Computer science and related fields are now among the fastest-growing areas of study at colleges and universities across Pakistan—over a 100,000 students graduate each year with technical degrees. Increasingly, these students, like their peers studying political science or journalism, care about making a difference.
For too long, however, organizations have failed to provide job opportunities in order to capitalize fully on the talents of this latest generation of students, resulting in a pool of brilliant and capable graduates wasting their talents than progressing professionally.
Given this context, the past three years have seen an exciting growth of “Start-up Ecosystem.” Organizations are now devoted to bridging the divide between graduates and work opportunities, KPITB is at the lead in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa when it comes to providing a conducive environment to startups through its chain of incubation centers all across the province better known as “Durshal.”
At its root, the Durshal is a program very intentionally designed to maximize the individual startup experience in all aspects — professional and business development, mentorship, and inclusion in a welcoming, cohort-based community.
The first cohort of the Durshal project was launched in August 2018 aiming to contribute towards the digital transformation of the province by establishing a network of community spaces with the goal of enabling the youth to collaborate, innovate, and launch new businesses in the province. Durshal has also played a crucial role in creating linkages between the government, tech industry, IT entrepreneurs and investors.
The consistent progression of the startups incubated at Durshal is evident from their steady growth both in terms of HR and revenue. These early stage tech startups have successfully created hundreds of new job opportunities for the ICT graduates in the province and have enhanced their sales numbers dramatically, thus fulfilling the objective of the Durshal project, which is to promote job creators rather than job seekers.
In Peshawar alone the project has created 47 new jobs in the IT sector, the startup companies have successfully generated more than PKR 37 Million in a period of six months only.
Start-ups in Peshawar have generated PKR 16.8 million in revenue along with creating business links with 25 local and two international clients. Whereas, in Mardan the start-ups developed linkages with 215 local companies and generated PKR 19 million as revenue.
ERISP (Engineering Research and IT Services Provider) was incubated at Durshal Peshawar in its first cohort. During the six months incubation period ERISP successfully signed 5 agreements with customers, recruited 13 employees for different positions, and purchased Digital Ocean cloud for cloud services.
The co-founder of ERISP Zahid Ali told that their mission is to achieve the reputation of quality, high standard, reliable solution & service Provider Company in IT sector. Ali and his colleagues priced Durshal project of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. They added that Durshal is a fruitful opportunity for the growth of tech based startups in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.