Bookmarking Desi Innovators & Ventures

Ashar Nisar | The .PK Man | Entrepreneur of the month

by Rafaeel Akbar Chaudhry March 27th, 2011

Every day we come across website addresses trailing with “.com.pk”, “.net.pk”, “.org.pk”, “.edu.pk”, “.gov.pk” or simply “.pk”. To land on this site, you also typed “entrepreneurs.pk”. However, majority people in my network don’t have an idea who operates this “PK” thing for us. It is sad to mention that even many IT Professionals and Computer Science students in Pakistan don’t know about PKNIC (Pakistan Network Information Center (Pvt) Ltd.), the registry responsible for the .pk country code Top Level Domain (ccTLD) for Pakistan since most of the people acquire domain name via resellers with a hosting plan. Those who know about PKNIC are unaware of the fact that it is owned and run by Mr. Ashar Nisar, A Pakistani – American who graduated from UET Lahore in the 80s. (more…)

 

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…)

 

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.

(more…)

 

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.

(more…)

 

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…)