Tag Archives: Arfa Software Technology Park

Punjab Cabinet approves first ever “Punjab IT Policy 2018”

Lahore, June 01, 2018 (PPI-OT): The Province of the Punjab’s first ever IT Policy 2018 premised upon five pillars include support to the industry, bridging the digital divide, e-governance, citizen centric services and entrepreneurship was approved by the Provincial Cabinet in its last meeting yesterday, which is focused to bridge the digital divide across gender, region and economic classes and achieve accessible and affordable access for all and to position Punjab as the IT R and D and innovation hub of Pakistan. With this approval the Punjab has now become the first province to launch its IT Policy.

Elucidating the salient features of the policy document Dr. Umar Saif founder Vice Chancellor of ITU, the Punjab and the Chairman Punjab Information Technology Board (PITB) informed a group of media persons who called on him here today and said that it proved government’s commitment to use ICT as an enabling tools for improving governance, efficiency, transparency and accountability. The policy document consolidates all initiatives taken in the sector and also sets a future roadmap that will take the province to its ultimate destination which is making Punjab the Hub of Information Technology.

He said that it would establish Punjab as the preferred destination for local and international investment in the IT/ITES/EHM industries, enable the entrepreneurial ecosystem to flourish in the field of IT/ITES/EHM, increase financial inclusion and incentives investment in innovative ICT technologies to promote e-commerce in the province, create an enabling environment for IT Technologies and their safe usage through policy reform and improvements in legal framework, use ICTs for enhancing the capabilities of citizens and setting forward a more inclusive and broader human development agenda, to endeavour for rapid expansion and growth of the knowledge based economy in the province, strengthen and build human resource and increase employment opportunities through the use of ICTs and to utilize ICT for a more efficient transparent and green governance model in Punjab.

The Punjab’s I T Policy 2018 would attract long-term investments, improve export remittances and increase new IT parks through technology SEZs throughout the country, he stated. Being one of the main pillars of this policy, Government of Punjab has laid great emphasis on it and has extensively used technology in improving efficiency and governance across several sectors.

While presenting the policy document before the cabinet, Dr. Umar Saif, Chairman Punjab IT Board informed the cabinet that the process of the policy formulation started one and half year back and during its formulation stage it was ensured that the process was inclusive, outward looking, joined-up and evidence based so that a well-rounded effective policy document could be produced. To maintain highest standards of input, several focus group discussions and individual consultation sessions were conducted along with rigorous in-house research. More than 150 individuals from across all key sectors have provided input in this document. The policy was also opened for public comments for two months, he informed.

The specific policy commitments in this regard are: establishment of common resource and service centres and public Wi-fi hotspots in remote areas and promotion of ease of access for women at these service centres. Moreover, the policy also talks about the promotion of private sector investment in e-learning initiatives through tax-breaks and engagement with global online learning platforms for provision of quality content in regional languages. The policy document aims to address all aspects of the IT sector, including industry, entrepreneurship, academia etc.

IT sector in Pakistan is growing rapidly, which is evident from the IT exports figures of reliable sources. Providing support and creating a conducive environment for the IT and other related businesses has been among the top priorities of the Government of Punjab. Various steps have been taken in this regard which include payment of government taxes such as stamp duty through e-stamping; collection of other government receipts through online mediums; getting permission to start a new business under ease of doing business initiatives; acquiring hassle-free warehouse construction permits from e-Khidmat Markaz; tax exemptions for Telecoms sector and IT businesses; construction of technology parks and knowledge parks; and facilitation in setting up a new industry in any of the industrial zones in Punjab through One Window Service Centres (OWSC).

Some of the proposed initiatives are the establishment of the dedicated Special Economic Zones (SEZs) and Industrial Cities for Information Technology through which the industry will greatly benefit from tax breaks and exemptions in export duties, among other things; construction of technology parks in Lahore and other cities of the province; and reduction in taxes on IT and IT enabled businesses which will not only facilitate these businesses, but will also bring more businesses into the tax net. The government also plans to take extensive measures for the formation of the hardware manufacturing industry through ODMs along with proposing an e-commerce regime by means of technical and legal considerations.

