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Pakistan

Web Desk & Maadiha Nizam
November 4, 2017
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‘021Disrupt’ day 1 – the conference from the eyes of organizers

KARACHI: Calling all aspiring entrepreneurs and innovators on to a common platform, ‘021Disrupt’ conference, organized by Nest I/O is the latest buzz in town. Promoting the culture of increased investment in the country, the two-day conference starting today, is dedicated towards highlighting the significance of entrepreneurship and innovation in Pakistan. The first day concluded successfully with an overwhelming amount of people present at the conference.

An idea furthered by Nest I/O – a technology incubator in Pakistan – 021Disrupt features accomplished entrepreneurs and investors from not just the country but across the world too, sharing their diverse experiences and ideas through various panel discussions and workshops involved.

Elucidating the desired objectives this conference intended to achieve, the organizers in an exclusive interview with The News, shared their perspective of initiating and putting up such a remarkable event at such a grand level.

 “My objective of holding this conference was that Pakistan is such an exciting market for entrepreneurship but lots of people are operating in silos. So I am doing my own thing and somebody else is doing their own and we are not getting together. Secondly, people from outside Pakistan, although are looking and watching the youth interested, they were not taking the first step that was needed for the investment funds to come into Pakistan. So, we decided to arrange this conference,” said Jehan Ara, President Pakistan Software Houses Association ([email protected]).

She further went on to add that the idea of investments is rather new in Pakistan and people have their own set of ambiguities regarding it that needed to be addressed. In response to a question, Jehan Ara stated that Pakistan is an untapped market when it comes to foreign investments. However, things are slightly changing now. 

“WAMDA Capital just said that they are going to allocate within the next six to seven months $50 million for investment in Pakistan and that is great to hear,” Jehan Ara shared.

Akash Shaikh, head of programs at Nest I/O, elaborated that the mission of the tech incubator is to trail blaze the next generation of entrepreneurs in Pakistan. ‘021Disrupt’ aims to do the same.

Believing firmly in the idea of empowering the youth of the nation, the conference involved startup projects initiated by students who showed their enthusiasm through an amplified participation.

Moreover, the thought and hard work invested in the event contributed to its enormous success. “We managed to put it up in just six to seven weeks’ time and the response we are getting is massive. Everyone loves it. The topics are intelligently curated and that is what makes the event tick,” stated Akash.

Elaborating further he said that now is a key-defining moment for Pakistan in terms of investment. According to Akash, if the government and stake-holders as well as other concerned parties (startups, investors) work collaboratively and if they come together as an ecosystem, Pakistan as a nation can really progress by leaps and bounds.

‘The Nuts and Bolts of Digital Innovation & Transformation – Part Science, Part Art & Part Fiction’

The talk featuring Faizan Siddiqi, Managing Director - Interlink Multi Media at Jang Group as the speaker, stressed upon the value of creativity and innovation in the digital realm. According to him, ‘looking outside the box is the key to becoming successful entrepreneurs.’ Also, people wanting to launch a startup should have clearly defined goals before they start working on an idea. 

‘The Entrepreneur Investor Connection’

Highlighting over and addressing the issues of people aiming to invest or inaugurate a project, simultaneously discussing the significance of ‘capital’, the panel discussion showcased some of the most renowned faces of entrepreneurship and innovation. Moderated by Mubariz Siddiqui, CEO-Wukla, the talk included Jeffrey Paine from Indonesia, Faaris Naqvi of Bakery, Fares Ghandour of WAMDA Capital and Kalsoom Lakhani of Investment2Innovate as panelists amongst a few others.

So to say, ‘021Disrupt’ as a conference enjoys a unique stature of connecting all investors and entrepreneurs together at such an upscale. The second day of the inimitable conference is all set to kick-start tomorrow (5th Nov) at Movenpick Hotel, Karachi.

Pictures and video: Nasir Jamal

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