Digitisation of SMEs to improve their performance manifold

ISLAMABAD: Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in Pakistan have great potential for digitalisation, which can improve their performance manifold, according to an expert.
Muhammad Azeem Iqbal, the founder of Think Connects, which provides low-cost solutions related to information technology to SMEs, told WealthPK that besides auto parts, textile, and tanning industries, the dairy sector has also great potential for digitalisation.
He said that National Incubation Centre Lahore has invited him to brief Federal Minister of IT and Telecommunication Syed Aminul Haque, General Manager of Ignite Projects Bilal Abbasi, Chief Executive Officer of Ignite Asim Shahryar Hussain and Executive Director of National Information Technology Board Abbas Kazmi about his firm.
He said that the dairy industry showed a very good response to adopting modern technology.
About his firm, Azeem Iqbal said that ‘Think Connects’ was a platform of internet of things (IoT), providing affordable technology solutions to SMEs. “If someone builds IoT on his own, he would need software to capture, analyse and use the data to gain useful insights. This is a really potent product as it allows people to create offshoots inside a specific industry,” he added.
He stated that after interacting with the people associated with the dairy industry, they came to know that the sector had great potential for digitalisation. “The dairy industry requires an ‘environment monitoring solution’. It will help in monitoring the temperature and humidity. The temperature and humidity directly affect the production of milk,” he added.
Azeem Iqbal said that if the temperature and humidity exceed a certain level, the production of milk will decrease. He said that the use of modern technology in the dairy sector helps in increasing the production of milk. “It was previously done manually. Now we have digitised the entire procedure to increase accuracy and speed,” he added.
He said that they were also working to introduce technological solutions in the far-flung areas. “We have signed an agreement with Daroghawala Cold Storage in Lahore to provide technological solutions. If the temperature in cold storage is not maintained, it will result in a significant loss. Consequently, we will employ IoT to prevent massive losses by monitoring and controlling the temperature. As the storage is large, we will concentrate on offering it with a low-cost IoT solution,” he added.
Although such regions as Daroghawala are industrially rich, their accessibility is quite challenging. Think Connects is targeting these regions with its technological solutions to enhance the productivity of SMEs. “Think Connects is introducing digitalisation in these regions along with their tech-related products so that they may compete with the players in the international market,” sad Azeem Iqbal.
He said that Think Connects was now using the in-house 3D printer for device prototyping and fabrication. “Think Connects is currently based in the incubation centre at Lahore University of Management Sciences. The computer science department of LUMS is working a lot in agri-tech. In fact, they are interested in connecting specific IoT gateways with our system. We are looking forward to connecting their long-range gateways with our platform. LUMS has also organised a workshop on computer vision, machine learning and its applications through edge devices,” he told WealthPK.