Pakistan is a country where only specific professions are looked favorably upon by the society because of which the number of entrepreneurs is not growing as it should be in this time and age. Entrepreneurship is a skill which must be utilized by this generation. In the age of internet and the recent launching of CPEC, it is high time that the youth invests in their own ideas and create new economic prospects for themselves.
Digitalizing Business in Pakistan
With the help of the world wide web, the world has taken its business to the internet. Young entrepreneurs have started to present their ideas as products for those with common interests, an example of which is Ali Rehan. Ali Rehan is the Co-founder at Eyedus Labs and Ingrain. Ali emerged from LUMS. He went on to Groopic where he handled the business side of the products. In 2014 he became a co-founder of Ingrain. Ingrain is a native advertising platform that enables the user to place automatic and individually targeted online videos in real time. The publisher of these videos can monetize the content without compromising the user experience.
“The app will be more beneficial to businesses and firms situated at distant locations, especially across cities or countries,” Paksign Co-founder Mubariz Siddiqui
Pakistan’s economy is rapidly becoming digitalised with digital payment and online documentation preparation systems being adopted by businesses of all sizes and types. The latest inclusion is expected to be an app of Paksign, which will enable people to get business deals done by electronically signing documents, save time and increase ease of doing business
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CPEC and the endless possibilities
The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor is opening attractive venues for investment emerging from economic cooperation between the two rising powers of Asia. Young businessmen and women all around Pakistan can find new opportunities that can easily pay off. With many projects having entered their realization phase and much more being developed on fast-track as part of the Early Harvest Projects there is still too much room for young business men and women to still grab the opportunities while they last. Some of the ideas that are possible businesses are and certainly not limited to:
- Mechanized farming
- High-capacity industrial units
- Dry ports along the CPEC routes
- Storage facilities around the Gwadar port
- Storage facilities around the Havelian dry port
- Rest houses across the CPEC route and Gwadar International Airport
- Taxi services at the airport, sea ports, and dry ports
CPEC also provides digital opportunities in many shapes and sizes with CPEC related websites and blogs which have already starting to flood the internet.
Culture and entrepreneurs
“I was very reluctant to start this canteen, but with support and guidance from my family, I was able to launch it.” Laila: founder of naan sense
Pakistan is a nation with versatile cultures. This very feature of the nation has been utilized as inspiration for many young entrepreneurs to create unique businesses which have become brands promoting Pakistan in a rather hostile world. Ideas like Naan sense have taken the nation by storm. Laila, a single mother, hesitant to launch her business in a male-dominated society has been overwhelmed by the positive response and is planning to expand her food outlet.
Ferdous, in a very short period, became a most wanted brand and getting popularity day by day. It has launched many formal as well as casual dresses for both men and women according to the season and latest fashion. This fashion brand also provides many semi-formal and party wear for fashion conscious women. Firdous is a name of innovation and creativity creating fashion inspired by its country of origin, adored by the world.
“We thought up the idea about three years ago during a caffeine induced discussion at Gloria Jeans, and a four-month sprint of coding later, we were pitching it to TV networks with blue-eyed naivety,” Khalid Bajwa, one of the co-founders of Patari
The US and UK have Spotify, and India has Saavn, Pakistan now has music streaming website Patari, which has recently gone viral on social media. Patari boasts an impressive collection of Pakistani music from over the decades. Featuring musicians ranging from Muhammad Ali Shahki and Bunny to the Sabri Brothers and local indie musicians, Patari fills the gaping hole left by the music industry’s inability to connect fans and bands.
“Pakistani music is so wonderfully diverse, so brilliantly textured and it formed an integral part of those who lived through the ’80s, ’90s and 2000s. Yet, except for the ever-vibrant indie scene, mainstream music had come to a standstill,” Khalid Bajwa
Recommendations to the government
Pakistan is “the land of opportunities” of the future and hence it is prime time for young minds to get creative and make themselves into recognized brands. With endless possibilities and brilliant opportunities, it is recommended for one to start their companies and for the government to support them in all possible ways to aid them into becoming a success because their success will result in a positive growth of the economy. Some of the things the government can do are:
- Make the formation of entrepreneurial activity a government priority – The formulation of effective policy for entrepreneurial ecosystems requires the active involvement of Government Ministers working with senior public servants who act as ‘institutional entrepreneurs’ to shape and empower policies and programs.
- Ensure that government policy is broadly focused – Policy should be developed that is holistic and encompasses all components of the ecosystem rather than seeking to ‘cherry pick’ areas of special interest.
- Ensure all industry sectors are considered not just high-tech Encourage growth across all industry sectors including low, mid and high-tech firms.
- Provide leadership but delegate responsibility and ownership
- Develop a policy that addresses the needs of both the business and its management team, Recognise that small business policy is ‘transactional’ while entrepreneurship policy is ‘relational’ in nature.