The Center of Entrepreneurship and Innovation Development (CEID) at DSU, in collaboration with Commonwealth Business Women Network, organized: Boss Women – a Commonwealth Certified Entrepreneurship Training for women entrepreneurs. Other collaborating partners for the training were PINE global and INJAZ Pakistan.
Female entrepreneurs from all over Karachi participated in this training to learn the tools necessary to establish their business and pursue their dream of becoming a successful startup owner.
During the event, participants shared their business plans and got feedback for mobilizing their business. Director CEID; Eram Abbasi guided participants on how to build their business model, developing customer relationships and identifying the resources necessary for their startups. Erum Masood, CEO PINE Global with enriched the participants with marketing tools & techniques. Ms.Saba Haider, from Injaz Pakistan discussed the financial aspects of businesses.
Among the DSU participants, Asma Abdul Latif an undergraduate student who runs an online food and craft business, shared her startup journey. Her work was not only praised and appreciated by the audience but the chief guest at the event, Dr. Farhan Essa, CEO Essa Labs, applauding her work, presented her with a seed money to further grow her business to new heights.
Ayesha Zaheer, CEO INJAZ Pakistan, Fatima Ali, CEO Sew Sole, and Adnan Faisal, CEO FHM embraced the event as guest speakers and enlightened the participants with their experience. The esteemed guests appreciated the efforts of DHA Suffa University, stating that their efforts to promote entrepreneurship is a valiant effort.
The Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation Development (CEID) at DSU has been proving virtual incubation and mentoring services to DSU community as well as budding entrepreneurs outside DSU. “Entrepreneur’s Den” (ED) is one such startup that has been groomed/mentored under CEID.
“Entrepreneur’s Den” (ED) is headed by Mr. Asad Ayaz Ansari, an energetic and passionate youth of our society. ED is purely a youth led non-profitable & non-political association providing a platform for Entrepreneurial development within our society at large. ED is on a mission to create a learning environment for aspiring entrepreneurs by bringing in experiences of successful entrepreneurs. Hence, ED aims to create a pool of leaders who can support the economic system of the country by their unfailing determination to learn.
ED has recently achieved a milestone and has collaborated with Rotary Club Karachi for promoting Entrepreneurial services for the youth and formed “The Rotary Club of Karachi Entrepreneurs” (RCKE). RCKE is an extended club under the Rotary Club of Karachi that is affiliated with Rotary International. The organization aims to bring together business and professional leaders to provide humanitarian service and to advance goodwill and peace around the world. It is a non-political and non-religious organization open to all.
As the journey of a startup is never smooth. Despite seeing many ups & downs Mr. Asad remained consistent and under the umbrella of “Entrepreneur’s Den” have successfully organized many Entrepreneurial activates within their one year journey. Moving ahead Entrepreneurs Den, recently achieved a milestone and has collaborated with Rotary Club Karachi for promoting Entrepreneurial services for the youth and formed “The Rotary Club of Karachi Entrepreneurs” (RCKE). RCKE is an extended club under the Rotary Club of Karachi that is affiliated with Rotary International. The organization aims to bring together business and professional leaders to provide humanitarian service and to advance goodwill and peace around the world. It is a non-political and non-religious organization open to all.
To celebrate this milestone DSU-CEID celebrated their “Charter Installation Ceremony” on 13th October, 2020. The ceremony was attended by leading business tycoons like: Hamza Tabani (CEO Tabani Group), Abdullah Akhtar (Chairman, Schole International Academy), Prof Dr. Farhan Essa (CEO, Essa Laboratory and Diagnostic Centres), Mirza Ishtiaq Baig (Vice President, Baig Grop), and Ambassador Jamil Ahmad (Former Ambassador UAE), Junaid Naqi (Vice President, KATI), Syed Turab Shah (Chairman, AZB Global Trade) who inspired and imparted their wisdom to young minds through enlightened discussions. The ceremony was covered by Radio Pakistan, Karachi, and Daily Ausaf.
