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Written by: My Karachi on November 7, 2017

By Amna Mishal

Pakistan is a nation that’s been gripped for years by political instability, sectarian violence, natural disasters, and poverty. It is also home to one of the world’s largest populations of young people, entrepreneurs of tomorrow, who are transforming Pakistan into a high-tech powerhouse. Karachi is home to some innovators, who are hoping that today’s generation will fuel Pakistan’s rise to becoming the next tech hub.

Umair Aziz on why he opted for Pakistan for his startup

Creative Chaos is one of Asia’s fastest growing tech start-up company founded by Umair Aziz. The company comprises of a team of Web site developers currently working on a project for Coca-Cola which will go up in 27 to 28 different countries. Previously, Creative Chaos has worked with Amazon, Microsoft and Intel.

Umair Aziz reported his one and ONLY secret to success is keeping the location of the company discreet. Karachi. Karachi – is indeed a chaotic commercial capital of Pakistan, that ranks as one of the world’s most violent. According to him

“We don’t want to be out of the race by advertising that we’re based in Pakistan. There’s a very negative stigma associated with the country.”

It is unfortunate that a robust startup like Creative Chaos cannot operate in the international market with Pakistan being associated to its profile. Hence, prospective customers see nothing on Creative Chaos’ Web site about its location. Technically, it’s headquartered in San Francisco. There was one time, during a collaboration with a company, when the client found out that almost all workers are based in Pakistan. Once hired, Aziz says, his company has never been removed from a job which is the company’s greatest pride.

“People in the U.S. really don’t know that there’s a world outside of Taliban, and there’s a world outside of, everything that they hear on CNN and BBC all the time.”

In this world projected as the ‘world of terror’ Aziz carved out a profitable niche back in 2000. Umair Aziz, graduate from Ohio, decided to return back to his native city Karachi leaving his job at a tech firm in Boston. He was confident that there were hundreds and thousands of people like him who could join him and his organization. He expresses

“It was a risk, but I was betting on the talent. I was betting on people just like me.”

Umair is one of a handful of thriving Pakistani start-ups, designing Websites, databases and applications for global clients. Statistics shows a healthy 35 percent annual growth in the tech sector and Aziz expects his firm to grow fivefold by 2020.

See Also: Can Karachi be the Silicon Valley of Pakistan?

Jehan Ara believes in the immense potential of youth in Pakistan

In raw numbers, though, that talent pool could be a lot larger, says Jehan Ara – President – The Nest, a tech entrepreneur. The country’s population is about 200 million people and 70 percent of them below the age of 30. According to Jehan’s vision, the potential is amazing in the young talented pool. She strives to figure out on how to channel this potential efficiently and is leading an effort to scout that talent, trying to create what the technology business calls an ecosystem to foster creativity and new business.

Jehan Ara is the founder of The Nest which is one of a handful of so-called incubators that have been built in Pakistan. At this incubator, 13 teams of techies chosen from more than a hundred applicants are working on what a panel of judges decided were promising business ideas.

“We are looking for young people who’ve developed a minimum viable product themselves while at home or at university and we know that they are committed to doing this. And then, once they get here, then we can help them further.”

This for Pakistan, is a rare work environment, and not just because it’s offered for free to potential entrepreneurs but also because it has reliable power, broadband and hardware which many cannot afford on their own. Nest also offers a connection to global resources from donors to the facility, including Google and Samsung.

The U.S. government also financially supports The Nest. At Nest, incubatees practice their pitches in speed dating sessions, which is a classic Silicon Valley approach to lure investors. They also subject each other to sometimes withering critiques.

“It’s only when the local investors get really interested that the industry is going to take off, the start-up culture is going to take off.” says Jehan Ara.


One big worry is Pakistan’s precarious security situation, which could drive many entrepreneurs to take off, but for jobs abroad. Yet people like Umair, Jehan and many others leave secure jobs abroad to come back home and bring a change in entrepreneurial ecosystem of Pakistan for a better tomorrow.

