January issue 2017
Fresh From the Farm
A champion of the poor, Karachi Grammar School, Lake Forest College, Chicago, and Institute of Business Administration, Karachi alum, Jehanzeb Nasir Chaudhri, has, since 2013, been engaged in helping improve the lot of daily wage earners in Karachi, who despite working extremely hard, still live in penury. Chaudhri started LabourForce.pk, in 2013, an initiative launched with fellow IBA students aimed at connecting low-income tradesmen (plumbers, carpenters, etc.) to future jobs that would provide them a measure of economic stability.
When that venture fizzled out, he reached into his past experience with organic farming in Hawaii after graduation, and decided to provide consumers in Karachi access to the freshest produce possible. And so Chaudhri, through his website, MandiExpress.pk, connected people in the city with rural farmers in the nearest proximity.
Chaudhri has created a logistics network that includes a commerce website which takes customers’ orders and then proceeds to outsource it, even while overseeing the transactions and organising delivery – through its team of 10 riders – of the desired produce at the clients’ doorsteps the same day.
Chaudhri’s company reached out to small farmers in the agricultural lands around Karachi and offered them the services of Mandi Express to distribute their organic farm products.
Apart from home delivery, Mandi Express also liaises with farmers to send their goods for sale to Mandi Express’ buyers at the New Sabzi Mandi.
They do not, however, proceed with business unless they have checked the produce for quality control. Today Chaudhri has a labour force numbering 30 individuals – and growing. And the next target? The fertile Punjab.