The esteemed panelists discussed the challenges that a young entrepreneur face when they want to make their way in the business world and what are the necessary measures that they should take to overcome those obstacles.
Mirza Ishtiaq Baig emphasized that how important it is to have a specialized team when you want to start your venture. He said, “Most ventures fail as they lack team development. You cannot hire an unprofessional in your team, even though he’s your relative.”
Abdullah Akhtar was asked whether a person is an inborn entrepreneur, to which he replied,” You learn with time and though it’s something that a person has in itself, you cannot discourage anyone who wants to start their venture.”
Prof Dr. Farhan Essa advised the youth to take an active part in community service and make sure you spread happiness where ever you get a chance. Sharing his involvement in this direction he mentioned that, “We run an organization with the name ‘Make a wish’, the prime objective of this organization is to fulfill the wishes of children having terminal diseases. We recently organized a meet up of Engin Altan Guzyatan with two children who are fighting with cancer. I’ll like to encourage youngsters to be a part of such activities.”
The role of female entrepreneurs became a hot part of the discussion on how they have changed the corporate world, and now making mark in the entrepreneurial ecosystem. The country needs their input and hard work to lift the status of the country across the globe.
The panel appreciated CEID and it’s hard work to change the core of studies from a conventional way to an entrepreneurial mindset where engineering and management students are jointly engaged in developing entrepreneurial projects that further turned into successful business.
The recent plan of setting an Incubation Center in the vicinity of DSU was applauded by the guests where students would be allowed to use the services free of cost so that they can settle their business with ease.
Along with this, the Rotary Club of Karachi Entrepreneurs under Rotary International held their oath-taking ceremony, where young enterprisers solemnly swear to work for the betterment of the entrepreneur’s sector in Karachi and Pakistan.
A journey that started with a single step is now taking leaps and bounds on a path to success. We wish Mr. Asad Ayaz Ansari success in his future endeavors.
Center of Entrepreneurship and Innovation Development at DSU joined hand as an academic partner with Built by Her, a 48-hour long online hackathon that focuses on empowering young women between the ages of 18 and 35 in building solutions for 12 developmental challenges that fall under the Asia Foundation’s key themes, offering prize money of 1.65 million.
The event was conducted in collaboration with the Asia Foundation and the US Department of State. Director CEID, Miss. Eram Abbasi was also invited as a judge and tech mentor for the event.
The event commenced on 23.Oct to 25.Oct where different teams across Pakistan participated to showcase their talent. Multiple teams from DHA Suffa also participated in the event and displayed their skills. The event focused on expanding economic opportunities for women by Increasing female economic participation through Innovation and digitizing tourism and culture. The agenda that this year’s event took in hand was Technology and Development through Innovating access to quality healthcare technology and enabling access to education.
Due to COVID-19, the event was scheduled online focusing on Improving Institutional performance in tackling COVID19 through Data and the Internet as a tool for civil society and government partnerships in relief efforts. It also enlighted the need for technology for Improving disaster management and planning.
At the end of the event, 20 teams were shortlisted from which 2 teams were selected as winners. On 5.Nov,2020 team Elletech and team Barricade were declared winners of the competition.
To foster entrepreneurial culture in the university, on 14th February, 2020 DHA Suffa University entered into an international collaboration with Bir Ventures USA Ltd. (IdeaGist). IdeaGist is a virtual incubation platform for people of every walk of life but with especial focus for the students. This platform trains them and connects them with innovators, entrepreneurs, investors and students globally to help them launch their dream business. It is an online community of students, alumni, researchers and industry to work together towards a better future by developing innovation-driven enterprises.
The MOU was signed by Brig. Muhammad Rafiq Ahmed (Registrar) representing DHA Suffa University, in the presence of Mr. Muhammad Afzal Haque (Vice. Chancellor), Engr. Dr. Johar Khurshid (Dean) and Ms. Eram Abbasi (Director Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation Development – CEID). Mr. Hassan Syed the CEO of IdeaGist himself was present to sign the MOU.
