Young entrepreneurs present ideas at GSEA National Finals hosted by EO Karachi

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EO Karachi organized the Global Student Entrepreneur Awards (GSEA) Pakistan Finals on 12th Jan’ 19, where young Pakistani entrepreneurs presented their ideas in front of a panel of judges, on Saturday.

The event was supported by EO Global—an influential and international community of entrepreneurs who help like-minded peers evolve and grow across the globe.

EO Global has 181 chapters across 57 countries. It has three chapters in Pakistan (one each in Lahore, Karachi and Islamabad).

EO Global is running GSEA where finalists from 55 countries compete against one another to be the Global Champion.

The final round took place at IBA City Campus on the 12th floor of Aman Tower where the judges were ready to weigh in on the products and ideas displayed by some of the brightest budding entrepreneurs of Pakistan.

The Pakistan GSEA Committee included Mr. Sheheryar Shah- GSEA Chair (Karachi), Mr. Kashif Shakoor-GSEA Chair (Lahore) and Mr. Shoaib Malik- Global GSEA Committee Member. The event was highly supported by Mr. Rehan Shahid, Mr. Tariq Mehmood and Mr. Walid Mushtaq, Presidents of EO Karachi, EO Lahore and EO Islamabad respectively.

Here is the full list of the judges who were marking the performance of the candidates:-

1) Faizan Syed – Founder & CEO East River

2) Imtisal Abbasi – Managing Director IAL Saatchi & Saatchi

3) Haider Waheed – Supreme Court lawyer

4) Syed Javed – CEO Invency (Private) Limited

5) Abid Zaidi – Microsoft Country Manager

6) Adnan Afridi – Teythyan Copper

7) Moazzam Ahmed – IFC Chief Karachi

8) Kamal Mian – Director Fast Cables

9) Tariq Mehmood – OTO Logistics

10) Asad Raza – Past GSEA Global Runner Up

11) Bilal Muneer – Precision Group

Aqib Saleem from Thaykaydaar

We know how Uber and Careem operate—connect the commuter with the driver and everyone goes home happy. But what if you want to build a home or renovate it or better yet, seek architectural advice from a competent authority? Here’s where Thaykaydaar steps in.

Aqib Saleem, a civil engineering student, said that he had noticed that people in Pakistan were not aware of the bylaws on construction or renovation in Pakistan.

“For example, if you want to renovate washrooms or construct them anew, there are different bylaws for them in Karachi and Lahore,” he said. “The layman is not aware of these problems.”

Thaykaydaar provides the user with that convenience—it tells him at what price he could have a structure constructed or renovated and provides the visualization as well.

“However, soon we realized that people were not only looking for estimates—they were very much interested in the services as well,” he said.

So, his team decided to provide a platform where contractors—known commonly as thaykaydaars—would be connected to the end consumer via a portal or platform. This was Thaykaydaar.

“This is how we aim to generate revenue—we will connect the end consumer with the contractor and then take a cut from them,” he said. “We have filtered contractors according to the different areas in Karachi. The consumer can have his pick from our app,” he added.

In response to a question, Aqib said that a control system would be in place which would monitor the execution of the contract between the contractor and the client.

“We will upload a time schedule on the website and see if the contractor and the client are going about according to it,” he said. “Contractor who violate terms of the contract will be removed from our list of registered thaykaydaars.”

He said that so far only 12 contractors were registered on the website.

“When we hear the word thaykaydaar—something negative pops into our minds,” he said. “We want to change this perception—in the next 10 years we want people to think positively about this word and trust us whenever they want to invest a huge amount, say in the millions, in construction of a house,” he added.

Tripmate

Tourism has certainly increased in Pakistan ever since the Taliban have dispersed. Millions of domestic tourists as well as a few foreign tourists have taken to the splendid sights in Pakistan to spend quality time in the hills and the mountains.

