Imran Azam is the founder of the collaborative consumption platform sharemystorage.com. After graduating from Leeds in Computer Science, Imran joined PwC as a Technology Consultant. He then worked in Pre-Sales Consultancy at the Californian B2B software procurement firm Ariba Technologies. Imran has always been keen to deliver a macro service proposition that challenges conventional business models/industry and delivers real social value; sharemystorage.com aims to fulfil this ambition.
I founded sharemystorage.com last year after having had a less than satisfactory experience with a self-storage warehouse provider; over priced, out of town and soulless. In the end I approached a neighbour and they agreed to help out with their garage space. I could see it seemed like a common sense solution that would allow storage providers to earn a extra money and storage user to save money whilst promoting the values of community – a heady mix of the selfish motive and the social imperative so to say.
sharemystorage.com is part of the global Collaborative Consumption (collcons) movement. Every week you’ll find a a variety of ‘sharing initiatives’ being launched on the web. Many of you will be familiar with the success of room sharing sties such as airbnb.com or perhaps couchsurfing.com. Having recently secured our first round of investment we are pushing hard to establish our brand in the marketplace. The premise of sharing physical storage space is a simple one but there are a myriad of issues to consider when building an online proposition; how will people trust one another? what about damage to items? who is responsible for what…and many many others.
The greatest challenge of any collcons venture is to gain a critical mass of supply and demand in a defined geo specific region. In effect we have a sophisticated market place that not only requires above and below the line marketing but also education. Educating an undefined audience is daunting but the challenge is compelling; Who are they? Whats important to them? Where are they? Why will they act? What questions will they have about SmS? How best to address these? I’m hoping that my team of MMU students and I are going to explore this market together and come up with some unique answers.
We’re looking forward to working with MMU Agency Life in order to help the next generation of graduates gain vital experience in the real world.