Category Archives: Events

JumpStart Celebrates International Women’s Day


International Women’s Day is a global celebration to recognize achievements made by women around the World and to support global actions needed to accelerate gender parity.

With the objective to create a more gender inclusive world, Jumpstart Pakistan has always facilitated Women Entrepreneurs in becoming responsive and responsible leaders.

On 8th March, 2017 through a meaningful celebration & targeted bold action JumpStart Pakistan celebrated International Women’s Day at DotZero Karachi. This gathering was well attended by Women Entrepreneurs. Among the invited speakers were professional women including successful women entrepreneurs who have created a mark in their respective industry and also women who are holding senior posts in various organizations and among the government.

The session started with President of JumpStart Karachi chapter, Eram Abbasi, introducing to the women the aims and objectives of JumpStart, how it is stimulating and supporting the startup ecosystem in Pakistan and how it is organizing various events in different cities across Pakistan.

Ms. Naheed Memon, who is serving as Chairperson at the Sind Board of Investment was invited as guest of honor. She is a role model for being a successful professional woman. She was the CEO of a public policy think tank in Pakistan, and headed it’s research and advocacy function. She is also a Director in her family owned group of companies based in Karachi; the core business unit, Kings Apparel is one of the country’s largest knitwear manufacturers. In London, Naheed worked for Bank of America Merrill Lynch for a number of years. She was the Founder CEO of a management consultancy firm in London which serviced clients including PwC and foreign missions.

Ms Ayesha Fahad and Ms Sadaf Fatima both very prominent entrepreneurs who are successfully running their business were invited to share their success stories. Both the stories were an eye opener for the participants. The journey included success and failure phases, the support that they received by the society and people around them and many such interesting turning points specially how these ladies are managing their business along with family and kids.

Ms Ayesha Fahad, owner of Ashlamour and D2R brands narrated her journey from university days, where she initially was exposed to the concept of entrepreneurship and how she developed her interest to start her own business through participation in business plan competitions and exposure to organizations such as SMEDA (Small and Medium Enterprise Development Authority) and initiatives like Shell Tameer. She took her first risk by starting a handbag business by the name Ashlamour. She herself used to design high end ethnic bags and get it made at low cost, using labor that worked remotely.  At this stage she used to sell her product through various outlets. Later on she got married and due to the constant support by her husband and inlaws she continued her journey. Recently she has launched her second venture by the name D2R (Dream to Reality). This is all about Planners that are diaries with very ethnic and well thought out designs for women to plan their dreams ahead.

Mrs Sadaf Fatima, an engineer by education and an engineering consultant by profession was the next speaker to share her success story. Sadaf is running her engineering consulting firm with the name of M/S Sadaf Fatima. She narrated her story how, after graduation, she worked with a construction firm for a while which she couldn’t continue after her marriage. Due to her home responsibilities she started her home based consultation work. At this stage her former colleagues and university professors supported her in many ways including getting projects. She single handedly not only managed her initial projects but at the same time managed her house responsibilities alongside. She eventually rented a home nearby, dedicated top floor for office work, and gradually hired a team to deal with various projects by fulfilling all the job roles needed for success.

The major commonality among both entrepreneurs was that their families, including husbands, supported them well and their major motivation was the drive to be successful and respectable members of the society.

The participants showed great interest in the talks by the speakers. At the end of the session an open discussion was held where many recommendations were put forward to promote women entrepreneurs and help women play a vital role in the economy.


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Sindh Education Foundation Launches Next Phase of Education Improvement


Press Release

Karachi, Sindh, June 30, 2016 – Sindh Education Foundation (SEF), Govt. of Sindh officially launched a program here on June 30, 2016 to establish middle and high schools in the province in a bid with an overall objective to gradually to bridge the upsettingly huge gap between primary and post-primary education in the province.

Under the banner of the SEF Middle and High School (SMHS) Program, with the support of Sindh Government’s Education & Literacy Department, the Foundation has finalized selection of approximately 60 School Operators for establishment of around 125 Middle/High schools in Sindh. These schools are planned to be set up in areas where there are no post-primary schools.

With financial and technical support extended to these post-primary schools, SEF would accomplish enrollment of 30,000 students in Phase I, making a small breakthrough. The overall target assigned to the Foundation under this program is to reach out to estimated 200,000 students in the coming 05 years.

SEF, which is a semi-autonomous body working under a Board of Governors headed by the Chief Minister Sindh and with Senior Minister for Education and Literacy Department as its vice chairman, would provide financial and technical support for establishment and management of middle and high schools.

