Empowering 100,000 Entrepreneurs: How Markaz Technologies is Changing the Face of Business in Pakistan

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Markaz is a leading social commerce platform in Pakistan, empowering individuals to start their own businesses without any initial investment. By connecting resellers with quality products at wholesale prices and managing logistics and cash collection, Markaz enables members to earn from home. With over 2 million downloads and a network covering 90% of cities in Pakistan, Markaz is the largest dropshipping entity in the country, supporting over 100,000 individuals, and significantly contributing to economic empowerment in Pakistan. As Co-Founder and Chief Marketing Officer Umair Aslam explains:

“In Pakistan, most people lack the capital but possess the capability and knowledge to start their own business. During COVID, we realised that people needed a way to earn from home due to lockdowns and economic instability. We enabled people to get the right inventory, connect with the right logistics, and benefit from a vast variety of sellers and dropshippers so they can grow their overall business.”

Scaling Up: From Humble Beginnings to Rapid Expansion

Markaz started with a modest team of 4-5 people working from a home office, gradually scaling from handling 5-10 orders to reaching five-figure orders in just two years. Despite rapid growth, the journey wasn’t without challenges. Logistical issues, reluctance from offline businesses to transition online, and establishing trust were significant hurdles.

By fostering strong relationships with customers, suppliers, and dropshippers, and delivering reliable services, Markaz overcame these obstacles. Their high rating of 4.5 on Google Reviews reflects the trust and satisfaction of their clients. Addressing issues such as educating sellers on customer care, implementing quality checks, and preventing fraud required extensive collaboration with partners in the value chain. As Umair Aslam notes:

“Our growth has been smooth sailing, and we have learned that Pakistan is filled with opportunities. It’s all about understanding the customer and knowing what they want.”

Empowering Women: Transforming Lives Through Social Commerce

Markaz has significantly impacted Pakistan’s socio-economic landscape, especially in empowering women. Women make up 50% of Markaz’s dropshippers, a remarkable achievement in a country where only 10-15% of the workforce is female. By providing tools and resources, Markaz enables these women to earn remotely and improve their lives.

Women entrepreneurs involved with Markaz gain skills in business marketing, social media marketing, and online business methods, inspiring and educating their communities. This has increased the acceptability of women working independently, fostering societal upliftment and creating a more inclusive and prosperous community.

Strategic Decisions: Choosing Co-Working Spaces for Growth

Two years ago, Markaz Technologies faced a critical decision about their office space. They considered various solutions, from building their own space to furnishing a pre-existing one. Ultimately, they chose co-working spaces, a decision that impacted their growth trajectory. As the Co-Founder explains:

“We really went down the rabbit hole, considering everything from building our own office to furnishing a pre-existing one. But then we realized we needed to focus on scaling and serving our customers. That made co-working spaces a no-brainer. All the facilities are already present, which we don’t have to worry about, and it’s an automated system of workspace management. Kickstart made it simple for us because we didn’t have to worry about office expansion, maintenance, and most office-related problems just vanished, allowing us to focus on our customers.”

Unlike traditional office setups, co-working spaces foster a dynamic environment where companies of varying sizes and industries coexist. This unique setup offered Markaz a chance to interact with diverse professionals, leading to several unforeseen advantages. As the Co-Founder elaborates:

“Initially when we had smaller offices, the great thing was that we could interact, collaborate, and learn from other companies and their employees. It sparked many ideas, provided opportunities to mentor upcoming companies, and helped create a better culture for businesses in Pakistan.”

The Benefits of Co-Working: Flexibility and Cost Efficiency

This strategic choice facilitated significant growth for Markaz Technologies. With a customer-focused approach, they expanded their team from 15 to over 120 employees in just two years. Coworking spaces enabled them to manage costs effectively and avoid the complexities of setting up their own office. If Markaz had chosen to establish their own office, they would have needed to plan 18-24 months in advance. The process of leasing and setting up an office is complex, and starting with a smaller space only to move later would have been impractical. Consequently, they would have ended up paying for a much larger office than initially needed, which wasn’t cost-effective. As the Co-Founder elaborates:

“This expansion has been effortless, and Kickstart has been incredibly helpful throughout the process. We now see them as a long-term partner because they understand us, and we understand them.”

Custom Solutions: Adapting to Growth Needs

As their team grew, Markaz required a customized solution. Standard office spaces no longer met their unique needs, particularly as they expanded rapidly. They needed a workspace that could accommodate their larger team, reflect their brand identity, and provide specific functionalities to streamline their operations.

Kickstart, understanding these evolving requirements, offered a tailored office solution for Markaz. This included a dedicated exit, providing privacy and a sense of exclusivity that Markaz valued. They were also provided dedicated meeting rooms and huddle rooms, facilitating focused discussions and collaborative work sessions essential for their growing team. To ensure convenience and comfort for all employees, dedicated washrooms for both males and females were included.

The office layout was customized to fit Markaz’s specific needs and operational flow, allowing for a more efficient workspace. Custom branding paint was applied, reflecting Markaz’s brand identity and creating a cohesive visual environment. To enhance comfort and ensure a productive work atmosphere, additional cooling facilities were installed. Recognizing the importance of reliable connectivity for their operations, Kickstart also provided a dedicated internet connection with a 100 MB CIR link.

Umair explains:

“Kickstart has provided us with a customized office with a dedicated exit. It’s great that Kickstart offers this customization, as it makes us feel more at home and gives us a sense of ownership.”

The Road Ahead for Markaz 

Markaz Technologies has transformed social commerce in Pakistan by helping individuals start businesses without any initial investment. Their smart use of co-working spaces has supported their rapid growth, allowing them to concentrate on expanding and serving their customers. Looking ahead, Markaz plans to create over 1 million micro-entrepreneurs by 2026, further boosting Pakistan’s economy. Their focus on understanding customer needs and using flexible work environments sets them up for continued success and positive impact.

Are you ready to transform your business and join a vibrant community of innovators? Discover how Kickstart’s flexible and customized co-working solutions can help you achieve your business goals. Contact us today to learn more about how we can support your growth and success.