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TEDxLahore Reviews

by Farwa Mahmood August 25th, 2010

We wrote an article about TEDxLahore last month. Some of our editors and authors attended the event as well. A personal feedback by one of our editors Rafaeel Akbar with the title “How “I” saw this year’s TEDxLahore” is available at his personal blog. Moreover other featured reviews are available on the following links.

TEDxLahore Team will upload all the talks on 31st August 2010. Those who couldn’t attend the event should definitely take out some time to listen the “Ideas Worth Sharing.”

 

Innovation occurs in periods of adversity

by Rafaeel Akbar Chaudhry August 24th, 2010

One fifth of the country has been affected by the recent floods in Pakistan and 20 million people need our support. Apart from individuals, I am thankful to all the organizations that I am associated with who stood by my side and are doing whatever they can.

The first question that came to our mind was “What is the immediate need of the victims that we have to address?”  The obvious answer was food and water. There is water everywhere but none safe to drink. Outbreaks of cholera are common in large floods and arranging safe drinking water to many millions of people is of extreme importance. Hence we decided to look out for water solutions as it is not possible to deliver mineral water everywhere.

Last year I saw the following  talk amongst the TEDGlobal 2009 videos where Engineer Michael Pritchard introduced his revolutionary product “Life Saver Bottle”.

I was still wondering that how can we use the same idea here that we received an email from Mr. Azhar Mateen who told us about a similar system that they have developed in Pakistan. Instead of bottle, it is more of a manual filtration plant. The plant is capable to treat the flood water directly and its capacity is more than 1000 liters per hour. Since electricity is not available in the affected areas, the system is capable to run without electricity. He further told us that they are donating 10 plants  for free and can provide us similar system on no profit no loss basis for only PKR 250,000 whereas such a system would cost much more if we’ll try to import it. The company behind the project is Tauseef Water owned by Mr.Tauseef Anjum of Tauseef Enterprises Ltd.

The following video is the live demo of the working system.

Moreover, a friend emailed me the following poster which showed steps of making a good sand water filter. Additional details about this can be downloaded from here.

I somewhat felt really happy that people are coming up with amazing ideas to help out their fellow countrymen. Burt Rutan once said that “Innovation occurs in periods of adversity”. I would request all readers to step up and come out with such innovative solutions & initiatives that can be used to help our brothers and sisters. Since we have to rebuild these areas, smart relief efforts and superior infrastructural & residential planning is the need of the hour.

In the waters of the devastation hitting Pakistan lies a chance to reinvent our condition by washing away the regrets of the last 63 years and laying the foundations of a new temple. But only if we have the courage and vision to think on these lines.

 

P@SHA – TiE Lahore Interactive Talk with Imran Sayeed

by Rafaeel Akbar Chaudhry July 26th, 2010

P@SHA and TiE Lahore are joining hands with LUMS to bring to all entrepreneurs and aspiring entrepreneurs an Interactive Talk with Mr. Imran Sayeed, a very distinguised entrepreneur and technologist from the US.

Imran Sayeed, a serial entrepreneur, a consultant, an engineer, a mentor, a rainmaker, and a great supporter of many initiatives in Pakistan including the OPEN-MITEF initiative would be in Lahore on July 29.

Imran is the Senior Vice President, Global Architecture, Application Development and Management Practice and leads all commercial sector industry practices for Keane, a global BPO and IT Services company with ~14,000 professionals worldwide. Industry practices include Financial Services, Insurance, Healthcare, Pharmaceutical, Manufacturing, Retail, Hospitality & Travel and Energy, and together comprise most of the key business lines and customers for Keane.

Imran Sayeed came to Keane through its acquisition of netNumina, a boutique technology strategy and consulting form that he founded and grew from a 15 person startup to one of Computerworld’s Top 100 emerging companies. netNumina won more than 30 of the leading financial services & pharmaceutical institutions in the world as clients, raised more than $25MM from venture capitalists and strategic investors and received more than 20 industry awards for its work. (more…)

 

TEDxLahore: Collective Genius – 31st July 2010

by Rafaeel Akbar Chaudhry July 26th, 2010

It was late 2005 when I started promoting entrepreneurship, social media and startups amongst the techies in Lahore. I came up with a name called “Technology Entrepreneurs Den (TED)” for our meetups but little did I know that there was already a global phenomenon known as TED. I got to know about it when few people asked me if I am coming up with a local TED event. I had to drop down the name but at least it introduced me to the wonderful TED Platform and since then I have listened around 80-90 phenomenal TED Talks.

