Bookmarking Desi Innovators & Ventures

Economic Times – The Power of Ideas

by Rafaeel Akbar Chaudhry July 14th, 2010

I have been approached by few of my Indian friends since last year seeking advice to startup a business or do a joint Indo-Pak venture with them. Considering the relations between the country and money exchange issues, I have been quite careful.

Recently, one of my friends told me about the Power of Ideas organized every year in India. The promotional video (below) just blew me away and refreshed memories of initial struggling time I had while starting my first venture.

The Power of Ideas is the intellectual property of The Economic Times, India’s leading financial daily. In a unique three-way public-private-academic partnership, The Economic Times has joined hands with the Department of Science and Technology (Government of India) and the Indian Institute of Ahmedabad’s CIIE (Center for Innovation, Incubation and Entrepreneurship) to create a formidable force that can champion the cause of entrepreneurial culture in India. It leverages on the Government’s remit to encourage innovation and IIM-A’s demonstrated experience in mentoring and incubating start-ups. (more…)

 

Murad & Mannan : Entrepreneurs of the Month

by Rafaeel Akbar Chaudhry July 3rd, 2010

I have been a gaming freak all my childhood whether it be ground games or the video/computer ones. The people of my age have experienced all those wonderful Atari (shown below) and Nintendo gadgets till we entered the age of 386 and 486 to play the DOS Based “Dangerous Dave”. A lot has happened to the E-Gaming Industry since then with faster and most of the times more violent games emerging which an EA Sports Lover like me cannot handle. Moreover with the emergence of Internet in late 90’s in Pakistan, my primary interest shifted from playing games to explore internet technologies.

I think it was the start of the second quarter of 2007 when during a meeting at LUMS, somebody told me that there is a guy in town named Ahmad Murad Akhter who is the CEO of a company called SMCo. Technologies and has formed a website called MobileGames.PK. I didn’t pay much attention to it then. September 2007, one of my seniors at FAST-NU while strolling with me at the driveway of NUCES Lahore Campus told me that he has joined Murad’s company as a Software Engineer. The only expression at my face at that point of time was “A Proper Game Development Company in Pakistan?”. By that time, I didn’t know about Shehryar Hydri’s ventures as well. I felt that Murad is just having fun and his adventure would be over in next couple of months as they would not be able to compete with GameDev Giants. I couldn’t have been more wrong. They survived and currently are one of the biggest game development companies in Pakistan.

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K-Jam : Entrepreneurs of the Month

by Rafaeel Akbar Chaudhry May 16th, 2010

Jamil Goheer and Khurram Mir at APICTA 2008

I clearly remember it was December 2006 when I got to know about a Pvt Ltd. Company working within the CS Department at LUMS. I was like WoW! Why don’t we have such a culture here at FAST-NU.  Later, I got to know that men behind this venture are ex-FASTians who graduated a year before I actually came to FAST Lahore.

After June 2007, we extensively started hearing about this company which called itself the First Quality Assurance Company in Pakistan mainly because by that time Khurram Javed Mir, the CMO of the company was out from LUMS with an MBA degree. He definitely had a plan how to take this company forward. I remember how people used to gossip about this company especially their batch mates. Some liked the idea considering that their companies can now outsource the QA work whereas some were of the view that what a stupid idea they have come up with as every software company has its own QA department. In the opinion of the second lot, they were definitely a failure.

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If Baba Chiragh can do it, why can’t you?

by Rafaeel Akbar Chaudhry April 20th, 2010

I recently came across few videos and was extremely glad that how some people here in Pakistan are solving problems. In fact one of them, an elderly man, Muhammad Chiragh didn’t even go for formal schooling and I was amazed how he played around with the concept of “Rahet” (Picture Below) and turned it into a Tube Well. (Video Below).

Similarly, Mr. Syed Toseef Haider Zaidi has made Wind Turbines, Wind Mill etc. locally (video below) to solve power shortage issues. Details are available on this website. Another young guy, 20 years old Muhammad Waqar Qureshi in very limited resources has done some interesting projects which are worth evaluating.

