[This blog was originally published on Mangobaaz on May 13th, 2017].
The influx of technology startups in Pakistan continues to witness an exponential rise as the funding landscape in the country makes a dynamic shift. With business incubators taking an effective lead in fostering the entrepreneurial spirit in the country through a host of initiatives, raising investments has become a much more accessible process for young startups.
One such initiative is this new television show where in young entrepreneurs are given the opportunity to pitch their ‘million dollar’ idea to a panel of investors.
Idea Croron Ka, which airs on Neo TV, is the brainchild of Nabeel A. Qadeer, Director Entrepreneurship at Punjab Information Technology Board who also hosts the program.
The show is a co-production of Chaudhry Muhammad Akram Centre for Entrepreneurship Development (CMACED), Chaudhdry Abdul Rehman and Sumaira Rehman. It follows the same format as the much renowned American reality TV show Shark Tank where investors, after assessing the business model of a contestant’s company, on camera, decide on the amount they are willing to invest. It’s kinda like Kon Banega Crorepati for startups except instead of answering trivia questions the contestants have to justify the sustainability of their business model.
The show has proved quite popular with the audiences with an estimated 12 lac people tuning into the show every Saturday on prime time with repeat telecast on Sunday.
The panel of investors include Salim Ghauri, Founder and CEO at Netsol, Naeem Zamindar, Pakistan Country Director and CEO at Acumen and Humayun Mazhar, Founder, CEO and Chairman at CresVentures . Dr. Umar Saif, Chairman Punjab Information Technology Board (PITB) meanwhile serves as a business adviser to the contestants on the show. Among other things the show also featured foreign investors including Asha Jadeja and Rabeel Warraich.
‘Idea Croron Ka‘ is far from being just another gimmick reality show with investments made on the show being very much real.
As of yet seven episodes have been aired and a collective investment of 12 crore has been made by the investors in the show. Here are the startups that have successfully managed to raise funds during the show’s run:
Affordable.pk was the first startup that was featured on the show that managed to strike an investment deal in the show. The re-commerce portals allows sellers to market pre-owned items. Wajiha that started the venture with her husband Kashan said on the show that the company aims to address some of the major issues both the buying and selling community face in respect to classified e-commerce website.
Virgin Teez is an online store for T-shirts that mainly caters to the urban youth. Virgin Teez unlike most apparel businesses doesn’t believe in keeping inventory and instead produces the T-shirt once the order has been received. While the company has a catalog of designs from which the consumers can choose from, it also accepts custom made orders.
Smart Devices is an Internet of Things solutions provider. The company allows consumers to access household electrical appliances like Fans, AC, Table Lamps and Water Motor from a remote location through the use of their mobile.
Printickle- Rs 1.5 Crore
Printickle as the name suggests provides its customers with digital printing with a focus on innovation. The company started out roughly a year ago and has catered to both corporate clients and retail customers through its online store ‘Muggay’. Muggay ‘s annual sales have touched the 6 million mark.
DIY Geeks describes itself as a ‘facilitation platform for Geeks, nerd, hobbyists and engineers’. DIY which is an acronym for ‘Do It Yourself’ provides interested individuals with electronic kits composed of circuit boards ,wires and other components that are used to make electrical devices. The platform also provides consumers with interactive tutorials.
Nearpeer’s is an online education platform that provides student with institution specific video based course libraries. The company describes itself as a ‘a more personalized Coursera or Udemy’ wherein students can access teaching material by a wide range of capable instructors from the institute of their choosing.
Checkin.pk as the name suggests is an online travel booking portal, the very first in Pakistan. The website allows customers to make flight bookings, hotel reservations along with car rentals across the major cities of the world.
Written By: Ather Ahmed, Mangobaaz