Furqan Ali is the CEO of The Online Book Stores. He is one of those guys who transformed their passion into a profession and their passion doest just serves him but it serves the wider benefit of the society. Today, he joins Rohail Amjad in his show
Rohail Amjad: What made you start this business in the digital age?
Furqan Ali: Back in 2015 when I was in my school I was looking for few books but could not able to find out from the nearby markets, so I went to Urdu Bazar for 2 books which took my 6 hours as it’s quite far from residential areas and finding books is not an easy task at all. Secondly, I went to this market because its in my city but what about the rural areas where there are no markets so I established this business in 2016 with the mission to enhance the reading culture in Pakistan as we have 70% youth , especially in this digital age where everyone is on the mobile phones. Moreover, we are giving special discounts especially to students in order to attract them towards reading. So that they can afford reading books.
Rohail Amjad: You must be having difficulties in establishing the business as there are very less reader in Pakistan?
Furqan Ali: The basic problem lies in our flawed education system. Our education system focuses on the cramming system rather than creative and imaginative skills of students. But from the last 3 years there is a boom in our reading culture especially due to some motivational speakers, who gave their messages via social media about the benefits of book reading and people are more self aware.
Book Reading Benefits:
Books play a vital role in the character building of an individual and nation. Books expand the horizon of thoughts of its reader. Books tend to change the thought process and perspectives of people about the world. The reader becomes the individual who thinks.
Rohail Amjad: The books are priced way too high as compared to the average household income. Do you believe they need to be brought down?
Furqan Ali: Yes it should be brought down, I think so our government should remove the taxes on the import of books as this what shapes the nation.
Rohail Amjad: Which Genre of books is liked the most in Pakistan?
Furqan Ali: The most bestselling genre in Pakistan is Self Help/ Self Development.
Rohail Amjad: With the campaigns against paper, how would book publishers survive?
Furqan Ali: Actually this is the reason that prices are way higher that it was, to be honest this what makes them to import more and publish less.
Rohail Amjad: Do you think the reduction in the number of libraries have reduced our national IQ and awareness?
Furqan Ali: Yes, another cause of this trend is the small number of libraries. Developed countries are known for their huge number of libraries but in Pakistan, this number does not go beyond hundreds. In the country of twenty million people, a small number of libraries shows the pathetic situation of book reading.