Saarey aims to be the Spotify for classical music. Currently focusing on the Pakistani market, the app has seen early success and a consistently growing user base.
Saarey has been Co-founded by three entrepreneurial enthusiasts: Faraan Irfan, Deven Dave & Nick Cooke. We sat down to talk to Faraan who alternates between working from Lahore & London. The journey of founding Saarey was an interesting one which started when Faraan was pursuing his MBA in Hong Kong. He had always been a classical music enthusiast and naturally as most students do tried to find comfort in music before his exams. However, when he got online and tried to find avenues to listen to classical music he couldn’t find anything. Frustration grew and he kept browsing with no luck. This is when he realised that there was a need in the market that was not being met and from that point onwards took this on as a huge project.
“I knew the treasure was there but i didn’t know what to do with it”
The story then continued with Deven Dave being invited as a guest speaker at an event in London. This was where Devon & Faraan connected with each other. Faraan recalls sitting on a blue sofa at the Radcliffe building in London Business School with Deven and it was here that Deven came up with the idea of a platform to make classical music accessible to the masses. With Deven on the team with Faraan the first hurdle that lay ahead was where would they access the content from? Faraans grandfather had founded The All Pakistani Music Conference and Faraan was a part of the Executive Board. This was a potential avenue that they decided they could explore. Faraan met with the Executive Board to explain what they wanted to do and how this was an opportunity for the All Pakistan Music Conference to provide access to this content to the world since the music deserved to be shared and the world deserved to have access to it. could be of help. They agreed to allow Saarey to share classical music content.
Faraan and Deven had clear clarity on how they wanted to present their content: in the form of an app that delivered an amazing user experience. Both of them knew what they wanted but did not have any technical expertise to take on the project themselves. This is when Faraan got on the London School of Economics network and found Nick Cooke. Nick was previously the subscription manager at spotify and is an MBA from London Business School. He initially came on as an advisor but then later joined as a co-founder. With clear ideas, a complete team and a future vision; Saarey was ready for their idea to turn into reality. However, little did they know that they would have to wait a while before their business could take off. An early mistake that cost them a lot of time was deciding to outsource the development of the app. They found this website that had great credentials and only required saarey to upload the content. After months of back and forth the end product was sub par with a terrible user experience. This left the team with an important decision: Were they to compromise on the user experience and save time or do they go back to the drawing board and develop a new app? They decided to go back and created their own app. Finally satisfied with the end product they decided it was time to finally introduce Saarey Music to the world and it became operational in 2019.
Since 2019 Saarey app has been successfully downloaded 45000 times. Faraan highlighted that the team at Saarey hopes to grow this figure exponentially as well revive traditional music which has generally been overlooked or marginalised. As a testament to this commitment Saarey music has joined hands with the local Pakistani Brand Kayseria. This collaboration celebrates our intellectual heritage and promises to deliver the ultimate shopping experience with Kayseria through an exclusively curated album for the perfect cultural in-store experience.
The team at Saarey is the example of the true modern virtual age team with all three co-founders working from three different parts of the world: London, NewYork & Canada. They haven’t been in the same room together all at once but yet they make it work. When we asked Faraan if time difference ever posed to be an issue – to which he responded that when you’re committed to a cause then you find a way around it. Moreover, the pandemic has really helped people communicate and work from any part of the world.
The journey of founding Saarey has been challenging but it is a testament to the fact that the team refused to compromise on the end product. Saarey lends credence to the belief that when you’re committed to achieving something, nothing is impossible.