Technopreneurs seek better US ties

Silicon Valley trainer tells Pakistani entrepreneurs there is no success without risk-taking

Usman Hanif November 20, 2022


Pakistan needs to improve its laws to fulfil the needs of startups and build bridges with the US government from where major investment for its enterprises comes.

The Karachi US Consulate, in collaboration with local partners, celebrated “Global Entrepreneurship Week”, from November 14th to 20th, 2022, to promote the advancement of the Pakistani entrepreneurial ecosystem by convening various programs with entrepreneurs, startups, incubation centres, industry leaders, academia, youth and journalists.

US Mission Pakistan sponsored the Silicon Valley Trainer and Professional Speaker Oscar Garcia, Founder and Chief Empowerment Officer at Aspira, to join the celebrations in Karachi and Islamabad.

While talking to The Express Tribune on the side-lines of a roundtable discussion on ‘Challenges and Opportunities in Pakistan’s Entrepreneurial Ecosystem’, Garcia said, “Pakistan can improve its culture of entrepreneurship by encouraging its people to take risks. There is no success without risk-taking,” Garcia said.

“Our startups need to be connected with the financiers in the US as most of our investment comes from there,” underscored Mubariz Siddiqui, a participant of the roundtable discussion, who is a legal practitioner with extensive experience working with startups, venture capital funds and angel investors in Pakistan.

“Every time the prime minister, or other dignitaries, visit foreign countries, especially the US, they take alongside them an entire delegation of businessmen. This theme needs to be improved and people working on startups should also be included so they can create more opportunities,” added Siddiqui.

In a comment to the Express Tribune, Careem Country Head Feroz Jaleel said, “Over the years, we have seen incredible talent from Pakistan getting into the startup ecosystem, making us all proud.”

“This is a testament to the potential Pakistan has and at the same time portrays what opportunities our market offers. The US has been a great example of what can be achieved if talent is nurtured in the right environment,” added Jaleel.

“I am certain that in the coming years, we will see many more startups emerge from Pakistan which have the potential to go global,” he added.

“The US has supported the launch of National Incubation Centres across Pakistan which have boosted the growth of the technological sector phenomenally,” noted Noman Ahmed Said, CEO of SI Global Solutions.

“It is very important for us to be at par with developed nations like the US especially in terms of the rapidly progressing tech sector, as every day new technologies are being introduced that can potentially revolutionise the functioning and fabric of society and create new ecosystems,” he noted.

“The growth of IT over the last few years has been phenomenal, and the results speak for themselves. The government’s vision for a Digital Pakistan is slowly coming to fruition through the provision of an enabling environment for technopreneurs,” stated Ahmed.

“For us to succeed, we must learn from developed nations like the US and formulate long term policies to enable this sector to translate its talent as pivotal revenue generator and increase return on investment (ROI) for all walks of life,” he said.

Published in The Express Tribune, November 20th, 2022.

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