We did not behave like we were in the graveyard shift
Everyone said I was mad to be spending my final day in Karachi (prior to taking off for Egypt for 6 days for the Internet Governance Forum) at a conference at the Karachi Marriott Hotel. I am of course referring to the MITEFP Business Acceleration Plan competition and Conference on Corporate Entrepreneurship that was held on October 13.
However, I have only two motivational drivers for doing most things in my professional life:
1. If someone is trying to do something to improve and support the IT sector, provide them with whatever assistance that they ask for
2. If IT entrepreneurs are taking part in an activity, be there to hold their hand and be part of thecheering section So when Dr. Zahir A. Syed, whom I have a great deal of respect for, asked that I moderate a panel at the conference while the judges deliberated on which of the presenters had a slight edge over the rest, I said “Of course” without even batting an eyelid even though it was scheduled for 5 p.m. and I had to be at the airport at 3 a.m. the following morning. It was a fun session because I had on my panel a bunch of entrepreneurs who are dedicated, motivated people: Jawwad Ahmed Farid, CEO of Alchemy Technologies Yasha and Rabea, Founders of Voizar Yusuf Jan, co-founder of Mixit Technologies Shehzad Qureshi, co-founder of Tohfay.com.
My brief was that I was to ask them about their BAP experience which I did but we went on to talk about many other things – for instance what are the continuing challenges that these companies to face and how they are addressing them, what are they growth pains and the lesson learnt, the current investment climate and subsequent valuation issues that they are faced with, how they address the issues of attracting and retaining the most talented technical and business people and Intellectual Property Rights. After our initially allotted time, Sarah Bird (the MC for the evening and the most delightful person I have met in some time) continued to pop in every few minutes to indicate from a distance that we had to keep talking for another 5 minutes. This pushed the initial discussion time to almost twice that which we had been assigned. The audience (or what was left of it at this stage) was so engaged and asked some very relevant questions. The panelists were brilliant and didn’t evade giving honest and clearly structured answers. Thank you Dr. Zahir for the opportunity. We had a ball.
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