Empowering craftsmen and women in Pakistan
by Imran Khan Hara
Imran Khan Hara was a finalist in the Survive to Thrive blog competition.
I am Imran Khan Hara, a science student and social entrepreneur. I am happy to call myself an entrepreneur because I have solved a problem that was affecting my community.
A few months back some friends and I were visiting our village. There we found some small shops and villagers who were making handmade embroidered products: wallets, hand bags, purses, shoes. I asked about the price and I was surprised to hear that the products were very cheap. The craftwomen and men were unhappy because they did not have many customers. I asked them what was the use of making these products if they didn’t make any profit. “This is our identity, our peaceful love”, one of the men replied. I had an idea to help him sell these products. I started with the wallets- I bought 4 wallets from him to sell online. I came home, made a page called Balochi Wallets and uploaded some pictures of the products in order to check the response from people. In three days I sold the 4 wallets. So I went back to the village and bought some other products to sell. After changing the name of Facebook page to “Balochi Traditional Shop”, uploading pictures of all the products, and learning social media marketing from one of my friends I got many more orders and earned one lakh Rs in just seven months, even though my profit was only 15 percent of the product price. The village craftswomen and men are still surprised that their sales have increased so much. I am on the mission to start a company to help them more.