Bridging the digital divide across different groups and segments of the society has been one of the key focus areas of the government and will continue to be. Some of the most significant schemes, in this regard, are merit based distribution of laptops among students; establishment of Chief Minister’s e-Rozgaar Centers across Punjab which enables the recent graduates to polish and monetize their skillset; formation of e-libraries in Punjab where citizen from all walks of life and age groups are utilizing online knowledge base comprising of millions of resources; installation of Wi-Fi hotspots in big cities and availability of online textbooks under the E-Learn program as well as provision of tablets in schools.

Empowering citizens through online petitions platform which shall deal with social and other relevant issues; setting up of regional offices of PITB across Punjab; providing trainings on emerging ideas such as Internet of Things (IoT); and serving the vulnerable groups of the society by providing them free and easily accessible ICT resources in an inclusive manner, included the policy.

During the last five years, computerization of all police stations in Punjab; creation of Police Khidmat centres in all 36 districts of Punjab; automation of Criminal Record office; introduction of Hospital Management Information System (HMIS) in DHQs/ THQs; verification of attendance of doctors and paramedics through biometric attendance system; supervision of the health, education, agriculture, livestock and irrigation field staff through SIM enabled phones and tablets; improvement of the vaccination coverage from 22% to 92% across Punjab under eVaccs; compilation of real time feedback from monitoring staff for 52,394 schools in Punjab; collection of government receipts in a transparent and accountable manner; implementation of e-filing and office automation systems in different public sector entities; upgradation of the development budget making and monitoring through Smart Monitoring of Development Projects (SMDP); establishment of a state of the art tier-III data center for Government of Punjab; initiation of video conference facility for better, economical and efficient communication across public sector offices in Punjab; establishment of Government of Punjab’s citizen contact center in order to run multiple helplines for several government departments; and computerization of land records of over 55.5 million agricultural land owners under land record management information system.

For more information, contact:
Punjab Information Technology Board (PITB)
11th Floor, Arfa Software Technology Park,
346-B, Ferozepur Road, Lahore, Pakistan
Tel: +92-42-35880062
Fax: +92-42-99232123
Email: info@pitb.gov.pk
Website: www.pitb.gov.pk

Strategic partnership makes buying a home easier

Karachi, October 04, 2016 (PPI-OT):Exciting announcement today as Lamudi Pakistan has teamed up with Standard Chartered Bank to support the people of Pakistan in getting finance for a new dream home. One of the priority activities home hunters undertake is getting the finance for their house purchase. The procedure can be complicated so Lamudi Pakistan has enhanced their website by adding an easy-to-use loan calculator; which is conveniently located at the top right-hand corner for each exciting property listing.

The unique, user-friendly design provides would-be buyers with a monthly loan repayment schedule along with the total loan amount and the terms and conditions. Customers have the freedom to choose the size of their down payment which can range from between 30 and 70 percent of the asking price and this is then used to calculate the monthly repayments. Home seekers can set the duration of the loan between three and 20 years.

Customers can also select their preference to customise their loan, and the monthly instalment amount will appear on the screen. If customers then decide to apply for the loan they can simply submit a request right on the page with just one click. You will then arrive at the homepage of Standard Chartered Bank where a bank clerk will process your application. It is every Pakistani’s dream to own a home but getting the money together is an obstacle. Many renters are paying their savings over to a landlord but there is now a smart alternative.

The strategic partnership between Lamudi Pakistan and Standard Chartered Bank opens up the possibility of getting a loan with greater ease than ever before copper-fastening Lamudi Pakistan’s mission to empower local house hunters in any way possible.

For more information, contact:
Lamudi.pk
Arfa Software Technology Park
346-B, Ferozepur Road,
Lahore, Pakistan
Tel: +92-42-111-LAMUDI (111-526834)
Cell: +92-345-8404207
Email: wecare@lamudi.pk
Website: www.lamudi.pk

Asian tech start-ups in emerging markets to watch

Karachi, August 25, 2016 (PPI-OT): Internet penetration is beginning to accelerate in Asia’s emerging markets. While smartphones are widespread in many Asian countries, in others, the smartphone revolution is just beginning. Tech startups in the Pakistan seem to be racing ahead, whereas in countries such as Myanmar, there are larger obstacles to overcome. Within Asia’s emerging markets, which startups are making waves in this smartphone era?

