Tohfay, they have been very successful indeed. People have sent not just flowers, sweets and the like to their families back home, they have sent motorbikes, airconditioners and now the number one item is going to be generators. Imagine that!
Mehdi and Shahzad also talked about how they met, how 6 partners got together to launch Tohfay. A lot can be learned from the way these young people have formed and run their business. They wrote down everything, defined roles for each of the partners, brainstormed and included in their agreements the possible exit strategies for any partner who wished to leave, what would happen to their stake, how disputes would be settled, etc etc. We sometimes hear of founding partners having disagreements and businesses having to fold up because nothing had been agreed to or worked out when the companies were formed.
With the success of Tohfay in the US, the partners have decided to launch a version for Pakistan. They have, in addition, launched other ventures like ShaadiWaadi and Doodhpatti. They believe that all these are answers to the need of the market. And they don’t intend to stop here. They have many more ideas, and they will continue to implement them one at a time, ensuring the quality of service that their customers have come to expect from them. Good luck guys. We will follow your progress with great interest.
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