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Pit Stop at Islamabad

3 restaurants hopped within 2 hours. Lots of “healthy” food (of all kinds!). Challenged & defeated the cold of a chilly Islamabad night with sheer stubbornness & bravery. Learnt the Do’s & Don’ts of travelling to some parts of the country! 😐

Great random discussions.

Talk at NIC Peshawar

Enjoyed candidly sharing my story of uncountable “ducks cum failures” at a lovely event organized by Telenor Pakistan at National Incubation Center, Peshawar ..Great city. Fantastic people.

Meeting with an Old Friend in Peshawar

A pleasure meeting my friend Faisal Khan, someone who’s been one of the key driving forces behind the strong entrepreneurship landscape in KPK .. His contributions to BaseCamp as well as Peshawar 2.0 are commendable. You’ll see us working together on several initiatives soon IA!

A Night in Islamabad with Friends from the Industry

Very interesting multifaceted late night conversations with friends in Islamabad. It’s a really cold city in winters! Much awaited & after a long time, I will be in the beautiful city of Peshawar tomorrow to speak at an event organized by Telenor Pakistan for promoting entrepreneurship amongst the youth. As always, I promise to be as candid as I can be, when sharing my tales of failure.

 

At the sets of ICK on the shoot of last episode

Yesterday we recorded the last episode of Season 3 of Idea Croron Ka. We’ve broken all records of the previous 2 seasons in terms of Investments, partnership & sponsorships. None of this was possible without the team that enables me to drive the show, from behind the cameras.

Remembering my mother, my fan & my friend - My Dadi

Recorded the last show of Idea Croron Ka Season 3 yesterday. We set a record of the highest investment ever raised. Wore a purple tie that my grand mother gifted to me 8 years ago, months before her passing. She would’ve turned 90 yesterday. She was my mother, my fan & my friend.

Morning Workouts

For friends who’ve inquired my gym routine: I believe in a morning workout. 40 mins of Weights & 20 mins of Cardio or Visa versa. Give a day each to Arms, Chest, Shoulder & Back. Legs hold your body, keep them strong. Hit ’em atleast twice weekly. Eat Well. Run. Bless you!

A Memory From 2011

On this day 7 years ago, I spoke in Glasgow to fellow students from 21 countries about the potential of Pakistan. I predicted we’ll rise & I still stick by that prediction. A memorable & extremely significant date: Nov 24, 2011.

Keynote at Commonwealth Future Youth Summit Kaula Lumpur

Gave a keynote at the Future Youth Summit organized by CWY. Tangible discussions with reps of the King of Malaysia, ambassadors & ministers of youth from Russia & China etc. Met investors willing to invest in Pakistan’s innovation & education ecosystems.

Heading Pakistan Delegation for The Ground Breaking of Commonwealth Youth City in Kaula Lumpur

Proudly taking the Pakistan delegation to Kuala Lumpur for the ground breaking of Commonwealth Youth City on the invitation of Malaysian Government. A special delegate & Parliamentary Secretary Railways, Farrukh Habib shall be sharing the perspective of our government, youth & more.

Last Day of Entrepreneurship Class at Superior

Yes this is an Entrepreneurship class, not a one-day workshop. Pleasure teaching and learning, for an entire semester, from such bright students and in such large numbers of Superior University. Sure hope it was worth their time!

Curating Superior Entrepreneurial Forum in Global Entrepreneurship Week 2018

A pleasure curating an extremely interesting conversation on career planning, solving the job versus business and contours of pursuing entrepreneurship as a way forward for university graduates at Superior University with Qaiser F Ansari Sb – CEO Pantera EnergySuneel Sarfaraz Munj – CEO PakWheels.com, Hasnain Sheikh – Chairman and CEO Inov8 Limited, Sadaffe Abid -Founder and CEO CIRCLE.  The Superior Entrepreneurial Forum as part of the Global Entrepreneurship Week 2018 was a resounding success!

Sharing The Stage with Dr. Nasira Iqbal - A Living Legend

It was an honor & a privilege to share the stage with a woman so accomplished, so strong yet so humble. She especially became a part of the show to give her message to the youth of the country & the message was simple yet clear. “Stay positive about the potential of Pakistan; we have come a long way & we are destined to shine”.