Indonesia – Million Dollar Motorcycle App

Indonesia’s startup landscape is still somewhat mysterious for those trying to break into it. However, Go-Jek, has succeeded in becoming the hottest startup to make it big. Picking up paying passengers on the back of your motorbike used to be an unofficial money-spinner in Indonesia, but Go-Jek has made this a legitimate business. This Indonesian equivalent of Uber offers motorbike rides on demand and was the most popular free iOS app downloaded in Indonesia, in 2015. In spite of a recent stir caused by lower prices, it’s likely that Go-Jek will continue to prosper and transform transportation in the world’s biggest archipelago, especially following the USD $550 million it raised in funding this month!

Bangladesh – Price Comparison App Seedstars Winner

As a developing country with 5 main mobile phone providers offering over 250 plans, it’s easy to find yourself locked into a contract that you can’t afford in Bangladesh. However, there is now a way to avoid this situation. Bangladeshi app Madviser provides a solution. Based on your smartphone usage behaviour, the app calculates which deal would be best for you, saving you both money and time. As the winner of a Seedstars World competition last year, receiving USD $500,000, the app’s developer Humake Lab is set to fly towards changing the way in which Bangladeshis shop for phone contracts.

Philippines – A Wealth of Tech Startups

Metro Manila is buzzing with technology these days. Startups seem to be earning foreign investments left right and center. IT solutions provider Yondu sits among the best of the bunch. Since the company “ranked second in Forbes Philippines’ top startups list”, “Xurpas invested PHP 900 million to acquire a 51% stake in Yondu” (Forbes). The mobile and IT content and services provider is proving that the Philippines is a great place to be for tech companies, and the world is watching as it develops as one of the country’s tech pioneers.

Myanmar – New Incubator Producing Rising Stars

It is the dawn of the startup in Myanmar, and with the launch of new incubator Phandeeyar Accelerator in 2016, the future of startups is looking much brighter. Myanmar’s internet users are centred around the smartphone, the sales of which have exploded like nowhere else. Although a small startup has yet to make it big, Phandeeyar’s Innovation Lab is set to change that. Rocket Internet led sites such as work.com.mm have begun to change the way that Myanmar citizens find work. Soon, the majority of job hunting in Myanmar could happen via smartphones. This is truly incredible, especially given that cellular subscriptions have jumped from 1.10% of the population in 2010 to 61.70% in 2015, according to techinasia.com.

Sri Lanka – Online Shopping Startups Attracting Investors

Not only is the island of Sri Lanka simply beautiful, it’s also becoming a country to watch in the tech world. Now that the country’s political situation has calmed down, start-ups such as Takas are attracting investors’ attention. This online shopping startup raised Rs.80 million in 2015, and was named the country’s best startup. The company is highly ambitious, and it’s impressive how quickly a small local tech project such as this has attracted investment. With a few more startup incubators encouraging tech teams, Sri Lanka could be the next big innovator country in just a couple of years’ time.

Pakistan – Influential New App Transforms Mobile Banking

Online banking and cashless transactions have transformed much of the west. Pakistan, on the other hand, is an economy that is fuelled by cash transactions. Despite this, with its innovative online banking solutions, Pakistan’s Innov8 is ground-breaking in the world of mobile financial services. Having already fetched USD $5.4 Million in funding in 2015, this Lahore-grown startup is expanding and transforming Asia’s mobile financial services market.

Pan-Asian Startups

There is also a number of startups operating in multiple countries across Asia, changing the way certain industries work.

Lamudi – Find Your Dream House

Global online real estate platform Lamudi focuses solely on the emerging markets. Lamudi is present in all of the above mentioned countries where real estate is currently booming. This highly innovative company has become the market leader in a number of countries very quickly with its website and app, and it is changing the face of real estate. Real estate is moving online very fast in Asia. In the future, we may even see real estate transactions happening as a result of virtual reality viewings you may not even need to leave the comfort of your armchair to buy a home!

Aslan Pharmaceuticals – Finding Cancer Treatments for Asia

This pan-Asian biotechnology startup’s focus is on oncology; more precisely, looking at the cancers that are the most prevalent in Asia and developing technologies to treat them. The company has received USD $77 million in funding so far, and is set to make a huge difference to the treatment of cancer on the Asian continent. It plans to do this by looking at immunotherapies and targeted agents through working on specific goals. With the increase in startup incubators almost all over Asia’s emerging markets, startup giants from all corners are on the cusp of making it big. The internet is powerful. Especially when you can hold it in your hand. Look out for the innovators who will be changing the world!

