Let’s Save The Future: Real Highlights From Future Fest 2023
The world is changing at lightning speed, and everyone is scrambling to stay ahead of the competition. But without technology, it seems quite tricky. To do just that, Ejad Labs organized Future Fest 2023, which took place at Expo Center Lahore on the 6th, 7th and 8th of January. Future Fest 2023 provided a glimpse of what the future holds, with 50,000+ attendees and 300+ speakers sharing new technologies that promise to #SavetheFuture. There were many foreigners, well-known personalities, government officials, and artists that attended the event to foster discussion on the future of life itself. In regards to the sponsors, Ejad Labs really rocked the show and put in the effort to make this futuristic festival a success. Throughout the event, Mr. Arzish Malik (Founder of Future Fest) demonstrated outstanding professionalism and participation in promoting technology, AI, and e-commerce. Also, there were several partners, including freshstart.pk, CXO Global Forum, Tech Nation, PNY, deel.com, Enablers, Graana.com, and Ginkgo. Every partner played a vital role in the triumph of this beautiful and technology-based event. To understand this remarkable event in detail, let’s go through each of the days in detail.
A ceremony was held at 12 pm in Expo Center Hall #2 for the opening of Future Fest 2023. At the ribbon-cutting reception, the honorable Mr. Arzish Malik (Owner of Ejad Labs), Kamran Yousaf (CEO of Orecto), Syed Umar Haider Bukhari (Founder of Cloud Tribe), and Alex Bouaziz (Founder of deel.com) joined many other personalities in promoting startups, existing ventures and entrepreneurship in this digital era with a positive mindset. Besides this, several startups displayed their stalls in Hall #2 and exhibited their business ideas, new technologies, and applications of artificial intelligence. Basically, a real objective of all this was to influence all new and existing ventures to work together to positively impact the economy of Pakistan.
However, we will highlight several major startups that aim to serve every class from the lowest to the highest with their unique product and service.
The mission of this institute was to promote soft skills to all who wish to earn a career and make a mark in the market. That’s why Wahab Younus (Owner of PNY Trainings) gave a huge boost to e-commerce by providing various courses online, including website development, digital marketing, graphic design, social media marketing, application development, etc. There are three ways in which these courses can be delivered: (1) online classes, (2) physical classes in their offices, and (3) recordings. This combination gives their batches a far-reaching understanding of how to learn and earn in this fast-paced world.
Mr. Shafiq Akbar (CEO of Graana.com and Imarat group) is one of the best known and most accomplished entrepreneurs in Pakistan. He is regarded as the pioneer in revolutionizing the Real Estate sector of Pakistan. This real estate giant now participated in the Future Fest 2023 to promote technology and artificial intelligence. Their sister companies, Agency 21 and Top Sure, are also technology-based companies. In Islamabad, Top Sure’s application is now available to help clients verify their properties, including plots, shops, and houses. The goal of their participation in this event is to promote technology and play a positive role in Pakistan’s success.
They offer simple cloud solutions to their clients so that they can quickly deploy and scale applications. Cloud-Tribe’s mission was to become a world-class cloud computing company that could become a leading player in the information technology services industry, giving developers the ability to create more, save time and improve their business performance. Having partnered with an international technology market, Cloud-Tribe has achieved international recognition. For different IT infrastructure solutions in Pakistan it has enabled a secure, private, and public cloud platform. With a wide range of curated products and services, Cloud-Tribe specializes in cloud computing infrastructure and network security. Among these services are:
✓ Virtual Data Center
✓ Ready-Made Deployments
✓ Business Applications
Various Startups Stalls
Also, there were a number of startups holding their stalls at this event; here are some of them:
Tracking.me (Saudi-Based company that provides tracking services)
Vfairs (USA-Based company that designs & develops virtual conferences globally)
HR Ways (Pakistan-Based company that provides recruitment services locally with 1000+ employees)
Repstack.co (A completely virtual recruitment solutions company)
Ginkgo Retail (A SaaS-Based eCommerce operating system)
Institute of Entrepreneurship (Based in Arifwala, Pakistan, promoting soft skills)
NCRA (An initiative of NUST to promote made-in-Pakistan products)
Aside from this, a number of workshops, roundtables and panel discussions were held at the Expo Center. The agendas of these sessions varied, including how to boost e-commerce, how to develop a proper way for entrepreneurs, how to make technology a part of every venture, economic crises, and challenges in e-commerce. More than 100+ speakers attended these sessions and voiced their opinions to overcome the situation. In light of the current economic situation and challenges, all participants were excited to share their opinions on all agenda items. Also, several brands sponsored the sessions and sent food, beverages, and other giveaways to the speakers and members to make the sessions lively and memorable.
