About Us

KARANDAAZ PAKISTAN, a company (registered under Section 42) established in August 2014, promotes access to finance for small businesses through a commercially directed investment platform, and financial inclusion for individuals by employing technology enabled digital solutions.
The Company has financial and institutional support from leading international development finance institutions; principally the United Kingdom Department for International Development (UKAid) and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP), a member of the World Bank Group, has managed the start-up phase of the Company and will continue to provide technical support.
Karandaaz Pakistan is sponsored and governed by eminent Pakistanis, and is managed by an experienced team with core expertise in international investment management and digital finance.

What sets Karandaaz apart

  • Our vision of fostering inclusive economic growth by building a vibrant ecosystem of financial and non-financial services for SMEs
  • Our unique focus on generating economy-wide efficiencies and decreasing the cost of financial transactions through innovative digital financial solutions
  • Our commitment to leverage private sector equity and investment to promote small and medium enterprises' access to finance

What we do

Key Themes

Supporting the application of innovative, proven models, that can impact broad based economic growth and financial inclusion
Promoting business leadership and employment, for women
Encouraging the development of marketable skills to enhance youth employability


Ishrat Husain


Dr. Ishrat Husain is one of the leading economists and intellectuals of Pakistan. He has been the Dean and Director of the iconic Institute of Business Administration (IBA), Karachi, the oldest graduate business school of Pakistan, since March 2008. Infusing IBA with innovation and dynamism, his vision is to transform IBA into a world-class institution. From 2 December 1999 to 1 December 2005, Dr. Ishrat served as the Governor of the State Bank of Pakistan, and ushered in an era of restructuring for the Central Bank and reformation in the banking sector. As a member of the economic management team of the Government, he played a key role in the impressive economic turnaround of Pakistan. In recognition of his meritorious services he was conferred the prestigious award of "Hilal-e-Imtiaz" by the President of Pakistan in 2003. The Banker Magazine of London declared him as the Central Bank Governor of the year for Asia in 2005. He received the Asian Banker Lifetime achievement award in 2006.
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Both prior to and since his retirement as the Governor, Dr. Ishrat has been actively involved in numerous national and international assignments for bodies as varied as the Government of Pakistan, IMF, ADB, UNDP and the World Economic Forum. Dr. Husain has maintained an active scholarly interest in development issues. He has authored 18 books and monographs and contributed more than three dozen articles in refereed journals and 27 chapters in books. His book "Pakistan: The Economy of the Elitist State" published by Oxford University Press is widely read in Pakistan and outside. He is the Distinguished National Professor of Economics and Public Policy and serves on the Boards of several research institutes, philanthropic and cultural organizations. « back

Shamim Ahmad Khan


As a member of Civil Service of Pakistan, Mr. Shamim Ahmad Khan occupied senior positions in the Government of Pakistan such as Secretary Ministry of Commerce and Additional Secretary Ministries of Finance and Production. For more than ten years, he worked as a regulator of capital markets and the corporate sector. In this capacity, he piloted a number of reforms in capital markets and restructured the Corporate Law Authority into the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan of which he became the first Chairman. After he left the Government, he worked as an independent and non-executive director of a number of listed companies. Presently he is a director of Packages Ltd., IGI insurance Ltd and and Abbott laboratories Ltd and is serving as Chairman of the board of IGI Life Ltd.

