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How Pakistan’s startups are rewriting their country’s new story

BelligerentPacifist

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Well, most startups close down shop within the first 2 or 3 years.

This year I mentored two Pakistani startups technically and they got their seed fund this July. One more is on the way. NVIDIA no less showcased a very similar idea to ours just a month ago, with many more bells in whistles, and real-time! But my kids have within a month gone back on their primary project and is now operating relatively low-tech. Long-distance mentoring isn't easy, and the kids need to be takers. Not very hopeful.

My last year's kid managed to snag 1 million Euros from an investor in Germany, but I was only a casual mentor so no cut in it for me:(
 

Max Pain

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My 6th semester of software engineering would start on 7th semester,
During these holidays ive worked on building a website where companies as well as job seekers could interact as in a company can post for a job position and some candidate can apply for that position.
Although there are the likes of rozee.Pk but i was wondering is it worth the shot if i continue working on it and later deploy it?
 

locker

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Jazzbot

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Hi, good luck! Isn't ecommerce already getting crowded? I mean it doesn't seem like, but there already are multiple sites like TCS, Daraz, Shophive etc in the market waiting for customers. And next month some huge Chinese group is opening shop too (I forgot its name, it was something like Cheese). I have been looking in to it for some time but gave up recently, I hope you do better inshallah! P.S. I might be able to arrange a few investors for you. Nothing big but enough to get you going. If you are interested, please let me know. I can't figure out how to leave a PM here.

PM is not allowed for regular users, I'll try contacting you somehow.

About ecommerce sites, yes they are already crowded. But you have a chance if you bring unique products into the market which are either not available here or are too expansive.


Another IT guy?

Yes sir.. :D


You imported chinese products through some online e commerce platform?

Yes, in start but now I've developed some direct contacts in china so now importing things directly since past couple of months. Ofcourse these contacts are only related to the products I'm importing.

My 6th semester of software engineering would start on 7th semester,
During these holidays ive worked on building a website where companies as well as job seekers could interact as in a company can post for a job position and some candidate can apply for that position.
Although there are the likes of rozee.Pk but i was wondering is it worth the shot if i continue working on it and later deploy it?


Very slim chance. I was working in a US based company in Lahore back in 2009, they made a job site to counter Rozee and Mustakbil, dedicated a team of 20 professionals including programmers to maintain the website, data entry staff and marketing persons. After spending good three years on that site, pouring in a lot of investment and hard work, they decided it pull it down in 2012 - 13.

Reasons?
  • Very tough competition as Rozee is way too established in this area
  • People still hardly go online for seeking a job, so not a big market to thrive.
 

BelligerentPacifist

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My 6th semester of software engineering would start on 7th semester,
During these holidays ive worked on building a website where companies as well as job seekers could interact as in a company can post for a job position and some candidate can apply for that position.
Although there are the likes of rozee.Pk but i was wondering is it worth the shot if i continue working on it and later deploy it?
There's already textkernel. Also, last year a Pakistani kid's MS thesis came to me for review, and they had implemented the bi-directional job-person matching idea using KDD techniques, but it was more of half-a-thesis than a thesis. So, there's room for work to be done on the algorithmic side of things if you are really committed. But that's a different story than from your website rivalling monster.
 

Hyperion

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Yara, have you ever worked with Lua?

Huge potential there. I started 6 months ago by importing a couple of products from China online for my personal use (shaving kit, laptop spares etc) and then ended up importing few more to sell them in Pakistan via different sites.

In just 5 - 6 months, my monthly imports from China have reached around 50,000 Rs easily. I am now planning to build a website for my imported products, create my own ecommerce platform, do the marketing stuff and establish it as a business. I started it just for fun with some of my monthly savings but now I am earning pretty decent profit. Started it as side business and didn't pay much attention or dedicated much time towards it as my prime field is IT. But the amount of profit and chance of excelling is tempting me to invest more into this.
 

