Starlinks Leading the Way in PR and Events Management - Inspiring Success Story of CEO Shanaz Ramzi

Starlinks: Leading the Way in PR and Events Management – Inspiring Success Story of CEO Shanaz Ramzi

Business Name and What it Does

Starlinks is a PR and events management company established in November 2015 by its owner and CEO, Shanaz Ramzi. It offers a comprehensive range of services for various events, including weddings, press conferences, launches, award shows, film premieres, fashion shows, and more. Additionally, Starlinks provides PR and digital marketing solutions, research services, and caters to clients ranging from individuals to corporations and NGOs.

One of Starlinks’ notable projects was the successful launch of LuckyOne Mall, South Asia’s largest mall. This prestigious venture was secured soon after the company’s establishment and spanned thirteen days. Starlinks boasts a clientele that includes multinational corporations like Pepsi, as well as renowned brands such as Nikon, UBL, Siemens, Gamesa, and Hemani.

In addition to organizing events within the country, Starlinks has conducted programs abroad and played an integral role in the International Pakistan Prestige Awards (IPPA) since its inception in 2017 in the UK. Starlinks has effectively coordinated the award show twice in the UK, once in Norway, and once in Turkey. The company has also contributed to the HUM Awards by managing their PR during the first awards ceremony held in Toronto in 2018, as well as the subsequent year in Houston.

Founder’s/Owner’s story and what motivated them to start the business

Shanaz Ramzi, driven by her passion for writing, embarked on her professional career as a freelance journalist nearly three decades ago. Following an assignment that involved interviewing the future president of Pakistan’s first entertainment television channel, HUM, she was offered the position of Head of Public Relations and Publications within the upcoming network.

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Despite being new to the field of public relations, Shanaz accepted the challenge and became an integral part of the founding team, dedicating 11 years to the organization. Eventually, she resigned from her role as GM of Public Relations and Publications a month before venturing into her own business. Her experience and determination laid the foundation for Starlinks, which continues to thrive under her leadership.

Business Strategies

Starlinks aims to establish itself as the premier PR and event management company in both local and international markets. They cater to a diverse range of clients with varying needs and budgets. The company’s strategy revolves around gaining a competitive advantage by maintaining low overhead costs and prioritizing customer satisfaction. They believe in value-addition, always exceeding expectations and fostering long-term relationships with clients who are consistently pleased with their services.
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Challenges Facing the Business/Market

In the current post-COVID scenario, businesses are grappling to recover from financial losses incurred during the extended shutdown of activities. Pakistan faces additional challenges such as soaring inflation and significant currency devaluation. Consequently, businesses, regardless of their size, struggle to stay afloat. Budgets for marketing, PR, and events have been drastically reduced as cost-cutting measures are implemented across the board. This situation has led to a decline in the demand for companies like Starlinks, whose expertise lies in these fields. Furthermore, to attract clients, competitors have started reducing their prices and operating on smaller profit margins. As a result, not only has the market shrunk, but there is also increased competition for a smaller share of it.

Opportunities for the Business/Market

However, every cloud has a silver lining. While there has been a substantial decrease in extravagant events and reduced PR budgets in recent years, companies that have effectively managed their overhead costs while delivering high-quality services are now in greater demand. Businesses like Starlinks have an advantage over their competitors who may offer similar rates. Starlinks doesn’t have to compromise on quality to meet lower budgets since their overhead costs were already low. Moreover, their existing client base is familiar with their work and comfortable with the provided budget, creating a loyal customer pool.

Lessons Learned from Running the Business

After successfully working both as an employee and an employer, Ramzi emphasizes the incomparable joy of running one’s own company, no matter the size. Although there is no guaranteed hefty paycheck at the end of each month, she finds herself happier as she has the freedom to implement her vision and more time to achieve her personal life goals. Rather than being intimidated by the challenges that come with running a business, she remains motivated and excited. Over the years, she has learned invaluable lessons, such as not taking clients at face value and ensuring proper documentation for all projects. She has also realized the importance of filing returns, cross-checking all deliverables, and forging alliances and partnerships to outsource certain tasks. This approach keeps overhead costs low and ensures that the best professionals are engaged in serving clients.
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Advice for Others in Business

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Ramzi advises aspiring entrepreneurs to have genuine passion for the work they undertake, as this will be reflected in the service they provide. Thoroughly researching and seeking professional guidance before embarking on a business venture is essential to understand the required capital investment, projected income and expenditure, and short-term and long-term goals. Starting small, developing a focused strategy, taking calculated risks, and establishing reliable collaborations are crucial for initial expansion without significant cost increases. Ramzi emphasizes the importance of signing contracts and receiving advances from clients before starting any project. Lastly, maintaining a commitment to quality by double-checking deliverables and holding regular review meetings contributes to a company’s reputation and success. Operating with integrity, generosity, and a strong focus on CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) is also highly recommended.

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Kristina Shafarenko

Kristina Shafarenko is a relationship and health and wellness psychologist and a part-time freelance lifestyle writer covering health and fitness, sex, sexual wellness, and relationships. When she's not writing, you can find her planning her next getaway, taste-testing every coffee spot in sight, and lounging at home with her cat, Buddy.

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