Sadia Khan


Ms Sadia Khan has pursued a versatile career path traversing investment banking, financial regulation, family businesses and entrepreneurship across three continents. With Masters degrees in Economics from both Cambridge University, U.K and Yale University, U.S.A, Sadia started her career at Lehman Brothers in New York. Since then she has worked with various international institutions and local regulatory authorities, including the Asian Development Bank (ADB) in the Philippines, the Securities & Exchange Commission of Pakistan and the State Bank of Pakistan. She is currently the CEO of Selar Enterprises (Pvt) Ltd, a company she founded in 2011 while working as the Group Executive Director in her family-owned business, Delta Shipping (Pvt) Ltd. .
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Sadia has been a passionate advocate of corporate governance since the past two decades. While at the ADB, she helped implement corporate governance reforms in a number of member countries in South East Asia. As a senior member of the Securities & Exchange Commission of Pakistan she was responsible for implementing the first Code of Corporate Governance in Pakistan. Since then she has served as a member of various Task Force/Committees responsible for Revising the Code of Corporate Governance and introducing Guidelines for State Owned Enterprises.
As a corporate governance practitioner, she has served on various boards as an Independent Director including Engro Fertilizers, Pakistan Cables, Edotco Pakistan, Karandaz, HBL Asset Management, First MicroFinance Bank, Kashf Foundation, Punjab Board of Investment & Trade, National Testing Service and as a Non Executive Director on the Boards of the United Arab Shipping Agency Company and the Delta Group of Companies.
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Sadia is the global President of the INSEAD Alumni Association. She has also served as a member of the Executive Committee of the Pakistan France Business Alliance and as the Chairperson of Alliance Francaise. In 2014, the French Government recognized her contributions to France-Pakistan relations by awarding her the prestigious French award, "Chevalier de l'Ordre National du Mérite" (Knight of the National Order of Merit).
Sadia was a member of the Global Agenda Council on Pakistan convened by the World Economic Forum during 2012-14. She has contributed regularly at international conferences and events as a speaker and panelist on issues ranging from multiculturalism to women entrepreneurs.
She has been serving as the Honorary Consul General of Finland in Karachi since 2012. « back

Imdad Aslam

Interim CEO, Karandaaz

Imdad Aslam is the Director and interim CEO of Karandaaz Pakistan, and Director of Digital Financial Services. Imdad brings with him 15 years of experience in managing, building and growing payment businesses, introducing new-age banking channels, working effectively with the regulators, forging cross-industry alliances and developing winning partnerships with Mobile Network Operators. Prior to Karandaaz Pakistan, Imdad was working at Barclays Africa and Standard Chartered across Africa and the Middle East.

Romana Abdullah


Romana Abdullah is Co-founder and CEO of Highpoint Ventures (Pvt) Ltd., and recently launched Hopscotch, a premium kidswear brand with stores in Lahore and Islamabad and e-presence nationwide.

Prior to becoming an entrepreneur, Romana was part of the Management Committees of MCB Bank and Soneri Bank respectively, leading their strategic planning, transformation and new initiative functions. Before her 2006 return to Pakistan, Romana worked at The Boston Consulting Group and Merrill Lynch (Investment Banking), both in New York where she focused on strategic, financial and operational assignments for Fortune 500 financial services and consumer clients.

Romana has a BSc in Financial Engineering from Princeton University and an MBA from the Harvard Business School. She is on the board of Karandaaz Pakistan and Plan X Accelerator.

Khurram Zafar


Khurram Zafar is the Executive Director of LUMS Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation Fellow at Pakistan Innovation Foundation. Previously, he worked as the Chief Information Officer at Lahore Stock Exchange where he was awarded the best private sector CIO of Pakistan by P@SHA. He has also served as one of the founding board members of Plan9, a technology incubator of Punjab Information Technology Board and adjunct faculty for entrepreneurship at Information Technology University. Previously, he was a visiting faculty member at the Beaconhouse National University’s School of Computer & Information Technology. He has also co-founded two software product start-ups in the Silicon Valley and has been part of the founding team of 2 global IT consulting firms. more »

Khurram has also consulted for Visa, DHL, Sony, AT&T, Agilent, Merrill Lynch, and several other Fortune 500 and venture-funded start-up companies in varying capacities. Khurram is also an angel investor with an interest in the technology and agriculture sector and has been an adviser to several Venture Capital firms in the United States. « Back



February 6, 2017 | Karandaaz Pakistan held a signing ceremony for grant agreement with FinTech Disrupt Challenge 2016 winners

Karandaaz Pakistan, the leading source of financing and ongoing support for Pakistan's innovative growing companies, today signed grant agreements of USD 100,000 each with Ricult Pakistan, Paysys Labs and PublishEX Solutions, winners of the first-ever Fintech Disrupt Challenge in Pakistan. Both the challenge and resultant grants have been funded by Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

December 23, 2016 | Request for Expression of Interest: API Management platform for the Financial Services industry

As part of this Expression of Interest, Karandaaz Pakistan seeks to consolidate a list of Suppliers that have the product features and capabilities to deliver an API Management platform for the Financial Services industry. The objective of the exercise is to implement and deliver a turnkey solution that will enable the client to digitize financial transactions, including, but not limited to, collections, disbursements, payments and remittances.

