Written by: karachiwala on November 4, 2017

“Failure is success in progress” remarked the renowned Father of Physics, Albert Einstein. Have we ever cared to wonder that the awe-inspiring mind behind the smartphones we carry today or the MacBook, Steve Jobs, dropped out of college? In fact, he was even kicked out of his own company. We all may have a dispositional inclination towards enshrining such eminent entrepreneurs as legendary, but we tend to neglect the fact that they too went through highs and lows in the corporate arena. Their graphs of entrepreneurial success too witnessed steep dips through their lifecycles. And the existence of these negative gradients is precisely why these entrepreneurs learned to pick themselves up, to not fear failure but conquer it, to continue with unflinching conviction and to become the celebrated business magnates they are today!

We see tons of motivational quotes from Steve Jobs, Richard Branson, and they are all amazing (no doubts here) but those are not the only great minds. We have immense talent right around us and that deserves to be highlighted as well. So one day I decided to ask a very important question on one of the startup forums, As an entrepreneur, when you come across a moment of decline or find yourself in a dark place, what brings you back? How do you motivate yourself?

I got many answers but realized that somewhat their essence was the same. The answers could be condensed to form one solution to the entrepreneurial problem. Some of the responses I collected are as follows:

I read books. This time, first 140 pages of ‘The Hard Thing about Hard Things’ helped me”. Madeeha Hassan, CEO Savaree.

Of course, all entrepreneurs face rough patches in the lifecycle of their brainchild, but keeping staunch faith is the key to survival! We came across a particularly elaborate response from the Chairman and CTO of Soloinsight, Farhan Masood.

When I founded my startup with zero capital and no background but just a dream to build a globally significant company out of Pakistan specializing in our own facial recognition systems and the whole world of Internet of People around it, I was declared a maniac and crazy… I was never taken seriously… Everyone laughed but no one helped… I was told the companies who were working on such things were 1) Jewish and 2) have hundreds of millions of dollars as grants and funding. 3) Fingerprint systems had already taken over the world by storm and even if I did succeed in building such technologies which one doesn’t even can find a book or a research paper on, I was way too late to enter and won’t be able to make any difference… I am glad I did not listen to any of the naysayers… I am glad that they did not help me and with persistence I proved them wrong… Today I have a company that is spread across 3 continents… Our 3D Facial + Iris + Palm Vein recognition technology is well received in United States… We have raised a $3 Million seed round and we are on a path to become a globally significant company…”.
Aptly put, even if an entrepreneurial journey witnesses obstruction or any sort of degradation, the conviction to not let your brainchild die, the conviction to push harder and have unending faith would aid you in overcoming that decline but this may only seem plausible if your heart is where your work is, as passion is the sole fuel that drives the vehicle of success.

Another essential tool for success is positive energy and its rightful directional radiation. Furqan Ahmed of elucidates the notion stating, “The only thing that ever lift me up when I’m down and in despair is a walk among other entrepreneurs, understanding their issue and help others while I can. Helping others is the best source of positive energy for me; it works like a charm.

Where some entrepreneurs believe that positive energy and confidence boost equip them adequately to combat the moments of pitfall and decline, others have taken on an entirely different approach on the matter. For them it’s the force of negativity and criticism that strengthens the fibres of their motivation and makes them believe that they have to strive to be the best because the laws of nature only allow the survival of the fittest!

The founder and CEO of Daastan, Syed Ommer Amer says, “The negative feedback and the mockery of the people drives my passion. At one point where it breaks me from inside, it also makes me furiously mad and determined to actually prove myself and shut the mouths of those who ridiculed me. To put it simply, I channel the negative feedback to drive my passion to unlock the hidden potential within myself. By the Grace of Lord, I have always overcome adversity with my resilience and my every achievement, be it of national or international level, has enable me to inspire people and prove the worth of my idea.

Irtaza Ahmed Qureshi, Founder of JaldiSe, also has to offer something on the matter. “I always listen to the translation of Quranic Verses and then listening to some related industry companies story which inspires and motivate me to be great and perform best and bring a best possible outcome. Best part for inspiring myself is that I am hoping for more work from some new and different clients”.

