Asad Umar winds up the TiEcon 2009 proceedings

November 8, 2009 at 8:17 am 1 comment

The final speaker for the evening was Asad Umar, CEO of Engro Chemicals. He decided to switch the delivery of his presentation. He said he would speak for 10 minutes and leave 20 minutes for Q&A.

He highlighted a few points in his talk:

1. The conventional thought that you should first join a large corporate, get some experience and then start your own business, was a myth. He said there was no way that join a thousand people organisation would teach you how to run your own business.

2. When you are making some critical assumptions on which the success of your business is dependent, even if you have made one assumption incorrectly, the whole building can crumble and you are left with a failure staring you in the face. A strong combination of passion and intellect is needed. The mind needs to guide the heart. You must challenge any numbers, anything that looks too good to be true.

3. A lot of people go to bookshops to buy self-help books to learn how to be an entrepreneur, how to be a good leader, etc etc. No matter how good he is, reading Jack Welch will not inspire you to be an entrepreneur. If you want inspiration you have to refer to literature, history, war, sports, poetry, maybe religion. It is different for different people. However it will not come from management courses or business school.

Asad Umar ended his talk with one of his favourite verses which translates into “There are only two destinations for freedom-loving people (before George Bush made ‘freedom-loving’ a dirty word). Either the throne or the gallows.” That’s the spirit with which you have to have to approach entrepreneurship. No half measures will work. Keep your feet on the ground and keep reaching for the stars, he said.

What an end to a brilliant day! Way to go Asad Umar. Inspiring indeed.

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Umar Saif tells his story Some of the TiEcon 2009 videos

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