Prime Minister of Pakistan’s Strategic Reforms Unit head Salman Sufi has tweeted about the possibility of regulating the Pakistani startup ecosystem as few startups ‘cannot be allowed to sour the market for the entire industry.’ He said; “To strengthen Pakistan startup eco system, ventures which solely rely on raising funds & then fail due to lack a robust corporate mechanism must be discouraged.”

Salman Sufi Receives Backlash on Criticising Pakistani Startup Ecosystem

In defense of the Pakistani startup ecosystem, people jumped to his Twitter TL soon after he tweeted saying that he (the PM’s aide) should learn more about the startups and their working mechanism. Quoting his tweet a user said; “This is how an ecosystem develops.  Maybe the gov can inculcate ‘robust corporate mechanism’ in SOEs first…”

Shehryar Hydri said; “This is a flawed take on the sector. If this is a personal opinion, that’s fine. If it’s a policy narrative that you’re spending time on in your official capacity with the PM, I’d suggest talking to industry folks first.” To which Salman Sufi replied; “There is no plan or interest to regulate startups. On the contrary certain incentives and facilitation are being considered. Industry experts are in the committee and they will guide the process.”

Investments from Startups

It is pertinent to mention here that Pakistani Startups have made headlines in the past few months, despite the pandemic. According to international media, In 2021, 83 Pakistani startups have raised $350m. “COVID-19 was a catalyst for the startup landscape in Pakistan, which saw investments rise from $65m in 2020 to $350m in 2021. Extended lockdowns and quarantines provided entrepreneurs the opportunity to create digital products with a human impact,” reported Al-Jazeera, one of the biggest TV broadcasters in the world.

Also read: Pakistani Startups Raised a record $305 million in 2021


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