Globally, many businesses had to shut down, and the manufacturing sector faced a great downfall due to increased inflation in energy prices in 2022. The situation in Pakistan is no different. Besides adverse impacts of the global crisis set off by post-Covid supply disruptions and intensified by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Pakistan’s balance of payments troubles have led many industries to close in the recent months. Thousands of people are left without job as a result of the catastrophic floods and foreign exchange problems. But the economies that are tech-oriented and well-versed in IT are still thriving even in these turbulent times.
In Pakistan, the IT industry has maintained moderate growth that generates hopes that tech exports might help the country boost its export revenue to narrow the current account deficit and shore up foreign exchange reserves going forward as it has enormous development potential. The country boasts of a vast and increasing population, a significantly large pool of young, educated people, and low labour cost. These factors make Pakistan an ideal place for IT outsourcing.
Realising the importance of the new technology for rapid business growth, many start-ups and new businesses have incorporated IT and tech in their operations and services that has helped them survive the Covid-19 as well as global economic crisis. Some have emerged as major industry players post-pandemic. Some start-ups like Edtech not only survived the pandemic but also contributed to education when the demand for online teaching increased. Companies like TutorMe, Taleemabad, and Techlogix have reported strong sales during the pandemic. Likewise, the tech-based logistics start-ups have continued to operate and grow during the pandemic. LoadHai, Cheetay, and Bykea have reported increased usage of their digital logistics services as more people turned to online shopping and delivery during the pandemic.
Sameer Ahmed Khan, CEO and founder of Social Champ, a social media management company, told this correspondent that before Covid-19 most of his firm’s clients were from other countries that adopted digitalization before Pakistan. “But I think the pandemic has taught Pakistani companies to move fast towards digitization and adoption of new technology. “The growth in e-commerce led to multiple start-ups gaining traction in this field, and led to a higher exposure of Pakistani start-ups worldwide and brought significant foreign investment in them. The future of IT is generally based on exponential growth if we continue like this and the IT sector will be able to grow without much hindrance,” he said.
The potential of IT in Pakistan is significant. With a large and educated workforce, growing middle class, and rapidly expanding internet penetration, the technology can become a major catalyst for Pakistan’s growth, create jobs and spur innovation. “With the newfound exposure to the IT industry worldwide, Pakistanis are actually doing quite well. New and innovative start-ups, such as Social Champ, Swag Kicks, Maqsad, etc are just the revolution we need to kick-start the digital journey in the right direction. Soon Pakistan will move towards a future filled with Metaverse and Web3 applications at a nuclear speed,” Khan argued.
He says technology exports have the potential to transform Pakistan’s economy by boosting forex earnings. “However, to fully realize this potential, the government should focus on providing an enabling environment for this sector and investing in the necessary infrastructure and resources. Additionally, they should focus on improving the ease of doing business and providing education and training opportunities for IT professionals for building a robust and tech-savvy workforce.”
Khan says the tech industry has snowballed in recent years, focusing on software development, and IT and telecom services. “Young entrepreneurs have come up with brilliant business ideas and models that have disrupted the traditional industry and how it used to operate. The success of these start-ups has not only created jobs and economic opportunities within Pakistan but has also put the country on the map as a destination for technology innovation and entrepreneurship. One of the most notable developments in the Pakistani startup scene has been the emergence of successful companies in the e-commerce and Martech scene. Social Champ is one such example.”
Khan says Pakistan is working on developing IT infrastructure and Martech solutions in addition to software development. “However, there are certain challenges that Pakistan’s IT sector is facing, such as a need for more finance and a shortfall of experienced people. Furthermore, the industry is being challenged by other countries in the area, such as India and China. The biggest challenge that Pakistan is facing in terms of the IT industry is the need for more resources. To look for these resources, you need to dig super deep into the system to connect with the right people. This is the biggest issue that needs to be tackled. The other problems are the need for more exposure and opportunities. Despite these limitations, Pakistan’s IT industry has great development potential and is likely to expand more in the future.”
The year 2019 has brought a new wave in the startup sector, and many young entrepreneurs have come up with brilliant business ideas and models that have disrupted the traditional industry and how it used to operate. The success of these startups has not only created jobs and economic opportunities within Pakistan but has also put the country on the map as a destination for technology innovation and entrepreneurship. One of the most notable developments in the Pakistani startup scene has been the emergence of successful companies in the e-commerce and Martech scene.
One of the successful use cases that has brought prestige to Pakistan is the Social Champ. Our correspondents reached out to their team and asked them about their journey, to which they explained that they identified the market demand. This is a fact that not only society but the industry has also evolved technologically, and now even marketing requires automation and mechanics. They worked to develop a solution that caters to this need of time, later named Social Champ. Their tool is a busy marketer’s best friend, a solo entrepreneur’s right hand, and an influencer’s calendar. In short, the tool had something for everyone, and when it was launched in the market, it caught more attention than the company imagined. Today, Social Champ is home to thousands of marketers, and the share of voice is only increasing.
Author Name: Omar Saeed