Samiullah, the co-founder of Tripmate, a travel application looking to cash in on the adventurous types in Pakistan, was quite hopeful his product would be a hit with tourists.

“I remember we came across an old uncle in Gilgit Baltistan who was quite interested in a trip with his family. We directed him to certain hotels and places in remote areas that people did not know of. We exchanged numbers and a few days later, he called me and I could sense from his tone he was quite emotional. He said that he had tried out the places we had mentioned and had the time of his life. That is when we decided to facilitate tourism for local and international tourists in Pakistan,” said Samiullah.

Samiullah said that his team had searched the top travel apps on Google Playstore before coming up with Tripmate. He said that the key thing about Tripmate was that it worked offline to guide customers about locations and restaurants.

“Internet connectivity is a huge issue in the Northern Areas and that is where we aim to capitalize,” he said. “It is the pioneer travel app in Pakistan and it offers navigation offline too.”

Samiullah laid emphasis on the fact that local eateries and hotels would be marked on the map and users would have the chance to review them for other tourists.

“We will be receiving revenue through e-bookings that Tripmate will offer through our app for hotels and eateries and also, our application will run sponsored ads of travel agencies,” he said.

He said that in order to promote his app, Tripmate team members would hold launch events, promote it on social media and invite influencers to talk about it.

“Our app is launching in February 2019 and we hope to get 4,000 downloads,” he said. “After we initiate e-booking, we expect to register a growth of 15% as far as finances are concerned,” he added.

ENENT

Pakistan and other developing countries are no strangers to power outages and fluctuating voltages. Enent, co-founded by Anum Amal Siddiqi, aims to save our electrical appliances by providing a portable device that distributes your current equally in a three-phase house & at the same time reduces electricity bills and causes no pollution.

How it works: The device (Intellica) works out load balancing schedule and balances the current according to these schedules. Bills can be reduced by 25% and the full cost of the appliance can be recovered in five to six months, she claims.

So far the only challenge for the device has been that it requires heavy testing. The current of a building, perhaps, would be suitable. But one of the team members has only successfully tested it in her bedroom where a fan, two bulbs and a fridge were functioning.

Target market: Housing societies, residential markets and three-phase companies.

Astounded by her idea and execution, one of the judges remarked: “I think we have more belief in your idea than you!” to which everyone, including Anum, laughed.

CONNECTHEAR

ConnectHear is a passion project of a team that is determined to serve the deaf community in Pakistan and around the globe. Through the app, people with hearing disability can perform important tasks like call the ambulance or even enjoy music.

ConnectTV—an infotainment channel launched by the team also caters to sign language interpretation. According to her, the lives of 80,000 deaf people have been impacted across Pakistan in just 10 months in more than 60 cities.

FOSTER LEARNING

Frustrated by the way ‘institutes are selling degrees’ and a large number of youth are unemployed despite having studied from private universities, Hira Javed and her team claims to have started from Rs1500 (having made that from a team member driving Uber) to making Rs5 million.

FOSTER learning aims to provide a curriculum that encourages intellectual growth and is different from other curriculums being taught. The team focuses on imparting skills-driven education to remote areas such as Waziristan, Layyah, Gilgit Baltistan etc.

They claim to make candidates skilled in making video resumes and upload them on YouTube, which has never before happened in Pakistan.

Till now, according to Hira, FOSTER learning has helped plant 15,000 trees, distributed 18,000 clothes, helped get 80% of its fellows hired among which are 65% women.

AYECO Ltd.

Fayez Arbab showed off advanced wheelchairs that he claimed his company had formed at a cost of just Rs45,000-50,000.

He claims that there is no other Pakistani company that is making motorized wheelchairs for the disabled. He claims to have taken a hefty loan (Rs1.3mn) and aims to break even as soon as it is paid off.

“The Chinese electric wheelchair is available for Rs120,000 but we are selling it at an even cheaper rate—Rs100,000,” he said.

The ceremony came to a close as judges marked each contestant and promised to announce the winner soon.

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