Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Tech Entrepreneurs: 3 Actions to Ensure a Profitable Startup in Pakistan

The startup scene in Pakistan led by technology & digital media has been booming for the past few years and we have seen startups like Patari, Beauty Hooked and Zameen come up with innovative solutions to insightful consumer problems. As an aspiring entrepreneur and graduate student of Integrated Marketing Communications at Northwestern Medill, I have found two articles that provide insights into the startup scene of Pakistan which can help budding entrepreneurs.

In his article Going Critical, Jawwad Farid presents the startup phenomenon in Pakistan. Mentor programs and technology incubators such as NEST IO & Plan9 have encouraged young entrepreneurs to start their own businesses which provide technology based solutions to consumers. There are now over 1,800 technology based startups in Pakistan, however these startups come with their own challenges of ever changing government policies and a somewhat primitive financial system. It should be interesting to see how young entrepreneurs emerge through these challenges. 

Image Source: TechFlier

Mehreen Omer’s article introduces us to Bilal Ather, a 26-year-old Pakistani who founded a multi- million dollar company. His startup Wifigen is a tool that gives free Wi-fi to consumers in exchange of their information.  Bilal’s story exemplifies the entrepreneurial mindset of today’s youth and the positive steps they can take to reach success.

Based on these two articles, here are 3 action items I want to suggest to young entrepreneurs who are hoping to start their own enterprise:

  • Network with Experts: Find people that share your interests and passions, who are experts in the field and learn from them. Investing in a network will pay-off in today’s interconnected digital world.
  • Learn from Failures: Realize that not all your ideas are going to be worth a million dollars and it’s okay to fail. Bilal’s first startup Ikhtira failed but he didn’t let that dissuade him. Learn from your failures, brush it off and move on.
  • Be Consumer-centric: Research, research, research till you know your consumers and what their pain point are. Look at data, discover insights and win over investors with hard evidence.
If you are an aspiring Pakistani entrepreneur, consider these three points as you develop your start-up to ensure a better chance of success. 




Komal Ashfaq is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Integrated Marketing Communications with Medill at Northwestern University. She is interested in digital technologies, entrepreneurship and traveling. After graduating in December, 2017 she hopes to return to Pakistan and work with tech start-ups to which are working on creating sustainable solutions to consumer problems. You can follow her on Twitter or LinkedIn.

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