RealNews

Finding Opportunities in Post-9/11 Pakistan

Terrorism, nuclear threats, a history of political turmoil and military rule — when it comes to scaring off investors, Pakistan seems to have covered all the bases. Unless your name is Zia Chishti. A U.S.-born Pakistani American entrepreneur who made a fortune in Silicon Valley while barely out of Stanford Business School, Chishti, 31, is now devoting his energies to building a new call-center company here that provides telephone services — such as taking orders for merchandise — for businesses in the United States. So far, the bet is paying off. Operating from a seventh-floor office in this ragged, energetic city of 5 million people in Pakistan’s Punjab region, the company uses satellite and fiber-optics technology to handle customer calls for about 50 U.S.-based clients, including a major newspaper and a toy company. (Chishti asked that the clients not be named, citing confidentiality agreements.) Chishti’s call-center company, the first of its kind in Pakistan, employs about 150 people and is soon to be listed on the Karachi stock exchange. Full Story

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