Similar stories came our way when budding entrepreneurs shared their diverse range of pitfalls and the sort of lessons that were learned as an outcome! Asad Memon of Remote Interview adds to the list, “Most startups die from suicide, not murder. Founders should realize that it is supposed to be like that; a rollercoaster ride. The Zuckerburg-like stories they enjoy reading everyday are only blinding them more. The only thing to do is make any little progress they can and live through it. For us, it’s just getting one more user”.

Some entrepreneurs have various mottos or mantras that they religiously follow and believe in. They deem that these mantras or mottos work like a charm for anyone facing a daunting plight. For instance, Sana Khalid (CEO of Minerva) says, “I think entrepreneurs are driven by challenges. A problem or challenge is all the more reason to do better”. Faizan Chughtai, who is the Director Software Solutions – Vexellum Pvt. Ltd, adds, “There is no hard line for everyone to follow for motivation. For me, every morning I say to myself in the mirror. “Is this how I want to see myself tomorrow?” That gives me enough juice to keep going”!

Hence, it is inevitably clear that almost all entrepreneurs follow a particular element of entrepreneurial fuel to aid them in driving onto the road that leads to success. These motivational drivers are exactly what shall turn these startups into huge corporate businesses, if followed with diligence. They may seemingly sketch a canvas of an array of mantras but in the end if condensed, the essence of it all is the same!

Here’s ending this long piece with a light note from Muhammad Shariq, CEO of Taplando: “For me, its food, as a temporary fix. Gets me out of the dark state, makes me feel better and clears my head. It’s like a mental reset button. That’s all I need to refocus. Also, recalibrating”.

Written by: karachiwala on November 4, 2017

At a recently concluded Global Leadership Conference (GLC) of the Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO) in Manila, Philippines, the Karachi Chapter of EO won the GCC Award for Communications Leadership. The Karachi Chapter was awarded the highest award in the Communications category amongst 120 chapters of EO globally.

Responding to the success, Syed Azhar Ali Nasir, the Communications Chair for EO Karachi Chapter said: “I am honored to have this award as the Communications Chair and dedicate it to the teamwork and effort of the board members and all EO Karachi Chapter members.”

Ali Farooq, the President of the EO Karachi Chapter, added: “This is a fantastic achievement for Pakistan to be represented at the apex of the global entrepreneurial community of EO and to come home with the top prize. This is an acknowledgement of the promise and commitment of the board and members of EO Karachi to go boldly and make a mark in our community as creators of employment and agents of positive change.”

The award was received on behalf of EO Karachi Chapter by the incoming President of the board Sanaullah Abdullah, who is seen in the picture with other board members. Samer Kurdi, EO Global Chairman presented the award to EO Karachi.

The Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO) is a dynamic, global network of more than 9,300 business owners in 120 chapters across 42 countries. Founded in 1987 by a group of young entrepreneurs, EO is the catalyst that enables entrepreneurs to learn and grow from each other, leading to greater business success and an enriched personal life. EO’s vision is to build the world’s most influential community of entrepreneurs by engaging leading entrepreneurs to learn and grow. EO members come from all walks of life and lead companies from a diverse set backgrounds.

EO Karachi Chapter is 48 members strong today with total number of workers employed by members exceeding 43,000.

Written by: karachiwala on November 4, 2017
  1. a person who organizes and operates a business or businesses, taking on greater than normal financial risks in order to do so.
    synonyms: businessman/businesswoman, enterpriser, speculatortycoonmagnatemogul;

On a warm Sunday morning in November, Arif Habib leaves his posh home near the seafront in southern Karachi and drives across town in a silver Toyota Prado SUV. About half an hour later, he arrives to check up on his latest project: a 2,100-acre residential development at the northern tip of this city of 20 million. He hops out, shakes hands with young company call-center workers who are dressed for a cricket match, and joins them at the edge of the playing field for a traditional Pakistani breakfast of curried chickpeas and semolina pudding. After a quick tour of the construction site, he straps on his leg pads, grabs his bat, and heads onto the field. “The principles of cricket are very effective in business,” says Habib, 59. “The goal is to stay at the wicket, hit the right balls, leave the balls that don’t quite work, and keep an eye on the scoreboard. I feel that my childhood association with cricket has contributed to my success.”

Written by: karachiwala on November 2, 2017

Pakistan automobile industry has seen some rapid developments in recent times. From existing players introducing new models & updating their current offerings to the entry of new comers such as KIA, as their vehicles were spotted testing near Hyderabad recently.

