Success in Startup Business Needs Vision, Hard Work and Patience: Interview with Abdullah Asim
‘Smart City’ Karimnagar comes into spotlight once again with entrepreneur Abdullah Asim narrating success story of his startup ‘MyCityKart’, a city-based delivery services. In conversation with HYM, he talks about his venture, expansion plans and services to people of the city. Below are excerpts:
HYM: What struck you to start this startup?
Abdullah Asim (AS): I always wanted to start my own business. I had been thinking about it since my college days. After a lot of thinking, I decided to start online delivery services in Karimnagar. My venture MyCityKart had begun in 2017 in humble way. Over the years, we grew gradually and consolidated customer base.
HYM: Have you done any feasibility study or market research before starting the business?
AS: I was born and brought up in Karimnagar. As a local, I knew daily needs of the people. Yet I went ward to ward, took feedback randomly from people about their daily and monthly purchase needs. The survey helped me a lot in my planning and execution of the services under the MyCityKart banner. I believe if you have a clear vision, you are ready do hard work, and you have patience then you will see success sooner than later.
HYM: In any startup, success and failure are equally likely. Many startups fail. How did you succeed in your business?
AS: Whether we talk about business or any decision in life, there is always a risk—we may succeed or fail. Therefore, right from the beginning we must plan for success. I do not leave any part unplanned or poorly planned in the business. It may affect the end result. In addition, whenever a plan is executed some practical issues come up. I too faced some issues on the field. However, I fixed them in time.
HYM: Could you tell us about the challenges that you faced?
AS: No business is without challenges. I too faced many both on the field and off the field. I knew there are companies that offer online services. In such a scenario, most important question that I had: ‘how to attract customers to my services and satisfy them?” When it comes to a city like Karimnagar, big companies do not have strong presence. This gave me opportunity to penetrate into the city with my services. I pushed MyCityKart as an alternative for the people of Karimnagar. Finding right people to work was another challenge. Initially, I personally delivered orders to customers. As we continued to expand, I hired more people. In just two years, we are able to serve more than ten thousand customers. Third challenge was to promote the brand. I extensively used WhatsApp, Facebook and other platforms to reach out to people. Eventually, we got our own website www.mycitykart.com, Andriop App and presence in Google Maps.
HYM: Many small and medium businesses were hit hard by Covid-19 and lockdown. How did MyCityKart survived?
AS: Covid-19 will be remembered as a tragedy in human history. Yes, many businesses closed their shutters. But MyCityKart got itself registered with the government, and took special permission during Covid-19 lockdown from the Karimnagar administration to deliver essential commodities. We feel proud to have served the people of Karimnagar at a time when all other services were blocked.
HYM: The Government talks about Atmanirbhar Bharat. How do you relate to it?
AS: In the age of connectivity in communication and supply chain, I think we have greater chance of becoming self-reliant. Every country needs to move forward and reduce dependency on foreign imports. India aspires to produce quality goods locally in all sectors and industries. The same can be said about services. In our country, online platforms such as Amazon and Alibaba are major service providers. We need local alternatives. MyCityKart is an important alternative in this direction.