December 22, 2016 | RFP for Study on Profiling and Segmenting the Road Transport (Logistics) Sector and Assessment of Informal Financing therein

The purpose of this RFP is to solicit bids from firms interested in providing “Study on Profiling and Segmenting the Road Transport (Logistics) Sector and Assessment of Informal Financing therein”. The RFP is designed to assess whether organizations are able to provide the services required, and through a competitive and fair assessment.

November 28, 2016 | Karandaaz Pakistan and LUMS Center for Entrepreneurship Conducted First-Ever FinTech Disrupt Challenge in Pakistan

FDC 2016 culminated with the announcement of 3 winners, Ricult Pakistan, Paysys and Publishex who won a grant of up to PKR 10 million each. The 3 finalists – chosen from a shortlist of 23 high caliber startups who presented their elevator pitches in round 1.

November 24, 2016 | Call for Applications for Certificate in Digital Money Course

Certificate in Digital Money is being offered at a discounted price of USD 2,250 per participant instead of USD 3,000. The next course will begin on January 30, 2017 and applications are being accepted on a rolling basis. Limited seats are available so apply now!

November 18, 2016 | Karandaaz Pakistan and Planet N jointly held a Workshop on 'Cracking E-Commerce' in Karachi

The workshop is organized to disseminate the knowledge regarding policies and regulations that can help this sector grow and challenges and opportunities for Pakistan at an international level.

November 5, 2016 | RFP announced to hire Legal Firm for Corporate Investment and Credit transactions

The purpose of this RFP is to solicit proposals from legal firms interested in working with Karandaaz Pakistan on “Corporate Investment and Credit transactions” for a period of one year. ​

October 21, 2016 | Karandaaz Pakistan Partners with Bank Alfalah to Provide Digital Financial Services in Pakistan

The agreements are aimed at promoting access to finance for small businesses through a commercially directed investment platform, to work jointly on multiple strategies to digitize payments and create convenient, transparent and reliable channels of financial transactions, through a suite of financial products and services with a focus on retail supply chain payments.

October 5, 2016 | Global Landscape Study on Digitising P2G Payments

This report makes a compelling case to digitize P2G payments and provides recommendations for governments and businesses to craft a systematic approach to digitisation. It also presents an in-depth analysis of nine distinct P2G initiatives across seven countries, including Rwanda, the Philippines, India, Tanzania, Ghana, Kenya and Pakistan.

September 24, 2016 | EOI for Innovation Challenge Round 1

Karandaaz Pakistan’s Innovation Challenge Round 1 will focus on improving the current mechanism of foreign remittances from Pakistani workers employed in different parts of the world. Some of the crucial aspects which need improvement are the outreach (specifically rural), speed, security, cost, ease of use and increased awareness. Applications are invited to propose an innovative product, service or approach to improve the current delivery mechanism. ​

September 1, 2016 | EOI for Project Management Office for National Bank of Pakistan Payments

Karandaaz Pakistan is supporting NBP in seeking an International Consulting firm with the requisite technical expertise to develop a strategy to digitize G2P and P2G payments. In addition, a Project Management Office will be established with the main objective of ensuring effective and flexible coordination and implementation of the project. Karandaaz Pakistan therefore seeks to hire a local consulting firm to establish a Project Management Office at NBP comprising of one Technical Project Manager and two Project Assistants. ​

September 1, 2016 | EOI for National Bank of Pakistan Payments Digitization Strategy

The goal of this work is to design an end-to-end payments digitization strategy for National Bank of Pakistan. Primarily the digitization strategy will help NBP to digitize its G2P and P2G flows of fund. The digital strategy will recommend solutions for NBP customers and also focus on increasing outreach to unserved and underserved market segments. G2P and P2G landscape will be carried out as a part of strategy development process. ​

August 4, 2016 | Meezan Bank and Karandaaz Pakistan host a Financing Conference for Vendors of Millat Tractor Limited

This conference is part of the tripartite agreement between Meezan Bank, Karandaaz Pakistan and Millat Tractor Limited aiming to provide financial access to small and mid-size automotive part vendors in the country.

