Editor Shehab Farrukh Niazi Art Directors Aleeza Javed Mahnoor Haroon Niazi
EDITOR’S NOTE Social media has forever changed the way we interact with each other. Influencer has become a common term, although perceived in different ways. What does it take to be an influencer? Is it all glamour as it looks? How much work goes into capitalizing on the influencer economy? We talk to Amna Niazi and Sadaf Zarrar of SiddySays, one of the pioneering lifestyle and fashion blogs in Pakistan and get answers to all these and many other questions. Pakistan is facing a growth in tourism and cultural promotion – we talk to Komail Abbas Naqvi, co-founder of FindMyAdventure, who felt that the time for Pakistan to be promoted as a tourist destination would come and he built a business around it. Gia Farooqi, CEO and co-founder of Roshni Rides, winner of Hult Prize, is making commute easier for women in Karachi with her com innovative startup. Sh Loves Tech, the premier competition for She women in tech in Pakistan is back with its third round. Sadaffe Abid, the founder of Circle and the force behind She Loves Tech highlights the impact the competition has created so far. Find out how Nazia Hussain, the founder of Secret Stash is working on a spin on the basic e-commerce model with re-commerce – selling used luxury mode products online. Are you an aspiring entrepreneur or an existing one? Check out our recommended films that deliver incredible entrepreneurial lessons! Until next issue – happy reading!
SHEHAB FARRUKH NIAZI
CONTENTS CREATIVE ENTREPRENEURSHIP
News and Events
05 08 10 14
EDITORâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S NOTE CELEBRATING PAKISTAN AT THE ANNUAL TECHVALLEY CONFERENCE 2019
GIA FAROOQI ON MAKING COMMUTE EASIER FOR WOMEN
NAZISH HUSSAIN FASHION ENTREPRENEUR
16 20 26 32
KOMAIL ABBAS NAQVI ON TRAVEL AND ENTREPRENEURSHIP
THE INFLUENCER ECONOMY
SADAFFE ABID ON CHAMPIONING WOMEN EMPOWERMENT
FEATURING “We are the leading fashion and lifestyle blog in Pakistan today, but we want to grow to the point of being untouchable”
Sadaf Zarrar and Amna Niazi on Blogging, Influence and Content
“The thought process we have is to be ready for the next 3-4 years with a great product and once the infrastructure is in place” On Travel and Entrepreneurship
Komail Abbas Naqvi
“The female economy is estimated at $18 trillion and the value of Asia’s She Economy in 2020 is expected to be $8 trillion” On Championing Women Empowerment
“89% of women in Karachi avoid public transport due to fear of sexual harassment” On Making Commute Easier for Women
Celebrating Pakistan at the Annual TechValley Conference 2019 Th 4th annual Tech Valley Conference The took place on the 19th & 20th April, 2019 at Elites Hotel, Nathiagali, a district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa for 700+ innovators, and entrepreneurs. The conference presented a unique perspective on tourism in Pakistan, as it was the first of its kind in Galiyat region, set with the objective of highlighting the real challenges of the tourism industry in Pakistan. The annual tourism conference hosted notable dignitaries from all across Pakistan including Mr. Zulfi Bukhari (Special Assistant to Prime Minister & Chairman National Tourism
Coordination), Mr. Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui (Federal Minister for Information Technology and Telecommunication), Mr. Raza Ali Habib (Director General Galiyat Devel- opment Authority), Azam Khan Swati (Federal Minister for Parliamentary Affairs.) Dr. Shahbaz Khan (MD KP IT Board) Fida Khan (Minister Tourism Department Gilgit Baltistan), Mr. Ibrahim Sanai Baltistan) (Education Minister Gilgit Baltistan) Zafar Ali (Secretary Culture & Tourism Department, Government of Balochistan) Sidra Imran (MPA Sindh) & Amna Sardar ( Ex MPA Galiyat). This premier tourism event was an outstanding combined effort of some of the leading development organizations i.e World Bank Group, Multi-Donor Trust Fund , Hashoo Group, British Council, Tourism
Corporation Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (TCKP), District Government Abbottabad, Government bodies i.e Galiyat Development Authority, KP IT Board, PTI, Government of Boa Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, PTV world & private sector organization including Careem, Regent Plaza, Spotcomm, Momentum, Sehat Kahani Frontier Medical and Dental College, Abbottabad, Gilgit Baltistan Tourism Department, National Tourism Coordination Board Nationa among many others. Furthermore, the leading incuba- tion center Durshal Abbottabad, was also an essential partner for TVC19.
