Connecting with Adnan Haider of Lootmaar.com
I was first introduced to Adnan Haider by Jawwad A. Farid who was his teacher and mentor. From the moment I met Adnan, I could sense that this young man was going places. He is intelligent, is extremely enthusiastic, excited and passionate about whatever he does and tends to think through everything analytically before coming to a decision or a conclusion.
Adnan Haider is a graduate of Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto Institute of Science and Technology (SZABIST), worked in Pakistan as a technical specialist for IBM – focusing on computer storage solutions, before proceeding for his Masters in Engineering Management (MEM) from the Duke University Pratt School of Engineering under a Fulbright Scholarship.
While at Duke, Adnan was part of the ImaGyn team that won a US$100,000 prize to develop a device to facilitate cervical cancer prevention in the developing world. The device, the ‘Cerviscope’, is a portable colposcope that will cost roughly 95 percent less than comparable technology used in US-based hospitals.
Cervical cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related death among women. Over 260,000 women die every year from this disease with 80 percent of these cases occurring in the developing world. Although cervical cancer is highly preventable, the problem is neglected by most public health organizations.
In his conversation with me on the set of “In the Line of Wire”, Adnan says that for him, entrepreneurship is more than just about making money and creating jobs. It is about making a bigger impact on the lives of others (didn’t we hear the same thing from Imran Zia?).
He said the reason that his team was able to come up with a prize-winning idea at Duke that resulted in an actual product being developed, was because they were part of a strong inter-disciplinary environment. He thinks that is one of the basic things missing in most local universities. Business plan competitions, in his opinion, should be structured so that they are not mere academic exercises. They should result in projects that attract investment and result in solutions to problems that communities or businesses are looking for.
Adnan is also the co-Founder of Lootmaar, an online marketplace for Pakistan. In this episode of ITLoW, he talks about where Lootmaar is today, what their plans are, and some of the challenges that he and his partner Noman Turab have faced along the way, as well as some of the lessons that others can learn from.
As you will no doubt note from my conversation with Adnan, there is so much that all of us can learn from kids like him. Why is it that people who are older always feel they know best, that they are the ones who are able to set directions, to show the way. Young people like Adnan Haider have a lot to contribute and there is every reason for us to listen to them, to see their take on technology and the benefits it can deliver.
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