The deed is done – now all we do is wait
I haven’t blogged for quite a while – Facebook, Google+ and Twitter are to blame. But today I felt the need to write more than just a tweet or a status message and so here we are …
The last few weeks have been hectic. The P@SHA ICT Awards 2014 and then the preparations for APICTA 2014 in Jakarta have kept many of us on our toes.
Some may say that I should have waited until I had news of how Team Pakistan fared at this year’s Asia Pacific ICT Awards APICTA). I think not. The wins are just part of the journey – and that news can wait until after the Gala Dinner tonight. I need to pen this down now before it is coloured by the results.
Every year for the past 11 years we have been bringing teams to APICTA – to capitals across the Asia Pacific … and each year we have been able to hold our heads high at the effort and the performance of tech innovators from Pakistan. Judges from across the region have started to sit up and take notice. They have remarked (with some surprise) on the quality of teams and ideas. They have asked jokingly what we were ‘feeding them’ these days, of how products keep emerging through the cracks from a country that has not been traditionally known as a tech innovation hub.
Each year we continue to impress them with the people we bring to these Awards. Not all the teams win – they can’t because they are competing against the best-of-the-best from the entire region. We at APICTA acknowledge all of them as winners because that is what they all are – winners! Whether they bag an award or not, they are bursting with confidence, with knowledge, with innovation and passion for what they do. They mingle and network and show the world the true face of Pakistan …
Something Hunaid Hameed (our Secondary School Student entry) said during one of the first mentoring sessions in Jakarta this year, has remained in my consciousness for the past few days. He said “Jawwad Farid has been guiding and mentoring me since I won the P@SHA LaunchPad event two years ago, helping me to improve and develop my product. Another few months of this and I may start worshiping him.” Those words touched my heart. It is kids like these who make us continue to do what we do – put in 24 hour days, put our heart and soul into working with the teams, sharing their hopes and dreams, their joys and their heartbreak. We are all one – Team Pakistan!
This year was no different. 21 products from Pakistan were presented at APICTA 2014 in Jakarta. The teams started working tirelessly on improving the presentations they had made at the P@SHA ICT Awards, working with mentors remotely and in the cities they were based – Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad.
Chief Mentor Jawwad Ahmed Farid did not travel with us to Jakarta but he worked constantly with many of the teams to assist them in presenting their products in the best possible light. In Jakarta Team Pakistan took over the Executive Floor, lounge and meeting room on 3 consecutive nights where Zafar Khan, Dr. Shoab A. Khan, Badar Khushnood and Sultan Hamdani listened to pitches, mentored, scolded, cajoled and did whatever was necessary to get our bright innovators to put up their best performance.
It is always good to see them all coming together and working towards a common objective – to leave an impression on the minds of hundreds of technology professionals and judges from the region that Pakistan is at par with them in producing cutting edge technology solutions for business and consumers across the globe . It is no doubt exhausting but it is well worth it because in the end, win or not, we are able to hold our heads high and say we gave our best for our country and our industry.
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