Digital Transformation in Pakistan

My recent visit to Pakistan was both educational and inspiring. With Pakistan (rated 50 among 50 counties in terms of Digital Preparedness ) there was a thirst for this new approach to business and entrepreneurship. They sensed transformation was the direction but most were in the stage of adopting digital marketing technologies. With the right direction and investments, Pakistan can leapfrog the consumer economy to a network economy model. Transform from profit solely to Quadruple bottom line ( based on sustainable outcomes for all stakeholders – customer, employee, partner, investor and community) .

Challenges Facing Business Leaders

Executives, managers and entrepreneurs need to be prepared to face an emerging imperative !!! Operating in conditions of an exponentially changing turbulent world while living with ambiguity. Emerging trends are coming FROM DIFFERENT DIRECTIONS; they are faced with how to make sense of them, and respond or consider transformation.

Often business leaders do not know the answers to the challenges based upon past experience of what is the best practice for the future generation or new market conditions. In that regard the Leader has difficulty “leading” as they are in the dark. They need to become more agile and transparent. Change must begin with the inner-self and self-reflection, switching identity from being a Leader to becoming a “Transformer“. The transformation must begin with a commitment to change their organization; in terms of their relationships with their stakeholders — the way they address their team and the market. Transformation must begin with the c-suite and entrepreneurs. They must become Transformers themselves. A catalyst for change.

Actualizing a Digital Transformation

The answer is preparation and training in terms of the changing foundation of our business and marketplace. The understanding what the threat is and plan for the future , then businesses will have a much more successful outcome and startups a greater chance to succeed ( much greater than the 80-90% current failure rate). As Albert Einstein used to point out, we cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.

Einstein’s insight provides inspiration yet, we are creatures of habit and continue to do things which are comfortable and have done before. It will take further reflection, reflection and applying insights with genuine authenticity to address the challenges and the opportunities of this turbulent Digital World and those of developing economies . While entrepreneurship is cast is the Western model of incubators and hackathons, with intentions to launch a successful startup that they can build into highly profitable ventures and cash out with great wealth, relevant technologies with practical applications expressed through values based organizations offers a sustainable alternative.

Reinventing Entrpreneurship

I feel we have no choice but to “reinvent entrepreneurship” in business, education and the social sectors, especially in emerging economies. Entrepreneurship, like other institutions in our economic and social environment must be transformed to leverage the VUCA environment ( Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, Ambiguous) and necessity of sustainability . Sustainable Entrepreneurship identifies profitable business opportunities amidst environmental and social challenges in the global digital marketplace. We must prepare our young entrepreneurial minds to be more agile ,responsive and anticipatory of a sustainable future. This includes the commercialization of green technologies and the vast opportunities to serve the unmet needs of the poor at the base of the income pyramid (BOP). The BOP exists not only in the developing world but also in developed countries such as the US where the poor live in marginal conditions without access to affordable health care, housing, and nutrition.

My passion is to leverage our global assets to “UBERIZE’ social development and entrepreneurship. Global Transformation Corps is a network of young entrepreneurs, impact investors and experts that collaborate to design, fund, coach, scale and share social enterprises that generate impact (profit, social/environmental benefit, value).   Millennials need to be mentored as “transformers”, catalysts for change  with agile mindsets able to respond , adapt and design the next innovation or business model.

Pakistan is prime for such an effort. Why train entrepreneurs to operate with an old mindset when the world has changed and Pakistan needs to leapfrog this traditional approach to become competitive in the digital world.

We are launching the Catalytic Transformers  Bootcamp pilot in 2018 with representatives from selected countries and would like top target a group from Pakistan.  After the intensive training we look to support the funding of qualified projects In Pakistan and provide online and in person coaching to insure the success of the new ventures. That is our challenge; it begins with us.