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Here are 5 promising investment avenues to consider in Pakistan today

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With the gradual rise of the ‘Generation-Y’, there’s a seismic paradigm shift taking place in the society. This very shift has significantly altered the landscape of the Pakistani business market as well. The new trends and fashions come and go in the blink of an eye, which calls for a tremendously dynamic marketing and development strategy for the businesses to stay afloat.

A lot of this can be attributed to social media and other various digital platforms that influence the audience to catch-on to or reject an offering or an idea in an instant. This has made the business dynamics of the entire world fairly challenging, with Pakistan being no exception.

However, the recent developments in the way we do things, such as dining, shopping, travel, etc. call for the need to maximize efficiency. Smart devices are one of the driving forces behind this emerging need as they practically put every facet of utility in the palm of our hands.

These conveniences have made way for certain businesses to experience exponential growth for many years to come. With that said, let’s have a look at the 5 most promising investment avenues to consider in Pakistan today:

5. App Development

Bearing in mind the fact that smart devices are the ‘be all and end all’ gadgets for us in terms of utility and convenience, it makes perfect sense to invest in designing an app that offers that utility and convenience. The use of smart device apps is outgrowing all other means of information and utility by a significant margin.

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It ought to be considered that Pakistan is internationally regarded as an emerging and promising market for IT and software development. A recent article by DW stated that Pakistan has experienced an exponential amount of international investment inflow in the tech sector during the past couple of years.

In 2018, Alibaba Group acquired Daraz for an estimated 200 million dollars, which was perhaps the founding moment of an impending growth in the sector. Likewise, Careem has also been acquired by Uber for an astounding 3.1 billion dollars.

Since then, various app-based startups and pre-established firms have raised a tremendous amount of funds within a couple of years. All of this money inflow has made the tech-based startup ecosystem in Pakistan fairly promising.

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The younger generation of professionals in our country is quite proficient in terms of ensuring technical soundness, aesthetic appeal, and user-friendliness of an app. This is why Pakistan happens to be among the more preferred countries when it comes to app development outsourcing.

A large number of tech-based startups, both local and international, have taken the Pakistani business market by storm as of late helping Pakistan gradually emerge in the global tech-based business market as a force to be reckoned with. Hence, it’s safe to say that app development and app-based businesses are here to stay for the foreseeable future and remain a lucrative investment avenue.

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4. Blogging

Blogging is perhaps the ultimate modern channel of information, entertainment, education and opinion creation. For the past few years, the Pakistani audience has been very welcoming of bloggers from various arenas such as technology, travel, lifestyle, cooking, and entertainment to name a few.

This can also be attributed to the emergence of ‘everything digital’ dynamic. Whenever we’re looking for an expert opinion or valid information pertaining to popular areas, we can find it with a tap of a finger, written in a concise, concrete and convenient fashion thanks to some of the really good bloggers out there. Accompany those with the ‘Vlogs’ and you get a complete package.

Pakistani blogosphere is still in a formative phase, which implies that there remain many areas to be explored and tapped into. Some of the critical areas such as automotive, environmental, and business journalism etc. are still up for grabs for an aspiring and competent blogger.

To add to the aforementioned bonuses, the government has also started to recognize the importance of blogging in the modern era as there have been talks of offering financial support to the bloggers in a meeting held between Senate Standing Committee on Information Technology and Telecommunication so as to better enable them to portray Pakistan in a positive light.

However, it bears mentioning that opinion sharing and creation arena is a rather sensitive one and makes it important for a blogging platform to add maximum value for the readers in terms of substantiality.

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Also, opinionated content is a curse that a lot of content creators suffer from. This is why aspiring bloggers should refrain from opinionating the stories that require more of a deep dive to be told objectively.

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If that element is taken care of, blogging is a fairly promising investment avenue that requires a slight bit of patience but can offer huge dividends and a myriad of growth opportunities once it starts to mature.

3. Tour Operation

Thanks to an improved law-and-order situation and the government’s focus, the travel and tourism industry of Pakistan is seeing a remarkable rebirth. The number of travel enthusiasts, both local and foreign, who have been singing praises of Pakistan’s natural beauty and hospitality, has risen dramatically. Due to this, a lot of people have expressed their fondness to explore the country.

