The CEO of three startups with a base in Dubai predicts Pakistan’s venture capital industry will take off

Dubai-based The money pouring into Pakistan’s startup sector via venture capitalists (VC) should have happened a decade earlier, according to Zohare Haider, founder of three startups including a digital agency and a restaurant information aggregator. He also predicts that the ecosystem will eventually find its footing.

“The VC ecosystem in Pakistan woke up way too late in Pakistan,” Haider told Business Recorder, adding that at the moment the country has “more people accessing more capital with less idea of how to use it.”

But he said this is the way an ecosystem will eventually come to exist – “a large quantum of funding will enable an environment for people to be able to pursue ideas with the expectation many will fail”.

“You need a large injection of capital that will enable more people to pursue entrepreneurship – the ecosystem doesn’t thrive because you’ve got people who have an idea and get money for it, it’s the quantum of both that happens in a volume that allows for an ecosystem to form.”

However, he claims it is acceptable because VCs want money to be pumped into the economy to support growth that would allow new businesses to flourish.

The cofounders of Careem, Mudassir Shaikha and Magnus Olsson, he added, “created this ecosystem, and Careem became a conduit that facilitated the formation of second- and third-generation entrepreneurs.

“How much value they have produced is astounding. They are regarded as role models at the same time.

He also thinks it’s critical to cultivate and mould people’s attitudes and mindsets. He claims that Pakistan needs to do a lot of work, but he is upbeat since “the government has been doing good work with national incubation programmes over the previous five years.”