Concluded by announcing the startups that will get the opportunity to pitch their business ideas to all the visitors, CEOs and other panel members, vetted by esteemed judges with the chance to win cash prizes. There were three finalists: Popcorn Studio, Ginkgo, and Orecto. The first day was successful for both investors and startups, as they had the chance to mix and network. There was a sense of excitement and anticipation in the air. The Director of Ejad Labs, Mr. Arzish Malik, ended on a note of gratitude for all who could come to celebrate the Pakistani ecosystem.
There was a similar amount of energy and enthusiasm on the second day of Future Fest 2023. The day was for all the staged stalls to get to know each other and see how they could collaborate in the future. Different startup owners sat in the media hall and shared their ideas on the significance of technology and how it could accelerate Pakistan’s economy. Also, there were many Saudi-based companies who set up stalls for their ventures alongside Pakistani ones in the Expo center and expressed appreciation for the whole event. They also did one better to serve Pakistan’s economy by collaborating. The top ventures were Salaasa, Saudi Made, Dalaasa, and many others.
Besides this, at almost 2 pm, some of the most recognizable personalities, including Azad Chaiwala (Founder of Azad Chaiwala Foundation), Sunny Ali (Founder of Extreme E-commerce), Tanveer Nandla (Founder of Iskills), and Ukhano (Vlogger), attended various stalls and talked to visitors to give the event a star-studded feel. They talked about new startups and encouraged newcomers and entrepreneurs to take risks and come up with new ideas. Their message to all entrepreneurs and newcomers was to come up with a unique idea and start branding it, with the aim to succeed one day. Additionally, they took selfies with visitors to boost their energy levels.
Current Economic Situation and E-Commerce Challenges Session Hosted By Bilal Mumtaz
Tech-related discussions among professionals and decision-makers always lead to robust outcomes. To taste this result, on 7th of January, in the VIP conference room, a roundtable session was organized by Mr. Bilal Mumtaz (Chapter Director of Pakistan E-commerce Consortium) on the topic of the current economic situation and e-commerce challenges. Various problems were highlighted under one roof during a roundtable well-planned by 30-40 well-known personalities. LCCI’s president, Kashif Anwar, was the chief guest. He started the conversation by getting questions from the members.
Mr. Naveed Ahmad (Master Trainer PITB) raised the issue of making a special policy for freelancers, which included their sales channel, earnings, and payment gateways. Also, he discussed Pakistan’s current economic situation and the contribution of all sectors to the country’s prosperity. Kashif Anwar suggested that we all register as taxpayers to support stabilizing our economy. Due to the fact that many businesses haven’t yet registered their businesses in the FBR. Registering them in the tax net will allow us to work with policymakers and come up with a positive outcome that will both help you in your grooming and play a crucial role during this difficult time.
As Muhammad Ali Qureshi (Regional Manager Trax and Co-Chair Roundtable) stated, we need to change our attitude and actions toward the economy of our country by implementing some valuable additions, such as the urgent implementation of IT skills in Pakistan, in order to help us grow rapidly. Additionally, it helps our existing and upcoming generations to develop a vision about new ways to earn money and how to assist in stabilizing the economy. Because we have the potential to create enabling working environment where our youth can harness their true potential. Also, he emphasized the significance of fostering AI and technology together.
Ayesha Zaman (CEO of Skills Todo) pointed out that the government and opposition are not paying enough attention to the IT sector because they are fighting over other issues which affect our economy. So, the main concern of this roundtable session is to develop some new plans for how we can participate positively in our economic success through our work and disciplines. Being patriotic citizens of this country, it’s our responsibility to make hard decisions to overcome difficult situations.
It was an excellent question from Fouad Bajwa (Digital Dera), who argued that it was the state bank of Pakistan’s responsibility to provide freelancers and Amazon workers with a trustworthy and reliable payment gateway. While getting money from abroad, there are several hurdles to overcome. Because of the economic crisis, big payment gateway companies are not taking risks to offer their services in Pakistan. Additionally, companies that provide channels for getting money from abroad charge too much withdrawal fees and offer too low an exchange rate. In an attempt to accomplish this, he asked Mr. Kashid Anwar and other participants how we could do that.
TRAX General Manager Waqas Ahmed Dar suggested that every graduate be offered a job to reduce unemployment. Universities produce more than 50000 graduates each year who fail to find jobs related to their niches. That’s why the ratio of unemployment is increasing day by day. It is our responsibility, as business personalities, to open new doors of opportunities for them. There is a huge potential for our IT sector to serve them with a variety of IT-related jobs that can reduce unemployment and open new doors for our country and ourselves.