Northern areas are the coveted prize for travel enthusiasts in the entire world. During the summer season, thousands of people flock to the north to enjoy the wonderful climate and hospitality. This has resulted in a mushrooming increase in tour operators that organize trips to various locations across the country, especially to the heavenly tourist hotspots in the Kashmir and Gilgit Baltistan regions.

Also looking to cease the opportunity to cash in on this resurgence, are some of the international investors. As per the Chairman Board of Investment, Mr. Zubair Gillani, the Government of Pakistan has invited international investment in the more popular tourist attractions in the northern areas such as Gilgit, Swat, Hazara Region and Galiyat.

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This recent resurgence of the tourism industry presents a perfect opportunity for the more enterprising travel enthusiasts to start their own tour operating companies. This is an investment avenue that is likely to aid the owners to reap handsome dividends in a short time, especially with the peak season for tourism being just around the corner.

2. Food & Catering

Food is to most Pakistanis what oxygen is to all life on earth. In an interview with Pak & Gulf Economist, president of Pakistan Food Association, Rafiq Rangoonwala stated it the best when he said, “The World Eats to Live. We Live to Eat.”

Our nation’s love for food can be testified by the astronomical number of food outlets in the country. Also, as per Aurora by Dawn, it is estimated that Pakistanis spend almost 40% of their household income on food products.

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Additionally, the packaged food industry is also booming in the country. As per the calculations made by Modor Intelligence for the year 2020 to 2025, the packaged food industry is growing at a Compound Annual Growth Rate of 5.8%.

Be it small dhabas or fine dining restaurants, Pakistanis’ undying love for food turns these outlets into entrepreneurial success in most cases making the food industry a fair choice for a fruitful investment.

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1.    Real Estate

Over the past two decades, the real estate industry has taken off on a rapid upward trajectory with no signs of slowing down in sight.

Pakistani Real Estate sector is one of the most prolific in the world that boasts up to $5.8 billion a year in construction, which is an amount that makes up almost 2% of the country’s GDP.

It’s no secret that a lot of people from remote areas come to settle in the big cities to find work or study, hence, with the growing population and the number of migrants, the demand for real estate projects is only likely to rise. This presents an opportunity to invest and create a revenue stream by various means from buying, renting, and reselling of properties.

Some of the more well-rounded real-estate projects such as Bahria Town, Defense Housing Authority, and many other multi-story residential and commercial projects can serve as a perfect investment platform that promises a growing year-on-year Return On Investment (ROI).

This is perhaps the only investment prospect whereby the use of social media for marketing and business development isn’t done on a huge scale. But that should only serve as an opportunity to better project a real estate venture to a massive audience.

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Conclusion

As discussed earlier, digital media has the capability to drive almost every single industry there is. In the current era of fast traveling knowledge and quickly changing trends, capitalizing on the digital media platforms while keeping up with the changing trends and tastes is of the utmost importance in order to ensure sustainability.

With that said, as long as all of the aforesaid elements are accounted for, Pakistan is one of the most promising markets to start a healthy revenue stream through one of the above-mentioned investment avenues.

 

Via MonthlyBrands

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AI

A New Challenger to Google’s Throne: Can AI Search Engines Profit?

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A new competitor using artificial intelligence is making waves in the rapidly changing technology sector, where search engine industry heavyweights like Google have long held a dominant position. The tech industry is curious and debating the possibility that a young business is preparing to threaten Google’s hegemony, according to recent reports. There are still unanswered concerns regarding the practicality and profitability of AI-driven search engines, despite the enticing prospect of competition in the search engine business.

The Rise of a Challenger

Google, with its ubiquitous search engine, has become synonymous with internet searches, boasting billions of queries processed every day. Its algorithms have been refined over the years to deliver increasingly accurate and relevant results to users worldwide. However, the emergence of artificial intelligence has opened doors to new possibilities in search technology.

Enter the new player, a company leveraging AI to revolutionize the way we search for information online. With advanced machine learning algorithms and natural language processing capabilities, this upstart aims to provide users with a more intuitive and personalized search experience. By understanding context, intent, and user preferences, it promises to deliver results that are not only accurate but also tailored to individual needs.

Challenging the Status Quo

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The prospect of a new competitor entering the search engine arena raises intriguing possibilities. Competition breeds innovation, and the presence of a formidable challenger could spur Google to further enhance its own search capabilities. Moreover, increased competition could lead to greater choice and diversity in the search engine market, empowering users with alternatives to the established giant.

