Much has been said about the rise of the startup ecosystem in Pakistan. From enthusiastic cheerleading to words of caution and cynicism, there is actually very little which has not been said about the tech-driven revolution that has everyone’s attention.
One of the things that has perhaps not been said enough, however, is the very obvious disruption that the startup ecosystem has caused in Pakistan’s highly skilled labour force. In this week’s cover story, we have profiled five men and five women who are working in different startups across the country. Some of these are senior executives, but our attention is largely towards the recent graduates with a few years of experience.
This is a group of young men and women who have thoroughly impressed us with their knowledge, their insight, and their dedication. Perhaps, even more heartening is the fact that a lot of these professionals are young women who are confident, competent, and in many cases leading the battle for their startups.
Our findings show that this generation of junior executives value freedom over structure, appreciate a sense of ownership over job security, and care more about the culture of a workplace than its prestige. There is a clear aversion to hierarchies, which all in all is a good thing. Hierarchies are at times necessary, but they eventually lead to the bureaucratisation of organisations.
The startup ecosystem has given birth to a group of young graduates that have access to decision makers, are given the agency to be creative and are trusted with responsibilities that in other places would be considered well beyond their pay-grade. In response, they have returned the faith of the startups that have invested in them and have proven to be efficient and dedicated workers.
Highly skilled labour is one of the pillars of any economy. It is composed of individuals with advanced education that have not just the skills to perform complicated tasks, but the ability to adapt to technological changes and learn new skills on the fly. Thanks to the startups, the next generation of highly skilled workers will be much more innovative than the ones before them.
Profit has never shied away from coverage of the startup space. Whether the story presents startups in a flattering light or an unflattering one, the one thing this publication has always felt is that stories about startups are important and worth writing. The story of the individuals that make up this ecosystem is also important and worth writing. After all, these are the people that will be the decision makers of the future and will determine the lasting legacy of the startup ecosystem in Pakistan.