An exclusive interview with Arzish Azam CEO and founder of JustPrice.pk from Pakistan.
Q. Tell us about yourself. (Age, Education, background, experience etc)
Ans. I’m a 20-year-old tech entrepreneur Arzish Azam trying to build a sustainable tech startup from Islamabad. Having started my first online retail business from high school at the age of 16, I later graduated from the inaugural chapter of Founder Institute in Islamabad as their Youngest Alumni Worldwide. I paused my formal education and became a full-time entrepreneur which helped me secure incubation in Plan9’s 7th Cycle in Lahore and participate as one of the Youngest Entrepreneur Delegate from Pakistan at the Global Entrepreneurship Summit 2016 at Stanford. This still didn’t quench my thirst for entrepreneurial learning so I’m currently incubated at the National Incubation Center in Islamabad.
Q. Tell us about your startup JustPricePK?
Ans. JustPrice is Pakistan’s First Shopping Search Engine that helps the online shoppers in finding the best products, offers and promotions from multiple stores by providing product search and value comparison. Right now we’re focusing on value comparison for mobile phones but we want to be the one-stop-shop for online shopping in Pakistan.
Q. What was the reason that pushed you to start JustPricePK?
Ans. Witnessing the rise of e-commerce in Pakistan first hand, we are increasingly unsatisfied with the online shopping experience. As more and more new online shops emerged, it became increasingly difficult to find the products you are looking for as well as the best offers and promotions. We feel lost in the e-commerce jungle. What was missing was the one stop shopping destination that lets you easily find any product online, in an intuitive and visual fashion.
Q. How you define entrepreneurship and an ideal entrepreneur?
Ans. To me entrepreneurship means building a meaningful business that creates value not only for the customers but for all stakeholders involved weather it involves tech or not. There is no ideal entrepreneur, from Elon Musk to David Heinemeier Hansson, the pool of successful entrepreneurs is filled with a diverse set of people. The kind of entrepreneur that I visualize myself to be is the one that creates an impact around himself not only as an businessman but also as a human being.
Q. What inspires you most to become a successful person?
Ans. Success is overrated and not a true measure of one’s achievements, I prefer failures because they give you an opportunity to learn and an insight on what went wrong. I’m motivated by this thirst to learn. One of my favorite quotes on success is here:
“Nobody is going to care or remember whether you flipped some startup for $100M in 50 years. Your time in the limelight is short, and, in my opinion, ultimately unrewarding. Trading the best decades of your life to compress work into it so you can live in retired leisure afterwards is a mistaken pursuit. Life isn’t meant to be conquered.” —David “DHH” Heinemeier Hansson.
Q. Tell us about your hobbies?
Ans. I love watching movies, I’m not sporty at all but I love hiking over the Margalla Hills in Islamabad, I love visiting new places and travel (I might retire to become a travel blogger), I love music although I’m neither a good signer nor a good musician and I like learning about complex subjects like Data Science, Quantum Physics and others.
Q. Are universities playing a positive role in promoting new startups?
Ans. Quite the opposite. Universities could be like playgrounds for startups but their focus on preparing students for jobs rather than entrepreneurship puts us at a great disadvantage. Universities have created this perception that entrepreneurship is an extracurricular activity and you’ll be rewarded but at the end you must take a good job. Youth Entrepreneurship is the way forward for Pakistan and we should all play a role to make it easy to start-up.
Q. What are the most difficult things to deal with as a new startup?
Ans. Everything. As a new startup, everything you do will be difficult because you’re doing it for the first time but the important thing is to understand and accept the challenges that it presents. Mentors are really helpful in this phase of your entrepreneurial journey, it helps a lot to have someone experienced guiding you on how to cope up with these challenges.
Q. Where you see yourself and your startup in upcoming years?
Ans. I see JustPrice as the largest ecommerce company in Pakistan in the coming years and I see myself running it.
Q. How will you define entrepreneurship environment in Pakistan?
Ans. This is the best time for anyone to start a startup in Pakistan but it won’t be for long.
Q. One piece of advice that you would like to give to young entrepreneurs or startups?
Ans. Learn from your mistakes and never give up.
Q. What you would like to say about 100Tech.co?
Ans. I believe Farah is doing a great job by creating a platform to share stories of Pakistani entrepreneurs which would motivate others to follow the same path.
Arzish Azam a very young entrepreneur from Pakistan is doing great job. We wish him good luck for future.