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The western media, in general, paints a very grim and gloomy picture of Pakistan which is based on selective facts and broad perception from a remote lens. For example, a January, 2012 WIRED Danger Room article by Spencer Ackerman highlighted the resurgence of U.S. Drone campaign over Pakistan in a continuing War on Terror. While it recounts the casualties directly associated with the drone strikes, it leaves a lot to be told of a nation’s story that is as heartening as it is heartrending and as inspiring as it is seemingly dismaying. The whole story needs to be told, so the world may know that Pakistan is not just a warfront country, but a nation of people that continue to persevere, adapt, innovate and thrive despite being at the forefront of the war on terror.

The real story is the tale, at one end, of 100 public listed Pakistani companies that provided the investors with over 49% capital gain (37% in USD terms) in 2012 despite the concerns of Moody’s and IMF regarding the economic, political and energy woes of the country; and on the other end, that of a young man who used his own personal resources to develop an electro-mechanical controller for better regulating the thermostats of water heaters to fight the rising cost of gas in the country. And then somewhere along this spectrum lie dozens of startups led by young, dynamic entrepreneurs that are developing innovative solutions for the local and global markets instead of whining in their drawing rooms about the problems the country is facing.

Techies.pk is an attempt at bringing to forefront the tales of such entrepreneurship and highlighting the tremendous investment opportunities in Pakistan. It’s an attempt to provide a platform to nurture the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Pakistan and bring investors, local and foreign, and Pakistani entrepreneurs together. It hopes that the next time a story is told about the problems Pakistan is having with the political instability, corruption, energy shortage and terrorism; the world will know, that to the same land belong some of the best, battle-tested and inventive entrepreneurs working on shaping the future of the world!

About the Blogger
Khurram Zafar
I am Khurram Zafar and I am an entrepreneurship evangelist and founder of the first international venture capital fund called 47 Ventures that exclusively invests in high growth potential Pakistani tech companies. II also founded the LUMS Center for Entrepreneurship at the prestigious LUMS University as its founding Executive Director and later raised over $13M from Government of Pakistan and other private organizations to scale it into National Incubation Center in Lahore and Quetta. Prior to that, I worked as the Chief Information Officer at a Pakistani stock exchange and was nominated the best private sector CIO of Pakistan by P@SHA.

I am also currently serving on the boards of Karandaaz Pakistan, Mobilink Microfinance Bank and Punjab Pension Fund. Aside from that I am one of the 11 private sector members of the Prime Minister’s Task Force on Knowledge Economy and serve as the investment committee member of an international social impact fund called Insitor

I was also a visiting faculty member of Information Technology University and taught a graduate course on technology entrepreneurship. I was also on the Board of Pakistan’s first technology incubator Plan9 where, along with some of country’s top technology industry veterans, we provided strategic guidance to the incubator and mentorship to the hosted entrepreneurs. All these assignments gave me first hand access to the young, spirited, passionate and at times very resourceful pool of future entrepreneurs of Pakistan that continue to inspire me and give me tremendous hope about the future of Pakistan.

I also advise the Government of Pakistan (through HEC Technology Development Fund and Prime Minister’s Task Force) and Government of Punjab in my personal capacity, which sometimes affords me very small and limited access to the power corridors where policies are made and where I mostly try my best to promote entrepreneurship and investment in science and technology.

Previously, I was a visiting faculty member at the Beaconhouse National University’s School of Computer & Information Technology. I also co-founded two software product start-ups in the Silicon Valley and have been part of the founding team of 2 global IT consulting firms. I have also consulted for Visa, DHL, Sony, AT&T, Agilent, Merrill Lynch, and several other Fortune 500 and venture-funded start-up companies in varying capacities. I am also an angel investor with an interest in the technology and agriculture sector and have been an adviser to several Venture Capital firms in the United States.

Aside from being a Prentice Hall published author, I am also a progressive farmer, an avid investor in North American securities markets, an absentee landlord of my US and Pakistan based real-estate, a poet, a magician and a proud father of three angels.

I can be reached at cayzee at hotmail dot com. I also tweet at @kayzafar and if you are extremely curious about my professional life, you are welcome to view my LinkedIn profile.

Khurram Zafar (20 Posts)

Director, National Incubation Center, LUMS | Director, 47 Ventures | Member, Prime Minister's Task force on Technology Driven Knowledge Economy | Board Member/Director, Karandaaz Pakistan | Investment Committee, Insitor Impact Asia Fund | Board Member/Director Mobilink Bank | Member Management Committee and Investment Committee, Punjab Pension Fund | Member Steering Committee, HEC Technology Development Fund | Fortune 500 & Venture Capital Consultant | Prentice Hall Published Author | Follow me on Twitter by clicking here!

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