Sukoon.com.pk bagged the second position in an all-Pakistan startup contest this month
Shoaib Iqbal, a business graduate, had a promising 9 to 5 job. One day an idea struck him and he resigned. The idea was to launch a portal where plumbers, electricians and carpenters could connect to customers -- people who had pending household chores and no time to go out and look for help. He called it Sukoon.com.pk.
Shoaib got help from a friend, Qazi Umair, and the two became business partners. "We started working on the idea seriously in May 2014. We launched our online portal a year later," says Iqbal.
The two collected a pool of workers who were ready to work for Sukoon.com, checked their background for security reasons, and contacted customers who were interested in their initiative.
"Workers were ready to work with us because we were giving them a corporate identity and regular training," says Iqbal. Their workers give them a percentage of the income generated from each task.
Iqbal feels it took them two months to finally break even. But the struggling period was tough. There were social and economic pressures. The partners had left their secure jobs to launch their startup and their families were not happy.
"Umair [his partner] hid the fact that he had left his job from his family for months. He would get dressed and leave his house in the morning and come back in the evening -- maintaining his 9 to 5 work routine."
"When a rocket takes off it uses 70 per cent of its fuel," says Iqbal, explaining his initial struggle. "So taking off a business is the toughest part. If you stay your ground then you will manage."
Sukoon.com.pk takes over 100 orders every month now. It bagged the second position in an all-Pakistan startup contest this month. The team also represented Pakistan in a competition in Sril Lanka where 18 other Asian countries contested.
"I call this success, and I feel many more things are on its way," he says.
The story has been updated to reflect the correct names of Shoaib Iqbal and Sukoon.com.pk. The error is regretted.