This conversation will lead you through a journey of a 19 year old boy, who didn’t pursue a degree in university, but followed his desire to acquire a unique skill.
Mentors mantra episodes began with an interesting conversation with Arzish Azam, CEO Ejad Labs, Country Manager Startup Grind Pakistan and a graduate of Founder Institute Islamabad.
He graduated as youngest from Founder Institute and continues his success story by acquiring skills in demand and combined them with his passion to build communities and serve people. The combination opened doors and opportunities for him that perhaps he himself did not anticipate.
The CEO Ejad labs acknowledge the difference a good mentor, in his case Mr. Sayyed Ahmed Masood, can make in grooming and guiding talent. He emphasises the importance of living in an eco-system and building each other up.
What is an eco-system?
At the outset an eco-system is an environment which provides appropriate tools for developing an idea. Ejad labs is one such platform, made with intention of providing a forum to all those who generate income digitally and are part of the innovation economy. Pakistan has a great potential for innovative talent and we seek to provide them an umbrella to be part of a larger eco-system. The idea is to connect skilled and driven people with the required market and resources. This in turn is expected to convert into a Start-up.
The positive side of Pakistan’s eco-system is that despite covid a lot of investment has been made in this past year which boosts the idea of the potential in the market.
Risks and Sacrifices involved in enterprises?
Arzish very aptly discusses the risks and sacrifices involved in running enterprises. He highlights a few major ones:
- Financial: the financial element of any business is a risk such that, unlike a job where a pay check is received every month irrespective of amount, a business produces irregular returns. And if one doesn’t keep innovating and stays in demand, the business runs the chance of fizzling out.
- Work-personal life balance: business owners often sacrifice a work life balance. It is often a choice between growing a business and enjoying a leisure life. In its infant stages the business if not prioritised often fails. Though again it depends on one’s aspiration.
Motivation ingredient in the sauce of success!
Motivation plays a key role in keeping on track once a project is launched. Start-up grind was launched in Pakistan twice prior to Arzish launching it. However, it had faded away both times. When Arzish began work on it a motivated team and a focused team leader became the beacon of the project.
Working with motivated and driven team members enables you to materialize the goals. Arzish has experienced that this motivation or spark can only be identified by working with diverse people from this eco-system. Formal interviews and CV may give you individuals but whether they will be effective team members can only be seen through working together. Hence, living in a community set up in important for anyone wanting to create an enterprise.
Furthermore, a motivated person, despite young age, might have some idea that can add value even to a billion dollar organisation. Thus, one should never feel that lack of experience is a set-back. He gives examples from his own experience that they were helped by their motivated attitude, innovative ideas and the faith and efforts of their mentors.
Building customer community:
Arzish guides his listeners that they must access who their customer is as this helps target them accordingly. Ejad Labs helps connect industry related people with each other. In Pakistan where social media networks are active, Facebook and WhatsApp offer great help. Although LinkedIn connects you to industry professionals, Facebook can help you connect to customers or small based business. The reach is much greater to make connection on this platform. Whichever group is connected, the purpose should be to provide value to customer.
Rapid Active Learning in IT industry:
It is an ever evolving industry and Arzish believes in must study the changing trends and create or change products according to demand. If growth doesn’t match the market need, then it will get outdated fast. Especially as Covid has changed many things, adapting to the new norm is important to keep afloat. Mr Sayyed Masood adds that following industry influencers is a good way to follow new trends.
Three challenges for community building:
Community building presents its own challenges even though the purpose is to connect them.
- Competition: it becomes difficult when competition is not healthy. More than a national progression and projection of the country, when an unhealthy environment surfaces, building a community becomes difficult. Where credit is due it ought to be given.
- Lack of maturity in the eco-system: when the system is not active, then bringing more talent towards it becomes a challenge. In recent years, however, this has seen remarkable progression through NIC.
- New talent hesitates to seek help: since our eco-system is still younger than many other developed economies, we have yet to overcome the hesitation to seek help. Asking for assistance or guidance helps you connect with more people.
To conclude from this aspiring interview, we must extend a hand towards each other and form a healthy eco-system to build each other up. We are here to help you so follow us at Startup.pk. You can watch the full interview here on Facebook or on YouTube.