Red Envelope: From Lahore with Love
When we think about fintech development in the East, our attention will likely go towards China, India, and southeast Asia (ASEAN) regions. But what about the rest of the Asian countries, such as Pakistan? Where do the opportunities lie in these emerging markets?
In this episode of Red Envelope, a podcast series focused on innovation in Asia, Arun Krishnakumar and Theodora Lau talk to Rabeel Warraich, the first VC from Pakistan. Rabeel is an Oxford and MIT alum, and after identifying the immense opportunity that Pakistani ecosystem offered for seed and early stage startups, he moved to his home turf.
In this episode, Rabeel provides his views on how Pakistan is positioned to make the most of its "lack of legacy". Pakistan is a greenfield project for Fintech and offers a consumer base of 200 Million people. The Pakistani government recently presented its National Financial Inclusion Strategy through a five-year plan that focuses on the enhancing the use of digital payments, deposit base, promotion of SMEs and agricultural finance, and Islamic banking. The opportunities are immense.
Rabeel also highlights the similarities that the Pakistani ecosystem shares with India, Indonesia and Malaysia. Perhaps Ant Financial’s foray into Pakistan through its $184.5 million investment in Telenor Bank will serve to help the country transition into a new era of cashless payments, lower the cost of financial services, and stimulate the digital ecosystem.
To understand more about opportunities in Pakistan, listen into this episode of Rhetoriq's podcast.