This report was made for the PBS NewsHour, by Fred de Sam Lazaro in Karachi, Pakistan in a partnership with the Under-Told Stories Project at Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota.

Written by: My Karachi on November 7, 2017

When it comes to famous landmarks in the city, Bohri Bazaar is perhaps an area all are expected to be familiar with as its known as the go-to market for almost everything. The two-day ‘Bohra Bazaar Fun Festival 2017’, held at the Frere Hall, was an extension of the idea of the same market.

Kicking off on Saturday, the event organised by the Bohra community saw over a 100 stalls of various kinds, with most set up by Bohri women to promote their small businesses. “We have taken this step to promote small-scale entrepreneurs and help boost their businesses. We have had such fairs in the past but they were limited to our community only. This time round, however, we have opened up to people from across the city,” said the event’s organiser Shabbir Najmi.

“We want to let the city dwellers get acquainted with our culture which is known for its rich traditions including crafts and variety of food items. This is our first such attempt, but considering the response, we hope to continue it in future as well,” he added.

The ticket, priced at Rs100, was available at the entrance and young men belonging to the community were busy looking after the security arrangements.

Once inside the venue, it was easy to demarcate the stalls selling specialised items alongside an area dedicated to food items.


Explaining about Khaman Dhokla, a savoury item, a visitor said that it was a light sponge which is made is their houses only.

“There are many fried items which ranged from chicken with egg, mince samosas and the ever famous Khaosuey,” said Zainab, who was attending with her family.

Selling Bohra Kachori, Sakina Nasir explained that the Papar (Papadum) was fried while the bhajee (vegetable mix) was placed on top of it to give it flavour.

At the centre point, band members in blue and white, of different age groups played various tunes which drowned the contemporary songs played by a radio station.

Razia Zakir, who had a jewellery stall, sold charm bracelets with precious stones which came all the way from Egypt.


Experimenting with the idea of exchange, Alifyah Talib’s stall pulled many parents and children who seemed interested in buying educational toys for their children.

“We are selling imported puzzles and other such toys at a cheaper rate but most importantly we are up for trading toys too. If people have old toys they can give them to us and buy new ones too,” she said. However, one visitor felt that the place was quite pricey for the items sold.

“I think it’s because they have limited supply and the buyers are of different backgrounds too. We have similar fairs all the time, rather they are bigger. The one we have at Nadil Burhani ground near Pak Colony can host more people but then it’s reserved for community only,” said Zainab Murtaza.

Written by: My Karachi on November 7, 2017

The Institute of Business Administration will set up an independent centre for entrepreneurship for the training and guidance of young men and women who plan to set up their own businesses.

The IBA board of governors has already accorded approval to the project, which would get some financial and technical support from the US government as well.

The Director IBA, Danishmand, told Dawn that the centre, which will be set up within the IBA on the KU Campus, would be governed by a separate body. “We hope to offer courses at the ‘Centre for Entrepreneurship in Pakistan’ in the second half of next year,” he added.

He said that the US had chosen the IBA for establishment of the centre and had agreed to support it under its Broader Middle East and North Africa Initiatives (BMENA).

Written by: My Karachi on November 6, 2017

Mithadar is believed to be one of the neighbourhoods of Saddar Town in Karachi city, Sindh province, Pakistan, and comprises the oldest part of Karachi that was once encircled by a wall. Mithadar and the adjacent community of Kharadar together form what is regarded as the original hub of Karachi.

Etymology of Mithadar

‘Mithadar’ generally means Sweet Gate in both Sindhi and Urdu (in reference to the potable, non-saline waters of the Lyari River).


The neighborhood is encircled by Kharadar, Jodia Bazar and Lyari Town across Embankment Road. The place also at one time was on the banks of Lyari River, until it moved course in the nineteenth century. The combined area of Mithadar and Kharadar is almost 35 square kilometers.


