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Showing posts from May, 2017

Ramzan; Pakistan Economic Survey; Indian IT Job Losses; Trump's Foreign Tour

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What is Ramadan all about? Is it only about abstaining from food and drink in the daylight hours? What is the key message for this Ramzan? Isn't respecting Huqooq-ul-Ibad (human rights of others) as important as observing Huqooq-ul-Allah (Duties to Allah such as prayer and fasting) for each Muslim? What must Muslims do this Ramzan to fulfill all of their obligations to Allah and His creation?

What does the Economic Survey of Pakistan say about Pakistan's GDP, per capita income, infrastructure development, education and other important indicators? What must Pakistani leaders do to ensure greater focus on and investment in education and not just in infrastructure? What is the size of and the key priorities in Pakistan's budget for 2017-18? Should some of the $20 billion (out of the $50 billion budget) for infrastructure be allocated to education to boost Pakistan's stagnant literacy and school enrollment rates?



Why is India losing IT jobs at a rate of 200,000 jobs a year…

Afiniti and Careem: Tech Unicorns Made in Pakistan

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Afiniti and Careem are two technology unicorns engineered in Pakistan by Pakistanis. AI (artificial intelligence) startup Afiniti software has largely been engineered in Lahore while taxi hailing service Careem's technology has mostly been developed in Karachi. Here's more about these unicorns:

Careem:

Careem is a taxi hailing app that is giving its American competitor Uber a run for its money in a region stretching from Pakistan to the Middle East and North Africa. The company cofounded by Mudassir Sheika, a Pakistani national, is headquartered in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates.

Careem's last round  was valued at over a billion dollars when it raised $350 million from Japanese e-commerce firm Rakuten and Saudi Telecom Company (STC) at the end of 2016, according to Tech Crunch.

Careem's software has been developed by its technology partner VentureDive based in Karachi, Pakistan.  VentureDive was started by serial Pakistani entrepreneur Atif Azim who sold his earlier …

Campaign of Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt (FUD) About CPEC

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An unrelenting campaign of fear, uncertainty and doubt (FUD) about China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) has been unleashed in the media in recent weeks. This strategy harkens back to the aggressive marketing techniques used by the American computer giant IBM in the 1970s to fight competition. As in IBM's case, the greatest fear of the perpetrators of FUD is that CPEC will succeed and lift Pakistan up along with rising China.

Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt (FUD):

A definition of FUD that captures its essence is offered by Roger Irwin as follows: "Unable to respond with hard facts, scare-mongering is used via 'gossip channels' to cast a shadow of doubt over the competitors offerings and make people think twice before using it".

A number of articles in western and Indian media have attempted to use FUD against China-Pakistan Economic Corridor. Some Pakistani journalists and commentators, some unwittingly, have also joined in the campaign.   As expected, these detract…

Pakistan Consumer Boom Driving Media Advertising Revenue

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Rising buying power of rapidly expanding middle class in Pakistan drove the nation's media advertising revenue up 14% to a record Rs. 76.2 billion ($727 million), making the country's media market among the world's fastest growing for FY 2015-16. Half of this ad spending (Rs. 38 billion or $362 million) went to television channels while the rest was divided among print, outdoor, radio and digital media.












Digital media spending rose 27% in 2015-16 over prior year, the fastest of all the media platforms. It was followed by 20% increase in radio, 13% in television, 12% in print and 6% in outdoor advertising, according to data published by Aurora media market research

HUM TV channel had the highest revenue at Rs. 3.84 billion, followed by ARY Digital's Rs. 3.802 billion, PTV Sports Rs. 3 billion, Geo Entertainment Rs. 2.93 billion, Geo News Rs. 2.6 billion, Urdu1 2.5 billion, PTV Home Rs. 2.5 billion, Samaa Rs. 1.9 billion, and Dunya News, ARY News and Express News Rs. 1.8 …

Pakistan to Build Massive Dams for Abundant Water and Power

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China and Pakistan have agreed to finance and build two mega dams in Gilgit-Baltistan region of Pakistan. A memorandum of understanding (MoU) for this development was signed by the leaders of the two countries on the sidelines of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) summit in Beijing.



