Aaromatic – A Momtrepreneur’s Endeavor to Tap into Karachi’s Food Delivery BusinessApril 13 2018
Karachi is a beta city with an increasing demand for food delivery services. Come lunch time, thousands of orders are placed on channels like FoodPanda (an international food delivery service). However, many people have come to the realization that restaurant food is expensive, unhygienic, unhealthy and is not the best solution for daily meals.
Luckily, a class of smart, business-oriented women identified this need and quickly filled in the gap. They realized that people want fresh and hygienic daily meals, preferably cooked at home to be delivered for lunch and dinner. Working couples, single moms and people who are not able to get the time to make food for themselves get to benefit the most from homemade food delivery services.
Karachi now has over hundreds of homemade food delivery services run by women who chose this as a home-based career. They are able to utilize their skills, run a successful business and take care of their families. Today, we meet one such momtrepreneur, food lover and once a full-time working woman herself who initiated her homemade food delivery startup Aaromatic at the start of 2018. Although just 4 months into her journey, Gulvash Zohaib has some great insights, fears and challenges to share.
What motivated you to start your own business?
There are 3 things that motivated me. My passion for cooking, the huge scope for homemade food in Karachi especially for office-going people, and finally a career where I could look after my family especially kids so home-based work was the only solution for me.
What are some of the biggest challenges you face as a woman starting her own business?
The biggest problem lies with the mindset of our society which thinks that woman is and should be dependent on her father, brother or husband for financial needs and in return expect her to fulfill her duties towards family. Few people realize that women have dreams to follow, success to achieve, and a reputable name to earn. Business is generally attributed towards men, and women who think to initiate any business are discouraged by family and friends by saying “You can’t do it” or “It’s such a useless business idea“, etc. The second challenge is finance and funding to start a business. Families usually don’t trust the business idea of women and have a perception that it would be a failure so they are reluctant to provide startup funds for women. I came up with the homemade food supply business idea which does not require any kind of investment or startup funds. So far, it’s going good.
Homemade food service is quite popular in Karachi now. How do you handle the competition?
There are hundreds of homemade food providers in Karachi alone. I use both social media and conventional marketing to create my brand awareness among my target market. My unique value proposition lies in my quality assurance and the fact that I have a team of helpers and chefs who are properly trained to assist in the kitchen.
What are your plans for the future growth of your business?
In short term planning, I intend to target the corporate sector of Karachi which is deprived of in-house quality food. I want to bring Aaromatic on their official panel as food provider. In long term, I plan to open Aaromatic’s outlet in Karachi where food is made at home but delivered to an outlet for dine in.
What is the greatest fear you have when it comes to managing your own business?
The biggest fear while managing my own business is the quality of food. People are very unforgiving on social media and so an accidental string of hair or any other minor issue can be blown to a huge proportion on social media. People immediately stop buying from that service and it is almost impossible to rebuild trust once your flaws have been highlighted on social media.
Although Aaromatic is a passion project, it has turned into a growing business that is fulfilling an increasing demand for fresh food. But will Gulvash be able to manage a rapidly expanding business without business mentorship? Will she be able to manage finances and secure enough investment to launch an outlet? These are questions that can only be answered by business experts.