VisionX and PackageX, AI solutions companies, headquartered in New York, inaugurated their new office in Islamabad last week.
The companies were founded in 2017 and 2018, respectively, at the NUST Incubation Center by Mr. Farrukh Mahboob. The new office facility was inaugurated by the guest of honor, Mr. Zibber Mohiuddin, Group CEO of Panasian Group and former CEO of Ericsson.
About the companies, VisionX builds custom digital products and mobile applications for businesses as their strategic innovation partner. Their digital solutions are tailored as per their clients’ needs and are powered by emerging technologies like artificial intelligence, augmented and virtual reality. Their clientele includes Fortune 500 companies.
On the other hand, PackageX is a smart mail and package handling solution which leverages computer vision and machine learning to automate the last-yard delivery of mail and packages. PackageX is already live in 140+ countries and 478 sites.
Left to Right: Waqas Mushtaq (Co-Founder & Managing Director VX PX), Zibber Mohiuddin (Guest of Honor- CEO Panasian Group), Farrukh Mahboob (Founder & CEO VX PX), Neetu Razdan (Partner & COO VX PX)
Farrukh Mahboob, CEO and Founder of both startups, has over 16 years of experience in tech, engineering, management consulting and sales, which led him to launch his self-funded startups.
Having lived and worked in six countries across four continents, Farrukh credits Pakistan a position of strength for himself. Farrukh refers to his startups as a “mindset company” – with a two-tiered vision, “happy employees make happy customers’.’
Team Centric Ideology
The new office, consistent with the US standards of a workplace, is equipped with state-of-the-art facilities. It is designed on the modern open office layout; an open space, which gives employees an open mind to think, work and have some recreational time. Farrukh was particular about creating a nurturing organizational culture, which he made sure by generating a secure feedback loop between his team members and himself.
Everything within the facility is in line with the core values of the companies. Building traditions to eventually build a healthy community, with community building exercises such as monthly all-hands, mini golf, space to play VR or online games, a table tennis court and other equipment for team members to let off steam during work hours.
Farrukh assures he engages with each member in his global team personally through coffee sessions, virtual or in person, to discuss their goals and passions. On the professional front, the global team is aided with on the job training and international exposure via assignments and collaborations. The company hopes to utilize the space as a tech delivery and innovation center with its own carefully cultivated traditions.
Both the startups had humble beginnings and have undergone organic growth. In just two years, they have a global workforce in China and Europe, besides their HQ in the US and their Islamabad office.
VisionX initially housed four to six developers, it has since grown into a team of 70 members, with 60% staff in tech and 40% for support. Their client base and product deployment cover over 28 countries.Farrukh is confident that the best products are always built with the customer in mind, “I recognized the disconnect in the market (between product development and UX designing) and wondered what can we do to bring these together. A company that provides awesome storylines via strategic products and a vision which can be executed at international standards,” he said while sharing the vision for his startups.Due to their international clientele, Farrukh insists on promoting the culture of remote working across diverse teams. Hence, his company is operational around the clock, literally, to optimize the tasks and progress. So, when their teams in Pakistan are ending their workday, the team in the US is starting theirs. The teams digitally hand-off their assignments to keep the momentum going.
Startup culture essential for Pakistan
Pakistan’s technology entrepreneurship ecosystem is in the infancy stage but things are now shaping up quickly as international VC shops are opening up in the country. In addition, the government is playing a huge role by launching different incubation facilities all over the country.
During the inauguration Chief Guest Zibber Mohiuddin discussed the company’s journey since its inception and how it created its place in the tech industry globally, “We have to start appreciating tech entrepreneurship as a sector and invest more into it,” said Zibber along with the magnitude of impact both the companies will be making in the broader tech industry of Pakistan, “It is the first time a company has come into Pakistan that hasn’t really had any ground support”.
Zibber is leading the next wave of digital transformation at the national level, and its connectivity with the global market to enable a harmonized ecosystem. His career spans over 25 years, having worked for global brand names such as Merrill Lynch, Prudential Securities, IBM, and Ericsson. Zibber’s contribution has helped shape the business and tech industry in Pakistan.
He recalled hiring some 700 employees (fresh recruits) for his former company when he first met Farrukh. Farrukh was in the lot, “I saw a sparkle in his eyes and have only seen him grow from there,” said Zibber. He appreciated that VisionX caters to one of the fastest growing spaces within technology, “When you combine Machine learning and AI. That combination is combustion able,” he said.
The event marked with the presence of notable executives from across the industry including NUST, World Bank, Invest2Innovate and PTCL. The inauguration ended on a positive note about the future of tech in Pakistan,
“VisionX is a platform that transcends borders and offers solutions worldwide,” said Farrukh.
In the long term, VisionX and PackageX strategically aim to enable a global technology innovation and delivery ecosystem, “I hope they become an agent of change (for technology in Pakistan),” he said.
The story has been produced in collaboration with VisionX.