For more information, contact:
Lamudi.pk
Arfa Software Technology Park
346-B, Ferozepur Road,
Lahore, Pakistan
Tel: +92-42-111-LAMUDI (111-526834)
Cell: +92-345-8404207
Email: wecare@lamudi.pk
Website: www.lamudi.pk

Rising internet adoption has a positive effect on real estate

Karachi, July 28, 2016 (PPI-OT):All over the world, the internet is changing societies; from how people book their holidays to how they purchase property. In the real estate industry, the internet has already made huge waves. The movement away from traditional methods for searching for property and towards a digital approach is particularly noticeable in the emerging markets. This trend parallels the rise in internet penetration in emerging markets, particularly in Asia and Latin America.

Rising internet penetration levels

In Bangladesh, 30% of the population now use the internet. The number of internet users has grown by 12% since January 2014. 70% of Bangladesh’s web traffic originates from mobile phones and 29% from desktops and laptops (We Are Social Singapore, 2015). In Pakistan, it seems that desktop computers are more popular than in Bangladesh, at least when it comes to searching for property, since 68% of hits on lamudi.pk last year were from desktop computers.

Meanwhile in Sri Lanka, internet penetration is still quite low (between 20 and 25%). However, this level is also increasing rapidly. Interestingly, most searches for Sri Lankan property on lamudi.lk actually come from people abroad; mostly from international investors looking to move or invest in property on the increasingly popular island.

Online and transparent

These days, people are looking for a convenient way to find property. Modern house hunters in the digital age value ease of access; they want to be able to buy and sell property anytime, anywhere. People simply don’t have the time or the inclination to list their own properties or trawl through newspapers and paper advertisements themselves. This is why using property apps and websites are becoming much more popular than before. Online security is improving, and people are opting for online property portals more than ever. Lamudi is paving the way to online real estate in many emerging markets.

“What we see now is people using the Lamudi app on their way to work, on their lunch break and whenever they have a free moment,” said Saad Arshed, founder of Lamudi Pakistan—the online property platform. Before, searching for a place to rent or buy was a major ordeal, the shift online means people can look for property very casually, in their own time,” said Arshed.

House hunters in emerging markets are keen to use online platforms because they provide them with a transparent way of making transactions. The Lamudi platform is recognized as a trustworthy site, helping people to find and purchase property in a legitimate and transparent way.

A range of devices

In order to access online property portals, it is no longer necessary to turn on your desktop computer and log in. The rise of the smartphone in emerging markets means that increasing numbers of house hunters are using the Lamudi app on their phone. Data from Bangladesh shows that 70% of the country’s web traffic originates from mobile phones and 29% from desktops and laptops.

However, in general, desktop property hunting still seems to be ahead of property searches using mobile devices. In Pakistan, only 7% of Lamudi users accessed the site using a tablet. It would not be surprising if this number increased within the years to come, as tablets are likely to become more affordable and usable, and therefore their usage for property searches is likely to increase.

Demographic trends and the future

Generally, young people tend to be more keen to use online methods for house hunting than older people. In Mexico, those between 25 and 34 years old are the most likely to search for property online using Lamudi. A recent survey showed that 60.1% of those who search for property in Mexico were women, but it is unclear whether this trend is common in other countries.

The latest revolutionary technology to make a huge splash in the ocean of real estate is virtual reality (VR). Consumers are now purchasing VR headsets and all the gear they need to enter the exciting world of virtual reality. Digital progress is not set to slow down anytime soon, and it will be fascinating to see the impact that VR will make on real estate in the future.

For more information, contact:
Lamudi.pk
Arfa Software Technology Park
346-B, Ferozpur Road,
Lahore, Pakistan
Tel: +92-42-111-LAMUDI (111-526834)
Cell: +92-345-8404207
Email: wecare@lamudi.pk
Website: www.lamudi.pk

Virtual Reality: The New Housing Dimension

Karachi, July 19, 2016 (PPI-OT):The process of buying or renting a house is about to change, change utterly: introducing the virtual world of real estate. Virtual reality has reared its head across almost all sectors of the economy in what only seems like a short number of months. It has taken consumer consumption to a level never seen before: from virtual shopping malls to virtual museums we are all slowly moving into a new form of reality. With VR there are those who think it will transform the consumer world and there are those who haven’t put on a headset yet.

