Events that bring the tech community together and give students and tech enthusiasts a chance to connect with the who’s who of the industry are always welcome change in the city of Karachi. To say the very least, this year’s ITCN Asia Annual Exhibition & Conference was a fusion of networking, stall-hopping and lots of learning for a tech freak like myself. More than 120 local and international exhibitors big and small were a part of ITCN this time around, and a series of back-to-back conferences related to telecom and information security presented immense learning opportunities for the attendees.
The Big Guns of ITCN
Giants of IT and Telecom sector, such as Samsung and Mobilink, as well as the newer and emerging players in the market came together at the event, with exhibitions, product demonstrations and brand awareness activities that kept the audience hooked and interested all three days. The market is getting fiercely competitive every day – in my opinion, it is exhibitions such as ITCN that help gauge customer feedback and response on upcoming products and services and also open doors for more converging technologies to take over the market.
Of Summits, Sessions and High Profile Conferences
While the ground floor of Expo Centre hosted exhibiting companies spread in three different halls, upper floors were dedicated to knowledge sessions and a series of conferences, including the 3rd Annual Telecom Summit. Several interesting points were under discussion during these meetings, from the availability of 3G/4G to the future of Broadband in Pakistan.
Shining in the Startup Arena
Hall 3, in my eyes, belonged to the startup clan, 11 of which belonged to the incubator The Nest i/o, where I currently work. It was amazing to see these very talented young entrepreneurs excitedly talking about their products, eager to give demos and freebies to the attendees and very passionately pitching their services to visitors and delegates alike.
An interesting fact to note near the startup stalls was the excitement of students, many of whom need inspiration to go down the rocky (yet rewarding) path of entrepreneurship instead of joining the 9-5 brigade. For the same reason, youngsters surrounded OuzelSystems, a successful startup by four coders-extraordinaire with a very boy-next-door kind of image, all three days.
Some other startups worth mentioning included The Wedding Planit, who had a very festive and colorful stall, complete with flowers and ‘laddoos’ to bring that shadi-like feel in the air. The stall was very popular, along with Sheops – an initiative by Nadia Gangjee that showcased handmade crafts by home-based women entrepreneurs. Hireonic, another startup incubated at The Nest i/o, were giving out free premium access cards for their newly launched portal, while EjaadTech also had students pouring in at their colorfully retro stall that featured robotics and 3D printing. Other startups from The Nest i/o to exhibit at the event were Everee, Sukoon, Knavix, Rateker, Teddict and Whisper-O.
The best thing about events such as these is that they showcase the wealth of talent and innovation that our country possesses, helping paint a more positive image of Pakistan in the global front. Also, it’s efforts like these that are reviving hope for Pakistan in the ever-evolving world of technological innovation.