Md. Hamza Rafiqu does not come from a business background. However, he has grown up seeing people make fortunes in Sialkot by exporting.
Being an entrepreneur that he is, He started reselling local leather products through digital channels when he was in college as a part-time curiosity. That phase in life has given him the much-needed experience to understand how the export trade works and the power of digital commerce. He also got introduced to Alibaba.com and used the free membership in Alibaba to learn the platform. Of all the channels he used, Alibaba.com got him the best results (10 orders through free membership). Therefore, he took the gold membership without hesitation as soon as he finished studying and wanted to do export full time.
When he started his business in 2014, Hamza visited many local manufacturers in Sialkot while deciding his product line and came across one making “Gaelic sports balls”. He was fascinated by this and did his complete research to start manufacturing the entire product line relevant to this sport. He was afraid that this sport is very niche and that he might not be able to find the right buyers. However, Alibaba.com did its magic and he found the right buyers in terms of sports clubs and retailers. Fast forward 5 years with gold membership with Alibaba.com and he is not able to meet demands being the only supplier for his niche in Alibaba.
“I was always fascinated by exporting. I have grown seeing people change their fortune in Sialkot by exporting. Therefore, since college only, I started reselling using google, emails and Alibaba.com free account. I chose to invest in gold membership as I had seen Far better result with Alibaba.com account. Fast forward 5 years and today my yearly revenue is close to 100 million PKR.”
He switched from the leather to the apparel industry because, in Sialkot, he could easily find apparel manufacturing workers and skilled craftsmen who could design and produce apparels that met international standards.
After just a month on Alibaba.com, Hamza became his first big buyer for Gaelic sports from Ireland as the game is native to that part of the world. Today Thiz International makes a yearly revenue of 100 Million PKR on average and has grown from being a reseller to a core manufacturer with 50+ employees.
Hamza adds, “Being a tech-savvy person, the platform was always easy to use and intuitive to me. I diligently used the RFQ feature and responded to them in detail. That has helped us get a lot of conversions. The best part of Alibaba is that the lead quality is much higher as compared to other channels and the number of premium products you post is directly proportional to the inquiries you get.”
Their success could be yours!