Google Business Group (GBG) started its Lahore chapter today gathering a decent number of business people along with dozens of blogger and internet marketers at Arfa Technology Park, Lahore. The event was meant to introduce background and the future course of GBG for the promotion of online business in Pakistan.
There are more than 20 million internet users in Pakistan and most of them spend their considerable time daily on social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Linked etc. In Pakistan, querying on Google has increased tremendously during the last couple of years and with the mobile phones replacing computers for the internet needs, 20% of the search queries in Pakistan are being originated from the mobile platforms. As 3G arrives (hopefully this year), the internet community in Pakistan will witness a sharp surge in mobile phone internet usage.
The event started with the introduction by founder of GBG-Lahore, Mr. Aamer Sarfaraz who spoke about the importance of using internet tool for the promotion of businesses today. He said, “We would like small and medium businesses to interact through GBG and learn about how various application and tools can support them for a manifold growth in their businesses through internet.”
While giving presentation, Badar Khushnood, Country Consultant for Google in Pakistan said, “Today 16.9 million read print version of newspapers in a population of more than 180 million people. There is an increased trend of looking for information online. Last year, Pakistan imported some 300,000 Android based handsets which are of course internet enabled. These numbers are way too hansome as compared to famous BlackBerry handsets which have more 60,000 active users in Pakistan today.”
He further said that, “In spite of the fact that internet usage is growing in Pakistan, then why we witness a negligible online sales and purchase is because of money laundering and flawed financial policies in Pakistan. This is the reason why PayPal stays away from this country.”
“Soon Google is going to introduce an alternative to this that will ease down the payment process in Pakistan for the online trading”, he further added.
Google Business Group is establishing separate chapters for all the big cities. It has conducted workshops in Karachi and ahore and soon it would be planning for Islamabad and other cities.