Confiz – PakWheels, KamataPakistan & Simplicant

Confiz – PakWheels, KamataPakistan & Simplicant

   Confiz is a technology services company based in Lahore, Pakistan. It provides high-tech solutions to international clients, many of which are Fortune 500 companies, in Mobile Applications, Quality Assurance, UX/UI and Infrastructure Management.  Muhammad Raza Saeed is the CEO of Confiz. We had a chat with him about how far his business has progressed over the years, and his ideals when it comes to driving an entrepreneurial venture. Can you tell me a little about Confiz and its associated companies? Confiz started in 2005 and has become one of the leading technology services company in Pakistan employing around 250 people. Our customers include Microsoft, Intel, PwC, etc and many other large corporations. Our associated companies include PakWheels.com, Simplicant, KamataPakistan and Simobo. PakWheels.com is one of the largest internet portals in Pakistan. PakWheels helps millions of Pakistanis buy and sell all types of cars and bikes, gives access to thousands of automotive news and reviews, check automotive prices and find solutions to their automotive needs. Over 40% of Pakistan’s internet population visited us in last 12 months clocking over 250 million page views. Simplicant is a cloud based next generation recruitment platform that helps companies manage end to end recruitment process. KamataPakistan is Pakistan’s first blue collar marketplace that helps employers hire guards, cooks, office boys, sales attendant and more. Simobo is a mobile value added services company. Our customers include Telenor, Warid, Ufone and telecom operators in Africa and Middle East. What’s your philosophy when managing multiple businesses like this? Find best people out there, bring them on team, share the vision, give them room to operate and execute, celebrate and share success. Is...
Kaymu

Kaymu

Kaymu.pk focuses on providing an integrated marketplace for retailers and entrepreneurs of all sorts to sell their products. They offer free shipping and Cash on Delivery on all orders in order to make online shopping as easy as possible for consumers. You can connect with Kaymu on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. Adam Dawood is the country manager for Kaymu.pk, and also founded DYL Ventures.   What is your background before Kaymu.pk?  Adam: Before I joined Kaymu.pk, my personal mission was to help as many local startups as I possibly could both in terms of their technology needs and their marketing. Pakistan has some of the most amazing startups in the world and we were just never marketing ourselves properly. In a series of articles written in major tech blogs across the world I did whatever little I could to help promote our startups. All of this learning and knowledge then culminated in the first ever Pakistan Startup Report, which was prepared with the help of the World Startup Report team. The report is a celebration of the best of Pakistan’s startups and shows the amazing potential that only this generation of entrepreneurs has access to. With internet penetration rising now is the best time to start your startup. What is Kaymu’s business model? What problem is it looking to solve, and how do you do so? Adam: Kaymu.pk is an online shopping platform giving all large and smaller businesses the ability to list their products for sale. The idea behind this model is to bring multiple sellers, often carrying the same product on Kaymu, this essentially promotes competition between sellers so that...
Conrad Labs

Conrad Labs

Conrad Labs is a product-focused company based in Lahore, working with early-stage startups in North America to bring their ideas to life. They provide the engineering talent and product dev experience needed to develop high-tech products, and often hold equity while working with these emerging companies. You can connect with Conrad Labs on LinkedIn and Twitter. Abbas is the founder & CEO on Conrad Labs, and has been working in startups in the US and Pakistan since graduating from the University of Texas. What does Conrad Labs do? Abbas: Conrad Labs is a niche company, comprised of high caliber engineers divided into purposeful teams, servicing funded startups in the United States. We hand-pick engineers and match them with the startups we work with, as per the particular skills and technical needs they require, after which they work together to develop great products. You could say that Conrad Labs is the McKinsey of startups, as we work end-to-end in the product cycle. However, we are not a services company, and we do not work on a cash-only model. Depending on the startups business model, implementation of the idea, where they are in their life cycle, we invest back into the company. There are a lot of times cash-strapped startups can only pay a certain amount but require 2x of what that can get them, so we hedge our risks by requesting both cash and equity. That is both our business model as well as our biggest differentiator. Tell us more about your cash-and-equity business model, and  how you work with these startups. Abbas: The things is – when you raise...
Arbisoft

