Entrepreneurship

Bold Insights from Some of the Most Successful Pakistani Entrepreneurs

Upon meeting successful Pakistani entrepreneurs, one might expect to find shrewdness and a keen interest in profits and bottom lines. However, in reviewing some of the most accomplished Pakistani entrepreneurs of our time, it’s clear to see that their primary interests do not lie solely in external wealth and cost-cutting. In fact, business logistics are barely mentioned. Instead, all echo a sentiment of responsibility, decency, and a belief in courage. Thanks to a few informative media outlets, we can all indulge in the wisdom of some of Pakistan’s modern thought leaders.

Taher A. Khan

is the head of Interflow Group, an advertising agency that has grown to include 14 companies that serve clients’ media and communication needs. He has often been dubbed the trailblazer of Pakistan’s advertising industry, founding Interflow Communications back in 1983.

With no family history or experience in business, Taher was forced to begin from scratch with little funding. Through innovation and hard work, he believes Pakistanis have enough opportunities to succeed in business. In an interview with Blue Chip Magazine he elaborated on his optimism, stating,

A lot of people who are not successful blame the country or blame nepotism. I personally think that this is one country where if you are working hard and if you are innovative, creative, and progressive, the opportunity is here for everybody. I am a living example and so are many like me who have been given so much by this country.”

Seema Aziz

is the founder of Pakistan’s biggest fashion retailer, Sefam Ltd. Not only is she one of the most successful entrepreneurs in Pakistan, but also chair of the CARE Foundation, an organization that provides education access to underprivileged kids. Shopkeepers told Seema and her brother/business partner they’d never sell garments without a “made in France” label. Seema’s immediate reaction was along the lines of, “challenge accepted.”

Seema spoke at a community event about her philosophy and business ethics, saying,

“It’s cheaper to import from China. We pay much more money, but I firmly believe that business is not just about making money. It’s about creating products. It’s about following a dream, creating value for the community, and creating jobs.”

Farhan Masood

directs Solotech, a biometrics company in Pakistan that is primarily known for its product, SmartXS. SmartXS is a device that verifies identity, and it’s already been put to use by groups like Pepsico, Nestle, and even the Pakistan Army. Masood is also the head of Go Green Pakistan, and won the MIT Enterprise Forum’s contest for business acceleration planning. Despite having a lucrative career in IT, Masood chose entrepreneurship after pondering why his skills could not be put to use for himself, if they were already helpful to others.

“If you discover that your stomach is not for a profession, you must not consider yourself in disgrace. Never feel shame for trying and failing, for he who has never failed is he who has never tried.”

Raza Saeed

is the CEO of Confiz Solutions and Pak eVentures, a company known for establishing PakWheels, a vehicle acquisition portal. Despite his bursting enthusiasm, Raza admits that starting up in Pakistan is a challenge- everything from acquiring office space to securing quality advisors. He attributes his success to perseverance, hard work, and his time at the Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS).

“The education imparted at LUMS and the entrepreneurial culture inculcated here has been instrumental in helping me establish these ventures and be successful at them. Apart from education, LUMS has a very strong alumni support structure where a budding entrepreneur can get all the help needed to succeed. Also, people like Syed Babar Ali, Razak Dawood, and many others at LUMS are so kind and generous in spending their highly valuable time helping students and entrepreneurs succeed in their vision.”

For those looking to pick his brain further, Raza’s blog is a mashup of helpful insights for entrepreneurs, book recommendations, and discussions on some of Pakistan’s most pressing current issues.

Khurram Zafar

is a self-proclaimed entrepreneurship evangelist, and we certainly wouldn’t argue it. Zafar has his hands in a bit of everything. He’s the current Executive Director at LUMS, did consulting for huge entities, and previously co-founded two software companies – just to name a few endeavors.

Zafar runs a blog called Techies.pk, which aims to counter the negative media coverage of corruption, terrorism, and instability in Pakistan by raising up the blossoming entrepreneurial landscape instead.

“I believe that the technology entrepreneurship ecosystem in Pakistan is at a tipping point! There are a number of factors at play that make Pakistan so ripe for both local and international investors looking to invest in the tech space.”

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Javeria Saleem

    21/10/2015 at 11:32 am

    The only thing standing between you and your goal is the story you keep telling yourself as to why you can’t achieve it. Don’t give up on your dreams. (I have learnt this from “Farhan Masood”!!!)
    Successful people are those who don’t find excuses, they actually find solutions because they believe nothing is impossible.

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