Startup Grind Lahore in collaboration with Transforming Hub, with the support of the Ministry of Commerce & the President House of Pakistan hosted an event to appreciate, acknowledge and encourage Pakistani startups and Corporate Innovation at the President House, Islamabad. BizNet’22 in association with OZI Group powered by PSO was the first of its kind in the history of Pakistan, where entrepreneurs, startup founders and corporations altogether worked on cross vertical integration in order to encourage entrepreneurship and Intrapreneurship at all levels.
At the inauguration of this seminal event, Omar Khokar, the host and Director at OZI Group invited the curator of BizNet’22, Iftikhar Hussain Chapter Director Startup Grind Lahore to present the opening address. He pointed towards the mission of Biznet’22 as a mechanism to align corporations and startups alike to develop and grow one another. According to Iftikhar Hussain:
“The world has witnessed how strong communities with strong foundations and networks can develop massive ecosystems of change. Last year, we saw exceptional growth in the startup ecosystem and this is just the beginning. Using technology as highlighted by the pandemic is at the heart of the future and I hope that this first iteration of Biznet’22 will work towards this shared goal of a growth driven, collaborative ecosystem.”
He brought the audience’s attention to the Future Fest happening at the end of March’ 22, hosted by Startup Grind Islamabad Director Arzish Azam which is the biggest StartUp & IT event in Pakistan. In his closing remarks, he thanked The Ministry of Commerce and The President House of Pakistan for lending their support in advancing this dialogue. He went on to thank the partners: Ozi Group, PSO, CEO Club Worldwide USA, Popcorn Studios and Daftarkhwan.
The second speaker was Usman Sheikh CEO Ozi Group and Jolta Electric for a presentation on the IT Landscape of Pakistan, he pointed towards how Pakistan needs to understand that’s it’s population is not a liability, but an asset in the technology driven world, just as population has been as an asset for India, China and the US. Making our population into an asset will require massive skill proliferation programs coupled with an ecosystem such as that championed by Biznet’22.
Within a climate of euphoria, the host welcomed the President of Pakistan Dr. Arif Alvi to appreciate the technology hero’s of Pakistan. The startups got the appreciation included Bykea, Finja SimSim, Cheetay, Tag, Educative, QisstPay, and lastly, Airlift, having raised a massive investment whereas Ozi Group and Unilever Pakistan got the recognition as corporate innovation category to support the local startups.
At the end President of Pakistan Dr Arif Alvi who congratulated the distinguished guests for their achievements and celebrated the growth, development and future prospects of startups and corporate innovation in Pakistan as being fuelled by events such as Biznet’22. When narrating the impact of startups in the overall business ecosystem of Pakistan, he said: “The rise in startups has disrupted the old forms of business, with youth operating at its core, forming innovative solutions and democratising the space of business. This movement of innovation has led to Pakistan being a product and service provider not just within Pakistan, but globally! Within startups, the utilisation of digital platforms means wherever there is internet, Pakistan is there.”
His refreshing take on how COVID lead to the adaptation of technology such as Zoom, which already existed but was under-utilised, lead to the audiences’ praise and acknowledgement.
Pointing towards his own role in furthering digital education, he narrates a program launched by his office for students passing metric which was free and attended by more than a 100,000 students.
“I believe I’m the salesperson of IT in Pakistan. Ministry of Information Technology launched a digital training program of 6 months in Pakistan which was attended by 2.2 Million people . The top 5 performer’s names are kept on my desk and it’s my pride to inform you that they’ve made more than $120,000 just in last year. That’s the impact of technology and education!”
Ending his wonderful speech, he directed the audience of professionals towards the fact that they are the only people who can and will take Pakistan forward!
The event was a huge success, filled with interesting questions and inspiring conversations.
BIZNET`22 in association with OZI Group, powered by PSO, would like to thank our partners:
Transforming Hub, CEO Club USA, Popcorn Studios & DaftarKhawan for making this event possible.