Eight of the nine Pakistani innovators recognized by Forbes in its 30 under 30 lists for 2018 have made contributions in science and technology.
These Pakistanis figure in lists prepared by Forbes in four of 13 categories in which innovators from across Asia have been highlighted.
While 17-year-old Muhammad Shaheer Niazi is already known for his pioneering research on the electric honeycomb effect which was published by the Royal Society Open Science journal, the other seven innovators and the technologies they have worked with are relatively less known.
Besides entrepreneurship, the work of these innovators is concerned with education, healthcare, and water and sanitation – three sectors that figure prominently in the 17 Sustainable Development Goals Pakistan aspires to meet by 2030.
The list of innovators in enterprise technology includes Sadia Bashir, who co-founded a startup that offers trainings in skills needed in the video gaming industry. Pixel Art Games Academy’s courses have a minimum 33 percent ratio of women, a requirement introduced to bridge the gender gap in video gaming industry. Bashir has also started scholarships for women who want to learn video game development through her startup.
Syed Faizan Haider and Hamza Farrukh have been recognized in the list of social entrepreneurs.
Farrukh has been recognized for setting up two solar-powered wells that supply potable water to a remote village in Sindh.
Haider’s not-for-profit organization, Perihelion Systems, has developed products that leverage latest technology to solve pressing concerns in education and health sectors. These include Edu-Aid, a sign language translation software; and One Health, a disease surveillance and tracking system that can predict outbreaks and alert healthcare providers to respond in time.
Besides Shaheer Niazi, the healthcare and science list includes Muhammad Asad Raza and Abrahim Shah. Their startup provides low-cost and high-quality wearable and implantable medical devices. These devices perform a range of functions including clinical decision support, fitness and healthcare monitoring, and data analytics for healthcare applications. Neurostic also provides prosthetic services for amputees in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran and Syria.
Adnan Shaffi and Adeel Shaffi, have been recognized in the list of retail and e-commerce innovators. A startup cofounded by the two brothers uses data analytics to compare prices of electronics products in second and third-tier cities in Pakistan. While e-commerce businesses pay attention mostly to big cities, a burgeoning and untapped market has over the years evolved in second- and third- tier cities as well. The startup is tapping that market through its website.