Source: The interview first appeared in Pakistani Junction.
Last week our team had the privilege to have a talk with “Eyedeology IT Solutions” CEO & Founder – Irfan Ullah Khan.
“Eyedeology IT Solutions” is a Peshawar based start-up, a web development company led by Irfan Ullah Khan, an IT enthusiast by passion and an Entrepreneur by choice.. Their one-line pitch is: Helping local businesses “Get Online”!!!
The story of Eyedeology IT Solutions is quite inspirational and thought-provoking, and here it goes …
What is the product or service you are offering?
Well, we are mostly offering web related services which includes web design/development services, web hosting, domain registration, search engine optimization (SEO), online reputation management and logo designing services. Pretty much everything that’s necessary to build a strong and influential online presence for businesses as well as individuals.
#Who are your customers?
Our clients are mostly SME (small and Medium Enterprises) although we do have clients who are individuals. But as we grow we are expecting to get the big guys on board too.
#How are you going to market it?
I think this is a very important question for entrepreneurs and businesses in general. Unfortunately, our IT industry, specially the companies and firms in Peshawar, are absolutely unaware about the power of marketing their products and services to the wider public. Somehow, they think that they have the skills and expertise and clients will automatically reach them. We need to tell them that they are absolutely not getting it right. Marketing is a very essential part of any business to the point that I cannot emphasize it any more.
Regarding our company, we are using a blend of different styles for marketing our services which includes modern styles such as having a website that is optimized for search engines for certain keywords which brings us customers through search (mostly Google). We are also using certain traditional styles such as brochures, handbills, reflectors, etc. Then we do use our PR contacts to bring in more clients. We also offer affiliate commissions to our existing clients for bringing us more clients and we have had a good success using this style. Still, we are even considering more styles of marketing and soon we will be using those such as SMS marketing, using billboards, etc.
#How are you going to sell it?
Due to the various needs of every client regarding the web development, hosting, etc we generally have at least one detailed meeting with the client in which we assess the needs of the client in detail asking various questions and mostly listening to the client. This is in order to grasp exactly the picture that the client has in his mind regarding his website and its functionalities. Then we prepare a proposal and a quotation for services according to the needs of the client.
#How are your customers addressing this need today?
At EyeDeoSol, we believe that businesses need an online presence big time. This is an internet age and if you are absent on the internet, then you are loosing a big chunk of potential business that you could have tapped if you were present online. Be it a dynamic and engaging website, or just a Facebook/twitter page, businesses need to get online, full stop.
Until recently, the businesses were neglecting this big opportunity that was and is still knocking at their doorsteps. But we have noticed that as time passes, more and more businesses are realizing this and they are coming to us and other companies to get their websites and social network presence done in the right manner so they can reap its benefits. But still this awareness needs to be enhanced by educating the businesses that the internet penetration in Pakistan is increasing day by day and it’s becoming a great medium to reach the masses so they should leverage this medium.
#What is your proposed solution (product, service, or combination) for these customers?
Businesses need to create a powerful presence on the internet and I have written a detailed article published on my blog explaining the 5 essential steps to create such web influence (click here to read the article). The 5 steps are:
- Create a good looking and professional website
- Provide relevant quality content
- Regular updation (through a dynamic website)
- Having interactivity and social media integration
- Search Engine Optimization
#What were the biggest challenges when you started up?
There were lots of challenges such as arranging initial investment, setting up of office, hiring talented staff to create a robust team, meeting up running expenses of the business, getting initial clients, legal matters and marketing our services to grow business to name a few. These were the daunting hurdles that I faced along with my team and we got away with these hurdles through hard work, perseverance, consistency and hope at the back of our mind that one day we will make it.
#What was your inspiration behind this startup?
My inspiration was my passion towards technology and internet. Also I had a dream to bring all local businesses online as a strong web presence has become an utmost necessity for all businesses, big or small. With this vision, I founded my IT company “EyeDeoSol” back in 2012 and along with my team we are working hard to fulfill our dream.
#What is your advice for upcoming startups and entrepreneurs in Pakistan?
I am very hopeful of the growing startups atmosphere in Pakistan and I am passionate about the heat that I am feeling around me. My advice to upcoming startups would be as follows:
- Thoroughly research and test your idea to make sure it addresses a real need of the people or a segment of our society.
- Don’t give up on raising investment as there are plenty of opportunities out there from where you can raise funds provided that your idea is compelling and convincing. Prepare a great pitch for your idea.
- Other traits needed would be hard work, consistency, perseverance and patience as new startups are definitely going to come across do many down times on its way to success.
- And finally, having a dream and a hope that you will make it one day is one great thing that will keep you going in all these cold and warm times.
At pakistanijunction.com it is our passion to give projection to Pakistani Start-Ups. This interview is part of the “Start-up Spotlight” series. We welcome you to get in touch with us and join us on twitter: @connectmohsin