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Meet the Distinguished Design Enthusiast, Roshaan Saeed – Founder ‘Stippple’

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Seeing Roshaan all over the social media for her winnings, events and community contributions, we thought to know her a little more closely. Luckily, we got the opportunity and here we are with Roshaan and her Startup Journey.

  • NIS: Please help us walk through yourself and your skill specificities.

RS: I’ve been working for over 6 years in the design industry, and have become a part of various campaigns as a Product Designer. I specialize in defining, curating and creating user and customer experiences for products, user task flows, and UI specifications while devising communication scenarios and end-to-end experiences.

Moreover, I run my own startup named ‘Stippple’ focused on empowering Freelance Women Designers of Pakistan. We’re also training them about digital art, in fact providing them the opportunity to work with us on merchandise. We display their artwork on our platform and the ecommerce store and in return we share the percentage with them on each sales.

  • NIS: What made you think about becoming an entrepreneur?

RS: After having 6 years’ of experience in the design industry especially in UX/UI and digital art, I found that ‘females’ are very talented in the designing spectrum but lack mainstream opportunities. This is one of the reasons their talents go unnoticed and uncashed. This led me to develop a unique platform ‘Stippple’ for female designers to exhibit their skills and talent while achieving financial empowerment. This is how I empower myself as a woman entrepreneur and helping other females to grow and flourish around the ecosystem.

  • NIS: So you created Stippple, what is it actually? And whom is it for?

RS: It’s an online market place for freelance women designers and customers. In respect to the cultural barriers in Pakistan, female designers have limited market access to respectfully display their art and earn through it.

Stippple outclasses all barriers by bringing an online market space where freelance female designers can design products at their own convenience as per the customer’s needs. In parallel, customers can easily purchase customize products at a very affordable cost, designed by our female freelance workforce. Our platform serves over cash on delivery and jazz cash services across Pakistan.

  • NIS: The name of your startup is different, why 3 ‘P’s in it?

RS: Stippple is the term used to engrave art in wood, metal or on leather. I’ve seen my father making design patterns through stippling, which is why I named my startup ‘Stippple’. We didn’t find the domain with double ‘Ps’ therefore, we added one more ‘P’ to make it different. 😀

NIS: Haha it happened for the best, it looks cool 🙂

  • NIS: Tell us about your goals and your thought process behind your startup

RS: Our goal is to empower female designers who are living a marginalized life or are unemployed. We’re not just providing them online earning opportunities but also training them further to improve and grow professionally. We organize monthly meetups for freelance designers and developing a close-knitted design community in Pakistan.

Our e-commerce platform provides the online printing and design solutions for the corporate sectors and for those who are living in the remote areas. Our objective is to deliver high quality design and printed products at their doorstep. My platform enables people to find best designers and high quality printed products in pocket friendly prices without getting into any hassles.

Also we aim at creating social funds to help underprivileged schools and sectors where we can voluntarily help them through our design and marketing campaigns.

  • NIS: What’s the biggest thing in you that drives your startup?

RS: The subliminal gender discrimination that most of the reputed organizations do when they hire a female resource. From workplace harassment to gender inequality, I have faced them all during my job period in one way or the other.

Personally, I don’t appreciate the way many of the organizations treat designers. They often hire for a project without intimating and lay off after the project is done, which is not just traumatizing but leaves a bad mark on the profile.

I have had all tough experiences; the worst to share is that I was once being threatened by one of my previous employers that if I disclose my matter to anyone they will blacklist me. All this led me to start my own venture which now supports my own fraternity, provides a first freelancing platform in Pakistan and empowering their diverse skills sets.

  • NIS: Who’s your inspiration and why?

RS: Haha it’s a pretty tough question. My foremost inspiration are all those women who are working for our enterprise development in order to create acceptance for female entrepreneurs in the ecosystem. I always admire MS Shahnaz Akhtar, Fatima Jinnah, Hazrat Khadija (R.A) who were successful business women and had a lot of impact on the socio-economic life of women.

  • NIS: Your platform looks and sounds great, but what’s your business USP that makes it stand out of your competitors?

RS: The premium USP is quality designers are just one click away. We ensure to provide maximum opportunities at the basic entitlement cost of female designers with our minimum share margin.

  • NIS: Tell us about your journey at the NIC Islamabad?

RS: This learning journey is extremely exhilarating and greatly experiential. Through NIC, I met incredible mentors and received exceptional support from the team up colleagues. I’m enjoying working at the NIC and notably gaining knowledge through different sematic sessions on various entrepreneurial topics.

  • NIS: What shortfalls do you see in the startup ecosystem in Pakistan?

RS: According to my opinion the biggest shortfall in the startup ecosystem of Pakistan is the right set of investors and investment management system in place. Moreover, we lack proper support from the Government authorities and the regularities, unfortunately, it’s also not very friendly. Lastly there are a few accommodations in the ecosystem where female-led organization can excel if trained and guided properly.

  • Share your three strengths and three weaknesses.

RS: Umm my strengths are that I’m flexible and friendly with people and solutions and creative in all my approaches. And if I count my weaknesses, I’m a perfectionist, can’t tolerate lies and as an artist I am moody.

  • NIS: Stippple has a very strong edge in social contribution, what’s your next business focus for 2019?

RS: I am truly focused on ‘Stippple’ but under the same domain, I will explore different opportunities like inclusion of differently abled individuals as freelance resources. Looking forward to evolving the business plan not limiting it to design and products only but excelling in designing digital platforms.

  • NIS: Has anyone mentored you along the way? How have they shaped your philosophy as an entrepreneur?

RS: My mother is my biggest mentor. I’ve met many mentors during my careers like Furqan Qureshi, Shahid Mir and Pervez Abbasi to name a few. Philosophy is “The more you collaborate the more success is on your way and just team up.”

  • NIS: We all go through highs and lows, what’s your take about life when you feel low?

RS: I connect with my support system which comprises of a few individuals who are very close to me.

  • NIS: What are the real startup challenges you often face?

RS: The most difficult challenge is to develop the team. Recruiting the right person for the right job.

  • NIS: Where do you see your platform in the next two years?

RS: I see my platform as ‘Alibaba’ of Freelance Platform for Designers within five years.

  • NIS: If young designers have to deal with career obstacle, what advice would you share?

RS: Start with reading books and articles from medium and flipboard on a daily basis to get in touch with the latest market trends. Implement your learning and concepts in your designs. The more practice or hands-on one does, the more perfect and closer one gets to the opportunities around them.

Roshaan, sitting in the hearts of millions as a true inspiration, is a proud host of Dribble and Glug – Isb Chapter and has recently won first prize at World Bank Hackathon.

If you’re into designing or want to avail new opportunities through digital art and design, register yourself at Stippple.com

Have anything to add? Please write in the comments below or share via share@news.com

Madiha Ahmed
Madiha Ahmed
Madiha (Yusuf) Ahmed is an Independent Journalist, ideally reports technology updates, social happenings and covers features. Professionally, she is serving as a Manager Content in a Digital Agency and specialises in Content Curation, Strategy and Marketing.
https://www.linkedin.com/in/madiha-yusuf-73387153/

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