At the end of the conversation, Mr. Kashif Anwar (President of LCCI) requested that everyone write him an official application indicating all the problems and solutions. He will certainly discuss them with the upper management. Bilal Mumtaz ended the roundtable sessions by thanking everyone and serving mouthwatering food and beverages.
The main sponsors of this roundtable session were:
- Food Partner – HiveMetrics
- Drinks Partner – Powerfull Energy Drink
- Merchandise Partner – SkillsToDo
Mr. Arzish Malik ended Day 2 with a relaxed and enjoyable feeling since everything went according to plan. All the sessions, workshops and meetings went well without any disruption or hurdle.
The additions to the ECommerce Panel were made in the previous document
It was the last day of the jaw-dropping and unforgettable Future Fest 2023. However, it was jam-packed with a lot of things to accomplish. This day started with the same energy where everyone was looking to add some new and fantastic memories to their good books. Different sessions, panels, and roundtable discussions were scheduled for the whole day in the Phoenix and Orion auditoriums, where several entrepreneurs and professionals were going to share their success stories and how newcomers could come up with their own unique and brilliant ideas to start their own businesses. Everyone is delighted to attend and sake a lot of knowledge.
MOUs Signing Ceremony
In the media hall, the MOU signing ceremony was held at 3:30 p.m. Several “BIG GIANTS” attended, eager to promote startups, e-commerce, and technology. The event was opened by Mr. Arzish Malik (Founder of Ejad Labs), who introduced all participants. Mr. Arslan Khalid (Special Adviser to CM Punjab on IT Government of Punjab) was the Chief Guest. More than 50 MOUs were signed at Future Fest 2023 between various e-commerce brands, IT companies and software houses. There were even MOUs signed to promote multiple software and technologies, including AI generation. Six Saudi-based companies were also part of the signatories. Mr. Azam Malik, MD of FutureFest and Arzish Azam, Founder of FutureFest, were driving forces of the MOUs Signings. In essence, the behind-the-scenes story of these MOU signings was to collaborate with various startups and existing businesses to give a rapid boost to academic education, technology, artificial intelligence and lots of learning.
Here are some MOU signing companies:
All MOUs are signed to promote technology, AI generation and education to every class from low to top.
Ejad Labs vs Classera
AZM vs Ejad Labs and MK Consultancy
Unifonic vs Ejad Labs
Tracking. Me vs Unifonic
Salaasa vs MK Consultancy
Classera vs Ejad Labs
Salaasa vs Craftoo
Ejad Labs vs Evercest Square
Dereyah vs Ejad Labs
Ginkgo vs Diggipack
*In this MOU, Diggipack offered funding to Ginkgo to boost their business.
Session on Healthcare Problems At Orion Auditorium
Honourable Mr. Bilal Mumtaz (Chapter Director of Pakistan E-commerce Consortium, Founder Freshstart, Secretary Digital Health Association) spoke about healthcare problems and how technology can be used to solve them. There were only a few hospitals promoting technology and working on it. Additionally, we should work on language because doctors, nurses, and other medical staff cannot speak English or any other language, which can be a hassle for foreigners to understand what they are thinking. The development of AI machines or tools that understand their speech would not only enable us to facilitate everyone without discrimination, but it would also boost our economy. Mr. Bilal Mumtaz spoke we should spotlight these factors into consideration and open new doors of technology in the medical sector without any second thought. Being on one page can also help us improve Pakistan’s economy. It was the last remarks of Mr. Bilal Mumtaz (Chapter Director of Pakistan E-commerce Consortium).
It was now time to end the whole event with a gesture of thanks to all the organizers, volunteers, participants, stall managers, foreign dignitaries, and other delegations. All of these members were seated in the Orion auditorium for the closing ceremony. In his speech, Mr. Azad Chaiwala described his journey over these 3 days. He was grateful for the energy and dedication he received from the crowd as he shared his experience. Additionally, he shared a unique idea of selling T-shirts by writing a person’s skill on the back to stand out. As a result of its creative idea of written T-shirts, four people were hired by well-known companies on the same day.
In the hall, there was a lucky draw as well. A lucky draw resulted in 3 participants winning motorbikes.
Future Fest 2023 has finally come to an end with a lot of memories, insightful sessions, new learnings, a jam-packed atmosphere, collaborations, MOU signings among different startups, and an understanding of artificial intelligence, technology and much more. A big thanks go out to Mr. Arzish Malik, volunteers, participants, foreigners, visitors, and celebrities who came and made this a wonderful event.
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