Ahmad1996

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Learning never ends in this field. I remember the first lecture I had in university on my first day of Software Engineering. The teacher welcomed us, introduced himself and said:

"You've entered a field where you'll have to learn endlessly. The moment you'll stop learning, this field is going to kick you out. There's is no room for out dated stuff in the field of IT."
Good thing I chose another field in uni :D....programming is my hobby and passion but so is electronics, in the tuffle electronics won :) but as programming is nowadays present everywhere and tutorials can be found on internet so I self taught it to myself btw everyday the world changes so we have to keep on learning otherwise backseat will be there for you soon :D.....here's my site when I use to work on it CPPFUZZ

Yara, have you ever worked with Lua?
I have :raise:
 

Max Pain

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PM is not allowed for regular users, I'll try contacting you somehow.

About ecommerce sites, yes they are already crowded. But you have a chance if you bring unique products into the market which are either not available here or are too expansive.





Yes sir.. :D





Yes, in start but now I've developed some direct contacts in china so now importing things directly since past couple of months. Ofcourse these contacts are only related to the products I'm importing.





Very slim chance. I was working in a US based company in Lahore back in 2009, they made a job site to counter Rozee and Mustakbil, dedicated a team of 20 professionals including programmers to maintain the website, data entry staff and marketing persons. After spending good three years on that site, pouring in a lot of investment and hard work, they decided it pull it down in 2012 - 13.

Reasons?
  • Very tough competition as Rozee is way too established in this area
  • People still hardly go online for seeking a job, so not a big market to thrive.
So basically you order stuff in bulk from china and sell it for a more feasible price here in Pakistan?

Aah i guess id have to come up with some other idea and implement that on the existing framework.

There's already textkernel. Also, last year a Pakistani kid's MS thesis came to me for review, and they had implemented the bi-directional job-person matching idea using KDD techniques, but it was more of half-a-thesis than a thesis. So, there's room for work to be done on the algorithmic side of things if you are really committed. But that's a different story than from your website rivalling monster.
Thats pretty much what im trying to make but judging by your post it seems the idea is way above my level of expertise.
 

nForce

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C++, HTML, PHP and CSS (learning, never made a project until now if you allow me :D), I have made games so far now for fun, also we can get help from my mates who are already doing work in this area :).
You know Java ?
 

RazorMC

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May 28, 2009
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Well, most startups close down shop within the first 2 or 3 years.

This year I mentored two Pakistani startups technically and they got their seed fund this July. One more is on the way. NVIDIA no less showcased a very similar idea to ours just a month ago, with many more bells in whistles, and real-time! But my kids have within a month gone back on their primary project and is now operating relatively low-tech. Long-distance mentoring isn't easy, and the kids need to be takers. Not very hopeful.

My last year's kid managed to snag 1 million Euros from an investor in Germany, but I was only a casual mentor so no cut in it for me:(
Because most people behind startups have unrealistic expectations.

How do you offer mentoring over long-distance anyways?
 

mr.robot

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Startups as in strict Paul Graham's terms are tough nut to crack in Pakistan as of now. The industry is still in its infancy. The recent activity/articles can be more attributed to term "startup/venture" being cool and hip due to reading TechCrunch et al and obviously movie Social Network. As the jobs market is still not good so many fresh graduates dream that lead of next Social Network will be portraying them. They should absolutely dream about but if I were them and had the resources, I would try to do it somewhere else not here. Since, everyone has not resources to do it somewhere else, there would be early "martyrs" to lay down the foundation of start up culture. It is going to be long when their sacrifices count for something .

The society also needs to adapt because it isn't appreciated to take risks rather have a stable/sarkari job. Some years ago, I was being forced by parents to take a job in NTDC that involved remote areas while I was already earning 4-5 times of that job sitting in home and prospects were good.

Most of the startups here can be called bootstrapped business. Nothing wrong in that but they are going to stay like that. No rapid growth as expected by VCs is possible here. Surely, some random exceptions are possible but very little and also with very little funding.

India had almost 3-4 more decades of full stability and upward trajectory while we are still dwindling. Also, they started sending people abroad especially USA way long before. As a result, their higher education in CS/IT is way better than us. While our main focus to date is not developing humans but transportation infrastructure. The overall scenario isn't going to change any sooner as I don't see to economy be doing that good any sooner no matter for how loud we keep thumping CPEC. Summing the long rant with
 

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