According to the SEMIS Data of the year 2014-15, 90% of the public schools in the province are primary, leaving perturbing 10% of all three types of schools combined, i.e. Middle/Elementary, Secondary and Higher Secondary. According to the data, 42,342 schools are primary, 2,336 are middle/elementary, 1,752 are secondary and only 294 are higher secondary. One of the reasons behind the huge dropout ratio to post-primary education in the province, as evident from the numbers mentioned above, is lack of primary schools.

Addressing the gathering, SEF Managing Director, Naheed S. Durrani said, “We want to change the perspective and approach towards education in the province. We want to support establishment of schools that can empower the students.”

“It’s time we provide students with the quality schooling which is aligned with modern methods of teaching and learning supplemented by ICT,” she added.

The session was attended by two members of the SEF BoG, who have recently joined the board namely Mr. Nazir A. Tunio and Mr. Husnain Qamar Shah. Both the members are presently involved in multifaceted activities relating to education in Sindh.

Operators have been selected after a comprehensive, transparent, and merit-based process from scrutiny of applications and to selection of successful operators. This involved an exhaustive to physical verification of proposed sites and, finally, selection of applicants – the entire process lasted for six months, from January to June 2016. The selected operators were oriented on the philosophy of the program, quality-check mechanisms and legal bindings of the contract being made under the program.

Redifining Retail In The Digital Era

1Press Release: Launch of QnE, the most convenient online grocery shopping portal

Karachi, October 3, 2015 – The event exclusively marked the launch of QnE, shared the vision behind its business and demonstrated how it can reshape the e-commerce industry in Pakistan. The event took place at 3.00 pm on Saturday, 3rd October 2015 in Pearl Continental, Karachi.

This event hosted QnE’s valued business partners, bloggers and media persons and provided them an opportunity to understand how QnE aims to simplify consumers’ lives and deliver the best customer experience in the industry.
Mr. Ebrahim Qassim, CEO of Premier Group gave the keynote speech at the beginning of the session, followed by an introductory presentation from Mr. Osama Qassim, CEO of QnE. Mr. Osama Qassim discussed the existing problems people face while purchasing grocery. He asserted that QnE strives to provide a quick and hassle-free solution to customers. He also remarked that the vision of QnE is to play a role in expanding the online community of Pakistan by becoming the nation’s favorite ecommerce platform.

The event also included addresses from guest speakers. Mr. Abrar Hassan, CEO of National Foods Limited discussed “Changing consumption habits and rise of digital media”. He strongly felt people are getting busier day by day. According to him effective use of technology helps in managing different tasks easily. He felt grocery is a time taking, tedious and a boring task and said if there is someone who is willing to do this task, its best is to use their service.

3Dr. Zeelaf, CEO and MD of English Biscuit Manufacturer, believes the generation of today is born in the digital era, is busy and lazy and has started to use the easy way of relying on technology for food and grocery deliveries. The future of e-commerce and tech startups is bright as we are living in the time when most of our work is done through technology.

About QnE

QnE is a customer oriented e-commerce platform that aims to take care of shopping needs in a SMART way; making life easier for all customers.

QnE is Pakistan’s premier online grocery store with services initially in Karachi. The company’s aim is to enhance the online community by becoming the nation’s favorite e-commerce platform through its very own SMART fundamentals.

4The unique SMART fundamentals of QnE are:

  • Synergy through innovation
  • Matchless Customer Service
  • Accountable to the core
  • Revitalizing shopping through technology
  • Teamwork with enthusiasm and family spirit

QnE is a subsidiary of Premier Group of Companies.


Premier group, incorporated in 1971 has diversified investments in various industries, i.e. pharmaceutical, textile, FMCG, distribution and e-commerce.


Lamudi Hosts Blogger Meetup

IMG_9522KARACHI, 20 AUGUST, 2015: ( organized a bloggers meetup in Karachi on 20th August, 2015 at Neco’s Cafe. It was a general meet and greet session of the bloggers with Lamudi’s Country Director, Saad Arshed.

The main aim of the event was to brief the bloggers about Lamudi’s phenomenal success over its two years of operations in Pakistan and introduce them to its Google inspired work culture. Saad gave a presentation to the bloggers about Lamudi’s achievements and its happy productive work environment.

The accomplishments included Lamudi’s launch of Android and iOS apps in June 2014, which have been downloaded over 535,000 times since. Other milestones achieved, included its launch of a property magazine, conducting real estate empowerment programs and lastly the launch of its new developments section on the website.

Saad also shed light on Lamudi’s employee-centric work culture, which according to him is the ingredient behind Lamudi’s growth and makes it different from more traditional work places. Lamudi has a flat management structure, where all employees from the CEO to the sales, marketing, finance, human resources and customer services departments sit together in an open-plan office.

IMG_9525Other perks of working at Lamudi include being entitled to unlimited snacks, access to TV while working, monthly entertainment dinners and lots more.

