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Dawaai raises investment from Sarmayacar and London-based Kingsway Capital

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Dawaai – the largest digital platform catering to healthcare in Pakistan – primarily operates as an online pharmacy targeting both the B2B (retail pharmacies, medical stores and businesses) and the B2C segments across the entire country. 

Pakistan’s pharmaceutical market is estimated to be at least $3 billion in size and growing at a double-digit rate (excluding the rampant counterfeit market of $1+ billion).

Despite its size and growth, the sector remains extremely fragmented with incumbents including a handful of regional chains and a large number of single-location retail players reliant on an inefficient and expensive supply chain riddled with counterfeit products. Dawaai instead sources products directly from manufacturers and established distributors to ensure authenticity and subsequently fulfils demand aggregated across the country through its managed end-to-end logistics function. 

Furquan Kidwai, a former investment banker from London, started Dawaai in 2013 with a mission to digitize pharmaceutical logistics in Pakistan. After a prolonged period of establishing a foothold in the highly regulated and complex pharmaceutical space in the country.

Furquan’s business appears to be thriving – growing more than 6x in scale in less than a year. The increased scale has also appealed to manufacturers who previously struggled to have their products reach far-flung areas of the country, which in turn has helped Dawaai win more attractive terms from manufacturers. The challenge for Dawaai, it appears, is not the addition of customers rather ensuring efficient logistics and sufficient inventory supply to fulfil orders from across the country. 

Furquan believes: “Healthcare should be accessible and affordable for everyone, and to make that happen we are setting up the infrastructure, supply chain and logistics. The way consumers access essential items is changing fast and we expect the same trend with their healthcare needs.

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Dawaai is positioning itself to lead the charge on fulfilling that customer demand. With the capital we have raised and support of partners like Sarmayacar and Kingsway, we are focused on driving scale in the most capital efficient manner and ushering Pakistan’s healthcare system into the new era.” 

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The investment round brings together Sarmayacar, Pakistan’s leading venture capital firm, together with London-based investment firm Kingsway Capital (also investors in Zameen.com’s parent entity EMPG) and San Francisco-based Mentors Fund. Rabeel Warraich, Sarmayacar’s Founder and Managing Director said: “Moving pharmaceutical products across Pakistan comes with logistical challenges, impacting margins in a price-controlled market.

This creates the opportunity for a parallel counterfeit market to thrive as consumers cannot access affordable and authentic medicines. Dawaai, in our view, is tackling these very real pain points – by aggregating demand across the country and managing logistics end to end, customers now have a company that will bring authentic drugs direct from manufacturers and distributors to their doorstep.

We believe Pakistan is quickly moving through its digital revolution and an increasing proportion of its population, much like other developed countries, will buy its drugs online in the years to come. We have absolute conviction in Furquan being the leader that will make Dawaai the protagonist in that transformation across Pakistan and beyond.”

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Business

How to Write a Business Plan: A Comprehensive Guide

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A well-crafted business plan is the cornerstone of any successful business venture. Whether you’re starting a new company, seeking funding, or looking to pivot your existing business, a comprehensive business plan is essential for guiding your efforts and convincing stakeholders of your vision. In this comprehensive guide, we will take you through the process of writing a business plan step by step, providing you with the knowledge and tools necessary to create a compelling and effective plan.

1. Introduction

What is a Business Plan?

A business plan is a comprehensive document that outlines your business’s goals, strategies, and financial projections. It serves as a roadmap for your company, providing direction for its growth and development. A well-structured business plan not only helps you clarify your ideas and goals but also communicates your vision to potential investors, partners, and employees.

Why is a Business Plan Important?

A business plan is crucial for several reasons:

  • Guidance: It provides a clear roadmap for your business, helping you stay on course and make informed decisions.
  • Communication: It communicates your business idea and strategy to stakeholders, including investors and lenders.
  • Funding: It is often required when seeking financing, as it demonstrates your business’s viability.
  • Benchmarking: It sets measurable goals and allows you to track your progress.
  • Risk Management: It helps identify potential challenges and develop contingency plans.
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Now that we understand the importance of a business plan, let’s dive into the various sections that make up a comprehensive plan.

