PG Exclusive: Pakistan’s entrepreneurs: The Viral Camper.
Mansoor Mustafa, a 26 year old resident of Balakot, appeared in a video on the Facebook page ‘Survival Man’ four days ago. He came on to speak about his small car camper named ‘teardrop trailer’ and has been overwhelmed by the feedback since then.
Being a start-up ourselves, here at ProperGaanda our passion is to feature Pakistani entrepreneurs in and outside Pakistan. One of our members went to sit and chat (virtually) with the viral camper, Mansoor.
PG: So Mansoor, 4 days on from the showcase of your ‘teardrop trailer’, how has the response been, and how many interviews have you been booked for? How is it like being viral in Pakistan?
Mansoor: It has been overwhelming to say the least. I have given 1 interview yesterday to Hum News, had one with Bol News today, and have 3 others booked for tomorrow! I’ve had more orders for the trailer than I can work on!
PG: Tell us a little about your product.
Mansoor: It is basically a trailer attached to the back of your car. It has a bed, which comfortably fits two people, along with storage cabinets inside, along with sockets to charge appliances. On the outside, it has a fitted geyser with a shower system, a blast proof LPG tank, an iron made storage unit in the front and a whole DIY kitchen in the back. The kitchen has a cooler unit, a burner, which runs on butane gas and LPG along with cabinets. The trailer is constructed meeting international standards.
When I’ve taken it up to the Northern Areas, everyone stops, even people in their ‘Prados’ and ‘Porsche’s have stopped to see the trailer.
PG: What inspired you to make the trailer yourself. How often do you travel to the Northern Areas?
Mansoor: I used to travel a lot, especially before moving to Australia for my postgraduate studies. I would consider myself pretty adventurous, and wanted to start my own business venture so this came as a best of both worlds situation.
PG: You had moved to, and were employed in Australia, what made you return to Pakistan?
Mansoor: My goal was always to return to Pakistan, I have resided in Saudi Arabia and Australia, but my heart has always been set on returning to Pakistan. To be honest the western lifestyle was not for me. I also wanted to return to my parents, who were living alone in Pakistan, and be with them.
PG: How is it that a person who completed an MBA in Australia, starts constructing trailers in Pakistan. Tell us the process of how you got to where you are today after an MBA in Australia.
Mansoor: Well, i worked for a while in a backpacking company in Australia, and then moved to Pakistan. While here I applied everywhere, schools, companies and everywhere you can imagine. Despite having the qualifications, I was unable to hear back from anywhere, and the few places that did respond, offered meagre and measly salaries. I was really very disheartened for a while. Afterwards I dealt with some construction firms, learnt the tricks of the trade, gained exposure and then decided that I had enough experience to start venturing out on my own, and start building this trailer I had thought of previously.
PG: Let us hit you with an important question, the first question which every successful entrepreneur is askedHow much money did you initially start with yourself, and how did you fund your startup “Kunhar Campers”. A small loan of a million dollars?
Mansoor: No!, I started with only 40,000 PKR (laughs). I didn’t want to be funded by my father’s money so I took a very small amount from him for the project with a promise to pay him back. Besides that I only took small chunks from family and friends here and there.
PG: And how much did it cost to to completely construct the camper/trailer, from start to finish?
Mansoor: Initially my projected cost was only 300,000 PKR (3 lakhs) but it ended up costing almost 700,000 PKR (7 lakhs). [Laughs] I was completely blindsided. This is something you have to keep in mind when you’re starting out. Your initial projections will be completely off!
PG: What has been the reaction after you’re product garnered 80,000 likes and 32,000 shares in 4 days. What has been the impact for your company?
Mansoor: I am now booked! Fully booked! Overbooked! The response has been great. I have people from all around Pakistan and even people in Australia reaching out to me. They want to buy the trailer down in Australia!
I was even approached by the Pakistan Embassy in Saudi Arabia. The man kindly offered to increase the visibility of my product in Saudia, offering me chances to get interviewed by people there!
PG: That is wild. So where do you go from here. What are your plans?
Mansoor: My plan is to not only capitalise on the demand, but grab the international market. I am currently not exporting outside as the company will need to meet certain criterias and international certificates; which we are in the process of doing.
My prices are way below the international market, and this product is like a goldmine from people in countries like Australia.
We want to grow organically, and meet our demand and go on to grow our presence in the global market.
My goal is to help the Pakistani economy and do something in Pakistan.
PG: That is great Mansoor, before we wrap up, any advice for aspiring Pakistani entrepreneurs as we wrap up?
Mansoor: My advice has always been to stay in Pakistan, there are so many marketable opportunities in the country. I would like you to please tell your audience/ followers about trying their hand at entrepreneurship. Always stay dedicated and passionate, and work hard, utilise tools and resources on the internet and become a success story.
You can find the video of Mansoor and his trailer from ‘Survival Man’ which went viral here: https://www.facebook.com/watch/?extid=0&v=694699201456169
Kunhar Campers: Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Kunhar-Campers-100613735166105/
Mansoor can be reached on his WhatsApp No: +92 333 5357638