I am an only child, born into a typical middle-class family of Karachi. Despite all the negativity that, unfortunately, exists in our society, I was raised in a loving and supportive environment, molding me into the strong woman I am today.
I hold a BS degree in Economics and Finance from the Institute of Business Management. It was my father who taught me to be independent at an early age by confiding in me to represent my country at a delegation in South Africa. Luckily, I am also blessed with a spouse, who is equally supportive and it is because of my family that today, I am running ZAT Consultants – a consultancy agency that aids, primarily startups, and brands to take key strategic decisions. I owe my success to all of them.
Through ZAT I have been able to create a platform that assists startups and other organizations to take key strategic decisions. Using my knowledge and expertise, gained over time, to their advantage in order create a meaningful dent in the universe. Being a startup myself and working in an entrepreneurial ecosystem, I feel I am addicted to it. Those who have tasted entrepreneurship may be able to relate to this.
Luckily, my parents and my husband, despite being my biggest critiques remained my biggest supporters also, especially my husband. My daughter has also been a great source of learning and resilience for me. Being a mother and an entrepreneur is quite challenging. If there is a problem that I face, it is this. However, after two years of learning and hard work, I have managed to create the perfect work-life balance that works for me and my daughter. Those who know me know I am a full-time mother and then part-time consultant.
Believe it or not, it was more of a fluke than a well chalked out plan. Before stepping into motherhood, I was working for a typical digital agency in Lahore and earlier at Adcom Pvt Ltd back in Karachi. I quit my job disgruntled only to find out I am soon to welcome a child to this world. Fast forward, as soon as Shanzay got a little independent, I felt it was time for me to join the workforce. I, however, had not fully realized know how difficult it would be for me to leave her for nine whole hours after sharing a year’s beautiful bond. This is precisely why and how I managed to create ZAT.
It all started off with working from home, for startups that allowed me to work for them as they did not have the initial budgets to invest in a thriving marketing agency. I soon realized that startups actually needed brands like ZAT to help them progress in the crucial, early years. As I had prior marketing experience, it was within my comfort zone, so I ventured into offering my marketing services first, only to discover my strengths of planning and creating feasibility, setting up operations and putting to play what is planned, a skill only few possess.
At ZAT, my main aim is to equip startups with marketing and operational expertise. Startups don’t necessarily have the budgets to have a thriving agency on board since day one, due to which they suffer as many do not have the required skills to sustain a startup. An idea may be the inception of a startup but it is totally futile if executed poorly, this is where ZAT comes in the picture.
ZAT is proud to have collaborated with some amazing startups like MyDoctor.pk- Pakistan’s first healthcare portal and Kickstart Café – a co-working cafe for entrepreneurs and freelancers. Apart from this, I have also helped TCL Pakistan establish its online sales channel.
My story pretty much sums up the lesson I have learned, “Push yourself because no one else is going to do it for you”. – Zainab Chouhan, Founder at ZAT