Here’s a quick snap of Justice Sahiba’s illustrious career:

Ms. Iqbal has a degree in intellectual property law from Punjab University, a Master of Laws degree (cum laude) from Harvard Law School, and a Master of Laws from Punjab University.

She was one of the first five women to be appointed to the Lahore High Court, where she served as a justice from 1994 to 2002. She is also the president of an activist group, the Concerned Citizens of Pakistan Society (CCP). Among other honors, she received the Fatima Jinnah Medal for Women’s Rights in 2006, the Woman of the Year Star Award in 2007.

She is also a former president of the Lahore High Court Bar Association. Currently, she is an honorary legal advisor to the International Women’s Club, Lahore, and the All Pakistan Women’s Association, Punjab; a trustee of Transparency International; and a member of the Pakistan Women Lawyers’ Association.

May Allah keep her healthy & shining for years to come!

Curating Panel Talk at 021 Disrupt

A fabulous 021 Disrupt Conference organized by Jehan Ara & the fantastic team at the Nest I/O. It was great curating the panel talk on “Building Startup Teams that Win”. This conference has raised the bar high & added genuine value to our entrepreneurship landscape.

If you are an entrepreneur reading this, here is the crux of the talk that will help you:

Pick people with complementary skills; Your team should consist of people you can confide in and be vulnerable with; Choose people with the same passion/values; Bringing friends and family on board is okay – even encouraged to build a strong support system – as long as you can ensure transparency and manage relationships well; Take criticism from your peers positively.

At Startup Grind Faisalabad

Thoroughly impressed by the evolution of the entrepreneurship landscape of Faisalabad; all the right stakeholders have gotten together & are working towards the growth of startups.

A pleasure speaking to traditional businessmen reps of the chamber & startups at the Startup Grind Faisalabad.

Congrats Muhammad Bilal & team for the small yet well knit & powerful ecosystem you guys have managed to put together within the city!

Keynote at the Global BlockChain Summit & Launch of Commonwealth Youth Token organised by the Commonwealth Youth City (CWY) & Government of Malaysia

My visit to Malaysia was extremely productive. A special thanks to friends in the Malaysian Government who invited me to do a keynote at the Global Block Chain Summit & Launch of Commonwealth Youth Token organised by the Commonwealth Youth City (CWY) & Govt. of Malaysia. During the event the funds raised by the token to build a youth city in Malaysia tipped $1 Million (within 3 hours).

It was a pleasure discussing matters of mutual interest with the Minister of Federal Territories Mr. Khalid Samad, who formally inducted me to the board of the Commonwealth Youth City Initiative by presenting a wonderful memento. It was indeed an honor to launch the Asia 500 magazine in Malaysia along with the honorable minister.

Also got the fantastic opportunity to gauge the interest of Chinese Investors in the Pakistani Innovation landscape as well as their desire to help create more jobs for our youth through mega projects being planned via CPEC. Learnt from friends from the Maltese Government how the online gaming industry is huge and their dire need to attract high quality programmers / software engineers to Malta.

I am honored to have been inducted as a board of adviser for the Commonwealth Youth City Global Initiative. I’ve also been given the formal responsibility of leading CWY Youth City initiative in Pakistan as its CEO & Chairman. The role shall entail the following:

– Setting up an Innovation City funded by the Commonwealth Youth Token & Chinese Investors.
– Setting up Innovation Centers backed by CWY Global across Pakistan
– Introducing the Blockchain backed “Youth Token & Youth Coin” already launched in China as well as Malaysia to name a few.
– Building digital CPEC with China’s Economic and Innovation Council, Belt Road Initiative.
– Hosting & facilitating bilateral meetings between relevant stakeholders from China, Pakistan and Malaysia respectively.

I shall be looking forward to seeking your support & also contact of you personally whom I feel can create professional synergies with our friends of China & Malaysia.

Project Management Professional (PMP) Certification Renewal

PMP in good standing for yet another 3 years.

Catching Up with Islamabad Again

Wonderful & productive exchange of thoughts & ideas over lunch with my two dear friends Naeem Zamindar & Syed Ahmad. Expect some fantastic synergies soon!

