It’s an arduous task identifying and filtering the final list due to many factors. There is no hard and fast rule, but we do our best to select those CEOs who have done great work in their respective fields. There are some who are appear more than one occasion and that is testimony to their efforts in pushing the boundaries at what they do. As always, some names may have been missed and we invite feedback on the list as well as additions for the future.
A University of Virginia graduate, Muneeb seems to relish opportunities at scaling companies. After nearly a decade growing SNL Financial in Pakistan to over 600 employees, he founded what is now known as Tehzeeb which was acquired by Rahat Bakers. More recently he has co-founded Daraz.pk and Bykea. His latest endeavour, Bykea, recently raised an impressive $5.7 million Series A investment.
JAVED AFRIDI – HAIER
Afridi is a regular of PakWired.com Top CEO list for his continuous efforts within household name Haier and his other projects. He owns the Peshawar Zalmi cricket franchise which includes the Zalmi Foundation – a non-profit organisation focusing on welfare projects. If that wasn’t enough, the Chinese Ambassador, Mr Sun Wei Dong, has honoured Afridi for an outstanding Peshawar Zalmi contribution to the world of sports, with the ‘Friendship Ambassador’ for Pak China.
MUHAMMAD ALI TABBA – LUCKY CEMENT
Tabba makes it to the list for the first time and has a wealth of business experience and is regarded by some as the power behind the expansion of Lucky Cement, which is a part of YBG group. The expansion includes a foray into chemicals and a great partnership with KIA motors which saw the manufacture of KIA vehicles and parts in Pakistan. He was also identified as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum in 2010, and a received Sitara-e-Imtiaz by the Pakistani Government in 2018.Mr Tabba is also Vice Chairman of the Aziz Tabba Foundation, a non-profit organisation which runs two state-of-the-art hospitals in Karachi.
ZEESHAN ALI KHAN – ZAMEEN.COM
Zeeshan Ali Khan, who has a Masters in Chemical Engineering, founded Zameen.com with his brother in a bid to provide Pakistanis a service that was non-existent at the time. Zeeshan went on to co-found Emerging Markets Property Group (EMPG), of which Zameen.com is a part along with companies in 8 other countries in the MENA and South Asia region. Zameen.com is the largest property portal in Pakistan, with around 2,000 employees and presence in over 40 cities across the country. The portal has seen 4 rounds of investment, and aside from linking property sellers with buyers, it regularly organises expos and is the largest real estate sales and marketing company in the country. Among EMPG’s portfolio are UAE’s Bayut.com, Bangladesh’s Bproperty.com, and Mubawab in Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia.
MAHEEN REHMAN – AL FALAH GHP INVESTMENT
Maheen, a graduate from LUMS, followed by a M.Sc. in Finance and Economics from the UK has made a name for herself in the finance sector. Prior to Al Falah, Rehman has served at Merrill Lynch and IGI funds in 2009 as CEO where under her management the assets grew by a massive two hundred per cent. Al Falah GHP Investment Management Ltd acquired the company, where she now serves her current role.
SHAMOON SULTAN – KHAADI
Sultan who graduated at Indus Valley in weaving. After working with the likes of Noorjehan Bilgrami, wanted to bring something unique to the market – the result is what we see today. Khaadi shows no signs of slowing down their exponential growth.Khaadi has a high standard in their stores, coupled with aesthetically pleasing decor, provide their customers with a pleasant shopping experience. Pricing their products reasonably has also been a major factor in their growth.
GIA FAROOQI – ROSHNI RIDES
Gia leads Roshni Rides (RR), a car pooling platform created to make female riders feel safe during their travels. RR won the Hult Prize in 2017 beating a whopping 100,000 applicants, also bagging a cool $1 mn in the process. Gia graduated from Rutgers University with a Bachelors in Supply Chain Management and has delivered talks at various conferences such as Momentum Tech Conference.
ZESHAN AFZAL – SHAHID AFRIDI FOUNDATION
A regular on our top CEO list, Afzal supports Shahid Afridi in the foundation which runs various projects such as hospitals, a schools initiative and water supply amongst other projects. Afzal has previously served as CEO at Peshawar Zalmi, Director at Stylo and KPMG. Currently Zeshan serves as President of Tech Pakistan and Director at Sadaqat Textile. He is also well known for his colour and creative pocket squares!
DR SARA SAEED KHURRAM – SEHAT KAHANI (START UP)
Dr Sara is founder and CEO of Sehat Kahani. Sehat Kahani scope includes tele-medicine, health education, health research and more. Because it is IT enabled, it ensures it is capitalising on the technology available to penetrate the intended user base. In 2018 it raised $500,000 in seed funding.Dr Sara is a qualified medical doctor and has previously co-founded the well known setup – Docthers. For her efforts she has received awards from Aptech, Unicef, and the Unilever Sustainable Living Young Entrepreneurs Award.
courtesy : Pakwired.com
Sania Approves Cognitive API Architecture For Ehsaas’ One Window Socioeconomic Registry
Islamabad: The Cognitive API architecture for Ehsaas’ National Socio-Economic Registry 2021 is one of the six main pillars of ‘One Window Ehsaas’. With the survey, which is building the registry currently 90.5% complete nationwide, Ehsaas is firming up its plans to open data sharing and data access services for all executing agencies under Poverty Alleviation and Social Safety Division (PASSD).
Data sharing will be done through the Cognitive API Architecture approach. The deployment of Ehsaas API architecture for data sharing will allow executing agencies to access data from the unified registry in real-time to validate beneficiary information. This will empower them to ascertain eligibility of potential beneficiaries. The benefits which each family and individual is receiving from each organization will be visible to all agencies across all Ehsaas programs.
