Sunday, May 28, 2017

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

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, according to McKinsey? Is it all because of Trump's H1B visa tightening? Or does it have more to do with the need for new skills to deal with new technologies such as cloud computing and digital services?

What was the objective of Trump's tour of the Middle East and Europe? Has he achieved any of the objectives? Was Nawaz Sharif's low-key presence at the Riyadh summit appropriate? Are Nawaz Sharif's critics right? Should he have had a more prominent role at the US-Arab-Islamic summit? How would that impact Iran-Pakistan ties?


Viewpoint From Overseas host Misbah Azam discusses these questions with Riaz Haq (www.riazhaq.com)

https://youtu.be/ojEvEICkimA




Related Links:

Haq's Musings

Riaz Haq's Ramadan Sermon

Pakistan's Lagging Literacy and School Enrollment Rates

Impact of Trump's H1B Visa Crackdown

Impact of Trump's Appointments on US Policy

Iran-Saudi Conflict

Talk4Pak Youtube Channel



Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Afiniti and Careem: Tech Unicorns Made in Pakistan

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 startup Perfigo to network equipment giant Cisco for $74 million in 2004, according to a report in Tech in Asia.

Atif launched VentureDive in 2011 and  took a small equity stake in Careem in exchange for building its entire tech stack – including the app, the website, and other digital platforms. That small stake has now grown to $50 million.

In 2016, Careem acquired VentureDive's engineering team working on its technology to give the engineers more ownership of the product – now they are getting equity stake in Careem and larger bonuses.

Afiniti Development Team in Lahore, Pakistan. Source: Afiniti.com


Afiniti:

Washington D.C. based AI technology firm Afiniti, founded by serial Pakistani-American entrepreneur Zia Chishti, has filed for initial public offering (IPO) at $1.6 billion valuation, according to VentureBeat. The company has grown out of the technology used in the Pakistan-based call center business of The Resource Group (TRG) also founded by Zia Chishti.

Bulk of the Afiniti development team is located in Thokar Niaz Baig, Lahore. In addition, the company has development team members in Islamabad and Karachi.

Chishti founded his first company Align Technology in 1997 in Silicon Valley. It creates clear plastic braces for straightening teeth by using advanced 3-D computer imaging. The technology now trademarked as Invisalign has helped millions of people straighten their teeth for a beautiful smile without enduring the pain and unsightly looks of the traditional steel brackets and wires used in orthodontics. Align Technology is now valued at $10 billion.

Afiniti uses artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms to enable real-time, optimized pairing of individual call center agents with individual customers in large enterprises for best results. When a customer contacts a call center, Afiniti matches his or her phone number with any information related to it from up to 100 databases, according to VentureBeat. These databases carry purchase history, income, credit history, social media profiles and other demographic information. Based on this information, Afiniti routes the call directly to an agent who has been determined, based on their own history, to be most effective in closing deals with customers who have similar characteristics.

Summary:

Pakistan is an emerging center of technology with at least two unicorns, Afiniti and Careem, engineered by Pakistanis in Pakistan.  With growing numbers of young homegrown Pakistani technologists, a highly skilled diaspora and an evolving startup ecosystem with incubators, accelerators and investors, the country is beginning to demonstrate its vast potential as a vibrant technology hub of the future. Provincial governments, particularly those in Punjab and KP, are showing leadership in encouraging this trend. The main ingredients are all coming together to make things happen in Pakistan.

Related Links:

Haq's Musings

OPEN Silicon Valley Forum 2017: Pakistani Entrepreneurs Conference

Pakistani-American's Tech Unicorn Files For IPO at $1.6 Billion Valuation

Pakistani-American Cofounders Sell Startup to Cisco for $610 million

Pakistani Brothers Spawned $20 Billion Security Software Industry

Pakistani-American Ashar Aziz's Fireeye Goes Public

Pakistani-American Pioneered 3D Technology in Orthodontics

Pakistani-Americans Enabling 2nd Machine Revolution

Pakistani-American Shahid Khan Richest South Asian in America

Two Pakistani-American Silicon Valley Techs Among Top 5 VC Deals

Pakistani-American's Game-Changing Vision 



Monday, May 22, 2017

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

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.

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 detractors ignore volumes of data and evidence that clearly contradict their claims.

Part of the motivation of those engaged in FUD against CPEC appears to be to check China's rise and Pakistan's rise with its friend and neighbor to the north. Their aim is to preserve and protect the current world order created by the Western Powers led by the United States at the end of the second world war.

