Nilaam.pk wants a noble peace prize

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Nilaam.pk is an upcoming auctioning platform (like Lootmaar.com and b4bid.com and others) that is in a very heavy promotion and hype phase right now. Here’s a comment they left here that I found hilarious:

Nilaam.pk’s vision is to create the Pakistan’s first global economic democracy. We see a “people’s market” in which anyone in Pakistan, UAE, and Bangladesh could sell or buy just about anything for a fair price. And today on the Nilaam.pk marketplace, trust, honesty and efficiency are rewarded more than size or status.

Despite differences in language, culture and economic status, people around Pakistan are united in their fundamental need to connect, discover and interact.

People seek fulfillment of these fundamental needs in their day-to-day activities. As we explore, learn, shop, share and talk with each other, we are also aspiring toward a more emotionally satisfying experience as human beings.

But over the past 8 years, Pakistan’s Internet has expanded, and so has humankind’s relationship with it. More and more of our day-to-day activities are conducted online. The Internet continually enhances our ability to connect with the world around us.

And Nilaam.pk. now plays an even larger role in our lives, as well. It’s no longer just about fairness. It’s about fostering that human connection through “Social Commerce,” which we define as “a powerful combination of commerce, communication and community that enhances traditional buying and selling.”

Nilaam.pk. will make Social Commerce Pakistan’s global reality. We will continue to expand economic opportunity by fostering an emotionally satisfying experience for people around Pakistan to explore, learn, shop, share and talk with each other. We will do this by managing and growing some of the strongest brands in the world.

We will continue to innovate and integrate the technologies and policies that make these day-to-day activities even more trusted, fair and efficient than they are today.

Thousands of people who will be using Nilaam.pk will experience this new way to connect. Nilaam.pk will make it so easy and rewarding to engage in Social Commerce that we believe millions of more will participate. And this next generation will bring with them new products, ideas and opportunities for everyone.

Ultimately, Nilaam.pk will raise the expectations—and aspirations—of people around the world as they seek to connect, discover and interact with each

Hmm… why not also solve the burma crisis, global warming and our rising oil prices too?! Hey align the planets while we’re at it.

Ok kidding – Look Nilaam, here is the thing: while all this hyperbole and grand world-changing vision of
changing the world is great, your website currently doesnt reflect your commitment to that vision.

When lootmaar.com was building their platform, they had a simple splash screen on their page. Lootmaar never contacted me, didnt try elaborate press distribution schemes, and infact this was the first direct communication I had with Adnan, but I remember that when they had this splash screen I would visit their website atleast once a week to check whether theres any updates.

With Nilaam? Not so inclined.

I know you have got some decent coverage on news papers, have some pretty nice ideas of how to get the platform going, and also have US based investors backing you, but you really need to focus on your product right now.

You’ve got good hype and anticipation, but that would also difficult expectations. Although some companies have shown that they can exceed unrealistic expectations, that isnt the norm.

So stop worrying about hype and focus on the product. If the product is good, the hype will be formed automatically.

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30 Comments

  • The goal of successful startups should be clear, identify your customer, ascertain their ‘pain’, develop a product that you think will sooth their pain, find out that your product sucks, improve it so that it sucks less, ad infinatum… incremental improvement on a revolutionary way of solving a boring need.

    Nilaam is putting lots of effort into the marketing, and trying to generate buzz, which is a critical requirement for startup success. However, the definition of the ‘pain’ they are tackling is really too nebulous. To succeed, they need to crisply define the problem so that the rest of us mere mortal can feel that it covers our needs as well. This way, we may also want to try out their product.

  • oh boy they need to hire a professional to do their front-end dev..

  • @ob

    I would say they need to hire someone (not even a professional) to do their front end. Even a non-IT person having basic CS101 knowledge can make a better front end than what they have right now.

  • And they’re spamming!!! … I got the same comment on my blog last night …. they’re just ruining their image by plastering their ‘Making the world a better place’ type messages all over the place ….

  • It is about time a company actually is committing to lauch a service that would benefit pakistan from a global competitive prospective. All you have to to say is “Spamming” Are we truely pakistani’s that want to change the image of pakistan, then we have to support ventures of such to be seen as a capitalist emerging market.

    So unless you are doing something to better the country, stop critizing!

    This company will create jobs, tax revenue, and new business oppertunities, which will benefit all of us.

  • And 1 more comment, those that want to quote languages from MBA textbooks, get out and apply it and see what challenges you come across.

    The clear problem is, Pakistan has preception challanges in the global market place, therefore, ebay’s, and papyal, and other ecommerce portals refuse to enter unstable markets which put limits on pakistan’s growth.

    So lets support new startups!

  • Arif,

    Consider a startup come and post their advertisement posters on your house walls.

