KARACHI: Khadim Ali Shah Bukhari (KASB) Securities Private Limited organised a Technology Investment Conference in Karachi to mark the launch of their brokerage services, on Monday.
The conference titled ‘Ideas in Technology, Innovation and Growth’ featured presentations from 12 leading digital companies from Pakistan.
The panel discussions were carried out between successful start-ups which includes but were not limited to EasyPaisa, Rozee.pk, Pakwheels, Yayvo.com, Uber, and Careem.
Global funds from 5 countries, domestic asset managers, banks and corporate investors were among the attendees at the conference.
The agenda of the event revolved around success stories of various local entrepreneurs, amid booming e-commerce sector, and the need for digitisation and investment in the sector to take it forward.
“Pakistan is one of the most attractive countries in the world for online investment,” said Founder of Rozee.pk, Moonis Rahman. “Make no mistake, it will be a shame if investors from China and Germany come here and take over our e-commerce ecosystem while local investors keep looking away,” added the classifieds site owner.
A significant topic under discussion, during the event, was how to digitise cash transactions which at the moment account for 97 per cent of online business.
“We need to make digital payment free, friction-less, and real time.” said Founder of Finja, Qasif Shahid. “The fastest way to transform Pakistan is to digitise the economy,” said Shahid, who believes that bit by bit, change can be brought in the payment methods.
Speaking on the challenges that are faced by online payment and tech companies, TCS e-com and Easypaisa mentioned that primarily awareness of digital mediums and regulatory policies are major hurdles in the way of acquiring new customers, which should be growing at a much faster pace given the growth of smart phones in the country.
“We believe that everybody, whether it’s a business tycoon or a security guard, is in dire need of convenient financial solutions and that’s why in next few years, we have a target of reaching at least 50 per cent of adult population in Pakistan,” said the representative of Easypaisa on the outlook of digital payments in Pakistan.
Almost all panelists stated that e-commerce in Pakistan is largely untapped. However, the exponential growth is already visible. According to the CEO of Yayvo.com Adam Dawood, “Pakistan’s e-commerce volume size will cross $1.2 billion (TPV) in 2018, two years ahead of the forecasted 2020 target often quoteded in the press.”
KASB Managing Director, Ali Farid Khwaja, concluded the event by predicting that Pakistan can produce at least five tech unicorns over the next 3-5 years and its the aim of KASB Securities to connect global capital with growth companies in Pakistan.