Shahzad Younas | Plan9

Shahzad Younas

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Born to a middle class family, I believe I have an unfair advantage over others in terms of knowing how to make through the toughest of times. Little did I know that my deprivations would take me so far.

At a tender age of nine, paralysis hunt down my father who at the time was the only bread winner for the family. When my father got paralysed it was as if time had stopped. The world that appeared to be the most beautiful thing to me became the ugliest. All of that in a flash!

Our poor financial conditions pinned us down to the point where we were forced to sell my house.

My heaven on Earth. My love.

Sold for pennies.

But this was not the end. What I thought as the worst of times was just the beginning of the most brutal of times. Only after a few months, my father passed away and left us in deep agony.

Broken hearts.

Withered souls.

Regrets inundated our hearts. No amount of money could buy him time.

Fast forwarded. I was fourteen now. And I left my house for three months! Thinking I could escape the pain.

But I couldn’t be more wrong. I did not understand then that it’s not the pain that leaves you. It’s you who has to leave the pain. 

My elder brother, I’d rather say my backbone, forced me to come back home.

What those days ushered upon me literally surprised me. What I thought would have killed me, did not kill my dreams!

My dream was the most delicate gift given to me by time’s ruthlessness.

I was not just willing but determined to do whatever it takes to protect it.

To nurture it.

To make it a reality.

I dreamt to become ‘The’ Person who would scratch the pain from the face of this Earth.

But at the time, my dream was still in its infancy.

Unripe.

So I started watering it every day. Every hour. Every minute.

After all every new life comes from labor. It comes from the pain. But I was in it for the gain.

I gave every ounce of my blood and sweat to my studies and passed every stage from matriculation to university with very high grades. I then joined P&G.

However, I realized that working for somebody else did not give me the satisfaction I was thirsty for. Nothing would quench it!

I left my job. Started freelancing, gave tuition to meet my basic day to day expenses. I started studying again and finally the day dawned when my dream began to sprout.

I stumbled across entrepreneurship and that was the moment when I decided to be the best entrepreneur this nation has ever seen!

I started working towards it by building my own startup.

I, along with a couple of my friends, founded Eye Automate. There was not a single person who I knew who would support my dream. In fact everyone would try to talk me out of it.

But it was my indefinite determination, my persistence to hang in there no matter what! I stuck to it and look here I am – the co-founder of Eye Automate – a company that has built Pakistan’s first smart wheelchair! We have already had two customers within four months of incubation!

The most exciting part of our story is that we haven’t even formally launched as yet and we’ve already started bringing change in people’s lives.

And you know why?

Because it was never about money. It was always about making others happy!

My business is not just a business for me. It’s my emotional investment. I’ve bet my life on it!

If you ask me, ‘What is that one thing that life has taught me?’ I’d say:

‘There is no such thing as The Right Time. The only right time is NOW! Make this moment The Perfect Moment.’

And yes one last thing.

Never blame others for your failures. Always look within. Your self-reflection is your first step on that ladder of success.”

Story: Shahzad Younas, CTO & Cofounder EyeAutomate