Almost 21 startups from GB to Karachi showcased their unique ideas that can transform the tourism industry and provided a new platform to debate and discuss the disruptions facing the tech & tourism industry. Pak Touring, Apricot, Chakar, Mapin, Mapalytics, Live Stick, Hostinn, Lok Ma Sawari, Beydaar News,Karpe Diem, Explore Pakistan, Nano IT Solutions, Qasas ul Safar, Tibolli.net, Traverous, Traviour, Tripmate, Make a tour, Falcon Adventure Club, Ghoomlo, and Plate 101 participated and decorated the startup gallery of Tech Valley th Conference 2019; Tech Tourism & Trade.
Gia Farooqi On Making Commute
Easier for Women Gia is the CEO & Co-founder of the 2017 Hult Prize winning start-up, Roshni Rides. Roshni Rides is a women’s friendly carpooling platform for commuters in Karachi, Pakistan. The company’s mission is to bring safe, affordable, and reliable rides to every commuter in Pakistan and beyond. Gia grew up in New Jersey, USA and moved to Karachi, Pakistan last year in order to launch her start-up. She is a January 2018 graduate from the Rutgers Business School where she studied Supply Chain Management, Political Science, and Women’s and Gender Studies. She and her team have won the Entrepreneur of the Year Award in New Jersey and the Clement A. Price Human Dignity Award. Roshni Rides has been featured on NPR, The Huffington Post, CNN, and has been published in university case studies. CNN Gia is a global speaker where she has spoken about entrepreneurship, women’s leadership, and women’s issues in emerging markets on platforms like Tedx and the Momentum Tech Conference. She is also a caffeine addict.
“Within a few months of operation, we are making 12,000 rides a month with 15 enterprise clients” What was the inspiration behind your idea? In Pakistan, women are 4x less mobile than men. As someone who was staying in Karachi and needed to go on a daily commute of 45 minutes to an hour, I found that my transportation options were dismal. After growing up with a variety of options on the East Coast including proper buses, subways, and trains, I found that Karachi had subw nothing to offer women. It was either facing dangerous or uncomfortable options like overcrowded with men buses or rickshaws. According to a report by Arif Hasan, 89% of women in Karachi avoid public transport
due to fear of sexual harassment. I was left with the option of asking a relative for a ride everyday or going through the Uber or Careem route. Uber and Careem prove to be too costly to use everyday and for those living in common residential areas (North Karachi, Gulshan, North Nazimabad), they often face frequent cancelled rides. Just ofte trying to find a way to commute became a daily, stressful, nightmare. That’s when I knew there needed to be some kind of option for the average woman in Pakistan. As a team, we pivoted from our rickshaw network model to the successful carpool based pick and drop service we are today. an
What are the factors that you believe give Roshni Rides an edge over companies offering similar services? Sa Safety. Affordability. Reliability. With Roshni Rides, you build a personal relationship with your driver so that the “stranger danger” effect of on-demand services is eliminated. We also use our technology and routing algorithms to match riders al within a geo-fenced location, allowing for optimized routes (this means less commute time!). By carpooling, we are able to drive down the costs. Roshni Rides is NOT your average van wala. With us, you don’t have to wala worry about pan spitting uncles who refuse to listen to you.You have customer service support, quality control, and an overall professional experience with Roshni Rides. We also provide
“89% of women in Karachi avoid public transport due to fear of sexual harassment”
exclusive products and brand promotions in our experience buckets just for our riders with the help of our sponsor partners. Your company’s milestone(s) that you are most proud of so far? Withi a few months of Within operation (we launched in August 2018) we are making 12,000 rides a month with 15 enterprise clients. We are spread across Karachi and have 80 driver partners helping us make commute helpin the brightest part of our customers’ day. Where do you see Roshni Rides 3 years from today? We hope to be a national program and be the go-to commute provider for every company and commuter. Everyone deserves a commute full of roshan (light).