    Would you encourage that and will say that its good because

    1) they must have paid someone to post this poster on wall (generating jobs)
    2) they are generating revenue
    3) bla bla bla

    You have to differentiate between good and bad things and it doesn’t matter if its done by a startup company …

    spamming by a company whose vision is “to create the Pakistan’s first global economic democracy” shouldn’t be appreciated.

    And yes, I really hope you are not one of nilaam.pk employees …

  • I guess your statement is what differentiates capitalist from communist. I’m a believer in free market capital, and that’s why I want to see more and more Nilaam.pks enter Pakistan.

    Most of what I’ve seen develop in the past 12 months is elementary, it is time for an enterprise.

    Think outside the box, how enterprises like this contribute to the economy of Pakistan! Maybe I should remind you that less then 20% of college graduates are getting jobs right now in Pakistan. That is a problem! Don’t hate it, contribute to it.

  • Arif, all we are saying is they should focus on the product first then send these insanely high claiming press releases
    ‘Nilaam.pk. will make Social Commerce Pakistan’s global reality. We will continue to expand economic opportunity by fostering an emotionally satisfying experience…’
    come on if you have to spam atleast write some sane messages which does not sound un natural, when was the last time you saw an online auction site trying to improve the standard of living ????
    we are the end consumers we have options lootmar, b4bid, bolee so we will always compare and go to the better option we don’t care if the mission of nilam is to change the world to buy an ipod i will only go the site which has more options a track record and gives me the best bargain

  • Qazi, Your message understood. I have been speaking with the Nilaam group about their launch, that’s why i’m so convinced of their product. They even showed me “sneak previews”. Only for that reason, I can assure you that lootmaar and b4bid do not stand at the same caliber as Nilaam.pk. Now for Bolee, there done, out of business!

    Your right, we will let consumers decide which is the best service for them, and with deep pockets, i think Nilaam stands a better chance.

    You can list your items for free on lootmaar or b4bid, but the problem is, you are limited on the exposure of your listing since traffic and vistors to those sites are low.

    As a seller, I would want to maximize my exposure to as many buyers as possible, I think Nilaam.pk will have the reach. They haven’t even lauched, and look at their advertising efforts.

    They are listed on utube, pakranks, press releases, google adwords, bloggs etc. More people probably know about nilaam then they know of the Lootmaars or b4bid’s exisitence.

  • Osama – can you PLEASE do me a favor. Get in touch with Neelam.pk and let me know what they are smokng.

    I want to smoke what they are smoking!!!!!

    FK

  • @ arif

    thanks for clarification that you are in touch with nilaam.pk :) it would be great if you could clarify further that if are their

    and i don’t think there is anything to do with capitalist or communist in my comment .. i was just trying to differentiate between advertising and spamming (commenting on everyons blog) .. so don’t digress from the topic.

    don’t you think that your earlier statement that “we pakistanis should encourage startups and all” .. then being a pakistani you should try to encourage lootmaar and b4bid more than nilaam.pk as they don’t have that much cash to waste and have some decency not to bring more traffic to their website by spamming their companies vision in random blogs.

    i just want to clarify that i am not associated with lootmaar or b4bid. i am also waiting for nilaam.pk to come and play an important role in e-commerce industry of pakistan. But at the same time i am a little disappointed by their non-professionalism (spamming other people blog). they could have spent this time making their front page a little decent.

  • thanks for clarification that you are in touch with nilaam.pk :) it would be great if you could clarify further that if your are their employee or not?

    and i don’t think there is anything to do with capitalist or communist in my comment .. i was just trying to differentiate between advertising and spamming (commenting on everyons blog) .. so don’t digress from the topic.

    don’t you think that your earlier statement that “we pakistanis should encourage startups and all” .. then being a pakistani you should try to encourage lootmaar and b4bid more than nilaam.pk as they don’t have that much cash to waste and have some decency not to bring more traffic to their website by spamming their companies vision in random blogs.

    i just want to clarify that i am not associated with lootmaar or b4bid. i am also waiting for nilaam.pk to come and play an important role in e-commerce industry of pakistan. But at the same time i am a little disappointed by their non-professionalism (spamming other people blog). they could have spent this time making their front page a little decent.

  • and since you are the lucky one to have a sneak preview, can you tell how they are going to solve the issue of payment between the seller and buyer?

    anything like payment on delivery? or they are trying to open nilaam.pk version of paypal in pakistan too?

  • @arif

    and when you say

    “They are listed on utube, pakranks, press releases, google adwords, bloggs etc. More people probably know about nilaam then they know of the Lootmaars or b4bid’s exisitence.”

