Can Arfa Karim Technology Park can become Silicon Valley of Pakistan?
Arfa Karim, a young child, who had left us making all Pakistanis proud by becoming the youngest individual to be Microsoft Certified Professional at the age of 9 and was invited by Microsoft CEO Bill Gates in 2005. In exchange to her great contribution for own country we as a nation after her demise had developed a Technology Park called Arfa Karim Software Technology Park In Lahore Pakistan in the year 2009 on the orders of Punjab Chief Minister Mian Shahbaz Shareef. The main objective behind the development of this Technology Park was to boost information technology culture and let Pakistan also compete in the race of globalization and digitization.
Apart from the development of the entire infrastructure and physically shaping it to a technological hub of Pakistan, did it actually contributed in improving the technological landscape of Pakistan? In the coming year will this technological park turn into Pakistan’s Silicon Valley?
Arfa Software Technology Park as per our analyst is one of the milestones achieved which consist of business operation facilities such as Tier 3 Data Centers, high tech security, water proof pathways, 24 hour CCTV video camera protection, an RFID controlled parking space, building management system that to optimize and centralize process of monitoring, managing and operating systems within the building. Well when we are talking about a technology based platform does the physical architecture matter most or the opportunities developed there in that building for the tech savvy people of the society? Unfortunately, none of such opportunities are provided through the state of the art structure of Arfa Software Technology Park. Despite of the fact that we are witnessing some major technological startups emerging from different parts of our country and are being recognized by the International tech forums but none are coming from this so called big gigantic technology park.
Being an ordinary citizen of Pakistan who always wishes that our country flourish and prosperous to greater heights of success and popularity in front of the world, believes that the this software technology should not just stand as a piece of architectural monument instead becomes a hub a centralized platform for the technological evolutions and opportunities for the startups in Pakistan. When we talk about Silicon Valley without a slightest doubt in anyone’s mind and heart every individual will agree that it is a core/central point of the World’s technological evolution, place where Microsoft, Apple, Facebook the big names in tech world took birth and are controlling the more than half of the world today. The government should realize that infrastructures are important for operations/ideas/ activity but not for building monuments to show off to the world without any useful productivity.
Creators of Arfa Software Technology Park should move beyond their existing operations and try to inculcate facilities that facilitate the people the startups in getting off the ground their business ventures, provide them incubation facilities, provide them funding venture opportunities, necessary resourceful tools and skills to enhance the rate of entrepreneurial growth in Pakistan. If we analyze we can identify a lot of private individual ventures/ bodies/ organizations are working very effectively in promoting new technological ideas, investing in them to develop, test and launch their ideas and projects such as Nesti/o by Jehan Ara, LUMS Centre of Entrepreneurship, Telenor incubation Center, Plan 9, Visioni Ventures founded by entrepreneur Syed Abdul Basit, a platform that help and acts as a bridge to connect startups with enterprises to develop individual innovative ideas and seek guidance to choose the right business for themselves. All private entities doing their best efforts to identify, nurture, train and giving opportunities to the young tech savvy individuals who want to make a prominent name in the tech world and make this Technology Park a place, a platform that not only provide infrastructural facilities for entrepreneurial opportunities and resources, acting as a community towards development of technological ecosystem in Pakistan.