The Commonwealth Policy Dialogue on Entrepreneurship

Snapshots from The Commonwealth Policy Dialogue on Entrepreneurship, driven by me, at Superior Entrepreneurial Expo 2018. The dialogue revolved around entrepreneurship, education, national policy, and local and international partnerships saw representatives of The Commonwealth – Arif Zaman, Sushil Ram and Kishva Ambigapathy while Alicia Dean came all the way from Austin to join us as the delegate. The local industry was represented by Jehan Ara, Syed Ahmad, Jamil Goheer, Badar Khushnood, Qasif Shahid, Bashir Sheikh, Saad Fazil and Zaeem Yaqoob.

A special note of acknowledgement to Abeer Saqib and Faizan Mahmood – the two people who have always stood by me.

Catching Up with Syed Ahmad, CEO DPL

A genuine pleasure meeting with a dear friend Syed Ahmad Founder & CEO DPL, and Member National Steering Committee and (Former Chairman P@SHA) over a fantastic dessert – we’ve discussed some interesting fronts on which you’ll see us working together soon. So stay tuned!

"Sifar Ka Safar" at TEDx Islamabad

A pleasure delivering my TEDx Talk in اردو at TEDx Islamabad.

I chose to speak on صفر کا سفر which covered my perspective on one’s ideal way of life. I revolved my talk around the four pillars of success including:

آگاہی ۔ برابری ۔ خودی – وجود

Hope it was worth your time!

You can listen to the complete talk on my YouTube channel.  

In a Panel Discussion on 'Instilling Innovation'

Speaking in a panel discussion, yesterday, a day before my TEDx Talk at Islamabad on “Instilling Innovation – How to create a digital workplace of the future!” hosted by S&P Global (Pakistan).

I shared the challenges that one faces while digitizing an organization and how with technology the gap of skills like design thinking and digital skills needs to be fulfilled, and spoke of the initiatives he has taken to fulfill this gap and what the future of skills entails.

Faizan Becoming Part of the Family

Its hard to find young, dynamic professionals like Faizan Mahmood. I’m overjoyed to have him as part of the team (finally!) as General Manager Innovation, The Superior Group. Welcome on board – may you continue to shine! 

Digital Admissions Meetings

Super proud of my team for burning the midnight oil to make Digital Admissions a reality! A big shout out to my friend Shahid Ali (the guy in the first picture staring at the laptop screen) for being with me through every thick and thin for over a decade now! May Allah bless you with the best of his blessings. 

Iftar Hosted by Abdul Rehman Talat, Founder BlueEast and Investor at Idea Croron Ka

A scrumptious iftar hosted by Abdul Rehman Talat, Founder & CEO BlueEast and Director Sales & Marketing at Orient Group of Companies, for the Idea Croron Ka ‘boys’ as we shamelessly like claiming.

Lots of food, beautiful house, diverse discussions from startups, to food, to more food & ofcourse, politics.

Monis Rahman & Suneel Sarfaraz Munj may need to compensate for the absence. Suneel goes first! 

Visit To A School In Kazan, Russia

Left inspired with how 'Selet' in Russia by what has been doing since 1995. Selet is an institute, where talented children and young scientists get acquainted with each other and with well-known tutors. Here they get help in choosing their future profession in accordance with their abilities, as well as in choosing the direction of self-development and lifestyle. I got the chance to interact with numerous Selet graduates and the way they portrayed the value system of the institute was commendable.

We hope to start such an initiative in Pakistan soon, InshahAllah!

Meetup With Startups From OIC Nations

Meetup With Startups From OIC Nations. Spoke to 30 plus startups from over 10 countries part of the OIC (Organisation of Islamic Cooperation) in Russia about their respective products. We talked about the importance of selling what we make, the power of self-reflection that feeds to our esteem leading us to become better, more effective public speakers. Making new & diverse friends!

Hola Russia!

The day I landed in Russia for Kazan OIC Youth Entrepreneurship Forum 2018. A very productive day! Met key stakeholders of the entrepreneurial ecosystem of Russia, Turkey, UK and Jordan.