TED is a small nonprofit devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. It started out in 1984 as a conference bringing together people from three worlds: Technology, Entertainment, Design. Since then its scope has become ever broader. Along with two annual conferences — the TED Conference in Long Beach and Palm Springs each spring, and the TEDGlobal conference in Oxford UK each summer — TED includes the award-winning TEDTalks video site, the Open Translation Project and Open TV Project, the inspiring TEDx program and the annual TED Prize.

The TED Conference, held annually in Long Beach, is still the heart of TED. More than a thousand people now attend — indeed, the event sells out a year in advance — and the content has expanded to include science, business, the arts and the global issues facing our world. Over four days, 50 speakers each take an 18-minute slot, and there are many shorter pieces of content, including music, performance and comedy. There are no breakout groups. Everyone shares the same experience. It shouldn’t work, but it does. It works because all of knowledge is connected. Every so often it makes sense to emerge from the trenches we dig for a living, and ascend to a 30,000-foot view, where we see, to our astonishment, an intricately interconnected whole.

Last year in July, when Asim Fayaz told me that a license has been acquired, I was overjoyed that finally we would have a platform to share ideas and reach out to masses. Asim did invite me to earlier events at LUMS and Kinnaird which were held on July 25 2009 and February 23 2010 respectively but few professional commitments didn’t let me join both the events. On May 22, 2010, I got an email from Asim for the third event. I decided the very day that this time over I’ll definitely register for TEDxLahore and make it to the event. (more…)

 

SeenReport and Jaroka Tele-Healthcare, winners of mBillionth Award 2010

by Rafaeel Akbar Chaudhry July 24th, 2010

 

Winners - mBillionth Awards 2010

It was Jehan and Rabia Garib’s twitter feed that led me to register my product for the mBillionth Award 2010. When I registered, I knew that we’ll be rejected in even short listing as we couldn’t find an appropriate category to nominate our product. Moreover our application was unlaunched and running in private alpha amongst our own company employees. We thought that by the time jury will judge our entry, we will launch the public alpha. But if you are in a telecom business where operators have an upper hand, launching your service independently becomes a herculean task. I don’t know which place did we end up in Grand Jury held in Colombo last month but I am happy that we were at least shortlisted for jury.

The m-Billionth Award South Asia 2010 was the first of its kind in the region recognizing and felicitating mobile innovations, applications and content services delivery. It was arranged to honour excellence in mobile communications across South Asia spread over 10 core categories. The m-Billionth Award is designed as an annual South Asia’s leading mobile content’s award platform towards larger regional Mobile Congress in media and policy advocacy. The platform was created with the help of DIT and Digital Empowerment Foundation who have come together to create a regional platform and had support of partners like mint newspaper, VAS companies like IMImobile, OnMobile, One97 and the umbrella organization such as IAMAI (Internet & Mobile Association of India). Pakistan Software House Association (P@SHA) was the Country Partner, Bytesforall , the Strategic Partner and CIO Pakistan, the Media Partner from our side. (more…)

 

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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The baffled state

by Mahrukh Sodhi June 8th, 2010

I am sure some of you went through the same baffled state of mind regarding opting for a career like me. I have recently completed my masters and working at Dunya T.V. Despite the fact I have a sound job, my brain is always thinking of doing something more and earning few extra bucks. My father keeps on compelling me to appear for CSS exams and I feel guilty for not listening to him. When I see all the Tommy’s getting into the dress designing business, I aspire to become one myself. At least I am much better than a lot of the useless ones out there. Writing is my passion but somehow I can’t write when someone assigns me a job. I really want to believe my mother on it that I have been cursed through black magic or probably that’s only a scapegoat for me.

But I am adamant on the fact that I will not lose my hopes. They are the only things left to hang on to. This world is an atrocious one. People these days would do anything and everything to throw pebbles on your road to triumph. I am learning to pick my pebbles up and I believe that one day I would reach my destination. It does not matter if I take baby steps or giant leaps. What matters is that they all should lead me towards my set goal.

 

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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How to Guarantee Your Company Will Fail

by Rafaeel Akbar Chaudhry April 21st, 2010

Pamela Lund recently wrote the following post on her blog. I couldn’t agree more to her. There are some of the mistakes that I did too during my earlier days so thought of sharing these with all our followers and those who are looking forward to establish their own startup. (more…)