A decade ago, a young Pakistani had the dream of making digital products accessible to Pakistanis at an affordable price. When Mr. Abdul Rehman Mahmood established the company Swift Biz Solutions, the sector was undergoing transformational change globally. He realized that change in Pakistan will be imminent and therefore he decided to be an agent of this transformational change in Pakistan. Consequently, the company under his leadership introduced several new products in the country. These products include mobile broadband devices with telecom operators and first of its kind 4G tablet with PTCL in 2016 named GadgeIT CharJi Tab. According to Mr. Mahmood “his strategy has been three pronged: quality products with good after-sale service, affordable prices and ethical business practices. That is why his products were able to penetrate the local market with huge success. Thus he was able to create a win-win for all stakeholders.
With the launch of PAKISTAN KA SMARTPHONE, in collaboration with Jazz, Digit has sent 4G ripples across the Telecom Industry in Pakistan.
Mr. Abdul Rehman says that “I have a dream”. My dream is for Pakistan where a Pakistani residing in rural area will receive and make digital payments conducting transactions; a farmer will use technology to improve productivity and market access; a woman will be able to improve her livelihood and social welfare of herself and her family through better education and health services and the youth will have access to higher income generating activities and new sources of information. All of this is possible through technology with the touch of fingertips.
When Abdul Rehman studied the domestic market, it was clear that while technology is growing rapidly with investments from mobile network operators; most of the people in lower income groups, “women” and in particular rural population were lagging behind, due to lack of any affordable quality device to connect these population segments with 4G mobile network. Under such circumstances, digital divide would widen which is detrimental for government drive for documentation of economy and most importantly improving economic efficiencies. He realized that there is only way to overcome this challenge of connecting every Pakistani with digital space i.e. through an enabling device, smartphone at an affordable price and ensuring good quality.
In order to realize this dream, he built a local brand “Digit” under the umbrella of Swift Biz Solutions and initiated discussions with KaiOS which is an ideal operating system for smart feature phones. It is easy to use and customized for local usage and language as well as has all the necessary apps required for daily use and adding more apps constantly. Similarly discussions were held with Jazz to introduce a quality smart feature phone affordable for every Pakistan. Thus Jazz Digit4G was launched at the price of Rs. 1,799 only with monthly package offered by Jazz. A dream comes true in the form of ‘Pakistan ka Smartphone’.
Pakistan is at the brink of technological revolution particularly in the area of fintech and mobile services. Pakistanis living across the length and breadth of the country be it in villages or town or cities are eager to be part of this revolution. Jazz Digit 4G is a groundbreaking phone which will enable this digital revolution. It is the most affordable smart feature phone in the world. With the launching of this device by Digit, the country has taken a leap forward in fintech, digitalization of society, economy and financial inclusion at affordable price. This device is an enabler of future economic and social development in Pakistan through digitalization and access to information. The future is all about digitalization and launch of this smartphone will complete the ecosystem for all stakeholders in banking, microfinance, financial services, agriculture, industry, SMEs and social sectors. For example Microfinance institutions will be able to digitally lend to their customers and receive the installments digitally thus reducing operational cost. Similarly the beneficiaries of Benazir Income Support Program or other such programs of Government can benefit by receiving payments digitally on their phones.
While traditional smart phones are beyond the affordability of everyone the other challenge is its high cost of after sales, Digit has taken up this challenge and with the help of Jazz, Digit have achieved this milestone by bringing 4G Phone for every Pakistani. Digit‘s commitment is quality of the product and best after sales services for all of its customers.
This phone has all the technologies available such as WiFi, Bluetooth, Google Maps using GPS, Google Voice assistant and an APP store which has hundreds of apps. Digit phone will play a major role for financial inclusion of the unbanked through mobile wallet and inbuilt QR Code scanner so every Pakistani will be able to make use of digital financial services instead of visiting retail shops for transfer or receiving of money. Digit Health has also been launched in collaboration with webdoc, similarly Education and other such social services app are being developed. Going forward, banks mobile wallets will facilitate fintech. The phone will also open the world for Pakistani youth for entrepreneurship, complementing the “Kamyab Jawan” programs which is a remarkable initiative from Government. Life app in partnership of KaiOS is also being introduced which has free content for users in local language for Health, Education, Digital Skills, Agriculture and much more.
Digit has also partnered as the only aggregator with KaiOS in Pakistan to bring the local content and apps on KaiOS and for this we are imitating a drive to encourage local app developers to bring their apps in this operating system. KaiOS is considered to be for the next billion users and Pakistani app developers will have huge potential to monetize their ideas through KaiOS around the world. Digit will provide all technical assistance to the developers community.
The sky is the limit and Mr. Abdul Rehman’s dreams go on. For future, he is focused on making this smartphone accessible throughout the country. Digit is also planning to setup local assembly plant to produce KaiOS phones in Pakistan to generate employment opportunities for Pakistani people. Furthermore, he also has plans to introduce IOT products in Pakistan in the categories of Smart Homes and Smart Industries.
Technological revolution will be fast paced like a 20-20 Cricket match and this decade starting with 2020 will be decade of technology.
Digital Pakistan is knocking at every Pakistani’s door.
Dreams do come true!