July 14, 2016 | Karandaaz Pakistan hosted an event to launch design for smartphone mobile money app for financial inclusion

with a focus on low-literate and non-literate population in Pakistan. ​

June 16, 2016 | Millat Tractors Limited partners with Karandaaz Pakistan and Meezan Bank to promote SMEs in the Automotive Industry in Pakistan

The objective of this tripartite arrangement which is part of the USD 50 million Corporate Vendor and Distributor Finance Program launched recently by Karandaaz Pakistan and Meezan Bank is to help provide financial access to small and mid-size automotive part vendors in the country. ​

June 16, 2016 | Millat Tractors Limited partners with Karandaaz Pakistan and ORIX Leasing Pakistan Limited to promote SMEs in the Automotive Industry in Pakistan

The objective of this tripartite arrangement which is part of the USD 40 million Corporate Vendor and Distributor Finance Program launched recently by Karandaaz Pakistan and ORIX Leasing is to help provide financial access to small and mid-size automotive part vendors in the country. ​

April 14, 2016 | Discovery Report

The Discovery Report presents key findings of a series of interviews conducted with organizational stakeholders as well as users of mobile money in Pakistan in April 2016. The resulting synthesis is presented as a set of learnings as well as potential challenges and opportunities. ​

May 22, 2016 | EOI for Agent Network Assessment Survey

The goal of this work is to design and conduct an agent network survey in order to compare the health of the network in 2016 to 2014. Karandaaz Pakistan seeks to understand what shifts have taken place in the industry, if any, and compare operational level benchmarks on network level efficiency and agent viability. Additionally, Karandaaz Pakistan seeks to compare these benchmarks on Pakistan to other countries in East Africa and South Asia. ​

May 19, 2016 | Karandaaz Pakistan and Digital Frontiers Institute Partner to Develop Human Capital in the Pakistan Fintech Industry

The objective of this MoU is to build capacity to support the digitization of Pakistan’s economy. Digital Payments is a rapidly growing field in Pakistan. This growth presents new career opportunities and requires specialized skills and capacity. The 12-week digital course titled “The Certificate in Digital Money” will be conducted in Pakistan through DFI’s Communities of Practice (CoP) Program in collaboration with Karandaaz Pakistan.

April 28, 2016 | PPAF, Karandaaz Pakistan and KfW Sign Agreement to Set Up Pakistan Microfinance Investment Company

The objective of the Company is to provide much needed liquidity to microfinance providers serving the poor and micro and small enterprises in Pakistan. It is estimated that PMIC financing could support nearly 300,000 new job opportunities every year.

March 23, 2016 | Dr. Ishrat Husain, Chairman of the Board of Directors, Karandaaz Pakistan Receives “Nishan-e-Imtiaz”

President Mamnoon Hussain conferred the highest civilian award to Dr. Husain in recognition of his outstanding performance in the field of Public Service at a special investiture ceremony held at the Aiwan-e-Sadr on Pakistan Day.

March 8, 2016 | National Financial Inclusion Strategy Steering Committee of the State Bank of Pakistan nominates Karandaaz Pakistan to become part of Three Technical Committees

The Technical Committees are expected to identify key actions, propose detailed implementation plans, and recommend solutions in their respective areas to the NFIS Steering Committee. This will be an excellent opportunity for Karandaaz Pakistan to engage with the government and help shape policies and regulations to further financial inclusion in the country.

February 18, 2016 | One-day workshop on Digital Analytics & Credit held in Karachi

Karandaaz Pakistan in conjunction with the Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP), a member of the World Bank group, held a one-day workshop titled ‘Digital Analytics and Credit: Resources to Plan a Deployment’ at the Marriott Hotel in Karachi.

February 10, 2016 | Queen Máxima of the Netherlands Meets with Karandaaz Pakistan

The team briefed Queen Máxima about the aim of the company to increase financial inclusion in Pakistan by employing technology enabled digital solutions and catalyzing SME financing.

