Sarim Nadeem, CTO of PixelOne, Creator of the First Print-on-Demand e-commerce Company in Pakistan – Dexpel Online Print Shop and Omni-Channel Business Automation Software – Innovative Omni-Channel Business Automation Software, Ethical AI, Social Impact

In this interview with Sarim Nadeem, the CTO of PixelOne, we explore his remarkable contributions to developing Omni-channel business automation software for online and offline store owners and pioneering the Dexpel online print shop in Pakistan. Mr. Sarim Nadeem shares his insights into how technology is revolutionizing marketing, his commitment to advancing responsible AI, and his strategies to foster a culture of innovation. We also discuss emerging AI and automation trends and Mr. Nadeem’s most significant achievements in his career. This conversation provides invaluable insights for anyone interested in the transformative power of technology in the business world.

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Sarim, as the creator of the first online print shop in Pakistan, Dexpel, you’re a unique figure in Pakistan’s e-commerce market. Looking back, what drove you to start your own business?

Thank you for the question. Since childhood, I’ve been captivated by problem-solving. My journey into coding began in 6th grade when I created a quiz game in .Net for my birthday, sparking a deep passion for programming. As I honed my skills, I developed a monthly expenses calculator and a blog before entering high school. Throughout college, I delved into technology, particularly mobile phones, trading them second-hand for profit. This experience gave me a deeper understanding of business and fueled my desire to explore new ventures. By the time I completed high school, I was freelancing and deeply engrossed in the burgeoning e-commerce industry, inspired by its success stories.

That sounds inspiring! During your studies at the university, you launched Pakistan’s first Online custom print shop, which grew to over 1,000 orders a month, which speaks volumes! What inspired you to start such a unique business for Pakistan in 2009?

By the time I got to college, I was already juggling side projects and had managed to save up some money. I became interested in various business ventures and found a print-on-demand company in the US that specialized in customizing t-shirts, laptop skins, and accessories online. Customers could visit their website, personalize their products, and have them manufactured and delivered. This integrated model encompassing manufacturing, trade, and e-commerce fascinated me. After careful saving, I launched Pakistan’s first online custom print shop, Dexpel, in 2009 while in university. The store was an immediate success, quickly turning a profit. I balanced my studies during the day with business operations in the evening, eventually expanding the company to handle over 1000 orders monthly. At the same time, I provided IT services, assembling a skilled team to assist other brands in seizing the e-commerce opportunity and facilitating their digital sales entry.

Sarim, now, as PixelOne’s CTO, you’re deeply involved in developing innovative Omni-channel business automation software. Looking ahead, how do you anticipate responsible AI evolving in the business environment, and what actions is PixelOne taking to be at the forefront of this development?

The integration of AI has truly revolutionized our software/platform’s capabilities. For instance, in online sales, where a brand processes hundreds of orders daily, the authenticity of each order is of utmost importance. Our AI-driven solution effectively addresses this challenge by implementing order verification using AI and ML models. This technology helps us differentiate between potentially fraudulent orders and those from genuine, paying customers and optimizes resource allocation. We extended this engine by adding a delivery optimization score, which tells the store owner the probability of a specific order delivery journey to the end consumer. By profiling and flagging non-compliant clients and optimizing logistics by data and ML, we empower brands to focus their resources on fulfilling orders from trustworthy customers, fostering a more efficient and secure business environment.

I know that these actions have not only simplified order processing but also saved brands substantial costs associated with logistics and order fulfillment. Sarim, who makes up your customer base, and what value do you provide them? 

Our diverse clientele includes business owners, retailers, and wholesalers, with a notable increase in engagement from Pakistan’s textile industry. This sector, particularly businesses with multiple outlets, seeks our solution to interconnect stores and manage inventory for e-commerce. Similarly, we serve clients in the car accessories industry, helping them handle many SKUs and streamline online order management. For the print-on-demand sector, our custom order status feature is crucial in simplifying their manufacturing processes. Additionally, skincare and health industry customers use our platform to efficiently process their high monthly order volumes, contributing to their operational success.

With your deep knowledge of AI, how do you assess the balance between innovating with your software and ensuring ethical considerations in businesses’ deployment of it?

Certainly! Balancing innovation and ethics in AI deployment is crucial for businesses today, especially with advancements like our PixelOne, a pure business automation platform. While AI offers benefits like streamlined operations and improved customer experiences, ethical concerns around data privacy and algorithmic bias must be addressed. PixelOne prioritizes ethical AI practices by implementing transparent data policies, auditing algorithms for biases, and ensuring AI complements human workers. This approach fosters responsible AI use and helps businesses stay competitive while mitigating potential risks.

Mr. Nadeem, your outstanding PixelOne platform is taking a proactive stance on these ethical issues and helps build trust among users and stakeholders. As the CTO, you lead development and strategy, ensuring innovation and client satisfaction. Can you tell us about your team and how it supports you?

Absolutely! Our team comprises eight dedicated individuals, each playing a crucial role in developing our Omni-channel business automation software. Each member brings unique skills and expertise, allowing us to deliver a comprehensive solution that meets the needs of online and offline store owners. 

We cultivate a welcoming working environment, with team members actively participating in brainstorming sessions. We stay abreast of global trends and closely observe our competitors. Our teams regularly attend exhibitions, seminars, and workshops to gain profound insights and stay updated with industry innovations. I also attend these events to connect with industry experts and expand my knowledge.

Exactly! You’re an active participant of the Al-Khwarizmi Institute of Computer Science (KICS), whose membership demonstrates recognition of your expertise and potential to nurture new technologies and startups.

Thank you. Membership in KICS offers me access to cutting-edge research, collaboration opportunities with leading experts in the field, and a platform to contribute to impactful technological innovations. It also allows me to make a meaningful impact in advancing technological innovation and entrepreneurship.

Mr. Nadeem, at PixelOne, you’ve pioneered an outstanding AI model that optimizes order allocation for store owners with multiple outlets, boosting efficiency and customer satisfaction. What advice would you give to tech start-ups developing Omni-channel automation software?

The demand for advanced technological solutions escalates in the current dynamic e-commerce environment, characterized by rapid growth and evolving consumer preferences. Entrepreneurs who can effectively address the industry’s pressing challenges and deliver tangible value to brands are positioned for substantial traction and success. This presents a uniquely opportune moment to venture into the omni-channel business space, as numerous unresolved issues and complexities require innovative solutions. As the industry evolves, entrepreneurs proactively tackling these challenges will gain a competitive edge and secure a significant market share.

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