Can’t help getting hungry at office, home or college? Foortal.pk will placate your hunger. YouthPlugged had a chance to bring exclusive interview of Mr. Ansar Shah, Chief Operating Officer and one of the founding members of Foortal.pk. In his exclusive interview with Youth Plugged, Mr. Ansar speaks about Foortal.pk and shares his entrepreneurial experience and advice for new and future entrepreneurs.
1. Tell me about yourself and Foortal?
I am an IT professional having more than 5 years of experience in building technology startups and building hosted platforms for Telco like O2, Vodafone and Ericsson. I believe in giving back, whether it’s work, family, society or Country.
I am also a proud member of Team Foortal – an online food delivery and takeaway ordering portal bringing both foodies and restaurants under one roof. Consumers can place online orders at their ease and under the budget with thousands of deals, menus and discounts. Restaurants on the other hand can communicate with their customers. Foortal helps you to order food from anywhere in Pakistan using laptop, PCs and on the Go with Foortal’s 3G/4G enabled mobile app.
2. What was exactly the motivation behind starting Foortal?
Three reasons! First Waqar Shah – CEO Foortal.pk started out as technology outsourcing company in 2008, but in the past Pakistan IT industry collapsed unfortunately. So, we were convinced to build products that will help us sustain without outsourcing business. Secondly, Waqar has spent much of his time abroad and apprehended that Pakistani food is being relished out by foreigners and there is a need of portal specifically for food. And finally, we wanted to build a global product, when deployed to international countries like UK, UAE, US, China etc., it will bring glory to its origin. Since Foortal is developed in Pakistan, it will bring glory to the country – insha’ALLAH.
3. Who are your clients?
Everybody who loves to eat and explore new food whether they are home users, housewives, students, office worker, party lovers, but to be specific, office people are our niche.
4. What and how has been the response from people?
Fantastic! They love it when they see it and use the service. Since online food ordering culture has been at ground in Pakistan, so there’s lot more that we need to dig in for people to start using online food ordering services. We have seen critics though as of having low marketing campaigning but that was on purpose, game is yet to be started.
5. What’s the best part of the next thing you are doing for Foortal?
We believe in innovations. We keep building new features for both customers and restaurants as per the market requirements and observing consumer’s behavior. Two things to highlight here; First is the “CASHBACK” feature, which allows you to get instant cash back into your Foortal wallet, against every order that you place online via Foortal.pk. The other is “Refer and Earn” scheme – this is interesting bit. It allows you to refer friends and earn money when they place order. So if you have a huge fan following, then you’re ready to make money with Foortal’s referral scheme.
6. Are there any other food portals like Foortal available in Pakistan? If yes, what makes you distinct from them?
Yes, there are few and their efforts to help ecommerce culture grow in Pakistan are appreciable. However, how Foortal is different from them is Foortal is a tailor made platform using latest technologies for both web and mobile. We believe it’s going to be technology that will give Foortal an edge over others. Foortal is like Google (robust, fast, intuitive and easily scalable). Online ordering is only a small component of Foortal. There’s lot more in it which will be revealed with time and need. Also, Foortal is developed in Pakistan by the team who develop solutions for European companies and it is owned by our company WaqarTech Limited, registered in the UK. In near future we will export technology rather than importing it.
7. Any latest achievement by Foortal, please brief?
Since Foortal is a global platform so the plan is to expand its reach out of Pakistan to countries like UK, UAE and Saudi Arabia, we are started with pilot phase in UK this quarter with 25 restaurants. We are also in talks for Foortal China with few Chinese businesses. We will close a deal soon insha’ALLAH.
8. Any suggestions you would like to give to people who are working to start their own start-up?
“It’s not important for a Leader to be an Entrepreneur but it’s essential for an Entrepreneur to be a Leader.” – Ansar Shah
Yes! Entrepreneurship does not mean that you have to have a break-through idea only; it can be an innovation to existing things or processes to make things better for people and bring convenience to life. An example quoted by one of my good friend Mr. Hammad Siqqidui is about the innovation of Samsonite travel bags. They saw a gap, a problem when people travel. People when traveling, they have to hold up heavy luggage bags while waiting in queue or walking. Samsonite encountered this problem with minor innovation. They picked the wheels and put it under the bags. That’s it, nothing new Wheels and Chests are invented thousands of years ago. So believe in Endless-Possibilities.