Tell us about yourself and your background. I graduated from f George Washington University in Washington DC with a major in marketing and a minor in communications. After that, I moved to NYC and worked for a tech PR firm for a little under a year before moving back to Pakistan where I started my career in Media by working as a media planner at Starcom (previously known as Mediacom) on the P&G account. I was at Starcom for account 3.5 years before moving to Unilever on their media team and was the digital lead. After spending a little under 3 years I left to start Secret Stash.
FASHION ENTREPRENEUR NAZISH HUSSAIN â&#x20AC;&#x153;I hope to have Secret Stash be a household name across Pakistan, if people think of re-commerce they automatically think Secret Stashâ&#x20AC;?
How did you come up with the idea for Secret Stash? I was traveling tr abroad in late 2013 while I was still working and I was in San Francisco when I happened upon a lot of high-end vintage shops during that
trip. I was fascinated with this concept where one could buy slightly used original designer products at a discount and simultaneously if you had things you weren’t using you could just sell it off and make some good money for it. It appealed to me so much and I was amazed that how could something like this not exist in Pakistan? There are so many women who have all these items they’re not using anymore and don’t want to just give away as they’ve spent a lot on them and are just wasting away in their closets. Simultaneously so many other women aspire to own these same pieces and they can either not afford them at full price or have h access to them. This thought stayed with me and I realized there was a gap in the market, which I could capitalize on. After a few months, I left my corporate job and started working on the concept. Keeping my digital media background in mind and understanding that the future of retail was e-commerce and also being aware of cultural sensitivities, I knew it had to be online and it had to be anonymous. I officially launched Secret Stash on December 1st 2014.
How has Secret Stash grown and evolved since you founded the company? I’ve definitely come a long with Secret Stash from when I first started and my entrepreneurial journey has definitely been a rollercoaster. When I first started, I was working from my dining table all alone in my yoga pants. Coming from the corporate world not only was I navigating building a business from scratch, but I was also introducing a fr completely new concept of “re-commerce” to a nascent ecommerce market, it all took a toll on staying motivated. So, when I got some
consulting opportunities I decided to work on Secret Stash part time. I kept at it, but was working on various other projects and it took me 2 years to realize if I wanted to make Secret Stash work I had to go all in. I stopped everything else and it was definitely the best decision I made and I haven’t looked backed since. Today I have a small but great team of sinc like-minded individuals on board and Secret Stash now even has its own office.
“Every time we have an order come in, it’s still exciting to see what people have ordered and from where” What has been your favorite part of running Secret Stash? My favorite f part of running Secret Stash is seeing it grow. Every time we have an order come in, it’s still exciting to see what people have ordered and from where especially when it’s from remote parts of the country or even internationally. I also love seeing what people send us to sell. It’s like a treasure hunt where you never n know what fabulous finds will come in.
Where do you see the company in the next 3 years? I hope to have Secret Stash be a household name across Pakistan, if people think of re-commerce they automatically think Secret Stash. I’m also looking to expand our international reach especially within the region.
Komail Abbas Naqvi On Travel and Entrepreneurship A passionate trekker and veteran of Bara Broq, Shimshal Pass and Minglik Sar (6050m) to name but a few, be it skiing in Rattu, cycling across the Karakoram Highway, or rafting in the River Indus, Komail has been hell bent on showing the world a side of Pakistan no one has ever seen before! An Economics Major from the Batch of 2015 at the Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS), heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the Co-Founder and CEO of FindMyAdventure and an Alibaba Coefounder fellow. He has previously worked at Standard Chartered Bank as a Fast track graduate and left his job to pursue his passion in adventure travel and tourism. He aspires to change the way tourism works in Pakistan. He has recently been nominated amongst the top 30 adventurers under 30 around the world â&#x20AC;&#x201C; the first Pakistani to appear in the list.