And now it seems Al-Haj FAW is gearing up for another surprise since the FAW R7 SUV was caught testing in Karachi earlier today. According to our information these units have been imported for testing purpose and the company might consider launching the eye-catching SUV in near future.

We have written quite a lot about the R7 SUV in past and now it’s quite pleasing to see FAW considering bringing their modern range of vehicles here. The R7 was officially launched in China last year and has become one of the best sellers for FAW in a very short time. Since its launch in May 2016, FAW has sold more than 82,000 units of R7 in China, averaging around 5,000 units a month.

The R7 comes with a 1.6 liter 4-cylinder DOHC petrol engine with 109hp and 155nm, mated to a five-speed manual or a six-speed automatic gearbox. Key features include Driver/ Passenger Airbags, ABS with EBD, ASR (Anti-Slip Regulation), ESP, Alloy Wheels, Tilt/ Slide Steering wheel adjustment, Roof rack, Trip computer display, Parking sensors, Daytime running lights, Headlight height adjustment, fog lamps, Engine start/ stop button, GPS Navigation, USB input etc.


Written by: karachiwala on November 2, 2017

Happy Early Halloween! What’s better than delicious cupcakes? Delicious, Halloween-themed cupcakes! Get into the Halloween spirit at Karachi Cuisine with these cupcakes that taste even better than they look.

Head over to Karachi Cuisine and grab these adorable treats for just £1 for 1 or £1.50 for 2! Get yours while they last – they’re only available for a limited time.

Written by: karachiwala on November 2, 2017

Uber has recently launched the service called Uber ‘Mini’ in Lahore and Karachi. For now, UberMINI will be available in these two cities and will provide reliable, safe and affordable rides to the customers.

Uber had started its operations around the world in 2009 and it is now spread out in more than 450 cities in more than 75 countries in 6 continents.

Even when the company has been facing the legal cases on global as well as local scale, Uber has been expanding its operations with great zeal and passion.

In this respect, the Mini service in Lahore and Karachi will now provide the rides to customers at lowest fares. Even Suzuki Mehran will also be available on UberMINI.

The base fare for this ride will be Rs. 65 along with Rs. 4.5 per KM and Rs. 2 per minute cost, whereas the minimum fare would be Rs. 100.

Written by: karachiwala on November 1, 2017

KARACHI: Karachi Biennale 2017 (KB17) continued with the art exhibitions in addition to performing art at twelve venues in the city. The opening ceremony of KB17 took place last Saturday at the historical 160-year old Narayan Jagannath Vaidya (NJV) High School, the main venue for the event.

The Biennale has been open to the public from October 22 until November 5 when the closing ceremony of the event will take place at Frere Hall.

The event is Pakistan’s largest international contemporary art event aiming to bring together innovation, excellence and criticality through a multiplicity of curatorial strategies. Seeking to engage the community through art, the Biennale strengthens a global art exchange showcasing artists from Pakistan to the world.

KB17 focuses on the curated exhibits, with over 140 artists from all across the world including Europe, North America, South America, Africa, Southeast Asia and the Far East. To help the audience get an insight into the work and expand interdisciplinary connections with art, the Biennale offers educational and discursive interaction to visitors, also expanding the educational activities to over 300 children.

Three performances at Indus Valley School of Art and Architecture and the Alliance Francaise, titled ‘OVERxCOME’ and ‘Fairytale’ by Miro Craemer and Amy Elizabeth Kingsmill respectively, engaged the visitors. Miro’s interactive performance – a collaboration of Pakistani and German performers and musicians – moved through the grounds of the Indus Valley School, with the audience following the performers across the building.

As a part of the educational activities, over 320 children from four schools in different parts of Karachi came together at NJV High School, VM Gallery, Karachi School of Art, and Alliance Francaise. The programme, engaging school children to connect with art, included visits to the art exhibitions and installations followed by a discussion session.

The programme also brings into its fold art students and educators in the outreach to children. This, in turn, has paved the way for better understanding of practices and mechanisms to make art more comprehensible and accessible for young minds.

Senior art critic Marjorie Hussain chaired the inaugural session with a group of artists, professionals, civil society and businessmen of the city attending the ceremony. The ceremony, with participation from 1,000 members of public from different walks of life, featured a session with visiting artists, a discussion on public art and addresses by chief curator and KB17 CEO.

