A total of 34 Pakistani entrepreneurs participated in the first Alibaba Netpreneur Training (“ANT”) Pakistan Program organised by Alibaba Global Initiatives (“AGI”) with support from Daraz, South Asia’s leading e-commerce platform and a business of Alibaba Group, as well as the Trade Development Authority of Pakistan.
The ANT Program is designed to equip entrepreneurs and business leaders across different sectors with tangible and actionable steps they can take to advance in the digital economy. The inaugural Pakistan Program, which lasted from mid-July to mid-August, included a series of online courses that supported Pakistani entrepreneurs in harnessing digital technology to grow their businesses.
Following an extensive selection process, a pool of Pakistani entrepreneurs were chosen from a wide range of industries such as agriculture, e-commerce, healthcare, information and communications technology (ICT), logistics and local services to take part in the online training, representing a mix of traditional and digital businesses. Over the four-week period, the sessions covered the latest trends and practices shaping China’s digital economy, as well as approaches and frameworks for entrepreneurs to build a successful and innovative business in today’s digital world.
One of the participants in this cohort was Dr Mohsin Zahid, Head of R&D of Neuron Solutions, a provider of data, research and solution development services.
“The diversity of the training participants provided a unique opportunity to learn from each other. Despite the diverse thinking and portfolio, the sense of a unified community within the training has been an interesting experience,” he said.
“Alibaba’s Netpreneur program is well designed with all the essential elements required to envision the businesses in the future. My key takeaway from this training has been to think about developing an ecosystem of businesses which complement each other in a cohesive manner, which can result in better efficiency and effectiveness in the long run. This is especially helpful to my company as our three areas of services – market research, software development and digital marketing – will eventually grow into separate businesses, and there will be a need for us to develop them with the concept of an ecosystem in mind.”
Sunbul Sameen, Founder of Opportunities, was the leader of another service provider that attended ANT this time. The company is a start-up that offers quality consulting and learning experience about stress, depression and mental health issues to students, professionals and entrepreneurs.
“The Netpreneur training covered every aspect of knowledge required by an entrepreneur, from devising mission, vision, strategy and values for your business to drafting your business model. It has equipped me with thinking and reflecting tools to achieve results and build a more valuable business structure,” said Sameen.
“The experience helped me in redefining my company’s mission and vision as well as my approach towards business. The lessons on digitalisation were also a call for me to digitalise my own business to deliver a more convenient consulting and learning experience to my users. Most importantly, my learnings from the training are a dose of motivation for me in times of failures as I will now look at my business with a broader perspective, which is, to bring positive change to the world and to impact lives for a better world,” she added.
“The Alibaba Netpreneur Training has provided a roadmap to entrepreneurs and aspiring business persons so they can excel in the digital economy. It has trained them to efficiently use digital technology, which will play a vital role in uplifting their businesses. Most importantly, the diverse set of participants enhanced the learning experience. It was delightful to see that Daraz and Alibaba are enabling the future of the business sector by equipping them with advanced digital learning. Said Tony Hulton, Group Director of Corporate Affairs, Daraz Group.
All participants who completed the course have been invited to join the AGI entrepreneur community, where they are able to continue to network with passionate and like-minded entrepreneurs, as well as enjoy access to post-program learning opportunities such as webinars and newsletters. Outstanding performers among the trainees will also be eligible to participate in offline immersion programs at Alibaba’s headquarters in Hangzhou, China once travel restrictions are lifted.
The ANT Program is one of Alibaba Group’s initiatives to build talent in digital commerce and business. To date, AGI has trained close to 1,800 entrepreneurs around the world through this program.