How has the company grown since it started out? We started working from my dining room where we would sit 12-14 hours a day and try to fulfill as many orders as we could ourselves, reach out to suppliers and even handle bank runs ourselves. The company is now entering its third year of operations and having h served over 10,000+ travelers we now have a team of over 20 super talented individuals. It's been quite a journey till now and we've definitely had our ups and downs, but everyone stood by us.
What was your inspiration behind starting Findmyadventure?
What is your take on the current wave of tourism boost in Pakistan? For me, it's it something I had only heard of from my seniors in the industry. They used to tell me how pre-9/11Â foreign tourism was at its peak and operators would run from one hotel to the other to get bookings, but now what's different is that we've activated the local potential as well. I have been pitching tourism and hospitality to investors for the past 3 years, but no one ever seemed interested; now all of a sudden, everyone thinks that I wasn't bluffing and there is actually huge potential. I believe this wave had to come sooner or later and I know for a fact that this is not ending anytime soon.
Pakistan is often in the news, n but rarely is it to showcase its gorgeous landscapes, culture of hospitality and outdoor enthusiast community, which is why when I found myself falling into the familiar and comfortable pattern of a stable job and the 9-5 life,Â I ended up doing what any a irrational milennial would do. I quit my job, derailed any semblance of a corporate career to be had and, with a group of friends, co-founded Pakistanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s first online travel and tourism portal, FindMyAdventure. The dream? To revamp the tarnished image of our country around the globe and make Pakistan the number one adventure destination in the world.
Where do you see your company in 3 years? In three th years, we see ourselves making a global impact and taking our local Pakistani startups global. To not only bring people to Pakistan, but connect it to other parts of the world.
â&#x20AC;&#x153;The dream? To revamp the tarnished image of our country around the globeâ&#x20AC;?
What do you think can be done about providing the infrastructure for supporting the increasing tourism? I believe beli that this is a gradual process and the work has already started. The only way this is going to happen is through public private partnerships and now people are entering the market with their money. The demand is there the and sooner or later the infrastructure is going to improve. The thought process we have is to be ready for the next 3-4 years with a great product and once the infrastructure is in place, we will be the first ones to benefit from it because we had prepared for it.
THE INFLUENCER ECONOMY SADAF ZARRAR AND AMNA NIAZI ON BLOGGING, INFLUENCE AND CONTENT
Since SiddySays started out, how has it evolved and what has been your vision behind it?
SZ: SiddySays started as a personal blog and in SZ many ways it is still very much a reflection of what Amna and I believe in, feel strongly about and like! However, being reader-centric, we have constantly evolved, to create a good balance between what we want to show and what people want to read. I think we’ve found a sweet spot, which is why our readers feel that they th always find something new and delightful on SiddySays. AN: It started out as a journal of sorts really, something that was feeding into our own desire to express. It became popular since the content was crisp, interesting, relevant and personal. Just as the popularity grew, our vision also evolved and even today, we keep going back to the drawing board, so to say, to see where we are going and where we want to take ta it. We are the leading fashion and lifestyle blog in Pakistan today, but we want to grow to the point of being untouchable.
What would you say are your individual specialization areas and expertise that make you good at what you do? And how do they come together for SiddySays when it comes to creating effective content?
SZ: Amna and I in ways are like day and night, honestly; that’s been our biggest strength. Not only do we see two sides of the coin, we leverage it, debate, discuss and build on ideas. I am more focused on marketing and aesthetics where Amna is a business development machine,
which of course means staying ahead of the curve and bringing fresher newer content that keeps both the readers and commercial partners coming! Since we share the same objective, all the differences end up being complimentary. AN I have a passion for writing and I have a AN: knack for humor, coupled with business acumen, I believe my strength is business development and satire. When we create content we make sure we share our perspective, give our readers vsome value addition and keep it entertaining The content has to be original and honest while making sure our business partners gain the advantage and positioning that is desired.