The Biennale will also feature two prizes to acknowledge the most evocative exhibits in KB17, namely KB17 Mahvash and Jahangir Siddiqui Foundation Juried Prize and the KB17 Shahneela and Farhan Faruqui Popular Choice Art Prize.

The prizes would reflect the Karachi Biennale Trust’s sustained commitment to recognising the effort and impact of participating artists’ work, as it engages with conversations around art, cities, and the ‘act of witnessing’.

Over 140 artists have showcased their work at the Biennale which was displayed at 12 venues all across the city, with five on MA Jinnah Road. The artists have come from Europe, North America, South America, Africa, Southeast Asia, the Far East, and various parts of Pakistan. The works of internationally renowned artists like Yoko Ono, Shahzia Sikander, Richard Humann, Michelangelo Pistoletto, Orlan, Bani Abedi, Meher Afroz, Miro Craemer, Bankleer, and Ruby Chishti, among others, were displayed for a large audience.

To help the audience get an insight into the work and expand interdisciplinary connections with art, BK17 offers educational and discursive interaction to visitors. In this regard, a series of conversations and lectures across two weeks of the event featuring Meher Afroz, Savita Apte , Saquib Hanif, Dr Marek Bartelik, Dr Marcella Sirhandi, Paolo De Grandis, Carlos Aceros Ruiz, Adriana Almada, and Dannys Montes de Oca Moreda, would be held at the ZVMG Rangoonwala Community Centre and the State Bank auditoriums.

Other public events such as poetry and book readings on Karachi, a performance and installation by Jamal Shah, performance works, a sound and light installation by German new media artist Wolfgang Spahn, Dholi Taro (Drum Circle), and project screening at different public spaces in Karachi would also be a part of the Biennale.

The chief curator would be Amin Gulgee, a well-known artist and curator of Pakistan.

This year, the theme of the Biennale would be ‘gawahi’ (witness). Works of art and installations at the Karachi Biennale would be based on this theme, which was chosen for its strong relevance to politics of representation, erasure and selective documentation.

Held in over a 100 countries across the world, art biennales have played an important role in transforming the perception of cities and it is hoped that by organising this inclusive cultural activity in Karachi, KB17 would foreground the city’s vibrant art scene. Local audiences will experience art from other countries and understand its vital link to life, like literature and music.

Since the 1950s, as Karachi grew from a small harbour town to a mega urban centre, it has attracted and embraced independent thinkers and artists. The city has been home to many influential modernists and contemporary artists, with a gallery circuit that is one of the most vibrant in South Asia. By Arshad Hussain

Written by: karachiwala on October 22, 2017

KARACHI: Remittances sent by overseas Pakistanis rose five per cent to $16 billion during the first 10 months (July-April) of this fiscal year, the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) said on Tuesday.

The amount was significant as it was even higher than the $15.9bn foreign exchange reserves held by the SBP as of end-April.

The government depends on the central bank’s reserves to make payments like debt servicing and other obligations. The State Bank has been buying dollars from the inter-bank market to boost its coffers while the government keeps borrowing from the international donors and international markets.

Remittances from Saudi Arabia were the highest as their share was more than 30pc of the total inflows received during the 10 months under reviews. The year-on-year growth in flows coming from the Kingdom was 5.9pc. Inflows from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) were the second highest at $3.5bn. However, the growth stalled to 4pc from 35pc in the same period last year.

Remittances from the United States fell 6pc to $2.087bn compared to a growth of 9pc a year earlier. Inflows from the United Kingdom showed persistency with a growth of 4.5pc to $2.022bn compared to a growth of 7.5pc last year.

The highest growth, at 11pc, came from the Gulf Cooperation Council countries — excluding Saudi Arabia and the UAE — as collective remittances from Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman and Qatar rose to $1.97bn.

This year’s growth pattern of remittances showed that they started falling after November when the growth was the highest at 16.5pc. December growth was negative 1.2pc; it improved in the next four months, with just 1pc growth in April.

Given the per-month average inflow at $1.6bn, the country is set to receive about $19.5bn remittances during this fiscal year.

The government is struggling to improve its reserves as the debt servicing could see a jump in FY17 when the country starts repaying rescheduled debts.