Much more than a business card shaped flash drive
It was in Toronto, early 2012, when two University students of Pakistani origin, Ali Rizvi and Hammad Naseem, were attending a networking event for students and recruiters at the Albany Club. It was very common to see students, carrying with them their portfolios and resumes to hand out to recruiters. At one particular instance, they were asked by a recruiter to email their resumes and a portfolio of the projects they had worked on.
Returning home they realized how difficult sending out the portfolio was, due to the limitations of e-mail attachment capacities. They also understood the recruiter’s perspective; there were a very large number of candidates carrying bulky portfolios, and it wouldn’t be feasible for them to carry a stack of documents for the rest of the event. They were sure there had to be a one stop solution to address this problem. And that’s when they had their light bulb moment.
Flarian- Exploring the USB Drive Utility:
Launched on March 23, 2012, Flarian.com started with the concept of a business card and built on it, adding innovation to a proven entity by simply incorporating another existing product- the USB flash drive. Flarian’s can be connected to ANY computer via a normal USB port. No additional equipment is needed to connect it. It functions exactly like a normal USB flash drive and anyone can delete or add information to it. Moser Baer recently launched Zap Pocket USB Flash Drive but Flarian has the added advantage of personalisation of the card.
The co-founders strongly believe that this shall be the future of business cards. “Because we are capable of printing high quality images, we can add QR codes (a 2D barcode, similar to those most smart phones have) on to the card so recipients can scan them to store the contact information directly. Additionally, we encourage clients who want business cards to create a virtual contact file (.vcf) so that the recipients can add the contact information directly to their contact management software (e.g. Microsoft Outlook) by simply clicking on the file” adds Ali, who is currently working towards his Ph.D. in Mechanical and Industrial Engineering at the University of Toronto.
Revenue Model and Sales:
The price of Flarian depends on the capacity (256 MB- 32GB) and the quantity ordered. The price varies from about $4 per unit for the lower capacities to about $30 per unit for the highest capacity Flarian. Relative to the prices of conventional USB flash drives, Flarians are cheaper for similar storage capacities making them an ideal substitute. Many of their clients use them for personal storage and for them it is a one time expense. Furthermore, many others intend to distribute Flarians as giveaways in promotional events. If the Flarian has the logo of the client printed on it, they are still being advertised regardless of whether the client’s data is deleted or not. In other words, Flarians can be thought of as an advertising brochure, only that the people who receive it have the motivation to keep it!
Although Flarian has just started, they already have clients in Pakistan, UAE, and Canada. They ship all over the world and have sold close to 100 ready-made Flarians from their website. They have had $ 4500 worth of customized orders thus far, $ 800 from readymade Flarians. Some of their clients include University of Toronto, Bvlgari, Microcellular Plastics Manufacturing Laboratory, Selar Enerterprises, Shams Photography, Intek Solutions and Polymertech Inc.
Recently a school used Flarians as yearbooks. The wide surface area allows personalized graphic/pictures/text to be printed onto the Flarians, and stored onto it is the yearbook in digital format. Furthermore, this yearbook need not have the restrictions of a print yearbook. This means you can include animated pictures, videos and anything else in the yearbook. This worked as a unique supplement to their yearbook, if not a complete replacement.
“Talking of the immense potential, a recently married couple ordered Flarians as thank you cards for their wedding guests, with the wedding photos stored and a thank you note printed!” Hammad, who is in his final semester in the Computer Security program at York University, tells YourStory.
Did you find this concept innovative and interesting? Do check out Flarian for more and let us know of similar startups in India by dropping a comment here!