Jawwad Farid, the author, caught on tape!
Rabia Garib and I have been trying to get Jawwad Ahmed Farid into the Webstudio, and onto the set of ITLoW ever since we started the show but he has been playing hide-and-seek with us. So when he finally agreed to come in and talk about Entrepreneurship, and his book “Reboot!”, we were both delighted.
I asked him how he wanted to be introduced since we weren’t really interviewing him as CEO of Alchemy Technologies. It was Jawwad the author that we would be talking to, and asking about the book and its reincarnation. He said “Introduce me as Jawwad Ahmed Farid – a failure and proud of it!” and so I did.
Jawwad is a friend and someone I have respected and admired for several years. His ability to handle failure and success and come through it all unscathed and without losing his sense of humour, his faith in people, and his humanity has always amazed me.
In this episode of ITLoW, Jawwad tells us his story. One of the first set of BCS graduates from FAST, Jawwad worked in the local software industry for 5 years before he decided he had had enough. His father, unlike most fathers, had advised him right at the outset, to start his own venture. He had told Jawwad that he deserved better, that he should go after his dream, write his own future. Amazing man.
Sonny boy didn’t listen at that stage of course but after five years he realized that Abba had been right all along. So he went away to Columbia Business School to learn how to start and run his own business.
Reboot! is about his journey as an entrepreneur. His business plan. How he raised money. How he ran a couple of companies into the ground, lost everything he had and more. Acknowledging your mistakes, and talking about your failures, can’t be easy but Jawwad Farid does it with a touch of humour. He seems to be saying “It is alright to fail … there is no need to hang your head in shame as long as you get up and try again.” People in the Northern Hemisphere fail all the time, they learn from their failures and move on. It is only in South Asia that failure is a stigma. Why so? Doesn’t a child fall off a horse when he/she is first learning how to ride? Don’t we pick him/her up, say it’s okay and ask him/her to get back on and try again? So why can’t the same be applied to people who fail in business ventures – as long as they run their businesses ethically?
Jawwad says the best time to try out your ideas is when you are fresh out of university and have no obligations or commitments to meet. The opportunity cost at that stage, he says, is very minimal compared to 5 or 10 or 15 years down the road when you are walking away from a six-seven digit salary and a pension and perks. So why did he wait 5 years, and go to business school, before he started his first venture? I asked him that question and many more in this episode of ITLoW. Tune in and find out what he had to say. I really enjoyed the interview because it was a conversation with a friend. I hope you enjoy it too.
By the way, I have my 10 copies of Reboot! The deadline to qualify for a free copy of this soon-to-be bestseller is September 10. Send in your entries if you haven’t done so already. It is an opportunity not to be missed.