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However, dethroning Google is no easy feat. The tech behemoth has built a massive infrastructure over decades, comprising vast amounts of data, sophisticated algorithms, and a global network of servers. Its brand recognition and user loyalty are formidable barriers for any would-be competitor to overcome.

The Profitability Conundrum

While the potential for innovation and competition is enticing, questions linger about the profitability of AI-driven search engines. Unlike traditional search engines that rely heavily on advertising revenue, the business model for AI search engines is less clear-cut.

Advertising remains a primary revenue stream for search engines, with Google generating billions in ad revenue each year. However, the effectiveness of advertising on AI-driven platforms may differ from traditional search engines. AI algorithms prioritize relevance and user experience, which could impact the display and effectiveness of ads.

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Moreover, the costs associated with developing and maintaining AI technology are substantial. Training machine learning models, processing vast amounts of data, and ensuring the scalability and reliability of AI systems require significant investment. Whether AI search engines can generate sufficient revenue to offset these costs remains uncertain.

Monetizing AI Search Engines

Despite the challenges, there are potential avenues for monetizing AI search engines beyond traditional advertising. One possibility is offering premium services or subscriptions that provide enhanced features and capabilities to users willing to pay for them. These could include advanced search filters, personalized recommendations, or access to exclusive content.

Another option is leveraging AI technology to provide targeted insights and analytics to businesses. By analyzing search patterns and user behavior, AI search engines could offer valuable data-driven insights to marketers, researchers, and other stakeholders. This data could be monetized through licensing agreements or subscription services.

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Additionally, partnerships and collaborations with other companies could provide revenue opportunities for AI search engines. By integrating with e-commerce platforms, travel agencies, or other service providers, they could earn referral fees or commissions for directing users to relevant products and services.

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The Road Ahead

As the tech landscape continues to evolve, the emergence of AI-driven search engines represents a fascinating development with the potential to disrupt the status quo. While questions remain about their profitability and viability, the allure of innovation and competition cannot be ignored.

Ultimately, the success of AI search engines will depend on their ability to deliver value to users while finding sustainable revenue streams. Whether they can truly challenge Google’s dominance remains to be seen, but one thing is certain: the era of AI-powered search is upon us, and the possibilities are endless.

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10 Best Tips to Set up your Shopify, Amazon, and Etsy Stores to Succeed as a Seller

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Introduction

Today’s Era is the age of Digital Platforms and Marketplaces World Wide. Online marketplaces like Shopify, Amazon, and Etsy have made it easier than ever for entrepreneurs and beginners to start their online businesses. However, with so many sellers vying for the attention of customers, it can be challenging to stand out from the crowd. This guide will provide you with the top 10 tips to set up your Shopify, Amazon, and Etsy stores to succeed as a seller. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced entrepreneur, these tips will help you create a successful online business.

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  1. Choose the right platform: Select the platform that best suits your business needs. Shopify, Amazon, and Etsy are popular choices for online sellers.
  2. Create a professional store: A professional-looking store is essential to attract customers. Use high-quality images and write clear product descriptions. Make sure your store is easy to navigate and has a clean design.
  3. Optimize your product listings: Use relevant keywords in your product titles and descriptions to improve your search rankings. Make sure your product descriptions are detailed and accurate.
  4. Offer competitive pricing: Research your competitors’ prices and offer competitive pricing to attract customers. Consider offering discounts or promotions to encourage customers to make a purchase.
  5. Provide excellent customer service: Respond to customer inquiries promptly and provide excellent customer service to build customer loyalty. Ensure your customers are satisfied with their purchases and address any issues they may have.
  6. Use social media: Promote your store on social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to reach a wider audience. Share high-quality images of your products and engage with your followers.
  7. Offer free shipping: Consider offering free shipping to attract more customers. You can also offer free shipping for orders over a certain amount.
  8. Run promotions and discounts: Offer promotions and discounts to encourage customers to make a purchase. You can offer discounts for first-time customers or customers who refer their friends.
  9. Track your sales and analytics: Use analytics tools to track your sales and monitor your store’s performance. This will help you identify areas where you can improve and make data-driven decisions.
  10. Stay up-to-date with industry trends: Keep up-to-date with the latest industry trends and adjust your strategy accordingly. Attend industry events and conferences, read industry publications, and network with other sellers.
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Conclusion

Setting up a successful online business requires careful planning and execution. By following these 10 tips, you can set up your Shopify, Amazon, and Etsy stores to succeed as a seller. Remember to choose the right platform, create a professional store, optimize your product listings, offer competitive pricing, provide excellent customer service, use social media, offer free shipping, run promotions and discounts, track your sales and analytics, and stay up-to-date with industry trends. With these tips, you’ll be well on your way to creating a successful online business. Good luck!

