Daastan – A team of Storytellers

Daastan is a team of storytellers. With every blog and interview, we feature success stories of individuals from all across Pakistan. However, in today’s blog we will be reminiscing about Daastan’s very own journey.

Weave Visions with Fatima Iftikhar

Fatima Iftikhar is a multi-hyphenate personality. She is a literature graduate who is currently pursuing her dream of being an entrepreneur, writer, educator and public speaker. Moreover, she is the CEO of Weave Visions. Weave Visions is an innovative platform that provides entrepreneurial and content writing services.

“Weave Visions with Fatima Iftikhar is a channel working virtually to transform – dreams into visions and visions into mission.”

In addition to this, Fatima hosts a series of live sessions on her facebook page where she interviews Pakistani entrepreneurs. In the month of March, Fatima interviewed Syed Ommer, CEO Daastan.

The story of Daastan goes way back to the days of Ommer’s student life. As a young boy, Ommer’s passion lied in social entrepreneurship. Since his college days, he actively participated in youth empowerment programs. However, there’s one incident in particular that set in motion his success story. The story that later became the conception of Daastan. Let’s hear it in Ommer’s own words.

“As a kid I was always intrigued by the question of what made a book so widely read. I wondered why weren’t any Pakistani authors who made it that far. Then in university, I realised I can also write. After completing my novel, I entered the writing industry with no prior experience. I had no idea how publishing worked.”

In his interview with Fatima, Ommer talks in detail about the condition of publishing industry in Pakistan in the early 2010’s. Ommer took a leap of faith in 2013, while he was still in university. He started his start up with the name Digital Brackets. Finally, in December 2014, out of 1500 applicants Ommer made it to Plan 9. It was where he refined his vision and rebranded to Daastan. One thing led to another and soon he launched his publishing website by the name of Qissa

Storytellers standing tall in the face of adversity

Syed Ommer took a road less traveled that surely made all the difference. However, it was not without its challenges. ‘There was a time when I had to deal with bankruptcy’, says Ommer. Building a start up from scratch put an insane amount of pressure on him. He talks about how he spent years working tirelessly to make his vision of Daastan come to life. Along with other challenges, he had to face a lot of criticism. Being a storyteller he made sure to write his own story of success, despite all the hurdles.

“It was a difficult time. I faced criticism from home and in professional settings too. At that time, no one could envision what i was seeing Daastan become.”

Making the team of Storytellers

After starting Daastan, it was now time to sustain it. Ommer openly talks about the setbacks he faced in the beginning years of Daastan. He recalls that time as a learning period.

“I tried doing everything on my own at first. From management to content writing. But I realised, I needed a team of professionals to sustain Daastan”.

However, that realisation was not the end of his struggle. People came and went. Ommer told Fatima that he put together a team many times but it fell apart. And after years of falling and getting Daastan back on foot, he finally has a team of storytellers who share the same passion for literature as him. Ommer hopes to change lives of not only readers but also storytellers. You can meet Team Daastan at The Da’knights.

We hope you enjoyed this little story time with Daastan. If you’re someone looking to publish your work head over to Qissa now!

Noor Hashmi
Noor Hashmi is a student of literature at Numl University. She is an aspiring poetess. She runs a blog by the name of “Diaries of Huda” sharing her journey through poetry. In her free time, she loves to paint and bake.

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