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Gardening for the e-Era

by Saad Ayub

Much of Lahore’s beauty has historically been attributed to its greenery; be it the tunneling trees of mall road, or the meticulously manicured greenbelts along the canal. Lahore and its greenery are inseparable. Which is why it’s no surprise that the country’s first plant related startup has blossomed from the city.

Named Pine.pk, the startup has emerged from the Lahore University of Management Sciences Center for Entrepreneurship and is not only a vendor for a large variety of plants and shrubs, but also offers design and landscape services.

Waqar Ahmed, one of the cofounders of Pine.Pk, came up with the idea for a one-stop digital solution for Lahore’s gardening needs through his personal experience.

During a trip to the United States as part of an exchange program, he received a table plant as a present. After returning home, Ahmed tried to find the same plant for his hostel room at the university, but to no avail. He realized that with no online stores selling plants in the city, and the tiring prospect of visiting nurseries across town, there was a need to be fulfilled.

And that’s how the idea of Pine.pk came to him.

Presently, the startup is focusing on garnering corporate clientele for its digital design services in landscaping and garden design. Abdullah Ahmed, cofounder of pine.pk, believes that the traction for buying plants online will build up once word gets around. “The city’s gardening enthusiasts presently have to visit various nurseries in search of a particular plant, what we are offering is a solution to that problem,” says Abdullah.

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Pine.pk is being incubated at the LUMS Center for Entreprenuership since April, 2016 and is currently catering to Lahore based clients only. Earlier this year, Pine.pk won first prize at the Young Entreprenuers Business Plan Competition organized by the Lahore Chamber of Commerce. Nausheen Sarfaraz, a board member at the Pakistan Horticulture Authority (PHA) is a notable advisor to the Pine.pk; the startup is also associating itself with a few foreign advisors before venturing into aquaponics.

Abdullah while talking to TR Pakistan hinted at plans to expand to other cities in the future.

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