Of Loyalty and Perks: Abdullah Soomro in Conversation with IDG

Here is a powerful yet simple rule. Always give people more than they expect to get.
– Nelson Boswell

As a consumer, I feel that even today, customer loyalty programs remain a rarity in Pakistan. Though many new startups in the ecosystem are working on different products and services that strive to improve upon customer service, develop loyalty schemes, and proffer rewards, cash backs, discounts and exclusivity!

PerkUp, co-founded by Abdullah Soomro and Hassan Qureshi, is a customer loyalty program that helps customer get rewards and loyalty points on a bunch of restaurants, retail outlets and salons. Those on board right now include big names from the market including Suzuki Motors, Hobnob, Cosmopolitan, Pantry, NYP, Nadia Hussain, Mirrors, Angie’s, among others.

Read: Jazz Plays with Pakistan’s First Augmented Reality Billboard

Abdullah Soomro, who’s been working at the intersection of technology and business, shares his journey with IDG Pakistan. His first venture was a social media marketing company, eventually leading him to cofound PerkUp.

“As a startup, I think the first thing you need to focus on is creating a product that addresses a need or opportunity in the market. That’s the first challenge to create something that addresses the need in the best way possible, so that is one thing and one of the main challenges we faced. So for the first six months it was a huge challenge as our initial prototype didn’t work out well. But we got a lot of feedback from businesses and customers and we incorporated that into our product which did and then we re-launched.”

PerkUp team is based out of Karachi, and has previously raised an investment by DotZero Ventures and CresVentures.

Read: This Just In: Jaffer Business Systems Acquires Blutech Consulting

According to Soomro, industry ties with domain experts is the most important ingredient for success for startups. Sharing his own experience, he adds:

“We have a couple of advisors that connected us with the right people in the industry, guided us and have over time provided us with critical feedback which has been a great help.”

When asked what the future look likes for PerkUp in the next five years, he said that for startups it is difficult to come up with a five year plan, but as a business PerkUp wants to be a platform that connects businesses with customers while providing value to both.

“For businesses, we are looking at helping them increase their value, gain more customers and run their businesses more efficiently. And we help consumers save more money on everyday shopping and that is what we are aiming for. So anything that we do in the next five years is going to be geared towards that”.

Currently, it is only available on the Google Play Store, but for more information, you may log onto the PerkUp website.