Friday, August 24, 2018

Riaz Haq on Silicon Valley Pakistanis, Pakistan's Human Capital and Water Crisis

The scribe was interviewed live on Facebook for Day Dreamers Show by its host Dr. Aijaz Qureshi Canadawalla on August 24, 2018. The discussion began with introductions. It focused on the following topics:

Riaz Haq
1.  Riaz Haq's background, education and 37 years experience in Silicon Valley: Graduated with a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from Karachi's NED University in 1974. Completed Master's degree in EE from New Jersey Institute of Technology in 1981. Worked at Intel Corporation for 15 years and led microprocessor design teams. Recognized by PC Magazine as Person of the Year for contribution to Intel 80386 processor. Started two high tech companies.

2.  Silicon Valley Pakistanis: Over 50,000 Pakistanis in Silicon Valley. Many successful tech entrepreneurs. Some have taken companies public while others have sold companies to big tech giants like Cisco and Intel. Organization of Pakistani Entrepreneurs in active in Silicon Valley and holds a large annual conference in the valley every year. It is attended by technologists, entrepreneurs, executives, venture capitalists, lawyers and accountants making up the local tech startup ecosystem.

3. Pakistan's Human Capital: Pakistan's biggest natural resource is its young population. It can and should be developed into valuable human capital that will take Pakistan to the next level. It requires basic and higher education as well as skills training for the 21st century workforce.

4. Pakistan Water Crisis:  The 150 million acre feet of water that flows annually through Pakistan's river and irrigation system is a critical resource. How can this precious resource be conserved, stored and used effectively for the benefit of its people?

Here's the recorded video of Facebook live interview:

https://youtu.be/n2_Uuak6SGY




Here's an Urdu newspaper written by Amar Chaudhry who apparently watch this show:


Aik Darkwast by Ammar Chaudhry. Source: Awaz Today

Related Links:

Haq's Musings

South Asia Investor Review

Pakistani-American Sells Tech Company For $7.5 Billion

Pakistani-American NED Alum Raises $50 Million Round

OPEN Silicon Valley Forum 2017: Pakistani Entrepreneurs Conference

Pakistani-American's Tech Unicorn Files For IPO at $1.6 Billion Valuation

Pakistani-American Cofounders Sell Startup to Cisco for $610 million

Pakistani Brothers Spawned $20 Billion Security Software Industry

Pakistani-American Ashar Aziz's Fireeye Goes Public

Pakistani-American Pioneered 3D Technology in Orthodontics

Pakistani-Americans Enabling 2nd Machine Revolution

Pakistani-American Shahid Khan Richest South Asian in America

Two Pakistani-American Silicon Valley Techs Among Top 5 VC Deals

Pakistani-American's Game-Changing Vision 

2 comments:

Riaz Haq said...


#Pakistan #Information #Technology #exports reached US$1,064,540, exceeding US$1 billion in Fiscal Year 2018, according to data from the State Bank of Pakistan. #Telecommunications #Software #computers http://www.sbp.org.pk/ecodata/index2.asp

https://twitter.com/haqsmusings/status/1034492236279345152

https://www.techjuice.pk/pakistans-it-export-crossed-1-billion-mark-for-the-first-time-in-history/

Riaz Haq said...

Pakistani start-ups: The next innovation district
Nabeel Qadeer
Pakistan’s entrepreneurial ecosystem has made immense strides, but this is only the beginning, writes Nabeel Qadeer.

https://aurora.dawn.com/news/1143296/pakistani-start-ups-the-next-innovation-district

The evolution of the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Pakistan has been impressive to say the least. It has grown from a state of non-existence 15 years ago to a multi-stakeholder industry that is fast being validated globally.

The ecosystem – a snapshot
A 2017 report by Planet N and supported by Karandaaz Pakistan and the Lahore University of Management Sciences examined the challenges of the start-up ecosystem. It estimated that the number of start-ups launched after 2010 increased to 723, with 68 raising funding, of which six secured an investment greater than $500,000. An accumulated $20 million was raised by start-ups and $49 million by mid-stage companies. This growth has been supported both by infrastructural and policy measures. Over the past six years, start-up facilitation centres, including business incubators, accelerators and co-working spaces, have emerged across Pakistan, some backed by the Federal Government’s National R&D Fund. International business competitions are held all year round, thereby providing young entrepreneurs with the opportunity to have their business idea validated at an early stage. The year-round activity of the industry culminates into two large-scale international platforms, 021Disrupt and Momentum. Not only do they bring the entire ecosystem together, the sector is pitched in a holistic manner on a global level.

Policy and the ecosystem
On the policy front, measures have been taken by the Government to promote high-growth firms, thereby strengthening the ecosystem. As a result of the orientation towards one-window operations for legal paperwork, Pakistan now stands at 136 on the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business Index, a jump of 11 places from last year. This compares to India’s 77th position and Bangladesh’s 176. To tackle the issue of seed capital, an entrepreneurial loan scheme for young people was launched by the Federal Government in 2014. This provided subsidised financing on an eight percent annual service charge basis. In the FY18-19, it is expected to benefit 2,800 applicants with Rs 3.7 billion. (A similar policy, Arabuma, was launched in Sri Lanka under the ‘Enterprise Sri Lanka’ programme in which a tax exemption was introduced for start-ups in 2017, acting as a financial incentive to scale; in Pakistan, start-ups are still struggling for such exemptions). The National IT Policy was launched in Pakistan in 2016 and if implemented in its true spirit, it will further level the playing field for start-ups. The digital policy presented by the incoming government makes mention of creating Knowledge Economy Authorities across Pakistan, ensuring standardisation of enterprise systems to improve governance, with an emphasis on ensuring the integrity and security of national databases.

As a result of the orientation towards one-window operations for legal paperwork, Pakistan now stands at 136 on the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business Index, a jump of 11 places from last year. This compares to India’s 77th position and Bangladesh’s 176.
Although the Government aspires to create special economic zones (SEZs) to increase the ease of doing business, the focus should rather be on building IT parks and innovation cities like those created in China and Malaysia for example. This will create massive opportunities for start-ups to grow into SMEs (traditional SMEs in Pakistan create over 80% of the jobs in Pakistan).

So are we there yet? Nurturing infrastructure and supporting policies are in place for entrepreneurship to thrive and the private sector is contributing to the ecosystem as well. The numbers are showing an encouraging trend. However, there is still a lot that needs to be done.