This presentation was followed by a networking session where bloggers could ask Saad anything about the property portal, its journey from a startup to a full grown business and the future of tech industry in Pakistan. The hashtag for the meet up was #asklamudi.

It ended with a scrumptious a la carte dinner and a photo session of the bloggers with the Lamudi team. Overall, it was a fun-filled evening and was thoroughly enjoyed by the bloggers and Lamudi team alike.

OPEN eCON 2014

OPEN Karachi held its 3rd Annual Conference on 20th December at CBM. The topic of the conference was “Economic Sustainability through Entrepreneurship” and was attended en mass by both students and industry professionals. Chairman TDAP, S.M. Munir, was chief guest of the conference who shared moving views on progress and development of Pakistan’s exports. President OPEN Karachi, Dr. Zakiuddin, spoke about OPEN platform and its performance in Pakistan with glimpses to upcoming chapters and events planned. Other speakers from the inaugration ceremony include Ronald Jonash from Hult Business School, Brian Heath from U.S Consulate Karachi, British Deputy High Commisioner to Pakistan Mr. John Anthony Tucknott, Co-founder of Online Healthcare Group Mr. Handre Dreyer, Amy Scerra from Think Global andMariam Ahmed and Eram Abbasi from OPEN. Several announcements including new collaborations and ventures were main focus of the ceremony. Notable industry people including President P@SHA Jehan Ara, CEO SoloTech Farhan Masood and Founder KITE Afaque Ahmed attended the event which was followed by student final year projects display and conference sessions on academia role in entrepreneurship, social entrepreneurship, women entrepreneurship and technopreneurship.

Jeffrey Archer in Karachi

Jeffrey Archer talking to his fans at Liberty Books in Karachi via Skype

Jeffrey Archer talking to his fans at Liberty Books in Karachi via Skype

I was pleasantly surprised when I saw an update on Facebook. It said a Skype session has been arranged with Jeffrey Archer at Liberty Books BBQ Tonight branch and it is a great chance for his fans to talk to him directly. Soon I saw event page being shared on out The Readers Avenue group and decided to attend the session. Despite the fact that I was tired from office, air conditioner wasn’t functional and needed to be fixed and I was still in the middle of downloading the newly released Watch Dogs game, I managed to take out time and reached the venue on time.

One of the best decisions I ever made.

The session was lightly attended, the dreadful traffic probably kept a lot of people away and that took away some of the charm of the event. I met Afrah and marketing team of Liberty Books, a pleasant meeting since we have made acquaintance over the past few months and it felt nice to catch up. Jeffrey was online right at the time and I easily got front row seat for the session. Jamal moderated the session and after a short introduction he asked Jeffrey to talk about his writing experience.

Jeffrey was animated. He spoke clearly about his experience as a writer and how his life events and knowledge provided the necessary information for his novels. The audience, although not many, asked him varying questions from his ability to write for multiple genres to dealing with Writers Block. He answered all openly and often humorously, leading us to fits of laughter when he declared he his God gifted and doesn’t suffer from Writers Block and would write forever till he dies. Since most of the questions were general in nature, Jeffrey didn’t go into unnecessary details about his writing. He talked about how he is closer to his first novel ‘Not a Penny more, not a Penny less’ than his other novels since that was the first and how he loves to write, particularly since he is a best seller. In fact, since he has been best seller so many times is the reason he still goes on writing.

Also, he doesn’t type but write by hand. His recent book has gone through 9 drafts and all of them are handwritten. It’s an old habit that is still a part of him and can’t switch to typing so easily. His past experience as a politician has had a great impact on his writing. Since politics is what he understands best, his novels also surround such themes and he is particularly fond of his current series Clifton Chronicles. His advise to all budding writers is to write what they feel comfortable about and have knowledge. For example Jeffrey said he has no idea about Pakistan, so if he writes a story based on Pakistan it will be a bad story since he has no knowledge of the country. There will be those who tell you there is nothing in you to pass on through your stories so why write, but don’t give up and continue to write.

Jeffrey had plenty to offer in terms of advise to the new writers for both reading and writing. The session ended after 20 minutes of conversation where Jamal did his best to successfully maintain the flow of communication between Jeffrey and his fans. After a polite good bye, all participants were upbeat and are excited about participating more in future of event of such nature. And hopefully there will be a bigger crowd the next time such an event would take place.

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First Annual Dinner by OPEN Karachi

OPEN Karachi held its first Annual Dinner at Creek Club on 2nd May and invited people from various walks of life to interact and connect with each other. The session was interesting to attend as I met various people, from teachers to entrepreneurs of all ages and it was a small but energetic gathering.  Continue reading