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Subject:  Venture Capital Firm Launched Date:  12/16/2000  10:00 PM
Author:  JSiraj Number:  192 of 291

KASB launches IT firm in Pakistan

Country's renowned brokerage and security house Khadim Ali Shah Bukhari (KASB) has launched the first IT firm of its kind in Pakistan with a major thrust on transforming Internet ideas into worldclass businesses. The firm KASB Techventures focuses on internet technology startups and ensures access to diversified capital sources, market intelligence in target markets besides exploring strategic relationship possibilities between companies and bourses in Asia and North America.
In an interview to The News here on Saturday, Altaf H Khan, Chief Executive Officer, KASB Techventures, said: "The unique thing about the company is that we'll receive business plans for new Internet startups through our web site. The finished business plan goes to our deal review committee, which then commits upto five per cent of the required capital to the business from our own investment. Interested mentor-investors are introduced to the entrepreneur for further discussions. After they agree on the terms, we take care of all financial and legal arrangements between the parties."
He said: "We are looking to form equity-based relationships with many service and equipment providers to help promote the growth of our portfolio companies. These partnerships will be formed in categories such as legal advice, accounting services, software vendors and hardware vendors." Earlier, Nasir Ali Shah Bokhari, Chairman, KASB, viewed that Pakistan's march towards the IT was not satisfactory which was resulting in massive brain drain to potential overseas markets.
He said: "Instead of services, we are making on a business model to make it nice and sell it for ever. By doing so, you can make same amount of money which you otherwise earn in the US. Risk is there and the death rate of such ventures is very high because you keep on working on a model for two years and at the end of the day it might be left unsold. People mostly expatriate Pakistanis, are approaching us through our web sites. We believe in value-addition. Actually we are seeking smart capital. A man on board can open unexplored vistas for a client. We, for example, have found four new investors in two weeks."

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