Pakistan Software Export Board (PSEB) organized a 2-day workshop on launching IT startups successfully for startups and entrepreneurs from Islamabad, Pindi, and Peshawar at the premises of National IT Board in Islamabad. Training for the workshop was conducted by Mr. Azhar Rizvi, Vice Chairman, MIT Enterprise Forum Pakistan.
The workshop started with a presentation and interactive discussion on the ingredients of a business plan and creating a business plan. This was followed by a speech by MD PSEB, Mr. Asim Shahryar Husain, who talked about PSEB’s contributions to IT industry last year and plans for next year.
Mr. Asim stated that PSEB has different industry support programs for IT companies including participation in international IT exhibitions with IT companies, local workshops, CMMI training and certification, capacity building through internships and trainings, and infrastructure in the form of software technology parks and bandwidth.
He stated that PSEB has launched these workshops to guide and help IT startups and SMEs so that they can grow their business by attracting new investors and customers. This was followed by a documentary which PSEB had produced on the IT industry of Pakistan. The documentary showcased success stories of different IT companies of Pakistan and why Pakistan is an attractive destination for IT outsourcing and investment.
Talking on the occasion, Minister of State for IT, Ms. Anusha Rehman Khan, mentioned that Ministry of IT has declared 2015 as the year of IT and has instructed PSEB to launch a series of workshops to help IT startups, entrepreneurs and SMEs so that they can grow their IT business and exports.
She said that government’s goal is to create an enabling environment and infrastructure for the IT industry including startups. That is why the ministry of IT is also in the process of launching a new technology incubator for startups by next year.
She mentioned that according to State Bank of Pakistan, IT remittances have grown by 41% since last year and IT exports are 10% of Pakistan’s total services exports at present. She mentioned that Pakistan is in Upwork’s top 5 freelancing countries which is now the world’s largest freelancing network. The minister emphasized that IT companies should report their foreign remittances through the banking channel so that PSEB can get a better picture of IT exports of Pakistan.
The second half of first day included a presentation on finding international clients from CEO Discretelogix as well as filling the business plan template.
This was followed by a presentation on how to deliver an elevator pitch to a potential investor or customer. The second day of the workshop involved all of the startups presenting their business plans who then got feedback on improvements they could make to their business plans in future.
The second half included presentations from VP LMKT and CEO DPL who talked about their journey from a startup to ten million dollar plus companies now.
Country Manager, Microsoft Pakistan, Mr. Nadeem Malik, talked about sales and marketing techniques for software and services.
The feedback from most of the startups was that they found the workshop very useful because it taught them about business planning in a structured manner and this process will help them plan and grow their startups in a more effective manner.
PSEB will be conducting similar workshops for startups and SMEs in Lahore, Karachi, and other cities also.