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May 12, 2021

JBS to acquire up to 10 start-ups by 2030, says CEO

KARACHI: Jaffer Business Systems (Private) Limited has decided to acquire eight to ten startups by 2030 to show support to the ideas economy and innovation.

The company has already acquired a couple of start-ups, which were run by their own management. “The management of these startups keeps sufficient shares and run the startups themselves,” said Veqar ul Islam, CEO Jaffer Business Systems (Pvt) Limited in an interview with The News.

Unfortunately in traditional Pakistan, there is no focus on research and development (R&D), even though innovations relied on it.

“Over the period of time, we have brought up technologies here, which were at the top in other parts of the world,” he said. But even those did not get replicated.

Speaking of the idea economy, he said, one could shape the idea via innovation and for that what was needed was research and development.

“Companies (in the developed world) spend around 10 percent on R&D, while we don’t spend on it.”

Idea was important, he said. You can either have your own idea or you can be inspired by others. “Innovation is the creation of a new thing or the old work in a new way. We are moving towards new things.”

Mentioning the soon to come systems of the SECP and digital bank, he said these would make work easy. But the need was for a lot more.

“We are far behind in creating a new thing. We will have to change our system. Change the system of universities and focus on science and technology.”

To a question that India and Pakistan got independence together, but Indian people had reached top-level jobs in science and technology around the world whereas it seemed that Pakistanis were not even in competition, he said, “We have gone horribly wrong in policy making.”

There were countless barriers in policymaking. Giving an example of barriers in Pakistan, he said that there were only five to seven steps at airports in the world, while there were 17 steps in Pakistan. “We disturb consumers in all public services.”

The ideas economy had forced the world towards innovation and development. “Our policy making has remained backward looking. We don’t want change. Parents don’t allow their children to think, teachers don’t allow students to ask questions. In the office, the boss wants employees to follow him. Thus, the leader mindset is not created,” he said. “There is thinking of control, not growth. We are making this complex.”

He said that Pakistan was among the bottom 10 countries in the way of policies. “Until we change those policies, we cannot move forward. We have set the mindset that it is Pakistan, it will remain mediocre.”

Freelance workers in Pakistan will soon be able to have easy transactions as other than Paypal, payment receiving options would be available to them.

He said that JBS was supporting the startups in management, finances and other areas. “Only 16 percent of startups fail due to finances, 84 percent have other reasons for failure. There is a need to work on those areas as well,” Veqar said. “We want to mitigate the chances of failures.”

JBS would bring the startups in their structure and give them governance to increase chances of success. “We need thousands of entrepreneurs in the country and we want to play our role.”

Besides supporting the new startups, JBS is also involved in a programme that supports fresh graduates to acquire proper training before work.

JBS has started the graduate programme with Karachi School of Business Leadership, where graduates receive six-month training before job. “In the country, only 3-4 companies have graduate programmes. Worldwide all companies have this programme,” the CEO said.