We need to encourage such people. We don’t need anyone else. We can solve our problems on our own if innovators like these are promoted and acknowledged at national level.

Traditional Rahet in Pakistani Villages

 

Baba Chiragh’s Tube Well

 

 

 

Invent – The Entrepreneurial Challenge

by Rafaeel Akbar Chaudhry April 9th, 2010

Two weeks back, few students told me about “Invent – The Entrepreneurial Challenge” being hosted by IBA Entrepreneurship Society (IBAES), Karachi. This business plan competition is unique in the sense that it includes steps that attempt to stimulate real life such as having teams that have members both from marketing, financial, management and technical background. I remember during my undergraduate study, Mr. Zia Imran (MD, PSEB and Ex-Chairman, P@SHA) used to discuss with me that we should change the concept of final year projects so that instead of ending final year projects after graduation, students can take their projects forward and convert it to companies. The idea seemed great because it would change the concept of traditional “Job Hunt” and everyone would enjoy their work. Also it would create opportunities for other nationals.

I have just received an email  (more…)

 

Five Pakistanis recognized as Young Global Leaders

by Rafaeel Akbar Chaudhry March 5th, 2010

YGL 2010 Honouress from Pakistan

EntrepreneursPK Team is glad to inform its readers that 5 Pakistanis have been honored with the Young Global Leader 2010 title by the World Economic Forum. Those who have made us proud this year are Mr. Amir Jahangir (CEO, JAAG Broadcasting (Pvt.) Ltd.), Mr. Hamid Yar Hiraj (Federal Minister of State, Commerce), Mr. Muhammad Ali Tabba (CEO, Lucky Cement), Syed Mustafa Kamal (Ex-Mayor/City Nazim, Karachi) and Mr. Umar Saif (Founder, Saif Center of Innovation (SCI) ).

It feels great to know that our fellow country men are part of the list that includes Roger Federer, Professional Tennis Player (from Switzerland), Evan Williams, CEO Twitter  (from the USA) and Mandla Mandela, Member of Parliament of the South African National Congress (from South Africa) etc.

This Forum of Young Global Leaders is a unique, multi-stakeholder community of exceptional young leaders who share a commitment to shaping the global future. Each year the World Economic Forum identifies 200-300 extraordinary individuals, drawn from every region of the world. The individuals recognized are under 40 years of age and are evaluated on the basis of their professional accomplishments, commitment to society and potential to contribute to shaping the future of the world. Together, they form a powerful international community that can dramatically impact the global future.

WEF on 3rd March 2010 has announced the names of 197 people from 72 countries who are to join the Forum of Young Global Leaders in 2010. Those selected are all stakeholders of society (business, social entrepreneurs, political&government, arts&culture, and opinion&media). They represent all regions: East Asia (43), South Asia (21), Europe (46), Middle East and North Africa (14), sub-Saharan Africa (17), North America (38), and Latin America (18) and this year’s selection has more gender parity than ever with 38% women.

Drawn from a pool of almost 5,000 candidates, the Young Global Leaders 2010 were chosen by a selection committee, chaired by H.M. Queen Rania Al Abdullah of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, comprised of eminent international media leaders.

The 2010 honourees will become part of the broader Forum of Young Global Leaders community that currently comprises 660 outstanding individuals. The Young Global Leaders meet annually and this year’s summit will be held in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, 2-7 May. It is the first time a summit will take place in Africa and it will also be the largest gathering of the community.

We wish and hope that the trend continues and 2011 YGL Honourees list contains names of many more local impact makers.

Young Global Leaders Dead Sea Summit

EntrepreneursPK Team is glad to inform its readers that 5 Pakistanis have been honored with the Young Global Leader 2010 title by the World Economic Forum. Those who have made us proud this year are Mr. Amir Jahangir (CEO, JAAG Broadcasting (Pvt.) Ltd.), Mr. Hamid Yar Hiraj (Federal Minister of State, Commerce), Mr. Muhammad Ali Tabba (CEO, Lucky Cement), Syed Mustafa Kamal (Ex-Mayor/City Nazim, Karachi) and Mr. Umar Saif (Founder, Saif Center of Innovation (SCI) ).