Adzine is a new startup based in Pakistan focused on a more traditional business of Print Ads, however the founders have taken this initiative primarily as a study and have plans on taking a Digital Route with their Startup. We think it is quite logical for them to experiment with something that’s already in the box before attempting a new approach, especially in a market that is still adopting (fast) to the startup culture. Following is an interview with the Co-Founder, Khurram Salahuddin Khan:
Q.1 Who are you and what’s your background?
The adzine has been co-founded by myself and Syed Irshad Ali.
I have been into the IT industry since 1995 and have been involved in developing softwares, implementing industry standard solutions and managing IT infrastructures in larger organizations. I also run in parallel a virtual web/software solution company with name “BizKey Solutions” which has done business with few small/medium businesses in Karachi over the past one year. BizKey Solutions has also been involved in setting up a small Call Center for “Bell Canada”, a canadian telecommunications and media company.
Syed Irshad Ali is coming from advertising background and has been engaged with few of largest advertising firms in Karachi, Pakistan.
We have tried to put together the experience of both IT and Advertising in our new Startup “adzine” the Advertisements Magazine.
Q.2 What has been your occupation/Experience and the organization’s you have worked in?
As I explained earlier, I myself have served a few companies in my past 17 years experience as an IT consultant and software developer and then I moved towards doing something of my own and on my own. Syed Irshad Ali has been a Sr. Artist and Visualizer in differnet advertising agencies in Karachi, Pakistan.
Q.3 Is Adzine your first Startup? Tell us something about what it does?
No it is not first and won’t be the last.
The adzine promotes your business while you concentrate on your core business operations. We design your ad, publish it in a low-cost, high-quality advertisements magazine and deliver in major areas of your own city Karachi. The adzine works in a similar fashion as advertisements channels do on television but the only difference is that people can’t watch their favorite television shows and view a business ad simultaneously.
Q.4 With Print Media losing traction and digital on the rise, what made you opt for a Print based Promotion/Classified magazine?
You are right to some extent and frankly speaking we have no plans of publishing a print version of adzine for the rest of our lives. You will soon be hearing good news from our platform where we will be doing new things at the right time, but before we do anything out of the box, it is important for us to have an experience of something which is already “in the box”.
Few of our friends also criticize us for setting up something like an ad magazine in this age of social media. We understand the importance of new technologies and the paradigm shift that industry is going to have very soon. But our friends forget the reality in which most of our population live in. In our country, newspapers are read more than online news websites. The corporations/business still spend more amount on television and billboards than digital media, only because they have still more reach than digital media. You are right that people are shifting to digital media but that of course is a time taking process and there must be something to fill the gap during this transition phase. When reading international blogs or international twitter feeds, getting an inspiration from startups like facebook, twitter, pinterest etc, we should also be aware of the fact that different culturs and regions have different way of setting up things.
Q.5 What’s your business model and how are you generating revenue
Business Model is quite simple. We have a print version of our ad magazine right now and we also promote the same ads through our facebook timeline and twitter feeds.
The ad has a price according to it’s placement and size. For first 20 days we collect/design ads and we spend last 10 days in printing/publishing and distributing it. As you understand, each startup in the beginning requires investment, leaving profits aside. We, too, right now are focusing on promoting our business rather making any money out of it.
Q.6 Who is your primary competition and how are you different from them (Home Express for one)
We are not in competition to anyone. But we do understand that we will have to give something different if we want to retain in the market. Frankly speaking, we are not doing anything different than the ones which are already there but we intend to do soon as we grow further. We are focusing more on our hardwork, dedicated service, honesty and quality-print. With that, we have our people engaged in spreading same ads over internet using our Facebook and twitter feeds.
Q.7 How do you intend to grow in the next 2-3 years.
This would be quite early to give any comments over our business plans for next 2-3 years but yes we have to cover this first milestone (print version) as early as possible and we will be planning further based on the success of our first milestone. Broadly speaking, we might be doing everything related to print/digital advertising in future.
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