WHEN they started delivering comfort food to hung-over Capital residents two-and-a-half months ago, budding entrepreneurs Zishan Ashraf and Harley Mitscavitch had jobs most 19-year-olds would kill for.
However, more than 1000 deliveries later and after attracting a five-figure investment from an American businesswoman, they have packed in their roles with top city law firm McEwen Fraser Legal and moved into a plush office in Leith to concentrate on expanding their business.
Former legal trainee Zishan and ex-photographer and designer Harley are now putting all of their energy into their business iamhungover.co.uk, which delivers fry-ups, fast food and soft drinks – or anything customers request – to peoples’ doors for £4.99.
Zishan described demand for their hangover cures as “insane”.
“There’s been nights when we’ve taken turns to sleep in the office,” said Zishan, whose company has been delivering around the clock to cope with increased demand caused by university freshers’ week.
He added: “Giving up our jobs was a big decision. There’s no pay cheque coming in at the end of the month and we’re not taking any money out of the company. But I’ve always been interested in business and I knew that if I didn’t do this I would regret it.”
Their Facebook page has attracted 14,000 “likes” since it was set up in June and the company has been growing quickly.
The number of drivers it has staged at strategic points throughout the region has risen from three to seven, while it is hoped a smartphone app, being developed by city-based digital design firm The Lane Agency will help boost orders.
With the development of the new app, the company will also offer cafes the chance to feature, with Zishan saying he is keen to support “local businesses, as well as the big boys”. The pair are also developing plans to roll their business out to other parts of Scotland, with Stirling in their sights for a New Year blitz.
Another initiative in the pipeline is iamcharitable, which will allow customers to anonymously purchase items such as coffee for homeless people, after similar schemes became popular in Italy.
The business is being supported by Scottish Enterprise, while Zishan and Harley – a former Craigmount High pupil from Corstorphine – have been given a mentor through the Power of Youth programme, which develops links between successful business people and up-and-comers.
An estimated 70 per cent of their trade is from people suffering hangovers, but another unexpected customer base has opened up.
Zishan said: “We’re getting a lot of pregnant women who are having cravings. We were surprised at first and then a lot of others started ordering. We’re also looking at breaking in to the office market. We’re very pleased with the decisions we’ve made, we’re having the time of our lives.”