February 9, 2016 | Bank Alfalah and Karandaaz Pakistan sign two agreements to collaborate and develop innovative, digital financial solutions in Pakistan

The two-fold agreement will enable Bank Alfalah to benefit from technical and financial assistance provided by Karandaaz Pakistan for the development of a digital strategy that will help the bank offer digital financial services to its customers, and digitization of supply-chain payments and conversion of cash transactions to wallet account based transactions.

January 29, 2016 | Risk Participation Agreement Between ORIX Leasing and Karandaaz Pakistan to provide USD 40 million in Asset Finance for Capital Investment to SMEs in Organized Supply Chains of the Economy

The value chain finance program which has been developed in response to the sharp decline in SME finance in Pakistan will provide asset finance for capital investment to small businesses operating in organized supply chains of the economy who are currently deprived of access to the formal financial sector.

January 8, 2016 | MoU Signed Between Meezan Bank and Karandaaz Pakistan to Improve the Financial Inclusion of the Unbanked Population of Pakistan

Under the agreement, Karandaaz Pakistan and Meezan Bank will join hands to conduct a study for a pilot program aimed at using technology to evaluate and extend micro-credit to underprivileged members of the country. Another key objective supported by this MoU is the development of a technological infrastructure for Meezan Bank that would enable it to provide digital financial services focused on financial inclusion.

January 7, 2016 | MoU Signed Between Bank of Punjab (BOP) and Karandaaz Pakistan to facilitate Government Payments Digitization

The MoU identifies areas of collaboration between the two institutions whereby Karandaaz Pakistan will provide technical support for BOP’s G2P and P2G projects.

December 22, 2015 | Pak Suzuki Partners with Karandaaz Pakistan and Meezan Bank to Promote SMEs in the Automotive Industry in Pakistan

This tripartite partnership as part of the PKR 9 billion Corporate Vendor and Distributor Finance Program launched recently by Karandaaz Pakistan and Meezan Bank is a capital investment and expansion working capital financing opportunity and aims to help Pak Suzuki’s supply chain and distribution channels grow.

NOV 17, 2015 | Karandaaz Pakistan, Meezan Bank Join Hands with Atlas Honda to Deepen Access to Finance for Small and Mid-Size Vendors and Distributors

The partnership will strengthen Atlas Honda’s supply chain and distribution channels by providing access to finance for Atlas Honda’s small and mid-size vendors and distributors.

NOV 10, 2015 | Karandaaz Appoints FinSurgents to Develop a Framework for Early Stage Investments in Digital Finance

The framework study and resultant recommendations are expected to form the basis of the investment support that Karandaaz plans to extend in this exciting and upcoming industry in Pakistan.

NOV 5, 2015 | NBP and Karandaaz Pakistan Sign MoU to Jointly Work for Greater Financial Inclusion

The two partners aim to develop a comprehensive digital financial services strategy to create the much required Digital Financial Ecosystem, through a suite of financial transactions to facilitate the citizens of Pakistan with a focus on Government to Person (G2P) and Person to Government (P2G) transactions.

OCT 5, 2015 | Meezan Bank and Karandaaz Pakistan Sign the Corporate Vendor and Distributor Finance Program Agreement

This agreement will provide up to PKR 9 Billion in program-based term funding for capital investment and expansion working capital to small and mid-size vendors and distributors operating in organized economic supply chains in Pakistan.

SEP 10, 2015 | Using Mobile Money to Promote Financial Inclusion in Pakistan

Published for the first time in Pakistan by Karandaaz Pakistan, this deck brings together information from both national and international data sets and reports on financial inclusion and mobile money.

AUG 6, 2015 | Karandaaz and InterMedia Launch Financial Inclusion Insights Survey (Wave II) Report

The 2015 Pakistan FII report tracks access to and demand for financial services including DFS; measures adoption and use of DFS among key target groups; identifies drivers and barriers to further adoption of DFS; and evaluates the agent experience.

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  • 1E, Ali Plaza, Nazimuddin Road,
    D Chowk, Islamabad
  • +92 (51) 8449761
  • info@karandaaz.com.pk