2. Executive Summary

The executive summary is the first section of your business plan, but it’s often written last, as it provides a concise overview of the entire plan. This section should grab the reader’s attention and provide a snapshot of your business.

Key Elements of the Executive Summary:

  • Business Description: Briefly describe your business, its mission, and its products or services.
  • Market Opportunity: Highlight the market need or problem your business addresses.
  • Unique Selling Proposition (USP): Explain what sets your business apart from competitors.
  • Financial Summary: Provide a high-level overview of your financial projections.
  • Funding Requirements: If you’re seeking financing, state how much you need and how you plan to use it.
  • Team: Mention key team members and their qualifications.

3. Company Description

In this section, you’ll provide more detailed information about your company, its history, and its mission.

Key Components of the Company Description:

  • Company History: Describe how your business was founded and its growth over time.
  • Mission and Vision: Explain your business’s purpose and long-term goals.
  • Legal Structure: Detail your company’s legal structure (e.g., sole proprietorship, LLC, corporation).
  • Location: Mention your physical location and any plans for expansion.
  • Ownership: List the owners and their percentage of ownership.

4. Market Research and Analysis

Understanding your market is essential for developing a successful business plan. This section should demonstrate your knowledge of the industry, target market, and competitors.

Components of Market Research and Analysis:

  • Market Overview: Provide an overview of the industry, including size, growth trends, and major players.
  • Target Market: Define your ideal customer, including demographics, preferences, and buying behaviour.
  • Competitive Analysis: Analyze your competitors, their strengths, weaknesses, and market share.
  • SWOT Analysis: Identify your business’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.
  • Market Strategy: Explain how you plan to position your business in the market.
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5. Products or Services

Describe in detail the products or services your business offers. Highlight their unique features and benefits.

Key Elements of the Products or Services Section:

  • Product/Service Description: Provide a detailed description, including specifications, features, and benefits.
  • Development and Production: Explain how your products/services are developed or produced.
  • Intellectual Property: Mention any patents, trademarks, or copyrights associated with your offerings.
  • Future Product/Service Plans: Discuss any plans for expanding or enhancing your offerings.

6. Marketing and Sales Strategy

Your marketing and sales strategy outlines how you will attract and retain customers. It’s a crucial section for demonstrating how you plan to generate revenue.

Components of the Marketing and Sales Strategy:

  • Target Audience: Specify your primary and secondary target customer segments.
  • Marketing Plan: Detail your marketing tactics, including advertising, PR, social media, and content marketing.
  • Sales Strategy: Explain your sales channels (e.g., online, retail, wholesale) and sales approach.
  • Pricing Strategy: Describe your pricing strategy and how it aligns with your market positioning.
  • Customer Acquisition: Outline how you plan to acquire and retain customers.
  • Sales Projections: Provide sales forecasts based on your marketing and sales strategies.

7. Management and Organization

This section introduces your management team and outlines your company’s organizational structure.

Key Components of the Management and Organization Section:

  • Management Team: Introduce key team members, their roles, and their qualifications.
  • Board of Directors/Advisors: If applicable, mention any external advisors or board members.
  • Ownership Structure: Reiterate the ownership structure and share ownership percentages.
  • Key Personnel: Describe any critical personnel who are not part of the management team.
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8. Funding Request (if applicable)

If you’re seeking financing, this section outlines your funding needs and how you plan to use the funds.

Elements of the Funding Request Section:

  • Funding Needs: Specify the amount of funding required and the purpose (e.g., startup capital, expansion).
  • Use of Funds: Explain how you will allocate the funds, including a breakdown of expenses.
  • Funding Timeline: Detail when you need the funds and how they will be disbursed.
  • Repayment Plan: If applicable, outline how and when you plan to repay investors or lenders.

9. Financial Projections

Financial projections provide a glimpse into your business’s financial future, helping investors assess its potential.

