This Week in Pakistan (17th — 23rd March)
This weekly newsletter is about the most important news regarding developments within Pakistan’s Technology Sector. To receive this newsletter on a weekly basis subscribe to our mailing list or follow me on Twitter (@adamdawood). Previous instalments of the newsletter can be found here.
With the auction only 30 days away now, the focus on the auction is increasing. Anusha Rehman the IT Minister recently responded to a question on YouTube’s ban by focusing instead on the 3G auction. The Tribune has found out that 15% of United Mobile’s imports are smartphones currently, but is expected to go to 30% within a year of the auction. Imports of mobile phones was up 20% as well on a year on year basis to $6 billion in Feb ’14. As previously reported, Plum Consulting expects the number of broadband users to grow from 3 million currently to between 25 and 45 million by 2020.
Online Payments HBL has launched an online payment processing with Visa as its supporting partner. It seems that Warid Telecom, will be one of the first major implementation of this system, and is a good choice given that Warid’s has the highest ARPU in the entire country, and therefore perhaps the highest credit cards users. 2–3 online payment providers are said to be launching in the next 2–3 months, so HBL could be entering a field that may get competitive very fast given the eCommerce market is estimated at PKR 4.5 billion a year.
The Foundation — A New Incubator by LUMS The LUMS Centre for Entrepreneurship has just announced that it will be launching a new business incubator, dubbed “The Foundation” in the coming weeks. The Foundation will incubate local startups for a period of 4 months leading up to an investors conference upon graduation. Alongside the incubator, they are looking to set up a plug-and-play centre for startups and a seed-stage investment fund for local startups. The Executive Director for the Centre is Khurram Zafar, who is the former CIO to the Lahore Stock Exchange, and an avid mentor to startups in Pakistan.
Pakistan: A Consumerist Country A new report by Topline Securities shows Pakistan as a increasingly consumer driven society, with household consumption at 82% of GDP, as compared to 60% in India, and 47% in Nigeria. This is on the back of sales revenues of public listed consumer companies growing by 12.2% last year. Growth is slower than past years, however, net profitability grew slightly to 8.3%
Startup Showcase — KiaSceneHai.pk
KiaSceneHai.pk is the brainchild of 3 Fast-NU graduates, Daniyal Shahid, Ahmed Munir and Junaid Gill, to spread the word of all the events that were happening in Pakistan. Their next step is to turn Kiascenehai.pk into a ticketing service akin to Eventbrite, and also develop and iOS and Android app.