Arbisoft

Arbisoft is software company based in Lahore, focusing on both its own IP and providing technical services for other companies. It has worked with giants such as Kayak, edX, Stanford University and Indeed.com. They also created Intellistats, an application that monitors your phone usage and tells you which plan works best for you. We sat with the co-founder and CEO, discussing the creation of Arbisoft, the problems they faced and how they became one of the leading software companies in Pakistan. Yasser Bashir is the co-founder and CEO of Arbisoft, and has studied at LUMS and Stanford. Thank you for sitting down for this interview. Let’s start with your background. What were you doing in the years leading up to the creation of Arbisoft? Yasser: I am basically a veteran of the local software industry in Lahore. Began my career almost 17 years ago after graduating from LUMS in 1997. I have been extremely lucky to be part of great organizations throughout my career, which I began at a company called WorldWex. It was an offshoot of Cressoft – the biggest Pakistani software company in those days – and raised about $20 million in venture capital. I worked there for two and a half years, and joined another remarkable company called Align Technology, which was founded by a Pakistani entrepreneur. Align Technology was one of the fastest growing technology companies in the Silicon Valley, raising roughly $200 million and growing to 1000 employees, all in the middle of the dotcom crash. Today it has a $4 billion market cap and its innovations are still protected by multiple patents.  After a few years at Align, I...
Shopistan

Shopistan

Shopistan is one of the emerging companies in the Pakistani e-commerce industry, funded by Kima Ventures, and was recently mentioned as a key player in Pakistani Startup Report. We had a chance to sit with two of its three co-founders, Ali and Babar, in their office in Ghalib Market. They lead us through Shopistan’s conception, the various twists in their direction, acquiring funding and winning customers in a fiercely competed for and (locally) new industry. Since this discussion, Shopistan has chosen to focus more on providing e-commerce solutions rather than focus on their own marketplace.

Discretelogix

Discretelogix

Discretelogix is an IT services company in Islamabad, and holds a position in Elance‘s both Top 5 Companies in Pakistan and Top 50 Companies in the World. Discretelogix is part of  a group of 4 companies founded over the course of a decade by a group of friends. We had a chance to talk with Discretelogix CEO Farrukh Malik about all these ventures and how they came into being. You can connect with Discretelogix on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, or see a history of their work on Elance. Farrukh Malik is the CEO of Discretelogix and the CTO of Xport.    Tell us a little about Discretelogix, and the other companies you are a part of. Farrukh: Discretelogix is an initiative of four friends – Zia Ghafoor, Ahmad Nadeem, Saqib Rafiq and I. We were class fellows during Bachelors in CS. We have founded three other companies along with Discretelogix as well –  XS Mobiles, Xport (PVt) Ltd and BuyBest Enterprises (Pvt) Ltd (online store en route).  Our first venture was XS Mobiles (started in 2005),  which is a chain of stores selling mobile phones and accessories, from which we started to gain entrepreneurial experience and raise capital to fund our dream of opening an IT company along with funding from friends and family. Our second business was Discretelogix which is a technology-based services company which was established in 2006. Discretelogix specializes in web & mobile applications development, game development, ecommerce solutions, graphic designing and online marketing. Our major target markets are the US and Australia, where we work on projects and dedicate our employees to companies to work service long-term contracts.  Riding off the (relative)...
Caramel Tech Studios

