Pakistan has been witnessing what can only be described as a “startup explosion”, with a whole host of ideas and innovative businesses successfully acquiring funding and support from various local and foreign investors. Experts believe that in its quest to establish a unicorn startup, Pakistan can look towards Indonesia for inspiration and guidance.
This expert view comes from a recent webinar entitled “Indonesia-Pakistan IT Update: The Development and Challenges”, organized by the Indonesian Consulate General.
The webinar discussed Indonesia’s progress in the startup world – six unicorns and one decacorn so far – and pointed out how Pakistan had much to learn from its fellow Asian country.
Speaking at the webinar, Pakistan Software Houses Association (P@SHA) Chairman Badar Khushnood said that both countries can offer something of value to each other if they collaborate.
“Pakistan has a lot to learn from Indonesia, though both can collaborate as Pakistan has its own merits to offer,” he said.
Indonesia Consul General in Karachi Dr June Kuncoro Hadiningrat highlighted that the consulate held various meetings with business communities in Sindh, which identified information technology as a potential sector for enhancing bilateral economic relations.
Both nations enjoyed impressive growth in the IT sector pre-COVID, with Pakistan’s sector growing by more than 14% while Indonesia’s growth stood at more than 11%.
The IT sector also employs a huge number of professionals in each country, with Pakistan and Indonesia accounting for 500,000 and 894,000 IT professionals respectively.
While Pakistan is the fourth-largest IT freelancing industry in the world with clients in the US, Canada, Europe, and the UK, Indonesia has been the hub of several unicorn startups that have been funded by investors from China, Japan, and the US.
Pakistan Software Export Board (PSEB) Managing Director Osman Nasir added that Pakistan had witnessed a rapid growth in the IT sector over the past three years, but supply is struggling to meet demand.
He noted that each year, Pakistan produced over 25,000 IT graduates while the demand was for 60,000 to 70,000 professionals.