The two dams, called Bunji and Diamer-Bhasha projects, will have the capacity to generate 7,100MW and 4,500MW of electricity respectively. China will provide $27 billion to fund the construction of the two dams, according to media reports.

Pakistan's Hydropower Potential: 

Pakistan has the potential to generate 59,000MW of hydropower, according to studies conducted by the nation's Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA). Currently, it's generating only 6,600MW of hydroelectric power, about 11% of the estimated potential. Media reports indicate that China is prepared to finance and build another 40,000MW capacity as part of the development of the Northern Indus Cascade region which begins i…

China Emerges as the Top Destination For Pakistanis Studying Abroad

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China has emerged as the top destination for Pakistani students studying abroad with 19,000 of them in China this year. This figure is more than 3 times the 6,141 Pakistani students currently enrolled in the US universities, according to data available from reliable sources.



Foreign Students in China: 

China is hosting over 440,000 foreign students in 2017, up 35% from 2012. No other Asian country has as many foreign students as China does today, according to Shanghiist.

The countries sending the largest number of students to China are South Korea, the United States and Thailand, followed by Pakistan, India, Russia, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Japan and Vietnam, according to data from China's Ministry of Education as reported by Chinese media.

China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC): 

The number of students from countries involved in China's One Belt, One Road  (OBOR) initiative, also known as The Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st-century Maritime Silk Road that includes China-Pak…

Ownership Rates of Durable Goods in India and Pakistan

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Ownership of consumer durables like computers, home appliances and vehicles is often seen as an important indicator of the size and health of the middle classes in emerging economies. Examples of periodic household surveys used by researchers to measure such data include NSS (National Sampling Survey) in India and PSLM (Pakistan Social and Living Standards Measurement) in Pakistan.



India-Pakistan Comparison:

Dr. Jawaid Abdul Ghani, a professor at Karachi School of Business Leadership, has recently analyzed household surveys in India and Pakistan to discover the following:

1.  As of 2015, car ownership in both India and Pakistan is about the same at 6% of households owning a car. However, 41% of Pakistani household own motorcycles, several points higher than India's 32%.

2. 12% of Pakistani households own a computer, slightly higher than 11% in India.

3. Higher percentage of Pakistani households own appliances such as refrigerators (Pakistan 47%, India 33%), washing machines (Pakist…

Pakistan Cricket Board's $43 Million Revenue and Budget

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Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) spends about $43 million on national and international cricket every year, according to media reports. It receives about $16.5 million a year share from the International Cricket Council (ICC) as part of the new revenue sharing model while the rest comes from Pakistan Super League (PSL) and multiple bilateral cricket series with other ICC member nations. PCB could earn significantly more if India, with its huge media market, agrees to honor its prior commitments to play bilateral series with Pakistan. PCB has threatened to sue BCCI  to recover $200 million in lost revenue since 2007.

ICC Revenue Sharing:

Under a new deal announced by the International Cricket Club (ICC) after its recent board meeting in Dubai, Pakistan's PCB will receive $132 million from 2015 through 2023. India's BCCI will receive $293 million across the eight-year cycle, the ECB $143 million, Zimbabwe Cricket $94 million and the remaining seven Full Members $132 million each. Ass…

Pakistani-American Co-Founders Sell Tech Startup Viptela to Cisco For $610 million

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Cisco is paying $610 million to acquire Viptela, a software-defined-networks (SDN) start-up in Silicon Valley that was co-founded in 2012 by Pakistani-American entrepreneurs Amir Khan, Atif Khan and Khalid Raza.

Software defined network (SDN) technology allows network managers to configure, manage, secure, and optimize network resources quickly as needed via dynamic, automated SDN programs.


"Together, Cisco and Viptela will be able to deliver next-generation SD-WAN solutions to best serve all size and scale of customer needs, while accelerating Cisco's transition to a recurring, software-based business model," said Rob Salvagno,  Cisco's executive in charge of mergers and acquisitions.

Viptela's software-defined wide area networking (SD-WAN) technologies are enabling small and large companies tackle the ongoing transition from traditional client-server model to cloud computing efficiently and effectively.

Viptela was founded by 5 co-founders, three Pakistanis and…