Caramel Tech Studios

Caramel Tech Studios is a gaming startup in Lahore, Pakistan, founded by two brothers, Saad and Ammar Zaeem. It has worked on high-profile games for gaming giants in Northern America, such as Fruit Ninja for Halfbrick studios. We had a conversation with Saad about how it all started for Caramel Tech. You can connect with Caramel Tech on Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter. Saad Zaeem is the CEO and Co-founder of Caramel Tech. Our conversation with him covers his first entrepreneurial venture (at the age of 14!), the culture at his company, and how he and Ammar brought Caramel Tech to the stage it is at now. In one sentence, what does Caramel Tech do? Saad: Caramel Tech Studios develops high quality mobile and tablet games. Tell us about your background before this. You mentioned you had 300-400 people reporting– directly or indirectly – to you when you were handling Diesel’s debut in Pakistan. What skills did you acquire then that were useful when founding Caramel Tech? Saad: Before founding Caramel Tech, I was working at TinTash, which is a startup in Lahore. They were working on services involved games and a variety of applications, and I learned a ton working as a Producer.  Before that, I was leading Diesel’s debut in Pakistan while working for Azgard9 Ltd. It was an unbelievable experience as I was just thrown in the Shark tank. The job description translated to a business unit head in a production unit. I had to multitask across various functions in the company and go from the pre-production (sampling) stage, to client communication, design changes, pushing the product...
Meri Taleem & Cloud9 Startups

Meri Taleem & Cloud9 Startups

Meri Taleem is a one-stop platform that aims to empower students all over Pakistan by giving them access to academic counselling, information on possible career paths and online college applications. You can connect with Meri Taleem on Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin. Cloud9 Startups is an idea-stage incubation and investment capital centre for the young entrepreneurs of tomorrow, hosted in Islamabad. You can connect with Cloud9 on Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin. Usama Shahid Khan is the founder of Mera Taleem as well asCloud9 Startups. His first venture was GradOven, which he put on hold to create Cloud9 Startups, one of the first incubators in Islamabad. Usama then pitched his own startup idea through Cloud9, and is now focused on changing the Pakistani education system through Meri Taleem. Introduce your two ventures to us. Usama: Cloud9 Startups is an incubator for technology-based startups, housing, mentoring and at times investing in aspiring entrepreneurs. Habib Ahmed, a serial entrepreneur and angel investor in the UK, and I, founded it. I am currently managing it and also working on my own product, Meri Taleem. Meri Taleem offers much needed free academic and career counseling through both online and offline channels, informing users of degree options, admission procedures and available scholarships. We are also currently working on integrating Pakistani universities’ admission applications in our platform  to allow both students to apply from the comfort of their homes and universities to expand the seeding pool of applicants. The long-term vision is for this platform to become the de-facto information resource for education in Pakistan, and our users to make the best choice in terms of their education. Thus the name Meri...
TinTash

TinTash

TinTash was founded by two Stanford graduates, and focuses on providing game development  and other services for companies all around the world such as Chillingo, Halfbrick Studios, Bitzer Mobile and Common Sense Media. It is based in Lahore, Pakistan. Learn more by reading our most raw interview ever below. Stay in touch with TinTash through Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter. Jazib Zahir is an Educationalist and Entrepreneur and the current COO for TinTash. We had a conversation about how TinTash was founded by Murad Akther and Mannan Amin, the issues faced by the team and where this gaming startup is going – by far, one of our more raw interviews.   Can you introduce yourself? Jazib: I am the Chief Operations Officer (COO) for TinTash, as well as a lecturer teaching Business Writing and Communications at LUMS. I am also a consultant for d.light design, an America-based social enterprise currently being set up in Pakistan. I studied Electrical Engineering from Stanford from 2001 to 2005. I worked at Techlogix and Wateen in Pakistan afterwards, and then completed my MBA from LUMS. Could you tell us a little bit about TinTash? Jazib: TinTash is a development studio where we work on our own products as well as services for larger companies around the world. TinTash was founded in 2008, but I was not an official employee at that time, and joined full-time in 2009 as soon as I graduated. However, I fully understand what changes and stages the company has gone through, as I have always been involved behind the scenes. When I joined, it was a small company of 5-6 employees; it has evolved quite a...

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