"We need our talent to stay in Pakistan"
Tania Aidrus has announced that as part of the ‘Digital Pakistan’ initiative, she will take the country forward by bringing a “technological revolution” to the country.
The programme was launched in early December 2019 by Prime Minister Imran Khan and aims to introduce the latest technology for public welfare.
Tania Aidrus was appointed to lead the campaign. She was previously the Director, Product, Payments for Next Billion Users at Google.
Her ways to improve technology and her reasons behind it indicate that Tania may be the right person to create a ‘Digital Pakistan,’ which is truly beneficial to the whole country.
At the Usman Institute of Technology (UIT) in Karachi, Tania told students:
“We need to bring long-lasting changes for Pakistan.
“We need our talent to stay in Pakistan and reverse the brain drain… if we keep losing our top talent, we cannot expect any good.”
She went on to explain that technology provides opportunities, adding that startup culture needs to be developed, especially among women.
Tania said that internet quality needs to be improved in order to improve digitalisation. New systems and policies must also be brought in.
“This not only involves the federal but provincial governments as well.”
The leader of ‘Digital Pakistan’ asked students to share their ideas, stating:
“We will probably create a public forum where students could interact.”
She revealed that less than 20% of the country’s population had bank accounts, compared to 80% in India.
Tania said that number happened in the last five years after New Delhi pushed for Financial technology (Fintech).
On starting a business in Pakistan, Tania Aidrus said it was not difficult.
“It must not take one four months to start an enterprise. We have to make it simple.”
In the past few days I've had the pleasure of interacting with students and entrepreneurs in two cities (and more soon); I'm inspired and energized by their intelligence, motivation and sheer grit. They are the reason why #DigitalPakistan will become a reality. pic.twitter.com/I8CAEsPzrT
— Tania Aidrus (@taidrus) December 17, 2019
She referred to Vietnam, where local and international manufacturers were given tax breaks and concessions due to which Samsung started its manufacturing unit there.
Through exports, it is now contributing billions of dollars to their economy.
Tania reinforced the importance of spreading basic education through digital methods. She also said that students do not know about the coding system.
“How can we expect an 18-year-old student, with no concept of basic coding, to work in the field Information Technology (IT)?”
When the ex-Google employee was announced as the head of the ‘Digital Pakistan’ initiative, Tania Aidrus recalled how she was contacted by the PM’s team to lead the campaign.
“A person I knew told the prime minister about me and he forwarded an email to his reform team to contact me.
“Over the next course of months, I was in contact with Mr Jahangir Tareen and members of the federal cabinet. I even met the president before I met Prime Minister Imran and discussed the project.
“I spent 20 years outside Pakistan. I went abroad with a very strong message about Pakistan.
“People say that I am politically connected to some people. That is not the case, I don’t have a relationship with anyone in the government.
“My objective is simple, I just want Pakistan to succeed.”
“Just like you need the road infrastructure in a country, Pakistan needs a digital infrastructure.
“To advance in the tech world, we need to have a digital infrastructure in place.”
From her appointment to her speech to university students, Tania Aidrus has showcased her passion at taking Pakistan into a technological age.
That, combined with her existing knowledge of technology may mean that she is the right person for the job.