The Ministry for Information Technology and Telecom (MOITT), and Ignite National Technology Fund launched their 6th National Incubation Center (NIC). Federal Minister for IT & Telecom Syed Amin-Ul-Haque, inaugurated the state-of-the-art Incubation Center in Hyderabad on Monday. NIC Hyderabad will tap into the entrepreneurial potential of the young people in the city by providing them with a platform to work on their business ideas. Ignite has established the largest incubation network in Pakistan which has incubated more than a thousand startups so far which have created around 115,000 jobs and raised funding of $73 million so far.
Speaking on the occasion Federal Minister for IT & Telecom Syed Amin-Ul-Haque said; In line with the vision of the Government of Pakistan (GoP), for accelerated digitization and transformation of Pakistan into a knowledge-based economy to spur economic growth through innovation and entrepreneurship, Ignite has established National Incubation Centers (NICs) in different cities. The key objective of this NIC program is to facilitate talented entrepreneurs and provide them all necessary support for transformation of their innovative idea in to a sustainable business.
He said, MOITT has established 5 incubation centers in Islamabad, Karachi, Quetta, Lahore and Peshawar through Ignite and expending its network to other cities. The today’s ceremony to inaugurate the country’s 6th National Incubation Center in Hyderabad is an example to promote various industries including agriculture, livestock, decorative industrial products, textiles, sugar, cement, etc., in Hyderabad and its adjoining areas. Efficiency of industries can be improved.
“The establishment of National Incubation Center in Hyderabad will be a revolutionary step for the youth of Hyderabad and its surrounding rural and urban areas to transform the traditional business approach into a modern technology oriented one”, IT Minister added.
IT Minister highlighted the benefits of NIC Hyderabad and said; in this center State of the art facility are providing as; Help to Accelerate the Growth of Your Startup, Structure to Maintain Business Focus, Access to Funding, Exposure to Industry Leaders & Mentorship, Space & Flexibility, Access to Professional Resources, Networking & Partnerships Opportunities, Help fops in commercializing their product or services, Launch their product & get worldwide attraction.
Amin-Ul-Haque congratulated the youth of Hyderabad and said; I am grateful to the University of Sindh for providing the space for this purpose. Whereas former Secretary IT and present Chief Secretary Sindh Dr. Muhammad Sohail Rajput and the team of Ignite also deserve congratulations for implementing this project.
IT Minister said; during the last year, not only the production of major crops but also the export of IT and IT enable services increased significantly. Pakistan’s IT sector contributes about 1 percent to the GDP, which is about US$3.5 billion. GoP is taking direct steps to create business friendly environment to attract foreign direct investment (FDI) and promote entrepreneurship culture in Pakistan. The MOITT is providing an enabling environment to all stakeholders of the startup ecosystem to promote startup culture and attract foreign investment.
Federal Minister stated that sub-committee of Prime Minister’s Advisory Council on IT & Telecom has also given important recommendations for the promotion of the IT and Telecom sector and the elimination of their problems; good news will be heard soon in this regard.
Talking about the performance and achievements of MOITT, IT Minister said; investment in Pakistani startups is skyrocketing, and Pakistani startups have raised approximately US$ 373 million, which is about 5 times bigger than US$ 75 million investments as of last year. Through DG Skills programs, 2 Million youth are being trained in various high-tech courses related to freelancing online. Now its phase 2 has also been started. According to State Bank report, freelancing exports have reached 396 million dollars with an increase of 85%.
Under the National Incubation Programs, 111,000 jobs have been created and MoUs have been signed for investment of PKR 9.46 billion while revenue of PKR 4.47 billion has been generated.
2 thousand 412 employment opportunities were created under the Tech Innovation Grants while around PKR, 700 million of investment and PKR, 350 million of revenue was achieved.
We have crossed a $2.6 Billion mark of IT & ITeS till June 30, 2022. While establishment of 40 Software Technology Parks (STPs) in different districts under Public Private Partnership across the country, out of which 30 have been established so far. All related procedures completed for the establishment of state of art IT parks in Karachi and Islamabad c with a total cost of PKR, 40 billion. IT training is being conducted at the level of all the universities of the country.
The volume of FDI in the Telecom industry from July 1, 2018 to March 30, 2022 was $6.10 billion, and PKR 163.3 to be deposited in the national exchequer as tax. The total volume of the telecom industry has reached $16.90 billion.
Due to reforms in the telecom sector and various government policies, the number of active mobile SIMs in the country has reached 195 million by March 2022. The number of mobile and fixed broadband subscribers in the country has reached 119 million by June 2022 and the number of users using 3G and 4G has reached 116 million, Haque added.
On his address to the ceremony Asim Shahryar Husain, CEO Ignite said; Ignite is committed to capacity building of the startup ecosystem of Pakistan and our goal is to create unicorns from Pakistan by 2025 or so” added, while speaking at the ceremony.
Vice Chancellor, University of Sindh, Dr. Siddique Kalhoro, in his address encouraged the entrepreneurs to continue on the path of innovation and reaffirmed the support of his institution in their endeavors. He said, we are eager to strengthen the entrepreneurial infrastructure with modern day ideas.
On the occasion, Group Chief Business Solutions Officer (CBSO) for PTCL & Ufone, Zarrar Hasham Khan, said that “We are glad to be partners with NIC Hyderabad after Peshawar. PTCL, in line with the Digital Pakistan vision has always believed in the skills of our youth and is committed to support the country’s ever growing startup sector. We believe that these upcoming young entrepreneurs not only bring innovation, but also support technological advancement that will prove to be the key in taking Pakistan to the next level of economic growth and prosperity. The immense potential displayed by our youth is truly remarkable and makes us feel proud of the talent pool in the country.”
Syed Azfar Hussain, Project Director of NIC Hyderabad highlighted the focus areas for the Center, talking about the overwhelming response he has received from Hyderabad for NIC.
Earlier Federal IT Minister Syed Amin-Ul-Haque, Asim Shahryar Husain, CEO Ignite, Board Members of Ignite and other distinguished guests from industry and academia visited the incubation center where they interacted with the twenty newly inducted start-ups.