“Sialkot has balls in Brazil”, that’s what I read as I was going through my Facebook feed a few weeks ago and that’s about time when I found out that it had something to do with Barazuka – the official ball for the WorldCup 2014.
It happens that Barazuka, the official football for the WorldCup, is made in the city of Sialkot, Pakistan and it is kind of a big deal because it is the most advanced football ever made. The Brazuka has only 6 panels which are held together by glue as compared to the 32 hexagon-shaped panels in normal soccer balls which makes it supposedly the most aerodynamic football every made in history. The industry in Sialkot is so big that factories here now produce up to 60 million footballs every year (that’s 7 out of 10 footballs all around the world).
That’s good news for the country but most importantly that’s good news for the entrepreneurs and businessmen who have lost hope amidst the hard times and difficult conditions. But wait, there’s something to learn here.
Beat the odds: Terrorism, lack of electricity, shortage of resources? You name it, we have it all here in Pakistan and the successful entrepreneurs that we have seen have always been strategic about beating the odds and so should you.
Think different: Its a cliché but it works. As an entrepreneur you need to think differently about Pakistan. While some look at Pakistan as a country with 200 million helpless people, others look at those ‘helpless people’ as a workforce or as customers.
Be realistic: If you are thinking about implementing the “there is an app for that!” model in the local market, you might be doing it wrong. The local market is still not ready for app-ready solutions given the low penetration and with 3G just arriving and still no availability of one-click payment gateway. There it might be some time before app-based solutions become a norm in the market and therefore as an entrepreneur you need to think about solutions that work on a national scale.
The Brazuka has proven that Pakistan is capable of producing high-quality products and such stories and examples can only help us achieve more as long as we don’t just piggyback on the success of one company as a nation and keep striving for more.