What are your thoughts on the rise of the influencer economy and the increasing culture of bloggers in Pakistan? SZ: Digital inevitably allows readers more freedom to SZ access content they choose. With such options available, marketers can no longer afford to send out one-sided, made for all solutions. The rise of influencers therefore is because of both the demand for content as well as markets trying to integrate their brands more organically in the world of consumers. While there the has been lots of criticism about bloggers, their endorsements and so on so forth, these arguments inevitably undermine the intelligence of the readers/ viewers. Clearly there are the usual pains any industry faces before it is standardized, I don’t think bloggers and influencers are going anywhere. They key, of course is to find the right niche and stay true to it. AN I think we have a long way to go, it’s just the start, but AN: a lot of younger bloggers and vloggers are on track. Unfortunately, influencer has become a loosely used term in the process, but like all fields, with time and output quality, the filter will come in play. As for the economy, again it’s just the start and fashion for example is really investing in digital media and influencers, so are lifestyle brands, however, we still are struggling with quality of brands output as a community.
As influencers, how important do you think community building is?
SZ Influencers are because of their community. SZ: If you don’t have a tribe to influence, people who look up to you, agree with you, look forward to your opinion, you are nothing. Community is the currency in which influencers deal, the stronger and more engaged
your community of followers, the stronger you are. AN: It should be the most important. On a AN personal level, I try to bring fashion and community together with my initiative #AmnaNiaziXCharityCloset. I put up my clothes for sale and pledge the money to Edhi Foundation. With SiddySays too we try to raise awareness about important issues, with special focus on women empowerment.
Given your experience, how would you define an influencer?
SZ: An influencer is essentially someone who over SZ indexes on impact they have on a set group of people or communities. It essentially requires an individual to have a clearly defined and consistent point of view on the world that others may subscribe to and are aligned enough to act upon it. AN An influencer SHOULD be someone who has AN: certain credibility amongst the target segment. Not everyone can influence everyone, which is why internationally there are people associated with food, fashion, travel and so on. It is really a specialized role and a generic influencer isn’t really influential. Building credibility and the right following takes constant, persistent effort and foll expertise on subject area, only then can a real influencer do his or her best.
In your experience, what are the rules for social media and creating content that play an integral part in any platform’s success?
SZ: Simple enough – first and foremost, being SZ aware of your point of view, then being consistent with that point of view, being vocal about it, being engaged with your community and being honest. AN Overtime we have seen that unless your AN: content reflects your perspective, followers lose interest. Second most important thing is having your finger on the pulse of all things relevant to your blog. Third is keeping it fresh and new, whether it’s how you present content, or its visual aspect. Fourth would be trend setting, so you have to evolve the content constantly, and try to stay ahead of the curve. And lastly, consistent content is the key to staying relevant and ahead.
What are the greatest misconceptions you’re faced with as influencers? SZ Influencers are not marketing SZ: tools; they are assets to create social engagement. This means that customer is at the heart of all the content created; a fact that marketers often forget which results in below average content and disgruntled readers. AN: I think the biggest misconception is that we would do anything for free goodies and some money. Our opinion is really not for sale.
“We are the leading fashion and lifestyle blog in Pakistan today, but we want to grow to the point of being untouchable” – Amna Niazi
How do you see the influencer market evolving in the future in Pakistan?
SZ: Digital is only really 4 years old in Pakistan since the SZ advent of LTE with only 40m of the potentially approx 240m consumers currently connected we are likely to see a bigger migration to the platform in the coming years. This means influencer marketing is bound to evolve in the coming years. AN I don’t know if influencer market is a right term, but AN: yes we need more expertise in various areas, whether it’s fashion, wellness, food, beauty. Right now it’s a lot of the same out there and very few have found their niche. However, the trend is there and concept is new, so only time will tell.
What’s next for SiddySays?
SZ: Sky is the limit, styling and Youtube is just taking off and lots more avenues, which will soon be unveiled! AN There is A LOT. We are constantly evolving. Our AN: content gets stronger as we go through life. We are introducing newer segments, trying to do things before others, so there is a lot of editorial content you can look forward to and also more focus on certain segments that we feel are untapped by us and others.