    If more people know about nilaam.pk then lootmaar or b4bid than that doesn’t mean more people would prefer to use it or like it. More people know “Dawood Ibrahim – (head of the organized crime syndicate D-Company in Mumbai)” than a maulvi in a local masjid.

    and ofcourse you are right they are on everyone blogss and also in the comments of the blogss with their vision statement in it :)

    @ qazi

    recently i have seen an auction site improving or atleast trying to improve people lives. lootmaar.com is trying to help the world one bid a time through their online charity bidding platform .. check it here http://lootmaar.com/charity.php

  • @Arif:

    Please ask the Nilaam group what they’re smoking. Faisal wants to smoke what they’re smoking!

    Seriously though – Arif – I’ve been evaluating value-chains for many years now so why not tell them to give me a sneak peek too. The best that can happen is that I come back with glowing reviews and that boosts Nilaam’s profile even higher.

    The worst is that I remind them that even GuruEarth started with that hype, backed by Worldcall, full-page adverts everywhere, but it really hasnt taken off.

    @Salman:
    Giving away T-shirts of one-hit-wonder celebs wont cut it. In this case Nilaam seems to have the right approach to it – people will buy memorabilia. We’ve already forgot people like Fawwad why would a tshirt remind us of them?

    Dont believe the marketing – changing the world doesnt happen like that – I’d love to see some Robin Hood activities on Lootmaar though (very rich people bidding up to donate money for a cause)

  • Do go to my blog and read up about a payment idea I’ve ben toying with – hopefully someone can implement it….

    Give it a day before the article shows up…

  • It’s not their message – in fact this ‘hyperbole and grand world-changing vision of changing the world is great’ is “borrowed” from ebay 😀

    http://news.ebay.com/about.cfm

    Thank you (again), Google.

    I was actually surprised they didn’t have any major typos and grammatical mistakes in their text, which is what led me to google. I was expecting a copy/paste job, but not from ebay directly. Pathetic. Really.

    BTW, is there some recent official/semi-official study (PASHA/PSEB etc.) that covers the numbers, distribution and behavior (How many, what, when, why, how much etc. etc.) of the Pakistani internet userbase, preferably with pretty graphs? I am really curious.
    If yes, please share. If no, somebody please conduct a study.

  • Sorry about my last comment – just checked their press release – it says:
    “Pakistan’s very own eBay”
    Now it makes a lot more sense 😉

  • Sohaib,

    Thanks for discovering that… now Nilaam really needs a reality check

  • Nilaam.pk haven’t even launched and yet they “play an even larger role in our lives”. What is this? A temporal paradox?!

  • @Raza…

    absolutely right! temporal pradox indeed!!!

    and just another comment for what its worth – I still did not know of Neelam.pk, but I knew of Lootmaar.

    Concentrate on the product… the attention (positive or negative) comes automatically.

    Faisal

  • Err… sorry, that’s from ebay too – esellyourself == nilaam-like

  • Enough Nilaam-bashing – Move along now! 😀

  • @salam,
    No, i’m not an employee of Nilaam.pk or its affiliates. I’m in investment banker from the UK which strides to bring capital into Pakistan so that we can come out of the stone age.

    But, I guess I was wrong since the mentatility on this forum is not of hope. Sorry for the agrument sake, carry on with your Bashing and Anti-global economic pakistan.

    At the end of the day, when you guys are critisizing your OWN kind, watch the world take advantage of the growth.

    Maybe Afghanistan will take off before Pakistan with this attidute.

    Good Day!

  • Arif,

    We’re not criticizing for the sake of criticism. It seems like you really havent followed this forum for long enough to say this.

    From the UK, you might think we’re some people sittign in the stone age but this forum is evidence of the fact that we’re now smart thinking individuals back here who are able to qualify businesses on merit.

    We’re always promoting and helping startups, conducting bar-camp like initiatives, working to set up investment networks here and more.

    If you truly want to get people out of the stone age here, dont blindly support a startup that has chosen to copy someone else’s vision and LIES (it is NOT the #1 auctioning network UNTIL it actually launches and BECOMES #1).

    Yes, actually its good that we dont promote people who are tryign to lie to get ahead.

    If you truly want to help, use your investment banking experience to set up a formal investment network in PK – we can work together… I can suggest atleast 20 startups in this industry who deserve angel investment of $150k today.

  • And atleast 5 out of these 20 have the potential of become a global brand and are working towards that. But they’re not going to become it just by saying that they will.

    Nilaam is still welcome to show me what they have.

    If they dont respect my experience as an analyst to have something to suggest and help by showing me what they have, then you might be right by having a deconstructive attitude

  • You may want to contact the Nilaam.pk investors directly at admin@nilaam.pk to learn more about their investment requirements.

    Good Luck to other potential global brands, I hope you give them more credit and support.

  • ArifWorksforNilaam

    I think Arif here works for Nilaam or has put his money in the venture. The investment banker in Englad stuff looks like BS to me

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