This main purpose of this collaboration is to support the Prime Minister’s Startup Pakistan program by establishing strategic partnerships with the university and to offer virtual incubation to their students and alumni by offering entrepreneurship as a carrier choice. So, the idea is to work together under the initiative by starting, mentoring and supporting ‘business incubation programs’ and provide access to investment and funding for innovative new products developed by aspiring entrepreneurs especially by DSU faculty and students.
Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation Development (CEID) recently organized the first stage of Startup Gathering Program ‘Startup Baithak’ exclusively for Alumni who are interested in mentorship for their business ideas or in need for strategic opinions for their running startup. Mr. Shabbir Halai, a Pakistani American Engineer running his business in USA for long and having widespread experience of working in the Microelectronics industry in USA and Canada, was the lead mentor for that session.
During the session he shared his valuable experience with the young entrepreneurs and discussed the modern insights of entrepreneurial practices throughout the globe. Mr. Halai had a very detailed and interactive sessions with all the startups where he not only discussed and addressed the problems related to each startup’s operations but also provided one-to-one mentoring and feedback to all the startups for further advancement and sustainability of their startups in the long run.
The purpose of initiating such sessions is to provide practical knowledge, realistic insight and entrepreneurial support for our alumni so that they can excel themselves and their startups to a much efficient level to remain sustainable.
It was a very interactive session and well-received by alumni as well as DSU faculty & management. Members from various Startups were present to attend that session and were well satisfied and benefited a lot with the valuable guidance and tips being offered by Mr. Halai.
Year 2020 had taken a terrific start at DHA Suffa University, as the Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation Development (CEID) along with the Entrepreneurship Society (ES) organized the most awaited “Hult Prize; OnCampus” Competition on 6th January, 2020.
Hult Prize is one of the world’s most acclaimed entrepreneurship programs operating on more than 1500 university campuses in 121 countries and has become a benchmark startup challenge for social entrepreneurship. Being part of this global initiative, DHA Suffa University is organized the “Hult Prize; OnCampus” competition to train, educate and inspire students by building an impact community. Through this Hult Prize competition the youth were challenged to solve the world’s issues and make life better for millions of people. This competition enabled students to solve critical social problems, launch disruptive social enterprises that are impact centered, and market driven. The Hult Prize competition transforms how young people envision their own possibilities as leaders of change in the world around them. The Hult Prize theme for the year 2020 is “Building Startups That Have a Positive Impact on Our Planet with Every Dollar Earned”
The organizing team was led by Ms. Eram Abbasi (Director CEID) and Mr. Muneeb Ahmed (Campus Director for DSU Hult Prize; OnCampus program). Muneeb is a student enrolled in the BBA Program at DSU and was selected as Campus Director for “DSU Hult Prize; OnCampus program” by the Hult Prize, Pakistan team. His efforts were instrumental in organizing this challenge at DSU. Mr. Muneeb gathered a team of very enthusiastic students from various departments at DSU who collectively put together a highly acclaimed competition. Every member of the team realizing their responsibility, did take care of every detail to make this competition a success. Details of the team members are available at http://www.hultprizeat.com/dhasuffa
To evaluate the ideas presented by the student teams, high profile panel of judges were invited from the industry. Among the panel of judges were Dr. Muhammad Imran Yousuf – Founder Transformation International, MD Jofa Group (Movenpick), Consul General a,h.Philippines; Mr. Azeem Pirani – Deputy Chief Executive Officer at Pak-Qatar General Takaful Limited, Country Head BancaTakaful & Alternate Distribution Channels (ADC) Pak-Qatar Family Takaful Limited; Mr. Faizan Laghari – CEO rnnr, Serial Entrepreneur; Mr. Syed Abdul Basit – CEO VISIONi, Director Founder Institute Karachi, Mr. Abdullah Akhtar – Owner/CEO Schole International Academy, Board Member Pak UK Business Council, Executive Committee member Italian Development Committee; Mr. Kh. Tanveer Saleem – CIO at UEP (ex British Petroleum), exCIO Engro gp & exCIO Unilevers.
