Kamal Faridi tawks Challenges of Entrepreneurs in Pakistan
Kamal Faridi tawks Challenges of Entrepreneurs in Pakistan
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Kamal Faridi tawks Challenges of Entrepreneurs in Pakistan

Anthony Robbins once famously uttered: if you want to be successful, find someone who has achieved the results you want and copy what they do and you’ll achieve the same results. There are lots of success stories out there. Stories of successful entrepreneurs in Pakistan. The misfits. And whenever,we, the crazy entrepreneurs of Pakistan, at towntawks get a chance, we love to interact with them. Learn from them.And we think thats one of various reasons of our initial success in our startup masha Allah. And we love to share too :) Thats why we had featured multiple interviews with one of the most successful entrepreneurs in Pakistan (Mr. Armaghan Saqib). And also with those who mentor successful entrepreneurs in Pakistan (Mr. Hammad Siddiqui). So What if we tell you that you are about to read yet another the most insightful and practical article about entrepreneurship?An interview with one of the top 100 Entrepreneurs in Pakistan? The 2nd most famous Pakistani twitter member with 300k+ followers? A youth catalyst. Graduated from Harvard University? A futurologist. A geek.  He’s also an Arabia500 Winner of 2012, which is All World Network created Arabia500 to bring world-wide attention to MENA growth companies. *DRUM ROLL* Ladies and gentleman, put your hands together for Mr. Kamal Faridi. *clapping* Mr. Kamal Faridi, one of the leading entrepreneurs in Pakistan, was highly courteous enough to answer our “lengthy” questions despite his busy schedule ;) His answers are definitely eye opening .We hope that it will align the course of a lot of entrepreneurs in Pakistan.

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Mr. Kamal Faridi representing Pakistan in South Asia Strategic Leadership Summit

Interview with Mr. Kamal Faridi – Bonjour!

Many thanks Mr. Kamal Faridi for sparing time for this interview. Though you are among the top Entrepreneurs in Pakistan and your iconic personality is known to many. But still would you like to introduce yourself briefly to our valued readers?

You’re most welcome Irfan. Firstly, I am an Entrepreneur. And I came into the business since 2002. During the last Fourteen years, I have Established a company name “22 Four International with Clients primarily from North America and we offer a number of services to clients including Small Medium Businesses.

Mr. Kamal Faridi – A Man of notable endowments… How?

You are a public speaker, Futurologist, Social media strategist, technology freak; and last but not least, one of the renowned entrepreneurs in Pakistan; how did you manage to to master each of these acumen to excellence?

Every subject is a separate entity for me and managing everything is unified just because my Passion is involved.

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Mr. Kamal Faridi’s President’s Volunteer Service Award. A prestige for whole Pakistan.

Entrepreneurship is tooo risky - One of the biggest concerns of Entrepreneurs in Pakistan?

Entrepreneurship is synonymous to a very risky expedition by the youngsters of Pakistan. And many complain that they are unable “perceive any idea” that they may pursue. What do you think?

Always remember bend in a road is not the end of a road… unless you fail to make the turn. For me, meaning of Entrepreneurship is RISK. My ultimate Goal is to produce a new Industry in Pakistan i.e Entrepreneurship! For this we have to enhance our education system where Students are taught how to behave after a Failure in Startup. we have 60% youth population in Pakistan if 25% or more become Entrepreneurs; they can become the assets of Pakistan in for creating job opportunities

Yet another Biggest Concerns of Entrepreneurs in Pakistan – Threat of Being swallowed by 800lb Guerillas!

We’ve been to quite a lot of entrepreneurship conferences. Among various concerns, the one that we hear the most is that t0-be-entrepreneurs usually say that Google/facebook/Microsoft can easily hijack their ideas because they are ultimately huge. What is your opinion on such stances?

Yes there are many complains about idea stolen/theft among entrepreneurs in Pakistan. Unfortunately in Pakistan, we don’t have any cyber crime acts or a concept to patent your Idea before sharing with your social contacts. In my opinion if you come up with your Idea, think if you can take it on to the next stage. If yes then better not share with your friend(s) until you pursue it to maturity.

