Sofizar in Lahore, Turning the Competitiveness Index Upside Down

  • Sami Mahroum


Sofizar-ConstellationCK is an online Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Internet marketing company specialising in online ticket sales and educational services. Sofizar itself was founded in 2004 in Lahore, Pakistan, by Zafar Khan, of the Pakistani-American diaspora. With the support of global networks, in early 2009, Khan partnered with US-based serial entrepreneur Carlos Cashman to launch Sofizar’s sister company, ConstellationCK. The two companies merged soon thereafter, operating out of a shared facility in Lahore, with front offices in the USA, and have developed a strong presence in the global industry for Internet marketing, especially in the highly competitive US market. By 2014, the combined operations of Sofizar-ConstellationCK, together with a more recent spin-off company, OrionCKB, generated some US$30 million in annual revenue and employed approximately 170 people, the majority of whom were located in Lahore. During his freshman year of college, Khan declared to friends that he was going to be a millionaire. He did it.


Stock Option World Economic Forum Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Employee Stock Option Internet Company 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. Ara, J. 2009. Zafar Khan, CEO of Sofizar, tells his story on ITLoW. Blog, 29 June 2009.
  2. Arif, B.W., and T. Sonobe. 2012. Virtual incubation in industrial clusters: A case study in Pakistan. Journal of Development Studies 48(3): 377–392.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bilbao-Osorio, B., S. Dutta, and B. Lanvin (eds.). 2014. The global information technology report 2014. Geneva: World Economic Forum and INSEAD.
  4. Haque, N. 2007. Entrepreneurship in Pakistan. Pakistan Institute of Development Economics, Working paper 2007:29, Islamabad.
  5. Iiahi, J. 2012. Aaj Aaap key sath—business—episode 9—entrepreneurship and investment in Pakistan, 7 Dec 2012. Accessed 6 May 2014.
  6. MIT. 2011. High tech in low income: Zafar Khan, MIT video, Legatum Center for Development and Entrepreneurship.
  7. Nawab, A. 2013. Accelerating entrepreneurship in Pakistan. Teach In Asia, 24 June 2013.
  8. Sabir, S., T. Aidrus, and S. Bird. 2010. Pakistan: A story of technology, entrepreneurs and global networks. MIT Sloan Management, case no. 10-082, 17 Feb 2010.Google Scholar
  9. WEF. 2013. The global competitiveness report 2013–2014. World Economic Forum.
  10. World Bank. 2013a. Pakistan: Finding the path to job-enhancing growth. World Bank report no. 75521-PK, Islamabad.
  11. World Bank. 2013b. Doing business 2014. Washington: World Bank. Scholar

Copyright information

© The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s)> 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sami Mahroum
    • 1
  1. 1.INSEAD Abu Dhabi CampusAbu DhabiUAE

Personalised recommendations