Students at DSU took keen interest in the competition. 27 teams from various departments registered to participate in the competition. All the teams were frenzied to pitch their ground breaking ideas and determined to win the Hult Prize OnCampus Competition to be able to reach regional finals and further continuing their journey towards the global finals.
The winning team of this competition was “Team Marauders” was a mix team comprising of students from the Electrical Engineering and Management Science Department. They presented an idea that addressed the energy shortage problem by proposing energy management for home users. The solution if implemented would not only help in conserving energy but would also help the households reduce their electricity bills. The solution also helped in reducing carbon emission making the air healthier to breath.
The first runner up team called themselves as “Reformers”. This was again a mix team comprising of students from the Mechanical Engineering and Management Science Department. The problem that they addressed was related to the plastic waste in the oceans affecting marine life and appearance of sea shores. The solution presented was an army of autonomous amphibian robots which can collect the waste from the sea and dump it in designated area on shore all by itself. The second runner-up team calling themselves as “Team Relentless” presented a solution to save electric consumption by using tubular solar devices.
A key note was delivered by the guest of honor, Dr. Farhan Essa Abdullah – CEO of Dr Essa Laboratory & Diagnostic Centers, Managing Director at Dr Essa Physiotherapy & Rehabilitation Centers, Pharmacy & Vaccination Centers, Dental Services & Institute of Health Sciences. He is also President at OPEN Karachi, Vice President, Pakistan Medical Association, Karachi and Chairman, Sind Consumer Association of Pakistan. Dr. Farhan presented the Hult Prize souvenir to the winning teams and the esteemed judges.
The event ended with a vote of thanks delivered by the Dean at DHA Suffa University, Dr. Johar K. Farooqi. He congratulated the winning teams and all the teams who participated in this competition. He also valued the time and efforts put in by the judges in meticulously evaluating all the teams. The key note delivered by the guest of honor was acclaimed with high regards. Last but not the least the efforts of the organizing teams was highly appreciated.
The event ended with a high energy and good wishes for the winning team to move ahead for competing in the Hult Prize Regionals and making way to the Finals.
On 6th January 2020, Prof. Dr. Farhan Essa Abdullah CEO, Dr. Essa Laboratory and Diagnostic Centers and President OPEN Karachi visited DHA Suffa University. He gave token of appreciation to Prof. Dr. Muhammad Afzal Haque Vice Chancellor, DSU
Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation Development (CEID) organized a workshop in collaboration with Daraz for students, faculty & Staff members who aspire to learn about online business. The workshop was held on Monday, 23rd December 2019. The core purpose for organizing this session was to encourage students to become business owners using e-platforms like Daraz. The workshop facilitated students in fostering entrepreneurial methodology and broaden their mindset so that they can become job givers instead of job seekers and be the risk takers, to develop enough courage and confidence within, that inspires them to start their own businesses.
Daraz’s Acquisition and Exports team members joined in for the session as speakers and trainers. Mr. Aurangzaib Alamgir was the lead speaker accompanied by Mr. Ali Salman Abdi. Upon commencement of the workshop, the speaker discussed in detail about the exposure of E-Commerce business models and emergence of new entrepreneurial opportunities growing in Pakistan especially when it comes to e-commerce. The modern trends of e-commerce and benefits of a digital platform was laid emphasis on. The speaker also shared his personal experiences and valuable journey of Daraz and highlighted how it has impacted the life of people all around with some real examples. He showed that e-platforms like Daraz now acts as a prime beacon of support and hope for people from all walks of life; especially women and teenagers, who want to start something new on their own, with affordable risk and manageable capital investment.
The trainers also provided technical knowledge and guided the audience on how to open an account on Daraz as a supplier. They discussed the opportunities that a supplier possess and shared many valuable tips to enhance your rating and improve profitability at a much faster pace.
This sessions was attended by many students across all departments of DHA Suffa University. There were also many staff members present to attend the workshop as well. It was an interactive sessions and well-liked by audience. The session was concluded with and extensive Q&A session, and a token of appreciation was presented to the speakers and trainers by Director CEID, Ms. Eram Abbasi. At the end of workshop, students were very interested to discuss their ideas and queries further with the trainers.