‘Mithadar’ literally means Sweet Gate in both Sindhi and Urdu, and was the name of one of two gates in historical Karachi – the other being “Khara Darwaza” (Brackish Gate) to the west – now known as Kharadar. Both gates were constructed in the year of 1729, and were torn down in the year of 1860 after the British conquered Sindh thirteen years earlier. Together with the adjoining community of Kharadar, it forms what is regarded as the original core of Karachi, when the city was termed as “Kalachi Jo Goath.”


The place was once the epicenter of business community of Karachi before the arrival of the British prompted businessmen to migrate straightly east and south to the areas of Saddar, Cantonment, and Bolton Markets. The area is known for its several textile markets that are located in Mithader and the adjoining communities of Kharadar and Bolton Markets.

The place was once home to a thriving Hindu business community prior to the independence of Pakistan. Up until independence, the area was a Hindu majority area – a legacy which is still depicted in major street names like Chandan Mukhi Lane, and Vishramdas Sukhramdas Street. At the eastern end of the neighborhood starts Rampart Row, where elaborate instances of 20th century Sikh and Hindu architecture can still be discovered.

By Sindhi Dunya

Written by: My Karachi on November 6, 2017

Saddar (Urdu: صدر ‎) is believed to be one of the neighborhoods of Saddar Town in the city of Karachi, Sindh, Pakistan. Saddar believed to be the central business district of the city Karachi. ‘Saddar’ simply means ‘centre’ (of the town) and also ‘head’ (of State or agency). The Empress Market in Saddar is the central shopping place of the city Karachi. Karachi’s central bus station is also situated in Sadar, thus linking it with other places of city Karachi. A huge street in Saddar is termed as Zaibunnisa Street, after the impressive author and journalist, Zaib-un-Nissa Hamidullah. This street is believed to be one of the most contemporary and bustling in the city of Karachi. Sadar is the centre of business activities in the city of Karachi and is one of the ancient parts of the city. Several beautiful instances of British Colonial architecture can be discovered here; such as the main building of Karachi Grammar School, Frere Hall and the Sindh Club. This was the centre of the city Karachi in the colonial period, and still is today.

Sadar also has the popular Karachi building known as Rainbow Centre.

There are various ethnic groups in the area of Sadar Town involving the Muhajirs, Punjabis, Sindhis, Kashmiris, Pakhtuns, Memons, Seraikis, Brahuis, Balochis, Bohras, Ismailis, etc. Over 85 percent of the population is predominantly Muslim. There are also other minorities like Christian, Parsis, Hindu, Ahmadis, and other religious sections in the place of Sadar. The population of Sadar Town is assumed to be approximately 1 million.

Primary Areas
•Preedy Quarters
•Rao Sheraz Khan
•Urdu Bazaar Area
•Ratan Talao (Partial)(Muslim Public School saddar Branch )
•Gari Khata
•Rainbow Centre
•Bohri Bazaar
•Burns Road (Partial)
•Sindh High Court Building
•Lucky Star
•Passport Office
•Aram Bagh (Partial)
•National Accountability Bureau (Investigation Wing)

By Sajid Ali

Written by: My Karachi on November 4, 2017

US and Canadian Entrepreneurs Keen to Invest in Karachi: Governor Sindh Muhammad Zubair on Thursday said that a large number of US entrepreneurs want to invest in Pakistan and they are optimistic about long-term economic and operating environment in the country.A Pakistani delegation led by Governor Sindh Muhammad Zubair visited Pakistani General Counsel in Washington. He said that foreign investors have exhibited keen interest for investments in Pakistan. The American investors are also aware that after completion of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) Pakistan would emerge as an ideal place in terms of investment, trade and economy.Yesterday, they visited the New York Stock Exchange and met with its office bearers. They discussed in detail matters pertaining to investment in Pakistan Stock Exchange.It is pertinent to mention here that the delegation is on a six-day visit to the United States. The visit is part of road shows in various countries to foster positive image of Pakistan.Besides New York, the delegation will also visit Boston and Washington DC.

Written by: My Karachi 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: My Karachi 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: My Karachi 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: My Karachi 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.