Key Components of Financial Projections:

  • Income Statement: Present revenue, expenses, and profitability projections for the next 3-5 years.
  • Cash Flow Statement: Outline expected cash flows, including operating, investing, and financing activities.
  • Balance Sheet: Display your company’s assets, liabilities, and equity at the end of each projected year.
  • Break-Even Analysis: Calculate the point at which your business becomes profitable.
  • Assumptions: Document the assumptions and methodologies used in your financial projections.

10. Appendix

The appendix is where you include supplementary materials that support your business plan. This might include resumes of key team members, market research data, product/service images, or any other relevant documents.

11. Conclusion

In conclusion, writing a comprehensive business plan is a crucial step in starting or growing your business. It serves as a roadmap, a communication tool, and a guide for financial planning. Remember that your business plan should be a dynamic document that evolves as your business grows and changes.

While this guide provides a structured framework for creating a business plan, the specific content and format may vary depending on your industry, target audience, and purpose. Tailor your plan to your unique business needs and goals, and don’t hesitate to seek assistance from mentors, advisors, or professional business plan writers if needed.

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With a well-written and thought-out business plan, you’ll be better equipped to navigate the challenges of entrepreneurship and increase your chances of success in the competitive business world. So, roll up your sleeves, gather your data, and start crafting your business plan today—it’s the first step on the path to realizing your entrepreneurial dreams.

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10 Expert Tips to Create Professional Business Plans for Startups

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Introduction

A well-crafted business plan is essential for any startup, serving as a roadmap to success and a key document to attract investors and partners. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore ten expert tips to create professional business plans that will set your startup on the path to growth and profitability. From conducting thorough market research to crafting a compelling executive summary, these essential tips will empower you to create a comprehensive and compelling business plan that maximizes your chances of achieving startup success.

I.Understand Your Audience

Before diving into the details of your business plan, it’s crucial to understand your audience. Tailor your plan to resonate with investors, lenders, and potential partners. Consider their priorities, interests, and expectations, and customize your business plan accordingly. Address their concerns, highlighting how your startup will solve specific problems and provide unique value.

II.Thoroughly Research the Market

Conduct comprehensive market research to gain a deep understanding of your industry, target market, and competitors. Analyze market trends, customer preferences, and emerging opportunities. Showcase your knowledge of the market by providing data-driven insights that support the viability of your startup’s products or services.

III.Clearly Define Your Value Proposition

Craft a clear and concise value proposition that outlines the unique benefits your startup offers to customers. Explain how your products or services address pain points in the market and differentiate them from competitors. A strong value proposition sets the foundation for a compelling business plan.

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IV.Outline a Solid Business Model

Clearly articulate your startup’s business model. Describe your revenue streams, cost structure, and anticipated profit margins. Present various monetization strategies and demonstrate their feasibility. Investors want to see a well-thought-out business model that promises long-term sustainability and growth potential.

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V.Know Your Financial Projections

Develop accurate and realistic financial projections that outline your startup’s financial performance over the next few years. Include detailed revenue forecasts, expense estimates, and cash flow projections. Transparently present your assumptions and methodologies, showing that you’ve thoroughly analyzed potential risks and opportunities.

VI.Describe Your Marketing and Sales Strategy

Explain your marketing and sales approach to reach and acquire customers. Highlight the channels you’ll utilize, your sales team’s structure, and the strategies for customer retention. Demonstrating a well-researched marketing and sales plan reflects your ability to drive business growth.

VII.Present a Strong Management Team

Investors place significant importance on the capabilities of the management team. Introduce key team members and their relevant expertise, highlighting how their skills complement each other. Emphasize the team’s track record, previous successes, and their dedication to the startup’s vision.

VIII.Address Potential Risks

Acknowledge and address potential risks that your startup might face. Be honest and transparent about challenges in the market, potential regulatory hurdles, or any other external factors that could impact your business. Show that you have contingency plans in place to mitigate these risks.

IX.Create a Compelling Executive Summary

Your executive summary is a snapshot of your entire business plan. Craft a compelling summary that provides a clear overview of your startup’s mission, product/service, target market, financial projections, and funding requirements. An impactful executive summary should pique the interest of potential investors and prompt them to delve deeper into your plan.

