“Around 32 competitors have tried to enter this market (in the last decade) but most of them did not survive. Darewro has become a brand that people relate with,” Ubaid told.

Back in 2013, when Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) was experiencing a wave of terrorism and established businesses were being forced to shut down as residents fled the region, five graduates banded together to form an on-demand delivery service that has now become somewhat of a household name in the provincial capital, Peshawar.

Starting with an investment of Rs 90,000, IMSciences University Peshawar graduates Ubaid Ullah, Ali Khan Afridi, Zahid Khan, Muhammad Tahir Afridi and Abdul Wajid Afridi began a small operation, naming it ‘Darewro’, which in Pashto means “bringing it in a moment,” or “just getting it to you”.

The business is based off an Android app that allows users to get anything delivered to their doorstep, from groceries to food from restaurants and clothes from tailors. The pandemic may have helped their business growth, but it is really the absence of “competition”, as Ubaid puts it, that has allowed them to make bigger strides.

Close to nine years later, the group says the company delivers over 1,000 orders a day, each within the hour.

“Around 32 competitors have tried to enter this market (in the last decade) but most of them did not survive. Darewro has become a brand that people relate with,” Ubaid told Business Recorder. “Currently, the company’s monthly revenue is over Rs4.4 million with a profit margin of 7%.”

This translates to an average order size of roughly Rs150.

Ubaid said nine years ago, no one was willing to believe local people would pay for such a service, as there was no such precedent. Their target market was not very tech-savvy and the tricky security situation in the country didn’t help.

However, Darewro is a good example of an “intensive bootstrapped company”, which has grown without any external funding, expanding to Peshawar’s surrounding regions as well.

He said the company helps promote around 600 small medium businesses in Peshawar, of which around 105 are led by women. The company employs 181 people and has engaged over 400 young people with salary packages ranging from Rs30,000 to Rs50,000.

“We have 29,000 ‘likes’ on Facebook that are purely organic without any ad campaign,” said Ubaid, adding that Darewro operations have expanded to Peshawar’s surrounding areas.

In the time this story was published, the number of likes had already gone past 32,000 – no mean feat for a company that has relied on word-of-mouth and organic growth.

“98 percent of users are repeat customers because of loyalty.

“We’ve a proprietary technology developed in house. Its worth is Rs138 million,” adds Ubaid, confident his business’ valuation runs in the hundreds of millions

Boost to local economy

KPK, a province spread over 74,521 square kilometres out of which 70 percent consist of mountains and rocks according to the Economic Survey of Pakistan, is also well-known for its attraction to tourists.

However, with an influx of tourists dependent on seasonality, the local economy has been helped to some degree by an on-demand delivery service.

Darewro says its aim is to help businesses expand their customer base via its technology.

As per their LinkedIn page, Darewro has also worked with the transgender communities, delivering them free food and clothing, as well as installing refrigerators and washing machines for them. It also provides 140 less privileged people with free lunch and dinner everyday.

Darewro was also given the Hum Jawan award by the KPK government for young entrepreneurs, the Quaid e Azam award of Excellence for best Micro Management and the Eventify award for best enterprise in KPK in 2015. Last year, it also received a Microsoft award for startups to scale up business and encourage small and medium enterprises, and another reward of Rs1,400,000 by the KPK government.

One rider that Business Recorder spoke to, Jalal, said he earned roughly Rs30,000 per month making deliveries for Darewro. Aisha, who works on their social media management, said she appreciates the company’s flexibility and inclusive environment.

This news was originally published by Business Recorder.

By Web Team

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