Ignite National Technology Fund in coordination with Japan External Trade Organization, Karachi organized a one day Design Thinking workshop for the Japanese companies working in Pakistan on Tuesday, 18 June 2019 at National Incubation Center Karachi

The workshop was conducted to provide a guidance to the Japanese companies to strategize and use the Design Thinking approach to define and redefine their problems (iteration), identify the end user, challenges and constraints, targets and impact, identify alternative strategies and solutions that might not be instantly apparent with the initial level of understanding. Business need to apply human-centered techniques to solve problems in a creative and innovative way. Group activities were conducted for brain storming and developing specific and concrete drafts of issues / problems, being faced by Japanese Companies, on pre designed problem statement templates.

Mr. Osamu Hisaki, Country Director JETRO Karachi said that JETRO has been actively supporting the collaboration of Japanese companies and Pakistani start-ups and is optimistic that such endeavors will be beneficial for both Pakistan and Japan..


In the opening address, CEO Ignite, Yusuf Hussain said that the Development of technology entrepreneurship is a priority of the Government, as a driver of growth and jobs. Collaborations between Japanese conglomerates and Pakistani startups and IT companies should help achieve these goals by providing opportunities for tech product and solution development in Pakistan that will also improve the competitiveness and productivity of Japanese corporations.

Dr. Suleman Shahid an assistant professor of Computer Sciences at one the most prestigious universities of Pakistan – Lahore University of Management Science (LUMS) was invited to conduct the session. Dr. Shahid is also Director at NIC Lahore, and holds a PhD in Affective Human Computer Interaction from Netherlands. He specifically explained the case study of Disney Land where with the introduction of wrist bands backed by complex technology driven programs, have been able to increase operating profits by 22 percent in just six months. Such 3 point approach; human centered – technology driven – Business ideation; are the key to innovative solutions that are transforming the business cycles, and business need to adapt to the current technological changes in order to survive in the future.

The platform facilitated the Knowledge sharing and interaction with relevant stakeholders particularly with Japanese entrepreneurs, discussion about the existing problems in key verticals in Pakistan requiring solutions from technology interventions and opportunity to discuss projects of interest to academia, industry and government departments.


As many as 20 participants from 8 Japanese Companies participated in this event. Earlier, in May an Introduction Session was also organized by JETRO Karachi in collaboration with IGNITE in which 16 participants from 10 Japanese companies had participated.

Further steps include sharing of problem statements of the companies with a group of potential StartUps / Accelerators and pitching of possible solutions to the identified problems by the startups.


This event was also covered in the local media (TV channels and newspapers). Ignite highlighted that the promotion and collaboration in the IT sector of Pakistan has been one of the priorities as a result of the Joint Government Dialogue between Japan and Pakistan held in Tokyo in December 2018, whereby Advisor Commerce, Mr. Abdul Razzak Dawood had emphasized the need for such joint interaction in this sector.


Pakistan’s digital market is growing rapidly and has the potential to become an innovation hub. Pakistan has a population of 207 million with 62.9% under the age of 30 years. This huge pool of youth is very active and strong in IT and is rapidly adapting to the technological and digital transformation of the 4th industrial Revolution. As of latest statistics available Pakistan has a 76.6% tele density with 161 million cellular subscribers.


JETRO Karachi is working with Government of Pakistan for providing an opportunity for the Japanese companies to partner with the Pakistani Startups/ Accelerators by have their problems be solved through their IT based innovative solutions.