Growing Infrastructure Gap:

Development of infrastructure is essential for economic and social development of a country such as Pakistan. China-Pakistan Economic Corridor financing needs to be seen in the context of the large and growing infrastructure gap in Asia that threatens social and economic progress.

 Rich countries generally raise funds for infrastructure projects by selling bonds while most developing countries rely on loans from international financial institutions such as the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank to finance infrastructure projects.

The infrastructure financing needs of the developing countries far exceed the capacity of the World Bank and the regional development banks such as ADB to fund such projects. A recent report by the Asian Development Bank warned that there is currently $1.7 trillion infrastructure gap that threatens growth in Asia. The 45 countries surveyed in the ADB report, which covers 2016-2030, are forecast to need investment of $26 trillion over 15 years to maintain growth, cut poverty and deal with climate change.



Chinese CPEC Loans to Pakistan:

About 80% of the $55 billion of the Chinese money for CPEC is private investment while the rest is composed of soft loans to the government, according to Shanghai Business Review.

The Chinese soft loans for CPEC infrastructure projects carry an interest rate of just 1.6%, far lower than similar loans offered by the World Bank at rates of 3.8% or higher.

Chinese companies investing in Pakistan are getting loans from China's ExIm Bank at concessional rates and from China Development Bank at commercial rates. These loans will be repaid by the Chinese companies from their income from these investments, not by Pakistani taxpayers.

Rising Confidence in Pakistan:

Pakistani economy is already beginning to reap the benefits of the current and expected investments as seen in the 5.2% GDP growth in the current fiscal year, the highest in 9 years.

The World Bank's Pakistan Development Update of May 2017 says that "Pakistan’s economy continues to grow strongly, emerging as one of the top performers in South Asia".

Rapidly expanding middle class and rising demand for consumer durables like vehicles and home appliances attest to the positive impact of CPEC. Consumer confidence in Pakistan has reached its highest level since 2008, according to Nielsen.

US-based consulting firm Deloitte and Touche estimates that China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) projects will create some 700,000 direct jobs during the period 2015–2030 and raise its GDP growth rate to 7.5%,  adding 2.5 percentage points to the country's current GDP growth rate of 5%.

Countering FUD:

Pakistani government should respond to the FUD campaign against CPEC by countering it with facts and data and increasing transparency in how CPEC projects are being financed, contracted and managed. It is particularly important in a low-trust society like Pakistan's where people can be easily persuaded to believe the worst about their leaders and institutions. 

Summary:

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. Part of the motivation of those engaged in FUD against CPEC appears to be to check China's rise and Pakistan's rise with its friend and neighbor to the north. Their aim is to preserve and protect the current world order created by the Western Powers led by the United States at the end of the second world war.   Pakistani government should respond to the FUD campaign against CPEC by countering it with facts and data and increasing transparency in how CPEC projects are being financed, contracted and managed. 

Related Links:










Saturday, May 20, 2017

Pakistan Consumer Boom Driving Media Advertising Revenue

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) in 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.

Media Ad Revenue by platform. Source: Aurora











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 billion each.

The television channels with the highest revenue increases in 2015-16 were: Samaa (88%), Geo News (82%), Geo Entertainment (81%) and ARY News (76%).

The current media boom in Pakistan started in early 2000s when Pakistan had just one television channel, according to the UK's Prospect Magazine. Today it has over 100. Together they have begun to open up a country long shrouded by political, moral and religious censorship—taking on the government, breaking social taboos and, most recently, pushing a new national consensus against the Taliban. The birth of privately owned commercial media has been enabled by the Musharraf-era deregulation, and funded by the tremendous growth in revenue from advertising targeted at the burgeoning urban middle class consumers.

Pakistan has managed to significantly reduce poverty and rapidly grow its middle class since 2001 in spite of major political, security and economic challenges. The foundation for the rise of the middle class and the electronic media boom was laid on President Musharraf's watch by his government's decisions to invest in education and infrastructure projects and deregulate the media that led to the expansion of both human and financial capital. My hope is that the continued improvement in security situation and implementation of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) related projects will bring in higher long-term investments and accelerate Pakistan's progress toward prosperity for all of its citizens.