Naturally, it wasn’t long before real estate companies got onboard with this groundbreaking technology. “It’s a no-brainer,” said Saad Arshed, the founder of —the global property portal—Lamudi Pakistan. “What we see now is investors getting the chance to —almost literally— step inside the house that they are thinking about investing in. You will see in the following years the transition from viewing properties online on portals like Lamudi to actually completing the entire transaction from the comfort of your home. This will make investing in property worldwide as easy as investing in the stock market,” said Arshed.

David Cronenberg’s protagonist—Seth Brundle— tried to create a telepod in the science fiction horror film The Fly but had disastrous results. The modern VR set is a far cry from that doomsday scenario and placing on the modern—snorkelling masklike headset—is now a far more pleasant experience. Nowadays, the places you can transport to are as exotic as the Moon or as dangerous as Mars. “Whatever about flying to a desert island with the headset, homeowners can actually step inside the apartment they have been dreaming of, walk around the building and place a deposit before the builders have even started,” Arshed went on to say.

However, the technology still remains prohibitively expensive. And for most property companies the next logical step is to add 3D walk-throughs which are an updated model of the panoramic camera shots from yesteryear. In the future, when large commercial deals are being pitched to investors—you can guarantee— a VR tour will be a fundamental part of the sale. Trying to get a buyer to part with millions without seeing the building is challenging, to do it after a VR viewing is less so.

In the future, we could see open houses confined to the history books. A buyer could slip on a headset in Canary Wharf and zip around flashy commercial properties in Manila while he sips his latte and watches something on tv. Expect the technology to keep getting better: soon allowing touch sensations or perhaps smell to encourage an overseas investor to jump on a plane. One thing is for sure, buying a house in the future will be an entirely different experience.

For more information, contact:
Lamudi.pk
Arfa Software Technology Park
346-B, Ferozepur Road,
Lahore, Pakistan
Tel: +92-42-111-LAMUDI (111-526834)
Cell: +92-345-8404207
Email: wecare@lamudi.pk
Website: www.lamudi.pk

JazzCash to provide its Payment Solutions to Kaymu’s customers

Karachi, June 23, 2016 (PPI-OT):JazzCash has entered into a partnership with Kaymu.pk, the largest e-commerce market place in Pakistan, whereby customers can purchase through Kaymu using JazzCash. The partnership provides customers the option to pay through any Debit / Credit Card, Jazz Cash Mobile Account or through a voucher at any of their nearest JazzCash outlet across the country.

Speaking about this partnership, Aniqa Afzal Sandhu, Head of Digital and Mobile Financial Services – Mobilink, stated, “We are delighted to partner with Pakistan’s leading e-commerce player and facilitate their customers with a comprehensive online payment solution. This partnership will not only provide convenience to millions of customers making purchases on Kaymu, but also further the local e-commerce industry.”

Under this arrangement, Kaymu Customers will also be offered JazzCash Escrow service. This will enable customers to shop online with complete confidence as their money will be safe until they are satisfied with the product delivered. JazzCash Escrow Service is completely automated where the customer can raise a dispute just by logging into an online portal in comparison to the lengthy manual and paper based processes in place with other Escrow Enabled payment gateways in the market.

“Kaymu has made its mark as the most widespread network of online customers all over the country, and we are all set to revolutionize the e-commerce industry in Pakistan with this collaboration. We are also eager to enable JazzCash Escrow, the first of its kind for Pakistan, on our platform and are sure it will mark a shift in online buying and selling. This partnership is a huge step in realizing the vision of a Digital Pakistan and we are very excited to be partnering with Mobilink,” said Ali Zain Sheikh, Country Manager – Kaymu.pk. Niroshan Balasubramaniam, CEO – Kaymu Asia, was also present at the ceremony.

Kaymu.pk is the leading e-commerce platform in Pakistan for online buying and selling of a wide range of products including fashion, health and beauty and electronics. It has, to date, served in over 260 cities across Pakistan and has also managed to develop a dedicated customer base in tier 2 and tier 3 towns and cities.

For more information, contact:
Kaymu.pk
Arfa Software Technology Park
346-B Ferozpur Road,
Lahore, Pakistan.
Email: cs@kaymu.pk
Phone: 042-11-11-KAYMU (52968)
Website: http://www.kaymu.pk/