Rendezvous With President of Tatarstan (Russia), Mr. Rustam Minnikhanov

It was a privilege engaging in a candid, witty & productive rendezvous with the Honourable President of Tatarstan, Mr. Rustam Minnikhanov in Russia. His immense respect for Pakistan & our youth is commendable. We discussed Entrepreneurship, Leadership & Collaborations.

Talk At Bahria University Islamabad

I spoke to students & entrepreneurs at Bahria University in Islamabad after a gap of 3 years. It was such a pleasure to speak to students on how to embrace an entrepreneurial mindset. I'm impressed by the seriousness with which they're working towards creating a culture of entrepreneurship across the university. Have asked my teams to find ways to assist & collaborate.

Meeting With USAID & At Dinner hosted by P@SHA

Dear Idea Croron Ka fans & entrepreneurs across Pakistan, There is something quite exciting that we & our friends at the USAID Pakistan are brewing together for the assistance of startups! So stay tuned for some game changing updates!! 👍

Thank you Pakistan Software Houses Association (P@SHA) for hosting the lovely dinner. It was a pleasure & an honor to be hosted by CEOs & P@SHA members. Thanks Yusuf Hussain for the warm welcome at National Incubation Center & USAID Pakistan for joining hands to uplift the entrepreneurial ecosystem of Pakistan. I would like to thank the stakeholders of the Islamabad ecosystem for a lovely dinner & some extremely productive discussion on possibilities of working together. Thank you Syed Ahmad, Owais Zaidi, Salman, Farrukh, Talha & others. Let's stay connected!

As for our fans, get ready for some important announcements in the coming days! Watch this space!

Trip To Islamabad - Speaking at NIC Islamabad & Visiting IGNITE

I love being in Islamabad. Always! The greenery, the fresh clean air, the small yet well-knit & very able entrepreneurial ecosystem always excites me.

A productive meeting with Yusuf Hussain & team at Ignite. Thank you for hosting me! And thank you Parvez Abbasi for lunch & some interesting conversations at NIC Islamabad. Always a joy catching up with you Saad Hamid.

A genuine pleasure speaking candidly to a super pumped, extremely brilliant set of entrepreneurs at NIC Islamabad on the importance of WHY for startups. I emphasized on the importance of Reflection & Focus that in effect, leads to immaculate Execution. We also discussed the traits of a 'real' hero & how entrepreneurs land perfectly in that definition. A 1 hour session became a 2.5 hours session, thanks to the bombardment of thought provoking questions from a very engaged audience. Thank you Yusuf Hussain & Parvez Abbasi for organizing this. And thank you Salman Ansari & Dr. Shahida Saleem for attending!

It's always a joy speaking with friends & students of Isloo. I promise to be back soon!

Visit To NIC Lahore

It was great visiting NIC (National Incubation Center) Lahore. Thanks Faisal Sherjan and Khurram Zafar, Executive Directors NIC Lahore. Looking forward to great co-initiatives in the near future.

Teaching... Always a joy!

My First Class on 'Entrepreneurship' at Superior University.

TEDx LUMS - "Not All Heroes Wear Capes"

Some snapshots from my talk at TEDx LUMS on the 7th of April, 2018. Titled as "Not All Heroes Wear Capes", I spoke of how my Dada (grandfather) would inspire me and taught him the real definition of heroes as I grew up. As I experienced life, I found entrepreneurs to be the closest to the definition of a hero as taught by my Dada. For me heroes are people who are aware of themselves, people who are focused to disrupt, make an impact, and most importantly who don't care about the status quo and keep their heads down to break stereotypes.

I have a three-point formula that has always helped me break stereotypes. And that is: Reflect, Focus, Execute.

Repeat.

I shared my story of struggles with Idea Croron Ka. Starting from 2015 when no one would give me a couple of minutes to hear out my pitch of starting a TV show for entrepreneurs to premiering the show in Russia in just a year and half time span, my purpose of sharing this story is to make my youth believe in themselves and in their dreams. I want them to know that they too can be a real hero and can create anything they dream of! Literally.

As soon as the talk video gets published, I'll share with you right here. Keep coming back to my website! ;)

Why "Peshawar Zalmi"?