“Influencers are not marketing tools; they are assets to create social engagement” –Sadaf Zarrar
Sadaffe Abid On Championing Women Empowerment “The female economy is estimated at $18 trillion and the value of Asia’s She Economy in 2020 is expected to be $8 trillion”
exciting and I wanted contribute to women in Pakistan. I had no funds but I believed in its potential. What were few of the things you learned about the ecosystem and entrepreneurship in Pakistan during that time?
Given your working experience, how would you say it enables you in spearheading a large-scale competition like ‘She Loves Tech’? CIRCLE’s vision is about empowering women. I believe investing in women is the smartest economic venture of today. When women grow, families prosper and nations move forward. Women are the most untapped potential of our country and we cannot progress as a nation without the inclusion of women in all aspects of the economy and society. Prior to setting up CIRCLE, I was part of the founding team of Kashf Foundation, one of Pakistan’s leading microfinance organizations. I joined Kashf when it was in two rooms on Ferozepur Road, I was the 7th team member. I remember those days so clearly. I started overseeing operations and research, and then grew to be the COO, later to CEO. We expanded from two rooms to serve 300,000 women clients disbursing roo $200 million through a network of 140 branches and 2000 team members spread across the country. It was a privilege to be part of Kashf’s entrepreneurial journey. It gave me valuable insights on how to scale from an idea, build systems and processes, develop a team, culture, values, manage risks and most importantly create impact. I brought these lessons to CIRCLE. She Loves Tech Pakistan started with just an idea. I met the founder Virginia Tan in Malaysia where I was a keynote speaker at a Lean In Conference. I loved the idea of a competition for encouraging women entrepreneurs and women in tech. It was
The ecosystem and the concept of entrepreneurship was new. Pakistan is a huge country with 200+ people, a growing middle class and 60% of the population is under 30 years of age. We face many challenges, but Pakistan is also full of possibilities. All over the world, there are more women setting up businesses – that needs to happen in greater numbers in Pakistan. The female economy is estimated at $18 trillion and the value of Asia’s She Economy in 2020 is expected to be $8 trillion. We need to see this opportunity.
How do you think the entrepreneurial landscape has changed when it comes to supporting women?
results in perspectives being missed of half the population and we do not leverage their ideas, experiences and talents.
We need diversity both in terms of gender, but also in terms of age, ethnicity, and thoughts. To foster a culture of innovation, we all need to encourage diversity. There is a growing recognition, which is a good start, but we still have goo manels in 2019, a panel with only men and important committees are formulated with no woman or just one. This
There is greater access to mentors, the incubators throughout the country are playing a role, and investors are coming in.Â Conferences and competitions like 021Disrupt, Momentum, She Loves Tech, Startup Cup, Startup Weekend are efforts by ecosystem builders to enable connections, get visibility for startups, bring ge international investors,
inspirational speakers. We need to create more opportunities for women startups to experiment, learn, and take risks. I would also like to see more women investing in Pakistani startups. In your opinion, what are few of the shortcomings of the ecosystem when it comes to women? Women are not encouraged to take risks, be bold and ambitious. From an early stage, we need to be aware of how we
treat little boys and girls in our home environment and the messages we give them. I was blessed that my parents and especially my father was very encouraging. He never made me feel I could not do something, go somewhere or explore an idea. It was only when I joined the work force when I noticed that there were very few women. My father took a lot of interest in my career, travels and always encouraged me to learn, stand on my values. So it becomes really important particularly for women to have belief, confidence and build allies. I learnt with experience that this is so important. One major challenge for women is safe, reliable and affordable transportation. It’s a huge barrier for women. When I started my first job, my mother would pick and drop me. As my hours started getting longer and erratic, I felt bad that my mother is waiting. So I jumped on a rickshaw, which took 40% of my salary. I didn’t want to spend so much of my salary on transportation. So I explored other options and the tr only option in those days was the mini wagon where women got only 2 seats in the front row. My travel time doubled and the last stretch I walked home and that’s when I experienced street harassment. It was a good lesson for a 21 year old because it made me see what millions of women face in Pakistan in their daily commute. Careem has made a huge difference but not all women can afford it. What are your plans for ‘She Loves Tech’ this year?
