Arzish Azam is the nineteen years old CEO and founder of JustPrice.pk. He did his higher secondary education in Pre-Engineering. He started his first business when he was just sixteen years old.
Today, Arzish is the youngest person to have graduated from the entrepreneurship training center and accelerator, Founder Institute, that recently began its Islamabad operations.
Plan9 also selected his startup JustPrice.pk among the names of the critically selected business ideas that are incubated under its banner. See Arzish share details about his life and his wildly successful entrepreneurship career.
Q: You must be tired of this question but let me ask you, “At your age people are mostly unsure about what they want to do with their life, how come you are so passionate about business at such a young age?”
A: This is the most frequent of the questions that are directed towards me. My father is actually a trainer. He delivers entrepreneurship training to interested individuals. I frequently used to attend his classes. When I was 14 years old, I knew all the fundamentals of business.
Q: Did you face any family pressure, they may have wanted you to go into a university and acquire a degree?
A: No, I did not have to face any significant pressure. But yes, my father wanted me to continue with my studies. I faced a little resistance from that quarter. But I found that he was happy when I graduated from Founder Institute. He was satisfied that I was doing something.
You have to do what you believe in, in order to prove yourself.
Q: Please share something about your experience at founder institute?
A: Founder Institute has played a significant role in my journey. When I joined it, I did not have any idea about it, I had just read about it on the Internet. I have received the best mentor ship and support from FI. It taught me how to transform my ideas into a viable business and make something of myself
Q: Can you tell us about JustPrice.pk?
A: It is a price comparison website. We want to offer everyone a smart shopping solution, so justprice.pk is a website where users can compare a product from different online stores. Justprice.pk derives its name come from “Justify”.We, at JustPrice.pk, want to justify the price of the products to the customers seeking to purchase them.
We can’t help but we are excited about this approach to online shopping. Very often, we find ourselves in a scruple, having overpaid for a product that returns only half of the price value. A smart solution like this could very well help us to shop smarter.
Q: How did you come upon this idea?
A: Some time ago, I wanted to purchase a laptop and it was difficult for me to reach a decision. I could not compare the general features of different brands so I thought that there has to be some service from where people could rate
According to me, “Necessity is the mother of invention”
multiple products against each other and know which one is suited them best.
Q: So we heard that you did not spend any money on lawyers and incorporated the company by yourself using the SECPs online service? Why didn’t you seek a professional service for this?
A: Startups are usually run on low budget, as you are well aware. As a part of our training at FI, we are required to incorporate our startup. I found that the lawyers charged a hefty amount of money in order to do this. So, I decided to do it myself using a meager amount of 12,000 rupees.
Most of Arzish’s fellows paid about Rs. 35K to 1 Lac to a lawyer in order to incorporate their startups. Arzish believes in paying cleverly, and he saved a lot of money by doing the job himself.
Q: How important is learning for you? Do you learn from your failures?
A: When I was working from home, I hired my first developer and had to fire him within a month. I had no idea about hiring and interviewing people so I faced difficulty. But then I learned to follow a proper protocol for hiring employees.
Today I have 6 members in my team and I am happy with their work because I know that I hired them smartly.
Q: What is your secret to success?
A: I believe in availing the opportunities that life throws at you, like I gained a lot by joining Founder Institute. Leadership and teamwork are also very important.
Q: How do you deal with the stress at work?
A: There is surely a lot of stress upon your shoulders when you are a founder. Many people depend on your leadership. My time at my school and college had minimal stress in comparison. But I have learned to deal with the pressure constructively.
Arzish loves Sufism and believes in its various teachings. He has found it to be one great way of managing the work stress.
Q: Do you fear any risks for Justprice.pk in the future?
A: I think that risks are always there in a business, especially when it comes to third world countries like Pakistan. We are new to this startup culture thing. But I am taking it positively.
I see a growing startup industry in Pakistan.
Pakistan has untapped market in many areas. There are problems but these very problems encourage us to try to solve them. So, we have a lot of opportunities.
Q: You have had so many achievements at this stage already. Are your friends jealous of you? How has it changed your friends’ circle?
A: (laughs) Yes they are. A bit actually. Well, for the past few months I have only found myself hanging out with people who are quite elder to me. These include my fellows at Plan9.
Q: Our young people are confused and uncertain about their future. Do you have any advice for the youth?
A: There’s a fear of failure in our youth. They think of “what’s” and “if’s” and fear taking a risk. I believe that they should focus more on the present and not be afraid to try new things.
Our young entrepreneur thinks that our youth can redeem the lost value of our country if they learn to take large steps, and launch themselves properly in the World market.
Q: What are your plans for the future?
A: In the future, I see myself working on justprice.pk. I want to add more features to it.
According to my plans, people will be able to compare both the online and the offline shopping stores through JustPrice.pk
I have also applied for the Wolves Summit that is going to take place in Poland in April, this year. When I was booking tickets for the event, I had a very difficult experience because we have no reliable travel comparison service. I guess that would be my next goal as well.
Arzish Azam will be representing JustPrice.pk at Wolves Summit in April 2016. We hope that he continues to be a source of pride for the country, representing Pakistan on different national and international platforms.