The UK-funded Karandaaz is now investing in healthcare and agriculture. Karandaaz has signed two equity investment deals with a leading health diagnostic service provider and an innovative entrant in the agriculture sector.
The investments are expected to create 900 new jobs in the country out of which 200 will be for women and over half will be for youth.
The healthcare investment deal with Excel Labs will triple the impact of the health diagnostic provider, and expand its services across Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, and Azad Jammu & Kashmir, providing inclusive access to world-class diagnostic services for millions of Pakistanis.
In the second deal with an undisclosed innovative agri-tech company, Punjab will experience the development of the first state-of-the-art controlled atmosphere warehouse. The project will benefit farmers across the agricultural province through better off-season prices and by reducing post-harvest losses in agriculture value chains.
These two investments will accelerate progress in the high-potential sectors that will generate benefits for millions of Pakistanis. CEO Karandaaz, Ali Sarfraz shared his views on the significance of these investments and said,
“The focus of Karandaaz’s investments is on deploying growth capital in businesses with potential for profitable growth and employment generation, in addition to generating risk-adjusted financial returns for Karandaaz. We are mainly focusing on investments that have a demonstration effect and support the development of a market for SME financing.”
Other programmes running under Karandaaz are increasing access to finance for unbanked populations by leveraging digital technologies, developing and disseminating evidence-based insights, and encouraging innovation in financial space. Karandaaz Pakistan has received funding from the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID) and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF). Speaking about the investments, DFID Pakistan Head Joanna Reid said,
“The census results tell us that Pakistan’s economy needs to grow even faster, and Small and Medium Enterprises should be the engine of that growth. DFID created Karandaaz to fill a gap in the financing market for SMEs and to demonstrate that while investing in Pakistani companies makes business sense, it can make development sense too. Today’s deals will create 900 new jobs and support important services – such as a tripling of the coverage of Excel Lab’s medical diagnostic tests. We are proud to help the people of Pakistan to develop their economy. And we hope that Karandaaz’s success will inspire others to invest in the entrepreneurs that are driving Pakistan’s growth.”