Bookmarking Desi Innovators & Ventures

Murad & Mannan : Entrepreneurs of the Month

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.

Murad, who also later turned out to be the cousin of one of my good childhood friends did set an example for those who wanted to pursue game development in Pakistan. He graduated from Stanford University with an MS in Computer Science and worked in Apple & Microsoft before moving to Pakistan.  A good co-founder is a must for a startup company who is at your back, understands your vision and supports you at every wild decision that the chief takes. Murad was complimented by the ever talented and optimist Mannan Amin, who has a Masters in Management Science with a specialization in Innovations, Viral Marketing, and Entrepreneurship from Stanford.  Earlier Mannan was at LUMS where he did his BSc CS and a year of MBA. Both these gentlemen teach as well. Their students are surely the lucky ones to have in their adjunct faculty such passionate leaders and technologists.

Currently working under the name of Tintash, these fellows have grown their company to 20+ employees within just 2 years of its proper operations. Tintash now operates on 2 floors of Shadman House while earlier it was using only one floor. Apart from that, the best part is their collaboration/relationships with established and emerging game development companies around as well as innovative work strategies.

Those of us who have played Fishing Frenzy by downloading it from iPhone App Store should feel proud that such work has been done in Pakistan and that our game development industry has taken first few steps to enter the global market.

It is certainly not easy to group a wonderful team of concept developers, graphics designers & software developers and then tone their skills as per your requirement especially when you are the first entrant. For standing out there in problems, believing in themselves while establishing a new industry, and growing an organization to such a level, Mannan and Murad are our entrepreneurs of the month.

 

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