“We need to create more opportunities for women startups to experiment, learn, and take risks”
space. We had incubators and startups throughout the country join us. We were thrilled to have the Netherlands Ambassador, US Consul General, the Australian High Commissioner, UN Women Pakistan Director, PPAF CEO amongst other dignitaries join us for She Loves Tech Pakistan rounds. She Loves Tech generated a lot of excitement with the belief that #GirlsCanDoAnything. Our judges for the th final round included: Jehan Ara, President PASHA, Yusuf Hussain, CEO ignite, Naheed Memon, Chairperson Sindh Investment Board and Faraz Khan, SEED. This year based on the tremendous response we intend to take the competition to 2 new cities: Quetta and Peshawar/Abbottabad. She Loves Tech is growing bigger as the world’s largest competition for women in tech happening in 2019 in 16 locations. We are very honored that we are able to bring it back to Pakistan and shine light on Pakistani women entrepreneurs. wo Do you have any plans of starting any other programs/initiatives for women?
With 100+ registrations and 10 finalists, the winner of She Loves Tech 2018 was Saba Khalid of Aurat Raaj, using AI to educate girls on hygiene, menstruation and other critical issues. Saba went to Beijing for boot camp and to pitch at the Global Finals. She visited several companies such as Baidu and had well crafted networking opportunities. Last year we held 3 local rounds. Our all-women team travelled by train from Karachi to Lahore inspiring youth and women throughout the journey. After our Lahore round with our partner Innovation District, we went by Daewoo to host our Islamabad round with our partner WeCreate. Karachi local round was held at the US Consulate in Karachi where the CG Jo Anne Wagner received all the guests. The She Loves Tech Wag Pakistan 2018 final was at NIC Karachi, a beautiful
One of the initiatives close to my heart is Tech Karo. Tech Karo brings coding, life skills and mentorship to youth from underserved communities with a special focus on women. Our aim is to increase diversity in the tech sector, enable women to leverage the 4th industrial revolution and contribute to Pakistan’s economy. The first cohort had 50 graduates with 60% women Th and 30+ were placed in jobs and internships at leading tech companies, earning 10k - 50k. Tech Karo is supported by Engro Vopak and we are excited to grow this initiative over the coming years. There has been lots of learning. Tech Karo is a women-led initiative and the Tech Karo team members are role models for the students in so many ways. We also engage with their families to build a trusting relationship and beyond the technical skills also build core life skills such as problem solving, collaboration, resilience, and allies so the youth and especially young women can succeed in their work life.
WE RECOMMEND... WATCH
The Social Network Do you ever wonder how Mark Zuckerberg made it with Facebook and how he transformed from a Harvard student to the founder of the world’s most popular social media platform. Why watch ‘The Social Network’? Never mind if this was overdramatized. The film gives viewers a better understanding of how to make a startup succeed by exhibiting such qualities as being flexible and resilient. Every time I watch this movie it motivates me to be a better entrepreneur. Company Men Bob Walker (Ben Affleck), Bobby a young executive at a shipping and manufacturing conglomerate, is on the fast track to the top until the Great Recession hits. His company goes through a few rounds of layoffs, so Bobby and accomplished colleagues Phil (Chris Cooper) and Gene (Tommy Lee Jones) find themselves on the unemployment line. As the effects of their (seemingly) ef professional pursuits come to a screeching halt, the three men redefine their lives as they struggle to survive in a hostile post-career landscape. Corporate life didn’t turn out lilike you’d planned (join the club)? Well, this is the movie for YOU!
Joy Jo is the story of a single Joy mom, Joy Mangano (played by Jennifer Lawrence) that overcame insurmountable odds to turn the Miracle Mop into a household name. Corrupt business partners, discouraging family members, running out of money, and overcoming personal challenges are just a few of the true to life events the movie portrays as Joy desperately attempts to turn her dreams into a reality. It’s a super inspirational movie certain to give you the entrepreneurial “push” to get over the business doldrums. Plenty of good entrepreneurial lessons in this movie; the biggest takeaway is how important the art of perseverance is. Joy refuses to accept defeat – even when defeat is seems inevitable – and triumphs over failure after failure to build her Home Shopping Network Empire.