Why can’t I sleep?
I am tired, wiped out and sleep deprived. I know I should be in bed fast asleep so that I will be ready to face the day tomorrow. But I can’t sleep. So many thoughts and emotions are racing through my mind as I think about the last few weeks and months of activity leading up to the Asia Pacific ICT Awards in Pattaya, Thailand. We started off as usual with individual winners from different categories in the P@SHA ICT Awards but we have ended up with a synergized team that has held the flag high for Pakistan and the Pakistan ICT industry.
I feel so much pride, so much joy in what Team Pakistan has achieved over the past few weeks – and especially the last couple of days. And yet I feel a deep depression too because I know that many of them will not be receiving Awards or Certificates of Merit tomorrow evening. How do I know this? Because it is an impossibility for all nominees from the region to make it to the limited number of top slots in their categories no matter how brilliant they all are.
There are 160 “winners” who are here in Pattaya Thailand with products that are each innovative, unique and the best of the best. The format of the Awards is such that only a handful of these innovators will be recognized with trophies and certificates tomorrow evening. The majority will go back with Certificates of Participation indicating that they are amongst the best in the Asia Pacific region. Most will have missed being placed in the top 2 or 3 slots in their categories by as little as 0.05 points. It will be heartbreaking for them. I know because I see it every year – and it breaks my heart. Tomorrow will be no different and there is nothing I can do about it.
And yet as I sit here thinking about the intense effort that all the judges, mentors and nominees have put in over the last few days and nights, about the dedication and commitment shown by each and every team member, I know that they will go back home feeling a sense of satisfaction with the overall experience. They will go back having learnt how to position their products a lot better than they did before they came; they will return home knowing that they benchmarked their products with the best in the region and are second to none; that they have made partners and friends in the ICT community around the region; that many of them have formed friendships with fellow nominees, judges and mentors that will last a lifetime; that they have during the process of preparing for these Awards, created roadmaps for their products and their companies that will result in tremendous success for them and for the country.
Team Pakistan has been brilliant. We have seen the respect with which they have been welcomed. We have seen how they have grown in stature. We have seen them work with each other, burning the midnight oil, supporting and encouraging each other and feeling a pride in being here representing Pakistan. That in itself makes me want to hug them all and say “Well done … you have done us proud!” No matter what the results tomorrow evening, you are all winners in our book and you have brought respect, honour and prestige to the country and to our industry. For that we thank you and salute you.
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