The Federal Finance Minister, Shaukat Aziz formally
launched TMT-PKIC Incubation Fund on April 26, 2003. It is a venture
capital fund jointly raised by TMT Ventures and Pakistan Kuwait
Investment Company (PKIC). This is the first SECP-licensed venture
capital fund. The Rs 250 million Fund has a life of eight years and is
mandated to invest in start up and early stage companies in Pakistan's
high growth Telecommunication, Media and Technology (TMT) sectors. The
first closing of Rs 250 million Fund was achieved in December 2002. The
Fund has already made investments worth Rs 63 million in five companies.
The investors in the Fund include Pakistan's leading financial
institutions — AKD Securities, PKIC, Habib Bank, National Investment
Trust (NIT) and SME Bank.
In his key note address, Shaukat Aziz said, "I
congratulate the management of TMT-PKIC Incubation Fund for launching
Pakistan's first early stage venture capital fund. I am also happy to
note that some of the leading financial institutions of Pakistan,
particularly the state-owned ones, have participated in this venture.
Venture capital in Pakistan has a bright future if done properly. The
government is ready to provide an enabling environment. We shall soon
witness a booming venture capital industry in the country."
Abdul Rahman Qureshi, Chairman, Securities and
Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) ensured full support from the
regulators to encourage venture capital in the country. He suggested
that the government should extend the tax exemption on venture capital
funds and companies to at least ten years from the commencement of
business in order to encourage new players. The prevailing tax exemption
would expire in 2007.
Earlier, welcoming the guests, Ali Ansari, Chairman
TMT Ventures said, "Venture Capital (VC) is all about people. To be
successful, a VC has to balance financial discipline with
entrepreneurial dynamism. We are here to give the bright, talented and
young professionals of Pakistan a chance to prove themselves at a global
level. It is not easy money. VC is the most expensive form of financing
and to be able to obtain VC financing the entrepreneurs have to accept a
rigorous discipline of how to use scare capital. Extreme hard work under
tiring conditions is a must if start-ups have to succeed. We have
created start-up culture at our incubator 'cyberport'. Every one is
welcome to visit us and see how the magic of VC works."
Zaigham Rizvi, Managing Director, PKIC said that real
growth of the Information Technology (IT) sector in Pakistan and its
contribution to the country's economy could only be achieved once the
demand side of the IT related services is accelerated. On supply side
Pakistan has a very strong human talent in the IT field. PKIC strongly
believes that supporting VC through entities like TMT Ventures is the
right step in this direction. Financial institutions globally have
played a lead role in initiating venture funds. TMT-PKIC Incubation Fund
is the first initiative of PKIC joining hands with AKD Securities and
other financial institutions. Rizvi added that strong commitment and
support from the GoP and the presence of Shaukat Aziz at the launching
ceremony demonstrates that the financial sector is fully committed to
playing its role for strengthening IT sector in the country.
TMT Ventures specializes in incubating companies. It
manages TMT start-ups and turns them into successful companies. TMT
Ventures' unparalleled network of contacts and its active involvement at
business strategy level immensely benefit portfolio companies. This
starts from providing physical housing, high-speed telecommunication
connection, power supply and other facilities at its Cyberport located
in Karachi. In addition, TMT Ventures also provides a centralized system
of accounts, finance, administration, audit, tax and legal services to
portfolio companies, thus taking care of the hassles of doing business
in Pakistan. The entire process is automated through an Internet system
that ensures transparency and full disclosure, and facilitates corporate
governance for the benefit of investors. The companies already
benefiting from the TMT Ventures' expertise include 2B Technologies,
yEvolve, appxs and Post Amazers.
The success story of TMT Ventures may be incomplete
without mentioning Azam Ali, the man who has developed TMT's business
model, identified and executed several of its initial investment. He is
the key person responsible for creating strategic alliances and
exploring international growth opportunities for TMT's portfolio
companies. Azam is also the CEO of an oil and gas ventures, a specialist
financial advisory and private investment firm focused on this sector.
Azam is a graduate from The Wharton School and received his Juris Doctor
degree from Columbia University.