Shopsy.pk might just be a game changer for online shopping in Pakistan
Shopsy.pk, a Google for online shopping in Pakistan launches today (29 October) and it may just prove to be a game changer for the Pakistani ecommerce industry for two reasons; choice and savings. Shopsy claims to offer more than 100 thousand products from trusted online stores, more than any ecommerce site in Pakistan. More importantly, it gives online shoppers the ability to compare prices for products across different sites on one platform.
The idea of Shopsy was born when its Cofounder & CEO, Usama Arjumand, returned back to his hometown of Islamabad after spending more than a decade in the UK. An avid online shopper, Usama was disappointed with the lack of choice offered on online stores in Pakistan. The largest online store in Pakistan offers between 40-50 thousand products. Compare this to the 250 million products offered by Amazon in the UK alone.
An experienced entrepreneur with three prior startups and a successful exit in the UK, Usama decided there was a tremendous opportunity to put his skill set and experience to use. According to Usama:
“With the ecommerce sector growing at a CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of 100% and forecasts estimating it to be worth more than a billion dollars by 2020, this was an opportunity not to be missed.”
One of the biggest challenges Usama faced starting out was finding a strong team of Cofounders in Islamabad, who were not only technically strong but also understood the intricacies of a startup. He spent several months headhunting on Linkedin and interviewing candidates for his team. Speaking to him about the challenges of finding a team, he said:
“Over the last several years, the startup space has really taken off in Pakistan. There are now numerous incubators and accelerators supporting the startup ecosystem in Pakistan. But meeting and interviewing candidates, I felt that many potential entrepreneurs still lack the fundamental understanding of how startups are built. You see, entrepreneurs learn by doing and failing, because that gives one experience and teaches valuable lessons that prevents them from failing the next time. As time passes, we will see local entrepreneurs getting better and better, which is a positive indication of things to come.”
Usama’s search finally paid off when he met Akhter Wahab and Saad Bin Shahid, two accomplished engineers that completed his cofounding team. Akhter Wahab is a data aggregation engineer with experience of extracting data for Kayak and Nerdwallet, some of the biggest names in the travel and price comparison industries. Saad Bin Shahid is a full stack engineer and geek, who has experience working for various startups where his solutions serve more than a million customers.
Speaking to Usama on why customers would trust purchasing products from sites found on Shopsy.pk, he said:
“We only add shopping sites to our index that have built trust among Pakistani consumers and provide cash on delivery nationwide. This way, online shoppers can rest easy knowing that the products they purchase are from a trusted source and can be paid for at their doorstep.”
Currently Shopsy.pk has over 100 thousand products from categories ranging from electronics and fashion to home decor and sports. According to the founders, this number is set to rise significantly as more and more trusted sites are added to Shopsy’s index. Who knows, maybe the next time you search for a product online, instead of “Googling it” you’ll “Shopsy it”.