How Pakistanis are using Facebook is a TechJuice exclusive. The aim is to show the world that Facebook, or any social media platform for that matter, isn’t just for connecting people and can be used in various positive ways.
Around five years back Rabya Faisal started a service that allowed people to get exclusive, homemade cakes. Redolence started as Rabya’s personal account which Facebook later converted to a Fan Page. Initially, Redolence catered to a niche market. In fact, their first logo was, “We are not for everyone.”, a little extreme but given the fact that home-baked goods hadn’t acquired the massive popularity that they enjoy nowadays, it was fair.
Pakistan Startup Report reveals that almost 14.4 Million Pakistanis use Facebook. That is a huge number and when you think of it from a business perspective, represents a huge market that startups and businesses alike can access without being hindered by geography. It is encouraging that in Pakistan, there are many people who are utilizing Facebook for a better purpose, for example, to earn their living via home operated bakeries. People like Rabya were the pioneers in this field.
Down the road, Rabya has learnt a lot. One of the pioneers in home-made cakes in Lahore, Redolence’s baking speaking for itself. Of course it doesn’t hurt that there are more than 30K supportive fans of the page who love to make their special occasions extra special by adding beautiful custom-made cakes from Redolence. Initially, however, it wasn’t so easy.
Creating a Facebook page and starting a business that relies on basic interaction between customers and sellers seems easy enough. However, in reality it comes with its own sets of problems.
Rabya had to deal with the problem of unreliable clients. “People would book their cakes and never show up. Initially we charged nothing in advance, now to safeguard our interests we charge 50-100% in advance.” – Rabya Faisal of Redolence
However despite the problems, Redolence has not only grown on Facebook but also frequently advertises with popular magazines like GT and Bridal Magazines. She is all set to take her business to the next level and will be opening a bakery soon.
Another venture is an online Cupcake shop, Mini Treats. Owned and run by Ali Nasir Mirza, a LUMS MBA, Mini Treats started as a small scale venture that initially sold to only friends and family. With the growth and popularity of Facebook, Mini Treats shifted to Facebook and was able to finally communicate with the masses and get distinct benefits of operating through Facebook, capturing niche clientele from the huge Pakistani Facebook market mentioned above.