Entrepreneurs of Pakistan | Plan9

Entrepreneurs of Pakistan

They say behind every successful daughter there is a truly amazing dad. Mehmil is a passion project; we are a father daughter duo that aims to make your space aesthetically alluring with our pieces, be it your home, workplace or an event. I am a marketing graduate and my father is an art enthusiast. This venture was the amalgamation of the undeniable love I have for my motherland and the desire to have locally produced arts and crafts, reach international standards. Looking at the current space we would often wonder why Pakistan, a land of immense talent and creativity, is lagging behind.

“Pakistan is a country of 208 million people. Half the people here cannot access basic health care, disproportionately and significantly affecting women and children, causing one in every five children die before their fifth birthday.
Of 1,000 children born in Pakistan’s poorest population quintile, 94 will die within 12 months 
and 120 within five years.
In the midst of this fragmented and negligible health care system, Pakistan conserves a health force of 170,000 doctors, majority(more than 60%) of those are female doctors.

“When I moved to Lahore, I wanted to do something different and what would be better than doing what you are best at? As luck would have it, it was around that time when Ali Azmat, my husband, discussed this idea of buying The Guitar School from Hamza Jafferi who was moving to Karachi, but only if I would want to run it. As such, it didn’t take me more than a second to decide.
I have put all my energy in getting this school to make a difference which made me realise the potential of being an entrepreneur is much more than what a corporate job entails.

“Putting eyelash extensions on someone requires the precision of an artist. I combined my art degree with my passion for makeup and decided to open up an eyelash extension salon. Before I moved to Pakistan I was living and working in Dubai. I had a full- time job but I never enjoyed working in an office and wanted to do something else. In my last year in Dubai I started working as a freelance makeup artist so when I moved to Pakistan I knew I wanted to work in the beauty industry.

There is no doubt about the immense imbalance in Pakistan's beauty market when it comes to male grooming products.
When I came to Pakistan from the US, a catch-up meeting with a high school friend ended up in us deciding to launch Dari Mooch in an attempt to balance the scale in some way.
We started by researching for locally available oil blends and products but nothing really hit the mark. However, through test and trial, we were soon able to develop our own formula and then came the time to test it.

“PopNosh is a family affair; run by me and my brothers. The first question people usually ask me is where the name PopNosh came from. Pop is from popcorn and Nosh means snacking in between meals and also is an urdu word نوش. 

I’m an educationalist and have worked in this field for 15 years. I remember, once on a school trip, we stopped at a Dhaba (roadside restaurant). There came a little kid selling boiled eggs. He was hardly 5 years old, skinny kid, breathing heavily, with a runny nose, wearing ragged clothes and a torn sandal in a cold weather. Upon enquiry, I came to know that the kid has a hole in his heart, since birth. I asked his father who was also working there, “Why are you letting him work when he is sick?” His reply shocked me ‘baji kiya karun, kharcha pura karna hai.

“Pursuing Mechanical Engineering after high school was an obvious option for me, given my inclination towards Technical/Engineering studies. During the last year at college, my beloved father passed away. I completely lost myself, it was the hardest thing I ever faced in my life.

My initial education was from Aitchison College, making me a part of the privileged class in this country. Growing up, I could have been considered arrogant and to some extent selfish but life has a way of teaching us the best lessons so through twists and turn of fate, I was able to develop, change and improve who I was.

My father is a doctor and I did my MBA from Gift University, Gujranwala. I always wanted to be an entrepreneur and before moving to Lahore, I ran a school in Gujranwala for 2 years. Though I changed cities, I carried my passion with me.

Once in Lahore, I began looking for a job but did not succeed in finding any suitable work and eventually settled for a waiter’s position, which lasted for only 2 days. I then tried my luck as a salesman and later as a call center agent, but left as I felt there was no growth in these industries.