Mobile World Congress Barcelona, Spain - March, 2015 (Post Event Report)

Barcelona, Spain

March 2-5, 2015

An IT delegation comprising of Managing Director, Pakistan Software Export Board (PSEB) and delegates of three mobile applications companies of Pakistan including Evamp & Saanga, Swenggco, and Confiz exhibited at Mobile World Congress 2015 in Barcelona, Spain to showcase the mobile applications expertise of Pakistan from March 2nd to 5th, 2015.

March 1st

MD PSEB visited Fira Barcelona, the venue of MWC on March 1st with boxes of brochures and leather notebooks. MD PSEB visited the Pakistan pavilion to make sure that the backdrop had been mounted correctly along with skins on the 4 counters for each exhibitor. It was also checked that furniture including table, chairs, and stools had been delivered to the pavilion along with LED for running PSEB’s presentation.

March 2nd

MWC opened with keynote speeches. MD PSEB and representatives of mobile apps companies manned their respective counters to greet visitors to the pavilion. Also, PSEB’s presentation was run in loop mode on the LED with an instrumental music in the background. Around forty visitors visited Pakistan pavilion on first day. MD PSEB handed out brochures and PSEB branded giveaways to visitors.

In the afternoon, Minister of State for IT, Madam Anusha Rehman, Chairman PTA, and Pakistan’s Consulate General in Spain, Mr. Murad Janjua, visited Pakistan pavilion. The Pakistan team greeted them and pictures were taken with the minister which were then published in a press release next day.

March 3rd

Exhibitors manned the stalls again and received around thirty visitors during the day. Minister of IT received the ‘Spectrum for mobile broadband 2015’ award from GSMA Association which was a great honor for Pakistan. It was followed by the minister’s speech.

In the afternoon, , MD PSEB accompanied Minister of IT in meeting with Vimpelcom’s team, along with Chairman PTA and the Consulate General. The minister invited Vimpelcom to participate in the new spectrum auction being planned later this year. Co-founder of Vimpelcom, Mr. Augie Fabela, talked about WIND Business Factor, a technology incubator which is being run successfully by Vimpelcom’s subsidiary, WIND, in Italy. WIND Business factor is now a community of more than 24,000 users, and over 5000 startups and business ideas. Because the ministry plans on starting a technology incubator this year, the minister invited Vimpelcom to send their incubator team to Pakistan so that they can suggest a plan for setting up and running a new incubator successfully in Islamabad along the lines of WIND’s Business Factor.

The next meeting was with Etisalat’s management including Group CEO of Etisalat, Mr. Ahmad Abdulkarim Julfar and CEO PTCL, Mr. Walid Irshaid. The minister raised the pending issue of non-payment by Etisalat during privatization of PTCL. Etisalat mentioned that they will review the situation and get back to the ministry.

Minister’s meeting with Group CEO of Etisalat, Mr. Ahmad Abdulkarim Julfar The final meeting was with Group CEO of Telenor, Mr. Jon Fredrick Baksaas. Matters related to immense potential of Pakistan’s telecom market as well as infrastructure sharing were discussed. Minister of IT invited Telenor to participate in upcoming spectrum auction for next generation mobile services to be held by PTA later this year.

March 4th

Around twenty leads were generated for PSEB and the three exhibitors on this day. MD PSEB also visited venue of 4YFN (4 years from now) which is an international program presented by MWC and GSMA that brought together many mobile start-ups and entrepreneurs with investors, accelerators, incubators and corporations from the mobile ecosystem. It was a 3-day event featuring talks, interactive workshops, and networking opportunities for 5,000+ attendees from 70 countries. However, reaching the venue takes 20-30 minutes by bus from the main MWC venue. Hence, it is not recommended for setting up a country pavilion at 4YFN. However, startups can setup stalls their because of very low costs when compared with the main MWC venue.

March 5th

This was the last day of the MWC exhibition. Around twenty leads visited Pakistan pavilion on last day. MD PSEB visited stalls of other exhibitors including country pavilions of Austria, Brazil, China, Columbia, India, Romania, and Spain and corporate stalls of Huawei, Samsung, Ericsson, Ubuntu, and Accenture. Austria and Brazil had set up pavilions of 50 sq meters and had spent more than 10,000 euros on stall design alone. The exhibition closed at 4 PM. After that, all exhibitors started cleaning their stalls and putting the remaining brochures and giveaways in boxes. MD PSEB packed the remaining leather notebooks.

March 6th

MD PSEB took the flight from Barcelona to Dubai and then landing in Islamabad on morning of March 7th.

Leads generated from the event

More than 110 leads were generated from MWC 2015 with an expected value of $1.07 million.