There will be two-way data sharing; agencies with whom data will be shared will also be required to update the registry with their own information, hence the registry will become more robust over time. A final presentation was made to Dr. Sania Nishtar who closely oversaw this process. She praised the technical team working on Ehsaas Cognitive API Architecture approach and congratulated them. Later, this service will be extended to provinces and other government agencies implementing Ehsaas programs as well.
The API architecture for data sharing will facilitate adoption of the Ehsaas One Window targeting Policy. The objective of this policy is to make targeting predictable, evidence based, transparent and effective in the Ehsaas ecosystem. Under the same architecture, the Utility Stores Corporation has also been linked with the Ehsaas database, which will underpin execution of a commodity subsidies program. This approach is being adopted for the first time and will usher in transparency. Previously, there was no way of one government agency knowing what support an individual or a family was getting from another government agency.
Some families with connections and influence were getting multiple benefits and other more deserving ones were getting none. Now, with the data integration, Ehsaas agencies will be able to see what benefits an individual or the households is getting. But more importantly, it will also reflect their entitlement in terms of various Ehsaas programmes and initiatives, because the data sharing is pegged with the Ehsaas One Window targeting Policy.
The integrated registry and the cognitive API Architecture for the registry is one pillar of the One Window Ehsaas, which will be launched this week. It has six main components: one-stop-shop centers; an integrated digital interface facing the office; a digital information and services platform; a mobile app; an integrated database comprising of cognitive API architecture; and the standardized beneficiary targeting policy.
Karachi-based digital bookkeeping startup, CreditBook raises $1.5 million in seed funding
The Karachi-based digital bookkeeping startup CreditBook, which is trying to ensure that tracking of transactions goes digital, has announced that it has raised US$1.5 million in seed funding from international and local investors.
Key investors included Pakistan’s BitRate Venture Capital, VentureSouq from the United Arab Emirates, US-based Better Tomorrow Ventures, Ratio Ventures, Quiet Capital, Toy Ventures, and i2i Ventures.
Established in June 2020 by Hasib Malik, Iman Jamall, and Hisham Adamjee, CreditBook strives to help microentrepreneurs digitalize and track their transactions.
CreditBook aims to utilize the funding to scale its user base and diversify its product offerings. As indicated by the startup, its registered client base grew 5x in the last six months to reach 500,000.
“Before the launch in June 2020, we had planned to use a mix of digital marketing and offline acquisition. But with lockdown restrictions, we pivoted to a purely digital strategy. We were surprised when we saw thousands of users come onto the platform in the first month with less than $1,000 in total spend,” Malik told Tech in Asia. Via TechinAsia
Pakistan Moves Closer to Train One Million Youth with Digital Skills
Karachi, Pakistan, February 05, 2021 ………Pakistan has a large labour force that stands among the top 10 largest labour forces in the world, and it’s growing day by day. To create adequate employment opportunities for them is a huge challenge. On the other hand, employers frequently keep saying that they are unable to find workers with the appropriate skills necessary for their businesses. This obviously shows that there is a mismatch between the demand and supply of skills.
The International Labor Organization (ILO) has shown that skills development can play a major role in the alleviation of poverty, when carefully planned and implemented in the context of the available and emerging employment and income-generation opportunities. This multiplies many folds when the skills are acquired in the digital spheres. It not only widens the work opportunities but also opens up avenues for entrepreneurial ventures as well.
Extreme Commerce, Pakistan’s largest and renowned E-Commerce capacity building platform has excelled in its mission of making Pakistan a hub of entrepreneurial opportunities. Under the guidance of Sunny Ali, thousands of aspiring individuals from Pakistan have successfully initiated global e-commerce businesses.
Extreme Commerce, Pakistan’s largest e-commerce skill development and the entrepreneurial platform has achieved yet another milestone with the expansion of 100+ skills training courses through the “Video Boot Camp (VBC).” The Video Boot Camp includes virtual sessions and videos encompassing around 100 essential e-commerce and digital skills required to excel in the spheres of online businesses. The Video Boot Camp training program is specifically tailored to facilitate the budding entrepreneurs and businessmen and freelancers.
According to Ali, “E-commerce has skyrocketed after the pandemic and is estimated to grow to a whopping $4.3 trillion within this year.” He further adds, “There is a huge potential for growth in eCommerce both domestic and international, and that is why Extreme Commerce has pledged to enable people to bring at least an additional $1 billion each year into the Pakistani economy through E-Commerce skills by 2025.”
The Video Boot Camp includes over a 100 plus income generating E-Commerce skills (income streams) which an entrepreneur needs to skyrocket their businesses. Some skills offered through the VBC include: Selling through Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) model, Virtual Assistant and FBA Freelancing, online store management of international and local E-Commerce marketplaces, bookkeeping account management services, digital and social media marketing, content writing and graphic designing, 3D designing & modelling, data science and analytics and more.
This initiative of Extreme Commerce will be immensely fruitful in helping their trainees become leading entrepreneurs of the country. Ali, contented with his vision states, “At Extreme Commerce, we offer a multitude of digital skills that are categorized into 100+ courses/income streams under the umbrella of Video Boot Camp (VBC 2021). These skills are pivotal to reducing unemployment and enhancing the capital of our country.” Sharing his focus and goals, he adds, “Skills that actually help you succeed as an online freelancer and even in the real-life environment plus increase your income thereby, are our prime focus right now.”
Earlier, Extreme Commerce and Mishal Pakistan, the Country Partner Institute of the World Economic Forum had signed a partnership to mainstream e-commerce in Pakistan, this includes capacity building initiatives for the media and industry players, including trainings, seminars and workshops.
The government of Pakistan has estimated digital skills global industry, often referred to as online outsourcing, is expected to generate gross service revenue between $15 billion and $25 billion in 2021.
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