Digital Entrepreneurship in Pakistan
In Pakistan the digital medium is growing at a good pace. The outlook for local entrepreneurs and venture capitalists looks sturdy in the long-run. With a population of more than 180 million, Pakistan has an ever-expanding internet user base which currently stands at 30 million, with more than 9 million on Facebook.
With such a wide array of undeveloped digital markets and only 17% internet penetration, there are opportunities for technological entrepreneurs.
Demographically, Pakistan is a young country as 70% of its population is under 30 and business and technology institutes around the country are throwing out thousands of potential entrepreneurs every year. Pakistan’s young graduates have started pursuing entrepreneurship very recently and there is an upward trend in internet-based businesses. When one considers the high cost of establishing a traditional business, one realizes the advantages online entrepreneurs have.
The dynamics of the internet industry have also changed quite dramatically in recent times with 2012 being a possible turning point for rapid growth. Heavy investment in mobile money transfer facilities, cash on delivery logistic solutions, venture capital and platform and incubators for startup business, all have made young entrepreneurs more confident in venturing into the wilderness of innovation and startup by generating online businesses.
Recently, Pakistan has developed firm foundations to attract young people to take risks.
The mobile money transfer solution, the most famous of which is EasyPaisa, has made online transactions convenient for both the buyer and seller. These online platforms for money transactions have reduced the hustle of ensuring smooth and secure monetary dealings. Whatever services these young entrepreneurs provide to their consumers, mobile money transfer makes sure they receive their payments in time.
Cash on Delivery Logistics services have tackled the lion’s share of problems for estores. Before this service, it was almost impossible for online startup businesses to make countrywide or even citywide deliveries. The startups were financially unstable and simply could not afford to organize their own delivery systems.
The logistical issue kept many at bay. With launch of COD service by companies like TCS and BlueEx, deliveries became more convenient and allowed online startups to capture and service the consumer base on a countrywide basis.
Another pertinent and most prominent issue that was faced by Pakistani entrepreneurs previously was lack of funds and business support in the very early days of startup. They were at the mercy of the harsh realities of the Pakistani and global markets and faced competition from global e-businesses.
Over time, Pakistan developed its own array of financial institutes to support e-businesses and startup incubators. Now both local and international venture capitalists are more confident in investing in Pakistani startups.
These initiatives take a startup or young business in their fold and guide young entrepreneurs to make their businesses more stable. Moreover, seminars and entrepreneur platforms like Startup Weekend and Startup Grind are providing the necessary exposure and guidance to young entrepreneur to run their business successfully.