When they start calling you a Pioneer …
… does that mean that you should be thinking of turning in your laptop and mouse? Is this an indication that you will soon be put out to pasture? That was the question I asked myself when Rabia Garib and CIO Pakistan gave out the Technology Pioneer Awards at their launch event.
Hey but wait a minute! Amongst the pioneers were young people like Naila Kasim, Khurram Kalia and Umar Saif (yes he is young!). So age was certainly not a consideration.
I must admit I have never thought of myself as a pioneer, although at Enabling Technologies, Zak, Nuz, Sabeen and I did come up with some firsts in the area of multimedia in the early nineties when multimedia was just a buzz word in this country and no-one really knew its potential. I remember the media played it up quite a bit (Rabia must have been a toddler then:) ) and it felt good being part of a team that was doing something different and exciting. Times have changed and now it gives me a high to talk about, and promote, young people who are producing innovative solutions in ICT.
Over the years there have been some awards given out in this country where one is supposed to nominate oneself (no CIO is not one of those). I remember being approached a couple of times to nominate myself for one award or another, but I felt it was pretty odd to fill in a document stating why I should be recognized for something noteworthy that I had done. Naturally I thanked them but refused to do any such thing. Isn’t recognition something that someone else bestows on you because they feel you deserve it?
Having said that, I have to admit that the award given to me by CIO made me feel good. It wasn’t for being a pioneer (so I guess there is still time before I am put out to pasture). It was in recognition for my “Special contribution to the Pakistan iT industry”.
I don’t know if the contribution I have made is worth acknowledging but I certainly do know one thing. I have great faith in the IT industry and where it is headed. There is already a lot of innovation taking place. There are successful business models. There is a cluster of people and companies across the country who have proven that no challenge or hurdle is big enough to keep them back. Many products and solutions developed by these companies have been recognized around the world and we should really be proud to be part of such a vibrant sector. I know I am, and I feel privileged to do whatever little I can to project the work that is being done by the Pakistan IT industry, and to support the efforts of the many talented people that I have come to know over the years.
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