With Pakistan’s population expected to reach 210 million by 2020, experts term the world’s sixth most populous country as a perfect place for startups to launch their businesses, says the World Startup Report, a Silicon Valley-based organization.
According to the report, 136.5m mobile phone users 110m were likely to subscribe to 3G/4G by 2019, with the issuance of license for the third and fourth generation network in the country and the services’ increasing popularity among users.
The report also quoted 12,500 Pakistanis working in the Silicon Valley, imparting their skills to technological advancements taking place across the globe.
There is hope that if the trend in working for corporations is shifted to setting up individual businesses, it would act as a booster not only in terms of individual growth but is also expected to effectively exploit a massive 180m population to its maximum, benefiting the country’s economy at large.
The report quoted that educational institutes such as Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS) and Institute of Business Administration (IBA) encourage their students to become entrepreneurs, deeming it a step in the right direction.
“The target is to contribute to the evolution of a more efficient business ecosystem in the country,” the report quotes Jamal Khan, founder of software house Arpatech, as saying.
Many would agree that with the policy shift by the current government air for investment is fresh. The government is offering local entrepreneurs loans of up to $20,000 with a fixed eight per cent interest cost including a year’s grace, whereas 50 per cent of the loan is designated for women entrepreneurs alone.
The report also highlights that the Punjab IT Board (PITB) is pioneering in entrepreneurship, m-governance and e-governance by empowering workers with smartphones.
Oliver Samwer of Rocket Internet says that “building a business in Pakistan is like Germany, but only 20 per cent more difficult. But we are in it to do whatever it takes, if we have to build a Pakistani Post, we build a Pakistani Post.”
The report further argued that lack of competition provides a great opportunity for entrepreneurs and investors alike. Recently, online classified sections have begun to face stiff competition with the entry of Schibested in the local market to challenge Nasper’s OLX.
It also advises local entrepreneurs to approach incubators and accelerators, participate in startup competitions and always remain optimistic.
The reported established few facts which determine a key potential in the Pakistani market: 60 per cent of the population is aged between 15 to 45, Pakistan has the fourth largest middle class population in absolute numbers in developing Asia — 25m to 45m broadband users are expected by 2020 — and investors in the country are allowed to hold 100 per cent equity and full repatriation of capital.
These young innovative Pakistani minds are increasingly making inroads into technologically advanced ways, resultantly, life is going to get a whole lot easier.
A recent graduate of the Lahore School of Economics, Muhammad Amin, has founded Payload – an app that is introducing Bitcoin technology to Pakistani users. Bitcoin is a type of digital currency used to verify and transfer funds.
With $121 million worth of transactions taking place through Bitcoin every day, the technology is fast becoming a reliable method of transaction for individuals and businesses worldwide.
And the best thing about this system is that it’s foolproof – it cannot be hacked. It’s fast and cheap, with minimal transactional fee.
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Founded by partners Hamza Iqbal and Harris Durrani, this mobile app is currently in its developmental phase.
You can, however, book your appointments through their website, and rate your experiences too. It charges a nominal Rs. 1500 monthly subscription fee from medical professionals. While the website currently deals with dentists only, the platform will soon bring various specialists on-board. So far, it has signed up more than 80 dentists.
With a catchy tagline ‘My Fashion, My Meezaj’, Meezaj aims to cut the middleman out and connect fashion designers directly with customers.Once it is up and running in January,it will serve as a platform for professional growth to talented young fashion designers from various universities who seek to develop their own brand name and business.
Meezaj has already taken nine fresh designers on-board and will also be organizing fashion shows in the near future. The National College of Arts and Home Economics College have agreed to become its strategic partners.
You would be surprised to know that Meezaj has already got popular brands like Charcoal, Coogar and Hadiqa Kiani hooked, and will charge them a 10 per cent commission if their products are sold through the portal.
What’s more, these big brands will also sponsor their fashion shows.
As for student designers and new faces, Meezaj will charge a hefty 25-30 per cent commission from them. Meezaj also plans to be an event management company, and will charge a ticket fee from entrants and a registration fee from designers seeking to partake in their events.
Auto Genie is a car repair service which has raised 10 million rupees from PakWheels. The CEO, Hamza Abbas Baksh plans on utilizing these funds to tap into the Karachi and Islamabad markets, after Lahore.
This isn’t just a useful service for car enthusiasts, but also for a lot of people who don’t know much about the technical aspect of automobiles, except for how to drive one.
So if something is wrong with your car but you can’t tell what the problem is, don’t worry! Instead of going to the nearest petrol station and getting overcharged, just ring Auto Genie’s hotline and let them do the job for you.
You can order regular car maintenance services, like an oil change and tuning or A/C servicing, now from the comfort of your home.
Edutative plans to take all local universities on-board and compete with the likes of LinkedIn for education in Pakistan.
It will offer student reviews and ratings for various Pakistani universities and host student societies online for users to discuss issues pertaining to their specific field of study.
Currently, it is running on investment from friends and family. The founders of Edutative are Economics and Business Majors. Out of the 180 universities in Pakistan with 220 campuses across the country, 40 universities are currently collaborating with them.
The website will also offer online tests for SAT, MCAT and ECAT, along with various other test papers, and will generate evaluation reports for students to monitor their progress.
Home Foodies aspires to be a platform to enable housewives to set up their own food businesses from within the comfort of their homes. It will charge a 20 per cent commission per order.
They have already signed up the famous Aunty Samina (Samina’s Kitchen) and Sir Kaiser (La Masion). Although, it currently gets 40-50 orders a month.
Rabbit Drop helps deliver grocery anywhere in Lahore within 60-90 minutes. Its name comes from a twist on the words ‘Rapid Delivery’.
The start-up earns revenue via commissions from retailers. While it currently has only 70 registered users, it is expected to expand its user base once the website is officially launched.
One of the founders has a degree in Modelling and Simulation Engineering, while the other has studied Computer Engineering.
Future seems bright, Pakistan is generally five years behind India in terms of growth and development, the report estimated, adding that now is the time to start building up startups.
“Pakistan will grow, the only uncertainty is the speed at which it does,” the report concluded.
Such growing people need more plat forms to capture more market .here are more tips for logistics required for running or startup businesses in Karachi.