Episode 132 – Disrupting the Economy with Venture Capital

Venture capital is the fuel that powers an economy’s innovation ecosystem, disrupting the old way of doing business and generating growth.

In this episode, Uzair talks to Mohamed Eissa about the IFC’s perspective on venture capital and the role the IFC is looking to play in Pakistan. Eissa talked about why Pakistan is an attractive market, what investments the IFC is going to make in the near-term, and why failure should be celebrated.

Mohamed leads IFC’s Global Venture Capital and Direct Investments group. As a member of the investment committee, he leads a team of investment professionals in Latin America, Africa, the Middle East, Eastern and Central Europe, South Asia and Asia-Pacific region. IFC’s portfolio investments include venture capital funds and direct investments in disruptive startups in over 30 countries. Prior to IFC, he led technology investments at Gulf Investment Corporation (GIC) – a joint fund with equal ownership by the six Gulf Cooperation Council countries’ sovereign wealth funds. Mohamed also held operational roles in technology in the US as well as venture capital investments at Bell Labs’ New Ventures Group. Mohamed holds both a Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Electrical Engineering & Computer Science, and an MBA from Harvard Business School.

Reading recommendations:

– The Greatest: My Own Story by Muhammad Ali and Richard Durham

– Deep Simplicity: Bringing Order to Chaos and Complexity by John Gribbin

– A Path Forward for Sharing the Nile Water: Sustainable, Smart, Equitable, Incremental by Elfatih Eltahir


0:00 Introduction

1:00 Global VC Outlook

10:00 VC’s role in Pakistan’s economy

17:55 IFC’s VC role in Pakistan

26:36 How to turbocharge the tech ecosystem

31:50 IFC’s investment strategy in Pakistan

35:10 Innovating through failure

39:40 Inclusion in entrepreneurship

44:50 Reading recommendations