How many times have you taken out a pencil from your pencil box only to find the nib blunt or even broken? How many times have you been scolded by a teacher while trying to ask a classmate as discreetly as possible for a spare pencil or sharpener to sharpen your broken one?
Pencils are usually the first tools for drawing and writing given to children but there is no doubt that they can be a pain. Most of us have been through pencil crises and while innovations such as clutch pencils and replaceable plastic nib pencils have been introduced over the years, even these come with their own set of problems such as weak lead which keeps breaking repeatedly.
However, a young Pakistani entrepreneur, Asad Haider, who has recently graduated from the Institute of Business Management (IoBM) in Karachi has vowed to end all our pencil troubles with his start-up called Super Pencils. According to Asad, founder and CEO of Super Pencils, this is Pakistan’s first brand to offer unbreakable lead pencils which require no sharpening (like normal pencils) or pressing/clicking (like clutch pencils). It is a hassle-free product with an automatic system that pushes the lead forward itself with repeated use. Each pencil comes with a high-quality eraser attached to it, making it even more user-friendly. The pencil hardness is grade 2B which is appropriate for use in schools, offices and for sketching and art work.
According to Asad, who claims to be a stationery enthusiast since he was a child, he still remembers the days when he appeared for his O-Level exams and was required to shade boxes in MCQ questions. He recalls with irritation the number of times the pencil nib would break or become blunt and how he would lose precious minutes while sharpening the pencil and/or taking out a fresh one from his stationery box.
We can all relate to that, can’t we?
“The idea has been sown in my mind since then and I have finally been able to provide students with a product with none of those weaknesses!” he said.
He said that Super Pencils are also more convenient since one packet contains two pencils along with one refill pack which contains 12 lead refills; all in all giving students the equivalent of 14 traditional pencils in one packet.
“Pakistan is far behind other countries in technological solutions, be it in gadgets or educational and stationery supplies. There are solutions to every problem. All we have to do is look for them and work hard to achieve them. That is what I have tried to do with Super Pencils,” he said.
He said his target market includes students of all ages, including those at university level, especially those pursuing careers in Art and Architecture, Medicine, Engineering and Fashion Design since they use pencils extensively in their work.
Asad recently participated in Pakistan’s largest Office Supplies & Stationery Trade Fair held at the Expo Centre in Karachi from October 9 to 11, 2018. He was the youngest entrepreneur and only sole proprietor at the fair amidst big players in the field including Dollar Industries (Pvt.) Ltd, UHU, Shahsons (Pvt.) Ltd and more. According to him, Super Pencils received extraordinary response and his stall was flooded by visitors and buyers during the three-day event.
“Alhumduillah, we were approached by people from renowned companies who came to inquire and purchase our unique product,” he said. “It was very encouraging and I am hopeful that parents, students and teachers will replace regular pencils with Super Pencils since this is a product which promotes environmental protection and sustainability along with convenience,” he added.
The pencils are currently available in four colors – pink, yellow, blue and green. According to him Super Pencils are also more hygienic than regular pencils since they do not need to be sharpened. “I still remember how children would write with pencils in class, sharpen them and then eat their snack without washing their hands. All that lead going into their stomachs! Can you imagine?”
Some challenges that he faces are creating awareness about the product – not only its availability and benefits but also its usage. Since people are used to clutch pencils and plastic nib ones, they often try to open the pencil from the front-end which can cause damage while it actually has to be opened from the back. But with time, he hopes to overcome these challenges.
Super Pencils are currently available in a packet of two with one refill pack containing 12 lead refills. The complete pack is priced at Rs. 199 per packet and is available online in Karachi.
For more information on Super Pencils, please visit their website and social media pages at the given links: