Woman empowerment is one topic which has been talked about since a very long time, specially in our country. However, there are few of us who have actually worked towards accepting the challenge and have made a dent in the country’s economics. Samina Faisal Khan is one of these people. A strong and steadfast woman who is the CEO and Co-Founder of Forifix – A woman led startup in a very unconventional industry. She is also a certified entrepreneur from WomenX program co-funded by Enclude Bank and World Bank held at IBA Center for Entrepreneurship Development and is a perfect example of an empowered woman. We had the chance of having a one-on-one session with Samina and this is what followed:
Q1. Where did the journey start from?
Well, just like every journey starts from a state of deprivation towards achieving something meaningful in life. Likewise, mine started just when I left my corporate career as a Senior Sales Manager Telecom to lead something of my own in the comfort of my home being close to family. The idea of being my own boss, working on my own terms to solve a bigger problem for the under & ill served people always fascinated me to a point that when I was faced with a challenge of addressing pest issues at my home, it lead me to come up with something that had better and safer results especially for women and kids out there vulnerable to toxic chemicals and inferior services just like me and my family were exposed to horrendous chemicals with no safety precautions or adequate information sharing.
It took me 6 years to muster the courage, gather whatever resources (technical, financial and human) I had together with my husband, Faisal, (who happens be a pest control professional) and finally launch a smarter, safer and an all rounded solution for the awful pests terrorizing us in an around our facilities.
Q2. What is your business about?
Our venture is nothing but a common sense approach to ForiFix all the odd jobs adding to pest infestations being deferred either due to lack of time or access to professional help. By improving sanitation and hygiene standards of the facilities with treat, our team of experienced pest control professionals and skilled repairmen see to it that all conditions harboring pests such as entry/exit points, garbage disposal, leaking pipes and/or damaged items are ForiFixed well to prevent bugs for a longer interval. Furthermore, our strict adherence to techniques and products approved and recommended by WHO/FDA/EPA backed with efficient after-sale services gives us an edge to protect human lives and assets from falling prey to not only the nasty creatures but all toxic and inferior services available at large.
Q3. What’s next for Forifix? Plans for expansion?
Alhamdullillah Alhamdullillah I must say it’s been an exciting journey so far achieving pretty good milestones, gaining customers’ trust and positive reviews that has given us the confidence to move ahead. Stay tuned as we gradually grow doing the right with all the might, yeah! 🙂
Q4. Being a woman entrepreneur in Pakistan, what challenges do you face?
Allah has been very kind to me very. Blessing me with the most supportive network of family, friends and mentors, enabling me to uplift people around me, be it women or men of all ages. Secondly, training programs like WomenX, and many other startup/entrepreneurship oriented events have significantly changed the landscape for better prospects. If only people starting up are encouraged through some subsidies in terms of utility expenses, taxes, ease of registrations and access to finance, there would be a multifold increase to the existing pool of entrepreneurs who dread taking the leap due to all the insecurities of our political, economic and social environment.
Q5. Any other ventures that you are looking into?
Ah! Yes, many in fact. I am now trying to transfer what my mentors taught me- enabling people to learn, explore and achieve more. Working with family and friends on some projects to be launched soon. I wish I had the liberty to share.
Q6. What would you say to those females who think they are stranded by culture?
Tame your mind as you want it and you’ll be surprised of what you are capable of. Start now and seek help. Look up to positive people around you and share the inspiration. Because nothing but YOU can make it happen. If you are bold enough to put up a selfie using all those crazy filters, then my dear STOP MAKING EXCUSES AND GET GOING 🙂