Digital Trends: Karachi, 11 January 2020: Tania Andrus, the former Google executive and MIT expert in charge of Prime Minister Imran Khan’s newly established “Digital Pakistan” project, has characterized it as having “an overall vision that seeks to unleash the promise of Pakistan’s digital future.
In an exclusive interview published in the January 2020 edition of Monthly South Asia, she discusses her thoughts on the project and its intentions. Tania believes that Pakistan must work toward a future in which technology touches and enriches the lives of all citizens, resulting in higher productivity and greater control for the people by unleashing their entrepreneurial potential and propelling Pakistan forward toward a secure economic future.
Tania Andrus is a former executive at Google. She has been appointed to lead the Prime Minister’s Digital Pakistan project, intended to usher in a technologically-driven environment for Pakistan’s tech-savvy young. Tania thinks that Pakistan’s startup ecosystem is ready for take-off since the country’s “middle class is expanding and driving the increase in consumer purchasing.” She claims that the nation has 70 million broadband internet users and a mainly youthful and energetic population with great potential. According to her, it is only a matter of time until a few significant successes in Pakistan draw regional and worldwide attention to the enormous potential that exists in the nation.
When asked how this might be a more organized, logical, and quantifiable route, Tania explains that Pakistan, like most other ambitious changes, needs a clear, comprehensive, and articulate plan to decide where it wants to go in the long run. Tania believes that the Digital Pakistan project will significantly impact the employment market since the following billion-dollar businesses will emerge from IT, creating hundreds of thousands of new jobs. She promises that these jobs would be in various industries and activities and provide Pakistan with the single best chance to close the unemployment gap.
She expresses her concerns about the roadblocks to entrepreneurial development in Pakistan’s IT industry, stating that things should be more straightforward for IT companies to operate in the nation. Tania is optimistic about Pakistan’s future technological growth and believes that the government can help by enabling new entrants.
Digital Pakistan aims to unlock the potential of Pakistan
Tania Andrus has been appointed in charge of Prime Minister Imran Khan’s new effort to usher in a digitally-driven atmosphere. In this exclusive interview, she speaks with South Asia.
How would you describe the idea of Digital Pakistan to someone who has never heard of it?
Digital Pakistan is an overarching vision that aims to unleash Pakistan’s potential by laying the groundwork for its digital future – a future built on universal and equitable access with transparency and accountability, where technology touches and enriches the lives of every citizen, thereby driving higher productivity and giving every Pakistani greater control, while unleashing their potential.
What are your views on Pakistan’s startup environment?
I am certain that Pakistan’s startup environment is at a crossroads. Our middle class is expanding, which is pushing up consumer spending. We have more than 70 million broadband internet users and, most significantly, a youthful, vibrant population with tremendous potential. The diamonds are already there; all that remains is for them to be mined, polished, and packed. It’s just a matter of time until a few major successes in Pakistan draw regional, then worldwide, attention to the enormous potential that exists in the nation.
Are you sure that Pakistan is on the right track?
No direction or goal has been established to yet, but things have continued to progress owing to the sheer tenacity and resilience of our young and the environment. We should be considerably farther along since we have ALL of the essential building pieces and components. Yes, we can all work together to develop Pakistan in the correct path. It’s extremely feasible with the proper strategy, the right personnel, and a positive, inclusive attitude.
What makes this a more organized, coherent, and quantifiable path?
As with most ambitious changes, we need a clear, comprehensive, and coherent plan, as well as an understanding of where we want to go in the long run. Then, to observe fast development in the near term, we must designate unambiguous owners who can be held responsible for each milestone. We do not have the time to work in silos or take a gradual approach any more.