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Washup: aspiring to empower Pakistan’s informal workers

Muhammad Fareed (School of Business Management, Universiti Utara Malaysia, Sintok, Malaysia)
Sadaf Taimoor (NUST Business School, National University of Sciences and Technology, Islamabad, Pakistan)

Publication date: 25 June 2021


Learning outcomes

Learn the application of important strategy frameworks such as PESTLE, SWOT and Porter’s five forces. Understand the theoretical underpinnings of services marketing and learn the art of developing service blueprints. Critically evaluate the use of change management strategies to induce behavioral change among employees. Appreciate the balance that social enterprises need to achieve between their commercial and social impact goals. Critically evaluate the decision of outsourcing core competencies.

Case overview/synopsis

In 2019, Abbas Jaffery and Sumair Saleem, founders of Washup, Pakistan, a young venture providing on-demand, high-quality and cost-effective laundry service faced a critical management dilemma as their supply chain collapsed due to a rampant surge in demand. The demand surge had been the outcome of Washup’s effort to push its services to the customers by getting vetted by a social media influencer. However, the duo was caught off guard when their supply chain could not meet the sudden increase in demand. The hesitant behavior of the informal workers to join hands with Washup had not only cost Washup this management nightmare but even left the duo at wits ends to develop a strategy that would help gain business idea acceptance from the grass root workers to whom the core competencies of washing and ironing were being outsourced. This case is a rich description of the nuances of operating an unconventional social enterprise in an emerging market and gives an insight on how behavioral change among key workers is critical in ensuring the success of ventures.

Complexity academic level

This case is geared toward undergraduate students enrolled in courses of entrepreneurship, strategy and services marketing.

Supplementary materials

Teaching Notes are available for educators only.

Subject code

CSS 11: Strategy.



Disclaimer. This case is written solely for educational purposes and is not intended to represent successful or unsuccessful managerial decision-making. The authors may have disguised names; financial and other recognizable information to protect confidentiality.

The authors would like to acknowledge the founders of Washup Mr Abbas Jaffery and Mr Sumair Saleem.


Fareed, M. and Taimoor, S. (2021), "Washup: aspiring to empower Pakistan’s informal workers", , Vol. 11 No. 1.



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