Mr. Ahmed Ayub, is a graduate of Bradford University School of Management and has over 20 years of experience in General Management, Cost and Profitability Management, Software Project Management and Software Development.
He is also the co-founder of Airlift technologies, founded in March 2019, building Pakistan’s largest public transportation network. It was first launched in Lahore and then Karachi. Its mission is to solve the daily transportation problem of the masses and provide a safe, reliable and affordable solution to the public.
In the session organized by DSU Entrepreneur Society, he highlighted 10 vital aspects that should be well focused by an entrepreneur in order to transform a preliminary startup into one remarkable success story.
1. Believe In Yourself.
Moving from a well-paid job to starting your own business from the scratch is certainly not a piece of cake, the foremost resistance and disapproval comes from family, but believing in your idea and that you can do it can surely do wonders. Ahmed Ayub’s journey of Airlift is one such example.
2. Action Orientated.
Ideas and planning shouldn’t be confined only to the notepad, it should be executed and the person should be bias to action. Unique idea is not the only focal point of any business but its implementation. At Airlift, personnel are encouraged to make decisions and take action promptly so that problems are solved instantly.
3. Defend Your Ideas.
If people disparage your idea, defend it through logical arguments, but listen to the feedback as if you’re wrong and needs improvement.
4. Check Impact.
Business’s only goal shouldn’t be to make money but also to influence the lives of people positively. Airlift has been successful in solving the pain of daily commuting of the public, it has changed the way people move; shifting away from private vehicles towards shared mobility and mass transport.
5. Improve Every Single Day.
Even though at the first day of launch Airlift, their driver app wasn’t working but they were not discouraged. Consistency of service was the motive. Despite every day challenges they chose not to suspend their service even for a day. Airlift is working continuously to make a top notch app with all security checks.
6. Believe In Divine Power.
7. Give Value To Customer Feedback.
Customer feedback helps to improve customer retention. Airlift’s direct competitor SWVL is also operating in the same market with the same service just as Airlift, therefore, if customers would be displeased with the service of Airlift, they can conveniently switch to SWVL transport service.
Therefore, giving value to customers is an important task. Ahmed Ayub along with his team mates gathered the responses of people who used their service and they also did direct marketing, distributing pamphlets personally door to door to people in order to create awareness of Airlift.
8. Focus On Character Building.
In an era, where falsehood, corruption, cheating and deceiving has become the norm of businesses, entrepreneurs by all means should protect themselves from these ills of the society in order to succeed in long run.
9. Team Work.
An individual can never built an empire all by himself, but a team of well skilled people certainly can. Teamwork is the key to a long term accomplishment of goals.
10. Positive Thinking.
The power of positive thinking can’t be denied. Only positive thinking helps one to remain steadfast and committed to the goals despite the impediments and failures.
He also revealed that the startup was confronted with a lot of challenges. Specifically, government resistance and intervention at all stages of execution of their transport service, driver application failure, hack attacks and inadequate budget at the beginning but these issues were tackled gradually owing to team’s persistent efforts.
The turning point for Airlift came when it was highlighted in international news from where they began to receive offers from angel investors who found the idea of Airlift a promising one. This young startup has already raised venture financing worth $2.1 million from angel investors from New York, San Francisco, Singapore, Dubai, Karachi and Lahore and due to the investment they have been able to expand their route network on daily basis therefore, they have been able to cater thousands of rides per day.
Ahmed Ayub, concluded the session by stating that for the time being, Airlift is just a platform and has to go a long way to triumph in local as well as global markets. Their main goal is to expand their services all around Pakistan and then internationally. They believe that SWVL’s presence in the market is not a threat for them but a healthy competition which helps them in upgrading and revamping Airlift. He laid emphasis on the fact that the sole purpose of human existence is not just to gain and achieve monetary success but to do something so exceptional that it impacts the lives of people such as elevating their lifestyle, precisely, what Airlift is aiming. It’s a fast, reliable daily commute for the public which is not only easily accessible but also affordable.