MIT Legatum Center Fellow To Work On Mobile Technology Incubation In Emerging Telcom Markets

The Legatum Center for Development and Entrepreneurship is a new initiative at Massachusetts Institute of Technology which aims to serve as a launching pad for a new generation of entrepreneurs who want to launch innovative businesses in developing markets such as Pakistan. I was glad to see that Adnan Shahid, a Pakistani student at MIT is among the fellows of the Center. Below see an excerpt from Adnan’s profile and his plans for the incubation center.

Working as the Director IT Strategy with Mobilink, Pakistan’s largest cellular service provider, I witnessed the success of a single mobile phone turning into a business model. Mobilink started the ‘PCO Self Employment Package’, which included a wireless pay phone to be used as a Public Call Office. This one phone scheme provided employment opportunities to the less privileged households- becoming a financial earning source for the otherwise unemployed. This first-hand experience helped me develop a business idea and professional goal in life: to set-up a mobile technologies incubation center for low-income countries. The goal is to increase the commercialization of communication technologies and incentivize entrepreneurs and innovators.

I am working on getting further details about Adnan’s work and will report more on it as I collect the information. A bit more about the Legatum Center. Funded in Sep 2007 and based at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Legatum Center for Development and Entrepreneurship is founded upon the idea that bottom-up entrepreneurship is the central driver of both economic development and the emergence of good governance. Iqbal Quadir leads the Legatum Center. The Center website has more information on how their approach can “create a path toward poverty alleviation, elimination of corruption, and improvements in health and education.” See this article from Guardian for more background on the center’s financial supporters.

I view the Legatum Center as academia’s contribution to make the concept of social businesses a reality.

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  • Fawad Niazi

    i could not say any thing about the Mobilinks innovative “Wireless Payphone” project that was so innovative that before launching this project; only Mobilink had the 300+ clients providing the wireless payphone services and was copied from that of Grameen’s Village Phone. They signed agreement with Siemens for HARDWARE whereas two major companies COMCEPT and MTL was producing the same equipment in Pakistan. Payphone market was the best example of early phase of MVNO and small enterpreneurship in Pakistan that had Local Manufacturing support and almost 50,000 Job opportunities.

    Mobilink killed 400+ PTA licensed payphone companies (real example of Entrepreneurship) in Pakistan and TWO MAJOR LOCAL MANUFACTURERS as Mobilink was Monoply in Wireless User Base and 70% calls were ON NET.

    This was the project started under the cover of SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY i.e. CSR and i can still feel the bitter taste of CEO Mobilink press conference as CSR.

    Now the Director sb has took the lead of leveraging the Monoply and may serve as INCUBATION CENTER for nurturing the Monoplies with the idea of a person living or working in a small place/company.

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