Related Links:

Haq's Musings

Credit Suisse Wealth Report 2016

Pakistan: A Majority Middle Class Country

Pakistan Mass Media Boom

State Bank: Pakistan's Actual GDP Higher Than Officially Reported

College Enrollment in Pakistan

Musharraf Accelerated Development of Pakistan's Human and Financial Capital

China-Pakistan Economic Corridor

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Pakistan to Build Massive Dams for Abundant Water and Power

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.

Actual vs Potential Hydropower in South Asia. Source: Economist Magazine


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 in Skardu in Gilgit-Baltistan and runs through to Tarbela, the site of Pakistan’s biggest dam, in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province.

Diamer-Bhasha Water Storage:

Diamer-Bhasha project is located on Indus River, about 200 miles upstream from the existing Tarbela Dam, 100 miles downstream from the Northern Area capital Gilgit in Gilgit-Baltistan region.  It will generate 4,500 MW of electricity and its reservoir will hold so much water that it could have averted recent devastating floods that affected large parts of Pakistan. It would also provide enough electricity to end  Pakistan's crippling shortages, according to a report in the Guardian newspaper.  The Diamer-Bhasha reservoir would be 50 miles long, holding 8.5 MAF (million acre feet) of water.

Response to Climate Change:

Pakistan has made only a small contribution to climate change through carbon emissions.  And yet, it counts among the dozen or so nations considered most vulnerable to its damaging effects. These include rising temperatures, recurring cycles of floods and droughts and resulting disruption in food production.

One of the ways Pakistan can help reduce carbon emissions is by realizing its full hydroelectric potential by building more dams. The development of the Northern Indus Cascade region to generate 40,000MW of hydropower is a significant part of this effort.

Prerequisite for Economic Development: 

Availability of abundant and cheap electricity has historically preceded rapid economic development in America, Europe and East Asia. Pakistan has an opportunity to meet this prerequisite by generating large amounts of clean renewable hydropower to meet its hunger for energy required for rapid economic growth in all sectors of the economy ranging from agriculture to manufacturing and services.

Summary:

Pakistan is endowed with significant amount of water and power resources that can be harnessed to enable rapid economic growth in all sectors of its economy. It appears that the Chinese investment, as part of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, is now putting this goal within reach. Tens of thousands of megawatts of added electricity and millions of acre feet of additional water will hopefully transform Pakistan's economy and bring prosperity to its people.

Here's a video on the subject:

https://youtu.be/y-VkLn2J6fM



Related Links:

Haq's Musings

Recurring Cycles of Drought and Floods in Pakistan

Pakistan's Response to Climate Change

Renewable Energy for Pakistan

LNG Imports in Pakistan

Growing Water Scarcity in Pakistan

China-Pakistan Economic Corridor

Ownership of Appliances and Vehicles in Pakistan


Thursday, May 11, 2017

China Emerges as the Top Destination For Pakistanis Studying Abroad

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-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), has significantly increased. In 2016, students from the 64 countries in the initiative saw 200,000 students coming to China to study, representing an increase of 13.6% compared with one year before.

British Education in Joint Degree Programs Outside UK. Source: UKCISA

British Education in Pakistan: 

Even after the dramatic increase of Pakistani students going to China, the United Kingdom still remains the top source of international education for Pakistanis.  46,640 students, the largest number of Pakistani students receiving international education anywhere, are doing so at Pakistani universities in joint degree programs established with British universities, according to UK Council for International Student Affairs.

The number of students enrolled in British-Pakistani joint degree programs in Pakistan (46,640) makes it the fourth largest effort behind Malaysia (78,850), China (64,560) and Singapore (49,970).

China's Soft Power: 

China is now taking a page from the successful playbook of the Americans and the British to project their soft power through education. The Chinese government is making significant investment in scholarships and facilities to foster a greater understanding of the Chinese culture and language globally, and expand Beijing's soft power.

Summary: 

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. Chinese government is investing in scholarships and facilities to entice foreign students, particularly those from countries such as Pakistan that are part of China's Silk Road initiative, in an effort to project its soft power.

Related Links:

Related Links:

Haq's Musings

Pakistan's Expected Demographic Dividend

China-Pakistan Economic Corridor

Pakistan College and University Enrollment Rates

Educational Attainment Dataset By Robert Barro and Jong-Wha Lee

Pakistani Students Win First Place in Stanford Design Contest

Developing Pakistan's Intellectual Capital

Intellectual Wealth of Nations

Pakistan's Story After 64 Years of Independence

Pakistan Ahead of BRICs in Highly Cited Papers

Scholarships at Foreign Universities

Institute of International Education--Open Doors

UK's Higher Education Statistics Agency Report

Austrade on Education in Pakistan

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Ownership Rates of Durable Goods in India and Pakistan

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.

