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Pakistan: Untold Story of Technology & Entrepreneurship

Pakistan: Untold Story of Technology & Entrepreneurship

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Published by Moi
MIT case study on growing technological advancement in Pakistan. This trend is new but growth his more than 50% per year despite recent political problems. Pakistani software companies are now listed in NASDAQ top companies. Targets mentioned in this MIT case study has been exceeded. IT industry's present exports are worth 1 Billion US dollars and being a country of 160 Millions there is more than 1 Billion dollar yearly business from local companies as well ($2,8 Billion yearly turnover).
MIT case study on growing technological advancement in Pakistan. This trend is new but growth his more than 50% per year despite recent political problems. Pakistani software companies are now listed in NASDAQ top companies. Targets mentioned in this MIT case study has been exceeded. IT industry's present exports are worth 1 Billion US dollars and being a country of 160 Millions there is more than 1 Billion dollar yearly business from local companies as well ($2,8 Billion yearly turnover).

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Published by: Moi on Oct 03, 2008
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12/06/2012

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A Tale of Two NetworksPakistan: The Untold Storyof Technology &Entrepreneurship
Introduction
Asad Jamal, founder of ePlanet Ventures, a technology fund based inSilicon Valley, faced a dilemma. A recent business plan submitted byan entrepreneur based in Pakistan had rekindled nagging thoughtsthat Pakistan should be considered a strategic play for his venturefund. Although of Pakistani origin, Asad had spent the majority of hislife away from the country, after getting his BSc (Honors) from TheLondon School of Economics. He had developed an outstandingtrack record at ePlanet Ventures by demonstrating his ability toidentify promising opportunities in the Advertising & Media,Communication & Wireless, Computing Software, ConsumerInternet, Energy, Enterprise Software, Financial, Life Sciences,Network, Optical, Security, and Storage Networks space. As with any
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successful VC, he was always on the lookout for new horizons, andonce again turned his thoughts to what he had witnessed in Pakistanduring his visits over the previous 10 years.
Regulatory reform and a strong economy
“GDP growth has been strong in recent years,” at between 6.5 and8.6% for the last 4 years. “In the past, GDP growth in Pakistan hasbeen held back by political instability, poor and inconsistent policies(rampant corruption at the top) and, more fundamentally, by theeconomy’s narrow production base. However, in the last five yearswide-ranging reforms, an aggressive privatization program, adomestic consumer boom, moves to invest in the textile sector, andsubstantial foreign aid inflows have underpinned a pick-up ingrowth.”
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Figure 1: Foreign Direct Investment, net inflows (% of GDP)
As a country on the verge of bankruptcy prior to 9/11, Pakistan’sfortunes have seen a remarkable turnaround. Since 2001, the influxof billions in US aid in return for supporting the ‘War on Terror,’ incombination with pro-reform government policies designed tostimulate the economy, Pakistan’s business environment andinvestment climate is flourishing.Pakistan's recent policy trends of liberalization and deregulationhave been consistent and successful. In the World Bank's “DoingBusiness 2008” report, Pakistan was ranked #1 in South Asia for itsease of doing business and #76 globally (India is #120).
1
Economist Intelligence Unit – Pakistan Country Profile – Main Report – 21
st
September 2007. Accessed 15
th
October 2007
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 The introduction of the Private Equity and Venture Capital Funds Actof 2002 also provided an enabling regulatory environment for thecapital markets. The Pakistani Government recently announced thecreation of a venture capital fund to provide seed expansion capitalas well as other functions.
A talent pool and a new generation of entrepreneurs
As Asad thought back about his childhood in Pakistan, heremembered growing up wanting to get his higher education in theUK or the United States. However in the post-9/11 world wherestudent visas and work authorizations are difficult to obtain forPakistani citizens, the former brain-drain is fast becoming a brain-gain for Pakistan. In fact, in the technology space alone, Pakistaniuniversities now produce upwards of 20,000 talented, EnglishSpeaking graduates per year. Importantly, Pakistani educationalestablishments, particularly the missionary Convent schools instilneutral English accents, enabling better communication with theirWestern counterparts. These bright, young technically trained graduates are turning tonew horizons. Faizan Burdar, founder of Scrybe – an up-and-comingPakistani web 2.0 company expressed different aspirations toAsad: "I realized that the Web would be hot and took a plunge with ashoestring budget and no formal investments. In fact, I didn’t evenhave a US visa so attracting funding from the US just seemedimpossible!"Scrybe, currently in beta testing, is the most anticipated software atthe Museum of Modern Betas, a Web site that tracks emerging Web2.0 projects and has recently attracted venture capital from AdobeSystems and LMKR.Scrybe is not alone. There are numerous other home-grown IT start-ups in Pakistan making their mark on the global markets recently,fuelled by a new breed of Pakistani graduates:
iTrango,
a game and 3D content studio, provided content for thewildly successful game Tomb Raider Legend, and also for highprofile companies such as Nike, Lexus, Scion and other globalbrands.
Trevor
, a software company, recently acquired by BentleyMotors, was one of the world’s top providers of GIS/geospatialsoftware solutions
Post Amazors
, an animation house, provided content for thefilm, The Mask, and also the local character of Safe Guard forP&G which is now being used globally (Mexico).
EnterpriseDB
develops and supports EnterpriseDB AdvancedServer, a leading leading Oracle-compatible relational databasemanagement system (RDBMS).
Ultimus
is one of the most widely deployed Business ProcessManagement solutions in the world, enabling over 1800
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