You’ve been to many places and have met various top-notch achievers and personalities. Can you name three personalities who inspired you the most personally? And what in them ignited your inspiration??

I have been more than 85 countries in the world even though all of them are leadership events where I met and involved in session with them. The person that inspired me the most after Recep Tayyip PM Turkey is Muhammad Yunus of Bangladesh.  Mr. Yunus’s Nobel Prize contribution on economic and social development in Bangladesh & his vision of a new and humane capitalism is definitely commendable. His effort to create an Incubator Funds for social businesses for youth of Bangladesh inspired me the most.

You are one of the most active Pakistani member on twitter. Whereas Pakistanis are more addicted to Facebook. Should Pakistanis be using twitter more and more? if so, why?

Yes, I am ranked 2 in Pakistan after Imran Khan. For me Facebook is the source to communicate to your contacts and friends whereas Twitter is the source to engage Influencers around the globe. Its more about serious debate on policy, politics and current affairs and a lot of other stuff

Sneak Peek into the leisure delights of one of the most Successful Entrepreneurs in Pakistan:

What do you mostly do in your free time? What is the importance of personal leadership development in the success of life?

Whenever I get a chance, I try to get myself engaged with youth in universities. Doing lectures, seminars and workshops to make them understand the issues and solutions in Pakistan for their career and more. YOUTH is the springtime of life, the seed and budding season of our existence, when the garden of our soul should be stocked, so that in the after-years it will adorn and gild our lives, and carry us in manly vigor as our onward journey we take, through the many and dangerous roads of this life. If our youth has been through a season of sowing and planting good seed, our walk through this world will be one of comparative ease, with strong faith and unswerving straightness, and we carry on over every obstacle and through every trial, implicitly trusting and ever believing. On the other hand, if our youth has been neglected, and the soil untouched and uncultivated, most likely tares and foul weeds have got root in our souls, and it is late in life, if ever they be eradicated. Again, if in youth we have been taught to cling to the Rock of Ages, as years roll on our grasp becomes the firmer, till at the close of mortal life we step with surety and with joy on the glorious and ever happy high land of immortality.

Challenges for Entrepreneurs in Pakistan… & Solutions:

What is your perception about entrepreneurial ventures in Pakistan? What are the hurdles and loopholes in Entrepreneurial ecosystem in Pakistan and how can those be addressed? And how Government should enact policies to foster this culture in Pakistan?

There are lots of successful entrepreneurial ventures in Pakistan still running since day one. However Failure is the part of entrepreneur’s definition. Entrepreneurs in Pakistan face many challenges and problems. The factors for such low levels of entrepreneurial-drive lie deep within our culture, bureaucracy, financial hurdles and academic perceptions of entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurship is associated with small and cottage industries; there is a stigma with failure and a general resistance to new ideas; businesses are rooted in traditional and low value-added sectors such as textiles, rice and leather. Also, younger business communities, often educated abroad, do not have the requisite experience or financing to establish businesses. Family-owned businesses are slow to adopt professional modes of management. kamal-faridi-entrepreneurs-in-pakistan-challenges-solutionsOther factors include corruption at practically all levels, high taxes and stringent government regulations creating unnecessary hurdles for entrepreneurial businesses. On the private sector front, multinational corporations and international banks have rapidly expanded their presence and they provide good salaried opportunities to young professionals. The typical aspiration of an MBA student graduating from a Pakistani business school is to secure a stable job with a multinational or other large corporation where they can advance through a stable and prosperous career. However, with the growing population and fewer job openings, traditional avenues of employment are limited. Other hurdles towards establishing independent businesses include financial barriers to entry. The venture capital industry is almost absent in Pakistan. Despite reforms initiated by the State Bank of Pakistan, access to equity and formal debt financing have not improved. Access to finance is a recurring constraint to enterprise development in Pakistan, especially in the case of new and small enterprises.

Tips for Young t0-be Entrepreneurs in Pakistan:

If a person is intending to start a business, what series of advices would you give him to ensure that he has a successful venture in the long run??

