As per World Bank data, 36.4% of the population in Pakistan lived in poverty in 2021. Recently, a few innovative startups have emerged to provide affordable and cost-efficient solutions to people in low-income households. By providing sustainable solutions to some of the country’s most pressing problems, these innovative startups in Pakistan are helping to create a sustainable future for all, especially those the recent floods hit.
5 Innovative Startups in Pakistan
- ModulusTech. Founded in 2017, this innovative startup specializes in providing affordable portable houses. In Pakistan, more than 20 million people lost their homes during the floods of 2022. ModulusTech provides a housing solution that is “quick, simple and economical.” ModulusTech says it takes as little as three hours to set up one of its shelters. The environment-friendly housing solutions use local materials and have a low carbon footprint, leading to less wastage. Furthermore, the shelter structures are disaster-resilient, a feature that makes ModulusTech stand out as an excellent innovative startup. ModulusTech won first prize in Pakistan’s edition of the Global Cleantech Innovation Programme (GCIP) in 2017. The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) runs the GCIP in partnership with the Global Environment Facility (GEF). Later, the company won the Special Commendation Award with a grant of $20,000 in the global edition of GCIP in Los Angeles.
- Aabshar. Water scarcity in Pakistan is a concern, yet water wastage is not uncommon. Aabshar is an innovative startup in Pakistan that aims to tackle water scarcity and ensure water conservation. Aabshar is a clean-tech business that has developed an optimized nozzle to prevent water wastage without impacting water flow, ensuring up to 98% in water savings. People can place this nozzle on taps and other outlets in less than 30 seconds. The nozzle is simple to install and reduces power use by 60%. Aabshar, with its low-cost nozzles, has saved 1.3 billion liters of water in Pakistan, positively impacting 236 million lives.
- EcoEnergy. In July 2022, Pakistan experienced a 46.77% hike in power prices. This makes access to electrical energy very expensive for poor households. In order to mitigate energy poverty, a Karachi-based eco-friendly business, EcoEnergy, offers energy-efficient solutions to household and commercial clients. Some of its products and services include solar panels, LED lighting and energy assessments. The company extends its customer base not only to cities but also to remote areas. EcoEnergy also provides insightful information on the importance of green energy through its detailed website. This startup has already installed 1.2 megawatts of power in the last two years.
- PakVitae. PakVitae is an innovative startup in Pakistan that aims to provide affordable water purification solutions to those living in distress. In Pakistan, around “36% of the population has access to safely managed water,” Globalwaters.org says. People that the recent floods displaced are more vulnerable to water-borne diseases. In the province of Sindh, 134,000 people contracted diarrhea in September 2022 due to the use of contaminated water. PakVitae has launched a cost-effective product that does not require electricity — ‘Water Ka Doctor’ cleans impure water by removing bacteria and other harmful germs that cause diarrhea, typhoid and cholera. Water Ka Doctor is a filter made of fiber membranes that easily attach to a tap. It can provide up to 10,000 liters of filtered water and can serve a family of five for two years. For flood victims, PakVitae has a specially-designed 15-liter water container with a built-in filter. People can purchase this product to donate to flood victims at a 20% discount. PakVitae led a project in Faisalabad that provides drinkable, clean water to around 1,000 people.
- BreatheIO. Globally, Pakistan ranks seventh worst in terms of quality of air, according to the Air Quality Index. As a digital health firm, BreatheIO offers the solution to this problem. BreatheIO is an innovative startup that provides air monitors and purifiers at an affordable price. BreatheIO employs advanced technologies like AI, machine learning and data analytics to assist patients and health care professionals in managing respiratory conditions, including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, COVID-19 and asthma. Along with the Smart Air Purifier, this startup provides a user-friendly and detailed mobile app. Users of the BreatheIO platform can register their symptoms and follow the evolution of their lung function using this mobile app. Moreover, the app offers insights and suggestions depending on the data of the users, assisting them in better managing their health.
These innovative startups in Pakistan are helping to create a more sustainable and equitable world and play an important role in the fight against poverty in Pakistan.
– Sarmad Wali Khan