Qayaam, a startup incubated at Plan9 – Punjab Information Technology Board’s Tech Incubator, has officially signed an MOU with Tourist Assistance Program (TAP) at Arfa Software Technology Park, aligning with the vision of Chairman PITB, Dr. Umar Saif, who strongly advocates the collaboration between the startups and corporate industry of Pakistan.
Qayaam has joined hands with TAP to uplift the local economy of Gilgit Baltistan by enabling short-term renting. Speaking at the ceremony, co-founder Muhammad Owais explained,
“Qayaam is excited to partner with Akhuwat and Dunya Foundation (an NGO of Dunya TV Network), to extend its operations to the North. We, at Qayaam, believe in the social uplift of local economies through technology. I hope that our partnership will enable us to deliver better on our promise: Ease, Security and Reliability.”
Tourist Assistance Program, a pilot project by Akhuwat, Dunya Foundation (an NGO of Dunya TV Network) and Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund, provided interest free loans individuals in Gilgit-Baltistan to set up 113 rooms and 27 camping sites in order to boost tourism. Partnering with this program, Qayaam will be providing marketing and booking services, for the tourists, through its portal.
Bilal Afzal, Member Dunya Foundation, explained the thought behind this collaboration,
“The idea behind this was to boost the tourism ecosystem in the Gilgit-Baltistan region in a way that the locals would benefit from this. Through our collaboration with Qayaam, we hope to further promote the concept of paying-guests in our local communities.”
The idea behind this collaboration is to improve the economy of the region as well as to ensure accommodation for the tourists frequenting the region. The impact of this partnership will not be limited to improved economy but will also have a social impact as the locals will open their homes to tourists.
Nabeel A. Qadeer, Director Entrepreneurship & Enterprise Development at Punjab Information Technology Board (PITB), was also present at the event. He felt that this was an excellent collaboration, and said,
“Qayaam’s concept is that of an Airbnb which is an excellent model and the team is driven, in terms of achieving its goals. This partnership, with leading non-profits, will definitely provide Qayaam the credibility it requires at this point in time.”
Structured along the lines of Airbnb and Couchsurfing, Qayaam intends to revolutionize the idea of renting in Pakistan. The startup aims to bring, an average individual, the level of comfort and ease that should be expected within a reasonable price bracket. The team plans to make the concept of short-term renting and paying-guests a socially acceptable norm in Pakistan. In the future, Qayaam plans to expand to South-East Asian, Middle Eastern and Western Asian countries.