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X.Polish the Presentation and Formatting

 A professional business plan not only contains valuable content but also exhibits a clean and well-structured layout. Use clear headings, charts, and visuals to make your plan easy to read and understand. Pay attention to grammar and spelling, as errors can diminish the credibility of your proposal.

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Conclusion

Creating a professional business plan for your startup is a critical step towards success. By following these ten expert tips, you’ll be equipped with the knowledge and strategies to develop a comprehensive and compelling plan that attracts investors, secures funding, and guides your startup on its journey to growth and profitability. Remember, a well-crafted business plan demonstrates your dedication, preparedness, and strategic thinking, positioning your startup for a bright and prosperous future.

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Ten Best Venture Capital Companies in Pakistan

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The venture capital (VC) industry in Pakistan is growing rapidly, with more and more investors looking to support the country’s growing startup ecosystem. This article will explore the top ten VC firms in Pakistan, based on their investment activity and track record.

1. Sarmayacar

Sarmayacar is the largest VC firm in Pakistan, with over $100 million in assets under management. The firm has invested in over 50 startups, including Careem, Bykea, and Bazaar. Sarmayacar is known for its focus on early-stage startups with high growth potential.

2. i2i Ventures

i2i Ventures is another leading VC firm in Pakistan, with over $50 million in assets under management. The firm has invested in over 30 startups, including Airlift, NayaPay, and Finja. i2i Ventures is known for its focus on fintech and e-commerce startups.

3. Zayn Capital

Zayn Capital is a relatively new VC firm, but it has quickly made a name for itself with its investments in promising startups like Truck It In, DealCart, and Priceoye. Zayn Capital is known for its focus on technology startups with large addressable markets.

4. Indus Valley Capital

Indus Valley Capital is a well-established VC firm with over $30 million in assets under management. The firm has invested in over 20 startups, including Careem, Cheetay, and Apricot. Indus Valley Capital is known for its focus on consumer-facing startups with strong growth potential.

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5. Fatima Ventures

Fatima Ventures is a seed-stage VC firm that invests in early-stage startups with high growth potential. The firm has invested in over 10 startups, including Beauty Hooked, MangoBaaz, and TPL eVentures. Fatima Ventures is known for its focus on technology startups with a strong social impact.

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6. CresVentures

CresVentures is a stage-agnostic VC firm that invests in startups across Pakistan. The firm has invested in over 15 startups, including Travly, Sukoon, and Cleanry. CresVentures is known for its focus on startups with strong management teams and a clear vision.

7. GlowfishLabs

GlowfishLabs is an early-stage VC firm that invests in technology startups in the Middle East and Africa. The firm has invested in over 10 startups, including Cars Switch, Service Market, and Pink Entropy. GlowfishLabs is known for its focus on startups with a strong social impact.

8. TPL eVentures

TPL eVentures is the investment arm of TPL Corp., a leading conglomerate in Pakistan. The firm invests in tech or tech-enabled startups in Pakistan. TPL eVentures has invested in over 10 startups, including Dealtoday.pk, ZaheenMachines, and Cleanry. TPL eVentures is known for its focus on startups with a strong management team and a clear vision.

9. DotZero Ventures

DotZero Ventures is a seed and early-stage VC firm that invests in technology startups in Pakistan. The firm has invested in over 10 startups, including Vitt, Truck it in, and Naya Pay. DotZero Ventures is known for its focus on startups with a strong product-market fit and a clear growth trajectory.

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10. Invest2Innovate

Invest2Innovate is a VC firm that invests in early-stage startups in Pakistan. The firm has invested in over 10 startups, including Apricot, Airlift, and Careem. Invest2Innovate is known for its focus on startups with a strong social impact.

These are just a few of the many VC firms in Pakistan that are supporting the country’s growing startup ecosystem. If you are a startup founder looking for funding, be sure to check out these firms and see if they are a good fit for your business.

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Conclusion

The VC industry in Pakistan is growing rapidly, and there are now a number of reputable firms that are investing in startups. If you are a startup founder looking for funding, be sure to do your research and you may find more if we have missed any venture capital firm.

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