Durables Ownership in India and Pakistan. Source: KSBL


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 (Pakistan 48%, India 15%) and fans (Pakistan 91%, India 83%).

4. 71% of Indian households own televisions versus 62% in Pakistan.

Durables Ownership Growth in Pakistan. Source: KSBL
Growth over Time:

Dr. Abdul Ghani has also analyzed household data to show that the percentage of Pakistani households owning washing machines has doubled while car and refrigerator ownership has tripled and motorcycle ownership jumped 6-fold from 2001 to 2014.

Income/Consumption Growth in Pakistan. Source: KSBL

Rapid Income Growth:

Rising ownership of durables in Pakistan has been driven by significant reduction in poverty and growth of household incomes, according to Dr. Abdul Ghani's research. Percentage of households with per capita income of under $2 per day per person has plummeted from 57% in 2001 to 7% in 2014. At the same time, the percentage of households earning $2 to $10 per day per person has soared from 42% of households in 2001 to 87% of households in 2014.  The percentage of those earning over $10 per day per person has jumped 7-fold from 1% of households in 2001 to 7% of households in 2014.

Pakistani Middle Class:

Only 5% of Pakistanis in $2-$4 per day per person income group have college degrees. But 20% of those in $4-$10 have college degrees, according to the survey results.

Pakistan Middle Class Profile. Source: KSBL

Credit Suisse Income and Wealth Data:

Average Pakistani adult is 20% richer than an average Indian adult and the median wealth of a Pakistani adult is 120% higher than that of his or her Indian counterpart, according to Credit Suisse Wealth Report 2016. Average household wealth in Pakistan has grown 2.1% while it has declined 0.8% in India since the end of last year.

Median wealth data indicates that 50% of Pakistanis own more than $1,180 per adult which is 120% more than the $608 per adult owned by 50% of Indians.

GDP Estimates Using Household Survey Data:

Pakistan's GDP calculated from consumption data in PSLM is significantly higher than the government estimates based on production data. The reverse is true of Indian GDP.

M. Ali Kemal and Ahmed Waqar Qasim, economists at Pakistan Institute of Development Economics (PIDE),  explored several published different approaches for sizing Pakistan's underground economy and settled on a combination of  PSLM (Pakistan Social and Living Standards Measurement) consumption data  and mis-invoicing of exports and imports to conclude that the country's "informal economy was 91% of the formal economy in 2007-08". 

Prominent Indian economists Abhijit V Banerjee, Pranab Bardhan, Rohini Somanathan and TN Srinivasan teaching at MIT, UC Berkeley, Yale University and Delhi School of Economics believe that India's GDP estimate based on household survey (National Sampling Service or NSS) data is about half of what the Indian government officially reports as India's GDP. 

Here's a quote from French economist Thomas Piketty's book "Capital in the Twenty-First Century" explaining his skepticism of production-based official GDP figures of India and China:

"Note, too, that the very high official growth figures for developing countries (especially India and China) over the past few decades are based almost exclusively on production statistics. If one tries to measure income growth by using household survey data, it is often quite difficult to identify the reported rates of macroeconomic growth: Indian and Chinese incomes are certainly increasing rapidly, but not as rapidly as one would infer from official growth statistics. This paradox-sometimes referred to as the "black hole" of growth-is obviously problematic. It may be due to the overestimation of the growth of output (there are many bureaucratic incentives for doing so), or perhaps the underestimation of income growth (household have their own flaws)), or most likely both. In particular, the missing income may be explained by the possibility that a disproportionate share of the growth in output has gone to the most highly remunerated individuals, whose incomes are not always captured in the tax data." 

Who is Dr. Jawaid Abdul Ghani?

The PSLM household data cited in this blog post is taken from a recent presentation made by Dr. Jawaid Abdul Ghani at the Karachi School of Business and Leadership (KSBL) where he teaches. KSBL has been established in collaboration with  Cambridge University's Judge Business School. Prior to his current faculty position, Dr. Abdul Ghani taught at MIT's Sloane School of Management and Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS). He has a computer science degree from MIT and an MBA from Wharton Business School.

