Here’s why business leaders and entrepreneurs are moving back to Pakistan


A Rhodes scholar from Oxford, who has worked in the global technology and payments space for almost a decade, Ali Farid Khwaja is now looking towards contributing back to the local economy through his firm Oxford Frontier Capital – a London-based company investing in frontier markets. He plans to bring foreign capital to Pakistan through his company’s partnership with Khadim Ali Shah Bukhari (KASB) Securities in Karachi.

Khwaja is amongst the millions of Pakistanis who have been living outside of Pakistan and he is amongst those who have done exceptionally well in their careers.  In recent years, people like him have been moving back to take advantage of the opportunities here. 

After a distinguished career spanning 15 years, fintech, artificial intelligence, quantum computing and blockchain are some of his areas of interest and expertise.

Prior to starting his entrepreneurship journey and setting up his own company, Khwaja was a partner at Autonomous Research –  a London-based investment research firm, which focused on financial services. He has also served as the CFO of an online payments company, Safe Charge, which is listed in the London Stock Exchange.

At Berenberg Bank, the second oldest bank in the world, he worked as a fintech analyst. It was Berenberg that led the Initial Public Offering (IPO) of Rocket Internet, the parent company of Later, he worked at a Hedge Fund investing in emerging markets.

Khwaja is now the largest investor in his company, Oxford Frontier Capital. Some of his other investors include the president of a German bank, a board member of London’s Camden Market and a Hollywood Producer/celebrity fintech investor.

Robust data-driven coverage and high standards of corporate governance and services are some of the values Khwaja feels are essential for his business to thrive.

He intends on contributing to Pakistan’s growth in two ways: connect global investors to businesses in Pakistan – especially in areas where digital technologies can lead to change and enhance productivity – and improving domestic productivity through global knowledge and expertise.

Watch this video to hear this CEO, fintech investor, and analyst talk about what it takes to do business in Pakistan and the potential he sees in the country.

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