In the entrepreneurship ecosystem in Pakistan, the main players other than the entrepreneurs themselves seem to be the universities, government and incubators within universities or sponsored by the government. All these stakeholders work on providing direct and indirect support to start-ups and provide them with a standardized set of services that are necessary for anyone starting a new business, but their overall agenda is broad in nature and serves a wide variety of start-up ventures and ideas. DYL Ventures, on the other hand, has come forward as a private seed stage venture fund and consulting firm working with internet startups in Pakistan.
What’s it about?
Launched in July 2014, DYL Ventures provides the following services for e-commerce and internet startups: Tools and Resources, Support, Marketing and Funding. This is a comprehensive suite of services catering the specific needs of internet startups. For example, Tools and Resources focus on Google Analytics, Public Relations, App development, graphics and page optimization. An apparent glitch on their own website links all the services (Support, Marketing and Funding) to the same link that lists the available tools and resources. It would have been great to see more of what they have to offer, as it would help them stand out in the marketplace that is seemingly full of incubators and support services.
The founding partner, Adam Dawood was one of the first employees of the successful internet firm Daraz.pk (backed by Rocket Internet Gmbh) and worked with them for six months as a product manager. He currently runs his family business (DYL Motorcycles) as well as this internet consultancy firm. His work for Tech In Asia speaks to his deep understanding of the internet landscape as well as the business environment for such businesses in Pakistan.
Adam has been a leading voice in the Pakistani start-up landscape as the author of the Pakistan Startup Report, a project feeding into the World Startup Report and World Startup Wiki. It is unclear who the other members of this consulting firm are and what the exact details/requirements for engaging with clients is, but this would be information worth seeking out for all budding entrepreneurs who want expert advice and support for their businesses.
E-commerce Business Needs
The needs of internet and e-commerce start-ups and businesses can mainly be divided into two halves. The first deals with their online presence which includes all the customer interfaces such as their website, social media pages and mobile apps. Advertising the product online and on non-internet mediums is also a major part of getting businesses a running start. Behind the scene of these online interfaces are database solutions that connect them to the real world by coordinating stock, analyzing prices and demand as well as communicating the right messages internally and externally.
The other half is the operational side that includes linking up with brick-and-mortar businesses, suppliers, courier services, payment solutions, customer relations, finance and human resources. These aspects are closer to the basics of running any business – coordinating with suppliers, getting funding for your venture, establishing useful partnerships with other businesses and similar tasks.
DYL Ventures in the current landscape
DYL Ventures, with its expertise and network aims to be help out e-commerce and internet-based businesses with all these aspects in order for them to run smoothly as well as succeed in the marketplace.
Considering the fact that e-commerce has taken off in Pakistan and the number of players in each sub-segment are growing every day, access to these services can prove crucial for current businesses as well as entrepreneurs with exciting new ideas but without the business sense or expertise to execute them properly. Some years ago, just the idea or some executions might have taken people a long way because of the first-mover advantage that firms enjoyed at the time, but e-commerce is now present in most product and service areas in the country.
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