Summary:

Pakistan has managed to significantly reduce poverty and rapidly grow its middle class since 2001 in spite of major political, security and economic challenges. The foundation for the rise of the middle class was laid on President Musharraf's watch by his government's decisions to invest in education and infrastructure projects that led to the expansion of both human and financial capital. My hope is that the continued improvement in security situation and implementation of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) related projects will bring in higher long-term investments and accelerate Pakistan's progress toward prosperity for all of its citizens.

Related Links:

Haq's Musings

Credit Suisse Wealth Report 2016

Pakistan: A Majority Middle Class Country

Karachi School of Business and Leadership

State Bank: Pakistan's Actual GDP Higher Than Officially Reported

College Enrollment in Pakistan

Musharraf Accelerated Development of Pakistan's Human and Financial Capital

China-Pakistan Economic Corridor

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Pakistan Cricket Board's $43 Million Revenue and Budget

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. Associate Members will receive total combined funding of $280 million, according to ESPN sports network.

Source: ESPN


The new, more equitable revenue sharing model will replace the "Big Three" financial model drawn up by the boards of India, England and Australia that allocated much larger revenue share to them.

As expected India is not happy with the reduction in its share of the ICC revenue to $ 293 million. While the new distribution model is not a complete rollback to the equal funding from ICC events that Full Members like Pakistan used to receive, it is considerably lower than the $440 million the BCCI stood to earn under the Big Three model. The associate members of ICC would be the biggest losers if the BCCI demand for $440 million was accepted.

India-Pakistan Series:

India, with its massive media market, generates significantly more revenue that any other national cricket team and it has not played a full bilateral series with Pakistan since 2007. PCB had signed an MoU with the BCCI officials in 2014 on the sidelines of an ICC meeting. Under the MoU, Pakistan and India were to play six bilateral series between 2015 and 2023 but India so far has refused to honor its commitment saying that the Modi government has not given it permission for bilateral cricket ties with Pakistan.

The BCCI has refused even to play Pakistan on neutral venues including Sri Lanka. PCB claims it has lost nearly $200 million because of India's failure to deliver. BCCI has also rejected ICC chief Shashank Manohar's offer of additional $100 million to Pakistan to cover its losses, according to India Today.  PCB is now threatening to sue BCCI to recover its losses.

Pakistan Super League: 

Pakistan Super League has become a significant source of revenue for PCB since its launch in 2016. The auction of the teams in 2016 generated $18.6 million for PCB in 2016, according to media reports.  This year, PCB earned a profit of $2.6 million net after all the expenses of PSL's second season.

PCB Plans: 

PCB chairman Shaharyar Khan said PCB plans to use the money for new cricket academies across the nation and to set up cricket programs at schools and universities and to sponsor cricket clubs.  In addition, sports facilities like cricket pitches and grounds will be improved across the country.

Summary:

Pakistan Cricket Board seems to be achieving self-sufficiency and the wherewithal to fund the sport of cricket in Pakistan better than ever before. In addition to the money from the ICC revenue sharing, PCB is also getting a new revenue stream from the PSL to help meet its needs. It's important that the PCB follows through on its plans to support cricket programs at schools and universities and cricket clubs, and to improve sports facilities in the country.


Monday, May 1, 2017

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

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.

L to R Back: Venu Hemige, Khalid Raza Front: Atif Khan, Amir Khan, Ramesh Prabagaran Courtesy: Sequoia Capital

"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 two Indians,  in 2012 and had raised more than $108 million, including its most recent $75 million round just last May. The $610 million sale price offers a pretty good return for investors.

Prior to starting Viptela, the founders worked in different capacities for major network equipment companies including Cisco, Huawei and Juniper. One of the founders, Khalid Raza, is an alumnus of Karachi's NED University of Engineering and Technology.

Viptela and other companies in this space are benefiting from the continuing transition to a cloud-based subscription business.

Related Links:

Haq's Musings

OPEN Silicon Valley Forum 2017: Pakistani Entrepreneurs Conference

Pakistani-American's Tech Unicorn Files For IPO at $1.6 Billion Valuation

Pakistani Brothers Spawned $20 Billion Security Software Industry

Pakistani-American Ashar Aziz's Fireeye Goes Public

Pakistani-American Pioneered 3D Technology in Orthodontics

Pakistani-Americans Enabling 2nd Machine Revolution

Pakistani-American Shahid Khan Richest South Asian in America

Two Pakistani-American Silicon Valley Techs Among Top 5 VC Deals

Pakistani-American's Game-Changing Vision 

Minorities Are Majority in Silicon Valley