Tooba Shams
Friday, January 29, 2021

“Before Dawaai, I was a senior director, head of emerging market derivatives trading and one of the youngest Vice Presidents at 24. I had moved to the UK as a teenager and spent the next 15 years there pursuing my academics and early career. Even back then, I felt that with my level of education and exposure, I should one day give back to my country, solve a critical problem for people, in an economically viable way – even though I wasn’t quite sure of what or how.

Living in a country with one of the best healthcare models globally, I slowly realized that things I took for granted were not common in Pakistan –the assurity that the medicine I’ve bought is not fake or that syringe is sanitized before my flu shot. Then in 2012, there was a shocking incident where over a 100 patients were killed in a reputable hospital in Lahore because of the use of fake drugs. I decided to leave everything and move back to attack this problem head on. I mean, it is pretty easy to sit in a plush drawing room somewhere in Kensington and pass criticism, but I was finally convinced that it was time now to commit fully.

Since its inception in 2014, I have seen Dawaai grow from a team of 2 to 250. We started small, spending endless nights of hard work, learning from our mistakes (of which there were many), and growing together along the way. I quickly found that Pakistan has a dynamic youth who are spirited and make bold decisions if given the opportunity to test their mettle. One of the things that has kept Dawaai going is the energy of these young people who otherwise atrophy in wasteful bureaucratic organizations. The fact that Pakistan is full of such vibrant talent and that we can build globally competitive companies has definitely been a factor in propelling Dawaai.

I believe health is a basic human right irrespective of where you’re born or how much money you have. I envision a Pakistan with an seamless pharma supply network that can provide healthcare nationwide and hope more of our youth to work the frontlines driving positive impact through social entrepreneurships, innovative problem solving, and tech-based solutions.” Furquan Kidwai CEO Dawaai.pk