Tuesday, 18 June 2024
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Pakistani Startups

I was looking at various Indian startups today, among the youngest billionaires in India are those associated with the edTech or education industry, followed by fintech or digital finance.

These people became billionaires after thinking of solutions to only small problems in India and since the proportion of young population here is quite high, their business growth was very fast.

Start-up culture has never been created in Pakistan. Our brand Daraz was created, but it was also sold to Alibaba and now it is also a Chinese brand instead of Pakistani brand.

Apart from this, two years ago, business related to shipment like food delivery, grocery shopping and digital ride were coming up in Pakistan, but now due to the increase in the price of delivery due to petrol, the first brand named Airlift went bankrupt. Then some such startups went bankrupt and have now disappeared from the scene.

At present, among the big startups in Pakistan, startups like Foodpanda, Priceaway or Dwayi.com are left, but they also need cheap petrol for their profits.

Go India is such a big market but people are afraid to spend money there. This is the reason why India's Zamito brand is worth only 100 to 200 million dollars, while Pakistani Food Panda has a valuation of 40 to 50 million dollars even in these circumstances.

After looking at the European market, the worst thing I realized is that these countries have their own local startups here. Poland, Belgium and Germany are three countries right next to each other, but in these three countries there are different brands in each country, from grocery to petrol.

They have their own local brand of everything from a needle to tomato chili. In these countries Elite likes to go for foreign brands like our Elite but here even a small product is commercialized in a very good and unique way. It is sold by parcels and most of the population prefer to go for local cheap brands.

Pakistan is a country similar to America in terms of economic dynamics. People here are not afraid to invest money even if they are poor. This is the reason why you will see people here spending huge amounts of money on everything from weddings to evening meals.

But due to lack of proper implementation of tax net and stable policies, people do not go towards expanding their business properly and that's why you will see very few brands here. Because people believe that by keeping a shop they are not paying tax, so why should they pay tax by expanding shop?

This is the reason why everything from start-up culture to brand culture is not flourishing here, but the absence of big start-ups in a market of three hundred million people is a disappointing news and a sign of investor's lack of interest in the market.

Leaving such a large market only with the Gourmet, Fauji Foundation and a few other brands is equivalent to establishing a monopoly and our society is suffering a lot of losses, the biggest loss of which is the lack of capital in existence. To come Otherwise, as wasteful as it is in our culture, if there is even a little economic improvement, this culture can develop a lot and there is a need to work harder in this regard.

For this, it is necessary to provide subsidies to the start-ups as well as to facilitate them. In a market of 300 million you will not see a single major grocery brand. While the small grocery stores are selling their products with low quality and high price, if value addition of these products is done and sold on a large scale with good packaging, then where these products will be sold cheaply, they should make these products. This means that the profit of the farmers will also improve and their days will also be better.

Similarly, there is room for improvement in fintech and edTech. There is a dire need to try to digitize all transactions and bring education towards applications otherwise today's Pakistan looks very backward compared to the Arab countries two hours away.