Pakistan & Its Economy – Enroute To Success?
Pakistan is no stranger to economic instability; due to a selective justice system, an unstable business environment and overall political instability, the country has not had a chance to succeed financially in a long while. However, a beacon of hope is coming soon.
How can we be certain? We’re taking Google’s word.
That’s right – a few months ago, a Google white paper was published, where Lars Anthonisen (Head of Large Customer Marketing, South Asia, Google) convinced investors to give Pakistan a chance for their business success. One of the reasons he had outlined was: “Entrepreneurship plays a big role in its fast-growing economy.”
He further backs this claim by providing hardcore evidence: more than 90% of all companies in Pakistan are SMEs (i.e. Small & Medium Enterprise), and thus contribute to 40% of the country’s GDP of $305 billion.
It’s safe to say that entrepreneurship is no alien concept to the Pakistani youth; in fact, it is the spark that an economic engine needs to run well. It is the perfect blend of opportunity, innovation and risk-taking, something only the most bold of people can do: they search for the gap between the market and people’s needs, create an innovative solution, and risk their money to succeed. And although there is a chance of failure, there is always a chance of success. After all, when such ideas thrive, the entire country thrives as well – with high rates of growth, development and success.
However, Pakistan throws its own set of problems at young entrepreneurs: due to an intrusive government that has its bias tilted towards themselves, most entrepreneurs have their optimism sucked right out of them. Furthermore, overall instability in terms of business, politics and security narrow the playing field for entrepreneurs even more.
Even so, the ray of hope has not dimmed.
Perhaps the reason Pakistan is still counted on is because despite having so many limitations, entrepreneurs are still capable of providing solutions to problems through digital innovation. Oscar POS, for example, is a retail software in Pakistan that automates tough work functions like accounting system, inventory management, reporting system, and much more. It has successfully replaced the legacy system, and modernised the concept of running a business.
If there is such a possibility of innovation and growth, how do we get there?
JS Bank EVP Branchless Banking Noman Azhar once spoke at Bizfest2018, and talked about innovation in Pakistani businesses:
“We cannot simply import and adopt technology from other places. Technology has to be localised. Otherwise, we won’t be able to transform as a technology adept society.”
We could not have summed it up better; if digital innovations have to continue, then digital resources must be locally available. Entrepreneurs can’t rely on external resources, which are not only time-consuming, but also put strain on a country’s economic resources.
Many people roll their eyes at the thought, simply because of how far-fetched it sounds. Even so, that is the only way Pakistan can hope to unlock its entrepreneurs’ true potential. Like a crop that can’t grow until its soil is well-nourished – in much the same way, Pakistan can’t benefit from its entrepreneurs’ innovative ideas until and unless they give them a stable, well-resourced environment.
So, the question still stands: is Pakistan en route to economic success?
And the answer is yes. Although it has yet to truly skyrocket, Pakistan has found the road that will lead it to a profitable end goal – and it will be entrepreneurs that will take the entire nation there. The fact that the concept of a modern Point Of Sale could have grown in Pakistan proves to show how much potential the country has. With their creativity, tenacity to flourish and hard working nature, Pakistan will see itself prosper in the near future.