The educated, young, and emerging entrepreneurs need to take the lead and be encouraged to become the vanguard of Pakistan’s economic growth. Entrepreneur is the one who takes on the risk of starting their own enterprise or investing in other start-ups. Successful entrepreneurs are known for finding innovation and market gaps for new products and services. Entrepreneurs have the ability to take business to the point at which it can sustain itself on internally generated cash flow. The future of an entrepreneur is to reform and revolutionize the pattern of production.

What are the latest technology trends and what advice would you want to give to Pakistani university graduates & Entrepreneurs in Pakistan to cope up with those trends to drive Pakistan to global success?

Pakistan lacks an effective information and communication technology (ICT) infrastructure in the healthcare sector. As systems being manual at most places, government outpatient’s centers are overcrowded. Patient care within hospital is far from satisfactory and medicines purchased by hospitals do not reach to the patients in time. In order to survive and compete in global markets, Pakistani businesses have to modernize their systems and make their operation compatible with the industry standards. Most of the leading companies now deal only with those businesses that have compatible computer systems so that they are able to exchange information on­line electronically. We need to understand the value and Importance of cloud computing technology for Pakistan.

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Harvard University Vs Pakistan Academia… Whats the difference?

You’ve graduated from Harvard University and did MCS from University of Karachi; What difference did you find between the Pakistani universities and that of Harvard and what steps Pakistan’s academia can take to abridge those deficiencies?

Six decades of consistent failure in creating a viable higher education system forces us to search for reasons that go beyond fiscal and administrative issues. A key challenge for every government in Pakistan will be to sort out, in all the areas of public policy. More specifically, in seeking change of values, it will be important to break the absolute tyranny of the teacher, a relic of pre-modern social values.

Closed minds cannot innovate, create art and literature or do science. Modern education is all about individual liberty, willingness to accept change, intellectual honesty, and constructive rebellion.

Critical thought allows individuals to make a revolutionary difference and to invent the future. Else they will merely repeat the dysfunction of the past. But Pakistani students memorize an arbitrary set of rules and an endless number of facts and say that X is true and Y is false just because that’s what the textbooks say so. To develop thinking minds, change must begin at the school level. Good pedagogy requires encouraging the spirit of healthy questioning in the classroom. More important: Pakistani higher education will turn around only if Pakistan can be turned around. This cannot happen while our cities, towns, army, and police are attacked by maniacal terrorists day after day. Expatriate Pakistanis, as well as others of high academic accomplishment, are vital to the uplift of our universities and colleges. In these circumstances they do not feel safe enough to work in Pakistan. Without winning peace, the country will just keep staggering along.

Thy Secrets of Success:

What do you think are the three biggest secrets of success in your life? the secrets behind your mesmerizing achievements as an entrepreneur in Pakistan? And what is the definition of success in your opinion?

My strategy is instead of thinking about what you’re missing, try thinking about what you have that everyone else is missing. I never Stop being afraid of what could go wrong and think of what could go right. I have the greatest freedom of all – is not having the fear of losing.

What is your life’s ultimate & euphoric vision?

My Goal is to present Young and Positive face of Pakistan on global scale. I try to invest all of my profit after saving my Kitchen expenses to travel around the world. To speak in different Technology and policy making conferences. To represent Pakistan on my my own. And while doing so, ultimate reaction from many countries is that we have heard Pakistan is a terrorist country but once we hear you speaking, we come to know Pakistan is full of talented young people as well.

So intriguing isn’t it? Mr. Kamal Faridi’s insight about the challenges of Entrepreneurs in Pakistan is definitely commendable. Truly enlightening. What do you think about entrepreneurship in Pakistan?

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●Winner of Pakistan Startup Cup (Round-1). ●Nominated for Best Startup Category in P@SHA ICT Awards 2013. towntawks is crafted with the vision to bring every product in your nearby towns' shops ONLINE. Thus enabling you to see where your desired product is being sold at that moment before you go for shopping. & Its just a start :) A startup led by die-hard Pakistani Entrepreneurs aiming to disruptively re-innovate how retailing & consumerism operates.

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