So after receiving tons of messages from my friends & fans as to which team I'm supporting in #PSL2018, here I announce...It's Peshawar Zalmi. But more than this it's important for you to know 'why' I support the team: 1) I'm supporting them mainly because of their close affiliation & contribution to Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital and Research Centre, an organization I hold extremely close to my heart. 2) Javed Afridi, the owner of the team has done great service to Pakistan by helping rebrand #KPK as a high potential market for investors using cricket. Zalmi has become the reason for people globally to take interest in the progress of smaller provinces as well. 3) Peshawar Zalmi are the reigning champions and I want to see how they carry that responsibility. It's hard to retain the number one tag. 4) The media house i'm associated to, Neo Tv Network, is the official media partner of Peshawar Zalmi. It does not matter who wins PSL - what matters is that it's Pakistan that wins at the end! 👍

Tech Valley Abbottabad 2018

I had the pleasure of speaking at a massive conference organized by Tech Valley & Umar Farooq. What a commendable show! I am in love with the beauty KPK has to offer - such greenery, such clean fresh air, such passionate & brilliant aspiring entrepreneurs. Overwhelmed by the love of hundreds of youngsters who are fans of Idea Croron ka & who travelled from across the province to meet me & guess what; they still love 'autographs' in KPK. I am truly, genuinely humbled by the massive show of appreciation by so many youngsters. Thank you Umar, for being a fantastic host. We'll be shooting two special episodes of Idea Croron ka in the gorgeous mountains of KPK coming summers IA.

Up Close With Sheharyar Ali

A candid chat between Sheharyar Ali, Executive Director Treet Group of Companies, and I at his office. We go back a long way. He's not just a part of Idea Croron Ka but we're old friends. He'll be a part of my upcoming plans as well that I will disclose very soon InshahAllah! You can listen to the entire conversation on my YouTube channel. Enjoy listening to it! :)

Momentum Tech Conference 2018

It was indeed a pleasure speaking and hosting at the closing ceremony of Momentum Tech Conference 2018 - the two day extravaganza held in the IT hub of Karachi.

My talk, "Media and Entrepreneurship: The New Mix", revolved around redefining heroes of Pakistan [that also happens to be the vision behind my show] by bringing forward entrepreneurs - the real people who have invested their lives in the pursuit of impacting lives around them and making our country a better place to live in. It was a thorough enjoyment speaking to a packed hall full of entrepreneurs, investors & startup enthusiasts about the role of media in promoting entrepreneurs.

The closing keynote was followed by the shoot of Idea Croron Ka Special Episode. This episode is very close to my heart as I was honored to conduct a candid one-on-one conversation with the witty, full of life, strong & charismatic, Bilquis Edhi Sahiba, for the most loved segment "Super Heroes of Pakistan". It was indeed one of the best conversations I've ever had and recorded on camera. Humbled!

The pitching competition among the top five startups was covered as a part of the special episode. It was indeed an honor announcing the winners of Momentum 2018 at the closing ceremony. These top three startups will get a direct entry to pitch at Idea Croron Ka Season 3.

As always, I enjoyed networking with my fellows of the IT Industry, startups, budding and aspiring entrepreneurs post-event. I have put together some pictures for you. Do have a look. I'm sure you'll enjoy them!

Startup Grind Karachi

Recently, on the 22nd of February 2018, I spoke at Startup Grind Karachi, powered by Google for Entrepreneurs and organized by my dear friend Faizan Laghari. We talked about my failures, startups, the investment scene in Pakistan, & most importantly why I chose media as a means to promote entrepreneurs as the real heroes of Pakistan. I'll be sharing the video of the talk very soon. Stay tuned!

Afkar-e-Taza Think Fest 2018

Me and my dear friends (who you know most probably from Idea Croron Ka) Rabeel Warraich, Sheharyar Ali and Sunil Munj, were invited for a panel discussion on "Entrepreneurship Meets Media: Redefining Heroes for Pakistan" at Afkar-e-Taza, an academic literary festival held at Alhamra Arts Council Lahore featuring distinguished academics, writers, poets, artists, analysts, and performers from all over the world. Here's a glimpse of our panel talk.