Entrepreneurs of Pakistan | Page 5 | Plan9

Entrepreneurs of Pakistan

“I have always loved to draw and make things with my hands. I never went to art school, but I have dabbled in everything from origami to oil painting. By profession I am a journalist, cartoonist, and a teacher at a university. I view writing and drawing the same way I see art – as a creative process. Penguin Pop is my entrepreneurial adventure, where I custom paint canvas shoes with anything my customer wants.

“Being a student of art at BNU and of Fresco at NCA under Master Naqqash Ustaad Saif Ur Rahman, I wanted to utilize the energy in creating aesthetically pleasing objects with the language of the traditional arts. All the products created, whether it is a piece of furniture that needs to be restored or a cheese platter that has to be created, are created with motifs and language that come from our subcontinent roots.

“When someone would ask what I wanted to become, I always said ‘Astronaut’. Throughout my education, I worked towards achieving this goal with complete determination. Only after my graduation, when I was rejected admission in Masters in Space Sciences, was I hit with the reality, coupled with another shock the same day that Pluto was no longer considered a planet. I clearly remember, I didn’t sleep that night and the very next day I set out to make that last effort with regards to my admission.

My story is the transformation of a raw idea into ‘Serverless Smart City’. The two terms ‘Serverless Technology’ and ‘Auto Governance’, is what I identified in client meetings. My efforts to convert my raw idea into something tangible began in 2008 when I initiated ‘The Suffah’; a web portal to spread awareness about educational opportunities in remote areas. It was also integrated with a classified ad portal called ‘Lahore Mandi’. Both were left defunct within 90 days because of one man show.

It all started when 2 years back, I happened to visit the bazaars of the walled city of Lahore and small workshops (addas) where these talented shoe craftsmen were making local kola puris. It was then when it occurred to me that Pakistan has got so much talented and experienced craftsmen but they are not experimenting with their skills and they are not acknowledged globally for the kind of talent they possess.

“It’s not entirely abnormal to fantasize about cars and dwell in their manufacture and working like an utter lunatic. Well, to a minor it may sound weird, but to some people ‘cars’ is an entire religion to which I too am a staunch believer of. During my under-grad days, I along with a couple of my classmates convinced our advisor to let us work on a product which could relay data from the instrumentation panel of the vehicle to a computer. Since I didn’t have a car we started working on analog to digital convertors to get data on a computer.

“All through my childhood I was raised with the traditional thought of becoming a doctor and be a lifesaver in the future. But I was always into gadgets and tech tools. Therefore, instead of being a boring doctor, I wanted to become a business woman even when I had no idea what a business woman exactly did. But today, if I look back, I know it’s all about hard work, passion and enthusiasm.

“You, me and everybody else reading this wants to look beautiful and stunning in our everyday routine, no matter what it takes.

"When I was introduced to freelancing by my present Co-founder Khalid back in GIKI days, I never really gave much thought to this idea. As every other graduate, the fear of not getting a job right after graduation started setting in and I took up one of the job offers that I got, as an iOS developer in a software house. I always believed leaving a well-paid job and pursuing freelancing alone, was not my thing. However, fate has its own strange ways and I was left with no other option but to go for freelancing when I had a severe accident and was bedridden for almost a year.

“When I was introduced to freelancing by my present Co-founder Khalid back in GIKI days, I never really gave much thought to this idea. As every other graduate, the fear of not getting a job right after graduation started setting in and I took up one of the job offers that I got, as an iOS developer in a software house. I always believed leaving a well-paid job and pursuing freelancing alone, was not my thing. However, fate has its own strange ways and I was left with no other option but to go for freelancing when I had a severe accident and was bedridden for almost a year.