Dipitt, Like It, Export It.

It started with a birthday and a husband's unplanned get together.

Syed Zeeshan Haider, co-Founder and Director of Its Truly Tasty (ITT) Foods, invited a few friends over to his house for his birthday. His wife, Sammer Sultan, fellow co-Founder and CEO of ITT (and co-Chairman Shan Foods) had planned steaks for dinner. Now that friends were about to come over, dinner needed to be rethought. A brain wave of chicken wings led to a hasty order of ingredients and a meal so deliciously prepared that the guests found it hard to believe that the food was home-cooked.

Fast forward two years and in January 2016, Haider introduces wings at Karachi Eat. 'Chicken wings in Pakistan are considered a starter or a side dish, not a meal in itself. But during my travels I enjoyed eating chicken wings as a meal, and wanted to introduce that concept in Pakistan,' explains Haider. With this in mind, he decided to try out his idea at Karachi Eat and set up a stall he called Wingitt.

'We ordered about 50 to 100 kilos worth of chicken wings - they were supposed to last all three days of the festival, but we sold out in four hours! I sent out an SOS to friends and family and secured another 500 kilos for the next day, and we spent the night mixing sauces and prepping. The next day, we sold out again and had to order some 1,000 more kilos.'

Convinced there was a market for his product, Haider opened the first branch of Wingitt a month later. 'There were plenty of naysayers. People said that it was a one-off event fluke and that snacks may work at Karachi Eat but are not viable as a restaurant.' Wingitt proved them wrong and now has three branches, with plans to expand to other cities.

Wingitt led to Dipitt. Customers would come to Wingitt and ask for their sauces and Haider, with his FMCG background, spotted another business opportunity. 'Initially, we sold our sauces in plastic ramekins for Rs 50. We sold about 10 to 20 at a time; at that time, flavours like wasabi mayo and honey mustard were particularly popular.' He started working on the sauces in terms of developing the product and the packaging. 'Although product development was not new to me, starting up my own business was.'

To test the idea out, he named his range of sauces Dipitt and decided to test the market by making them available at Springs in Defence, Karachi. They sold out in a few days and he was asked to restock. That was when his focus shifted from Wingitt to Dipitt.

Initially, the sauces were...

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