Residential buildings are reflected in the Ishim river in Kazakhstan's capital Astana © AFP

Being a tech entrepreneur in Kazakhstan used to be a lonely business. “Problem number one for Kazakhstan is to find like-minded people. When I started first in 2013 nobody knew what a start-up was,” says Roman Gurbanov, founder of Bizmo Cubes, a website that helps construction companies with procurement. Mr Gurbanov struggled to find programmers in his home city of Aktau, and has ended up starting his own coding school to help foster talent.

Kazakhstan wants, however, to turn its economy away from the heavy focus on oil and towards new technologies and started the Digital Kazakhstan project a year ago to help make the shift. Mr Gurbanov talked to the FT about the changes he has seen.

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