Startup wins $20m project, will install 5,000 vending machines

Published: April 24, 2016

KARACHI: TechnoSync Solutions on Saturday won a project worth $20 million of IBL Operations to establish a network of 5,000 vending machines at various universities, hospitals, organisations and other public points across Pakistan.

The objective of the project is to transform retail business into an automated and digitalised world nationwide. It would take the two firms around five years to culminate the project, said an official of AMAN-Center for Entrepreneurial Development at IBA, Karachi which hosted the memorandum of understanding ceremony for the project.

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The automated vending machines would offer products like snacks, cold drinks and chocolates and would be imported from Russia, said Azad Ahmed, Manager-Incubation & Outreach Activities at the Centre.

The startup TechnoSync Solutions is run by one of IBA’s alumni Fawwad Haider who started it two years ago and graduated from AMAN-Center for Entrepreneurial Development at IBA, the official said.

Haider plans to move his office from the Centre to a proper functioning place in the next one to two months.

The firm hopes to kick off the installation process from the port city and plans to install three-four machines at IBA, Karachi, Haider said. “Gradually, the network of machines would spread all over the country.”

The project would cover almost all the 66 cities where IBL Operations operate, he said. The vending machines may offer product lines other than the ones made, marketed, distributed and sold by IBL {International Brands (Pvt) Limited} Operations.

“IBL sales grew from $8 million to $363 million in 1991,” according to its official website.

The firm is marketing and distributing products of more than two dozen companies, including of multinational companies, fast moving consumers goods, pharmaceuticals and searles.

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The MoU signing ceremony was marked by the presence of the Acting Dean & Director of IBA, Dr Sayeed Ghani.

IBL Operations Pvt. Ltd. was represented by Director and General Manager Asad Abdulla, and Managing Director Arshad Anis.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 24th, 2016.

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Reader Comments (14)

  • Noman
    Apr 24, 2016 - 12:50PM

    If you cannot manufacture and build these basic vending machines in pakistan then it cannot be called a startup. Any businessman can import them from russia, US, Japan etc to claim I am running a startup that imports things.

    IBA should at least get the basic definition of startup right. Recommend

  • Adnan
    Apr 24, 2016 - 2:40PM

    “Import and install”, where is the creativity here? The startup got funding just because of IBA name attached. Else there was no USP here. Anyway, Good luckRecommend

  • Sarah Allawala
    Apr 24, 2016 - 3:12PM

    First of all how is this even a startup and secondly how in the world does it cost that much.Recommend

  • Jawad U Rahman
    Apr 24, 2016 - 3:15PM

    What a joke. These old style vending machine are on the way out in the rest of the world. And why Russia? A $363 Million company was operating in an incubator? The report leaves many questions unanswered.Recommend

  • yolo
    Apr 24, 2016 - 4:12PM

    All those people criticizing it ,they should know that this company is a private company and are investing in Pakistan .This is not paid by the government so what’s the problem?Recommend

  • Timorov
    Apr 24, 2016 - 4:34PM

    Ditto the above comments. How is this a startup and what’s the innovation? It’s not about who is funding it but rather precious foreign exchange is being wasted on vending machines in an energy sapped country. How will these machines improve people’s lives? In fact they will seek to eliminate thousands of jobs of small vendors who sell these basic items in canteens and kiosks. How does that help a country that adds at least 4 million new people to the job market every year. Foreign exchange is the most precious commodity in Pakistan. If we are to industrialize and move up the ladder then innovation that builds things in Pakistan is the need of the day And before I get trolled by mediocre minded people who have ideationally been polluted by “neo-liberalism”, please read Cambridge economist Ha-Jon Chang’s “Bad Samaritans”.

    The mantra of the world is innovate or die. Pakistan needs inclusive and environmentally & economically sustainable high growth if it is to have a chance at defeated the odds that seem so heavily stacked against it. Importing vending machines from Russia really doesn’t cut it.Recommend

  • zaara
    Apr 24, 2016 - 5:44PM

    The picture you’ve used is of Vendi by Wavetec and it is placed at my university, Szabist.

    Vendi is a nice machine :)Recommend

  • ajeet
    Apr 24, 2016 - 6:03PM

    So Pakistani startup imports machinery from Russia and this is a news worthy item? The company is just a parts dealershipRecommend

  • leela4fun
    Apr 25, 2016 - 12:07AM

    Will there be adequate power supply for these to work 24 hours?Recommend

  • Hady
    Apr 25, 2016 - 12:58AM

    To all the intellectuals who commented,
    Fawwad is in his mid twenties and won a project of $20 Million, so grow up and appreciate this guy.
    But if you people are so much concerned about innovation then please enlist your innovative contribution your existence made to this holy planet, first. Then turn on your self innovative mode to criticize this news for a feel good factor.Recommend

  • Harris
    Apr 25, 2016 - 10:03AM

    I wonder if they have dine enough market research before launching this. In a place like Pakistan where labour is very cheap and power supply is unreliable. I have worked on this idea a few years ago, but found it not feasible after some market research. I hope this guy has all his bases covered. Best of luck to him. Recommend

  • Waqar
    Apr 25, 2016 - 11:47AM

    Innovation hahahahah! what a joke!Recommend

  • Ramsha
    Apr 27, 2016 - 2:03PM

    Copying an idea which already exists in the world is not innovation, so yeah, this article deserves criticism. Recommend

  • hammad
    Apr 28, 2016 - 1:08PM

    I guess the real startup innovating this idea within Pakistan is Vendi. They have an amazing product and must be appreciated.

    Also I wonder why this level of investment is not picked up by techcruch and other similar tech blogs. Makes me wonder if this is even trueRecommend

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