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Riding the Tech Wave: S&P 500 Hits a Record High

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Introduction: The Bullish Surge

In a surprising turn of events, the S&P 500 has once again shattered records, propelled by a formidable rally in the technology sector. Investors and analysts are taking notice of the remarkable ascent, as the index rides the wave of innovation and resilience. Let’s delve into the factors driving this surge and what it means for the broader market.

The Tech Frenzy: A Driving Force

Unraveling the Tech Rally

The backbone of this unprecedented climb is undeniably the relentless rally in technology stocks. Companies at the forefront of innovation, from Silicon Valley giants to emerging disruptors, have been key contributors. As the digital landscape continues to evolve, investors are placing their bets on the firms shaping the future.

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Pandemic-Induced Acceleration

The global pandemic acted as an unexpected accelerator for technology adoption. Remote work, e-commerce, and digital transformation became the norm, boosting the prospects of tech companies. The S&P 500 reflects this societal shift, with tech stocks leading the charge as the world adapts to a more digitally connected future.

Resilience Amid Uncertainty: A Market Perspective

Navigating Economic Challenges

Despite ongoing economic challenges, the stock market has displayed a surprising resilience. The S&P 500’s new record is a testament to the market’s ability to weather storms and adapt to changing circumstances. Investors are finding solace in the tech sector’s stability, viewing it as a safe harbor in uncertain times.

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Inflation Concerns: A Balancing Act

The specter of inflation has loomed over the market, causing ripples of concern. However, the tech sector’s ability to innovate and adapt quickly provides a counterbalance to these worries. Investors seem to be betting on technology’s intrinsic value, which often lies in its capacity to stay ahead of economic headwinds.

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Winners and Losers: Navigating the S&P 500 Landscape

Tech Titans and Disruptors

Within the technology sector, it’s not just the established giants that are driving the rally. Up-and-coming disruptors, fueled by innovative ideas and agile business models, are capturing the attention of investors. This diverse landscape within tech allows for a more nuanced investment approach, as opportunities abound beyond the well-known market leaders.

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Sector Disparities: A Tale of Divergence

While technology stocks are basking in the limelight, other sectors are experiencing varying degrees of performance. Understanding these disparities is crucial for investors seeking to navigate the complexities of the current market. From traditional industries to emerging sectors, each plays a role in the broader economic picture.

Risks on the Horizon: Acknowledging Market Realities

Overvaluation Concerns

As the S&P 500 continues its ascent, concerns about overvaluation are surfacing. Some market observers warn that the current euphoria surrounding technology stocks might be inflating their prices beyond reasonable levels. Cautionary voices urge investors to remain vigilant and not succumb to the allure of quick gains without due diligence.

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Regulatory Challenges

The technology sector, while a driving force behind the market surge, is not immune to regulatory challenges. Increased scrutiny and potential regulatory changes could impact the trajectory of tech stocks. Investors should factor in these uncertainties and remain attuned to the evolving regulatory landscape.

Investor Strategies: Navigating the New Market Landscape

Diversification in a Tech-Driven Market

Given the dominance of the technology sector, diversification becomes a strategic imperative for investors. While tech stocks present enticing opportunities, a well-balanced portfolio that includes a mix of sectors can help mitigate risks associated with sector-specific fluctuations.

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Long-Term vs. Short-Term: A Balancing Act

The current market climate prompts investors to consider their time horizon. While short-term gains are enticing, a long-term perspective may offer a more stable and sustainable approach. Balancing the pursuit of immediate returns with a commitment to long-term financial goals is key in today’s dynamic market.

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Conclusion: Navigating the Future Terrain

The S&P 500’s new record high, fueled by a technology rally, paints a picture of a market adapting to the challenges of our times. As investors navigate this new terrain, a blend of optimism and caution is warranted. Understanding the driving forces, acknowledging potential risks, and adopting a diversified and balanced investment approach will be pivotal in capitalizing on the opportunities presented by the current market dynamics. In the ever-evolving world of finance, the ability to ride the waves of change may well be the key to sustained success.

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