Idea Croron Ka is halfway through it’s 1st season and it is surely having an impact on the entrepreneurship scene in the country.
Previous 2 episodes featured some new investors too, including Monis Rahman, CEO at Rozee.pk and Suneel Sarfaraz Munj, co-founder at Pakwheels.com. It is heartening to see more and more investors putting their faith in young entrepreneurs.
Let’s take a look at some of the startups and individuals that featured in the last 2 episodes of Idea Croron Ka.
Rising Sun and Gesdrive Integrated Systems – Saghir Rizvi, co-founder of this startup has built the most beautiful thing one can imagine for special children. He has built video games for them which they can play through simple gestures.
Their main motive is to spread happiness amongst these children through interactive games. These games are not just for entertainment but for educational purpose too. Their participation in Idea Croron Ka was to scale this to a global level.
While pitching the same idea in front of the investors they asked for Rs. 1 crore against 10% equity. This was a perfect fit for Naeem Zamindar through Acumen as they are very much interested in startups that have a social impact. However, he asked for an equity of 30% which was not agreeable to the startup and thus the deal did not materialize but they were quite graciously appreciated on their idea.
Pine.pk – The name and slogan ‘plant a tree, plant a life’ clearly suggests that it is a startup focused on plantation. However, the unique thing is that they are providing these plants online and will help beautify the lawns of common households. They have a large variety of plants available on their web portal. The unique selling point is that they provide insights into plantation, their types, benefits and maintenance through blogs. For corporate clients they even have plant leases and plant insurances; replacing the plants free of cost if they die down.
They asked for Rs. 1 crore against 20% equity to procure government tender, building a personal nursery and marketing. Humayun Mazhar raised a valid point of whether the co-founders have an experience in horticulture and landscaping of plants. Moreover, he wanted clarity on where do they stand with regards to their competition in Pakistan or in the region. While Salim Ghauri and Humayun Mazhar rejected the investment, Naeem showed interest but he thought the investment ask was too high and he would invest maximum Rs. 30 lacs for 15-20% which could have been negotiated but the startup did not go for the offer put forward by Naeem.
Dr. Umar Saif advised the startup to go for high end partnerships e.g. with builders and interior deocrators which will help them scale their idea. Humayun, however, decided to be a customer and see if it works out for him.
Naseem – Naseem is a personal digital tutor app to fill the gap between provision of limited teachers for a large number of students. They provide education through tablets that students can access at home. Their vision is to transform the educational system of lower end schools in Pakistan. According to its creators, Naseem has been already tested in 15+ schools in Rawalpindi. Their app can even identify the emotions of children when they interact with it and the tutor adjusts its tone accordingly. While making the investor pitch they asked for Rs. 2 crores against 10% equity.
Dr. Saif mentioned this is a global phenomena now and tested them on their research. To which, founder Ali answered very confidently with all the facts about international companies already working on this. Monis Rahman the new investor on the show grilled the startup on their sales model. Monis was not convinced by the unit economics the startup presented. Monis rightly highlighted the fact that they had no sales professional in the team even though a large part of their startup works on the sales model. Dr. Saif advised the startup to instead of generating revenue through schools, they should become an online recommendation platform for portals like Khan Academy, Coursera etc. To this Ali argued that his model aims to let students access this app even at home but Suneel Munj raised objection that the kids who used to study on carpets, recently got a chair to sit on, how do they expect they will go home and access tablets?
After a long negotiation Suneel and Monis decided not to invest, however Sunil highly appreciated the passion of the team. When the decision came down to Abdul Rehman Talat, he decided to invest but he was not convinced with the amount of investment required. He offered an investment of Rs. 2.5 million, apart from the tablets cost that will be met with separately. The segment ended with Ali refusing to take the offer.
Checkin.pk – Undoubtedly tourism is a large industry all around the world. Yousaf, co-founder Checkin.pk introduces his startup as Pakistan’s first online travel startup that facilitates people in booking their flights and domestic hotels. Their portal even gives a comparative analysis of other flights and hotels in the area.
Yousaf’s ask for investment was Rs. 1.5 crores for 30% equity.
After taking insights on the numbers that back his startup, Monis Rahman offered to invest Rs. 1.5 crore for 40% equity and Abdul Rehman offered Rs. 50 lac for 10% equity. However, Monis wanted him to add more features like hotel accommodation, conveyance etc. The deal came to a close with Yousaf negotiating with Monis and he revised his offer to Rs. 1 crore for 30% equity. This startup can definitely make waves in the tourism industry with positive guidance.
Pakistan Kay Heroes:
Husnain Sheikh and Bashir Sheikh (Co-founders at Innov8)
To begin with, Bashir gave the best advice to start a business with someone who shares the same vision and faith as you to ensure that no matter what hurdles you may interface, you’ll stick together. Through innov8, Bashir and Husnain have revolutionized the mobile payment system.
They stepped into entrepreneurship 13 years ago when residing in US, but their dream was to start a company in Pakistan. So they returned and started innov8. They faced many struggles to the point that they even sold their cars to pay the salaries of employees. This clearly indicates that to become successful one must be prepared to face hardships and struggles but the key is to never quit and practice perseverance.
Rafia Qaseem Baig (Bomb Disposal Squad)
Nabeel gave a perfect introduction to Rafia. A country where women normally use stitching machines and washing machines, Rafia is breaking the barriers by using machine guns and rocket launchers. She has complete faith in God which gave her the courage to step into this field.
Rafia started off her journey of courage and bravery with police force. Not just this, she has a masters degree in international relations and economics and currently she is appearing for her law exam so soon she will be a lawyer too. When Nabeel asked about her motivation she said she has always wanted to do things that are unconventional and she wants people to follow her rather than she following others. She has indeed set a precedent for others too follow. She also shared her mindset when disposing off a bomb. She said the bomb suit weighs 75 kgs and that is realization enough how big a responsibility you have on your shoulders towards the safeguard of your nation. She considers the entire nation as her own family and that keeps her motivated.
She has taken a wonderful step to tell the world that if the women in Pakistan can take this step forward, you better watch out! The investors highly appreciated her passion. It was only in this episode that she was eligible to be in both the segments: Pakistan Kay Heroes and Himmat Karo Pakistan.
Himmat Karo Pakistan
If you have faith and determination nothing is impossible for you. Saima has proved this through her series of struggles following which she is now running her own bakery. She along with her husband makes hand made biscuits which takes her 5 hours.
She came to the show looking for some investment to buy machinery which can help her scale her business. When her husband faced loses in his bakery business, she stood by him and learnt technical business language by taking courses of marketing and finance.
Dr. Saif advised her to work along a high end bakery for maximum return. It will help them to reach a larger target audience, instead of just selling in the close-by areas. To which Saima replied that what she wanted was her own identity instead of branding it in the name of the bakery. Looking at her passion and determination Mr. Salim offered her an advance of Rs. 5 lacs to help her scale her business.
In the end, Nabeel concluded the show with an advice to budding entrepreneurs. He encouraged them to never quit and just keep at it. He further added that failure is a part of entrepreneurship but you must not lose hope.
Don’t forget to watch Idea Croron Ka every Saturday at 7:05 pm on Neo TV Network.