2018 has been a very good year for Pakistan. We witnessed so much progress and with Naya Pakistan, we hope for beautiful days ahead. As we move into an amazing new year, here is how some of the young entrepreneurs of Pakistan look back at some of the challenges they overcame in 2018.
Saad Hamid, CEO of DEMO
One of the biggest challenges for me in 2018 was to not burn myself out – I realized this because I burned myself out multiple times. That’s one of the things entrepreneurs and innovators do – they don’t consider that their family life or business is affected. The solution I have come up with is that I give time to family and actively try not to burn out. Considering that we live in a digital world, we at DEMO are also working on starting a digital wellbeing master class to help people maintain their wellbeing in a digital world.
Maryam Arshad, CEO Impact Dynamics
This year I started owning my accomplishments, which I would happily shrug under the carpet before this. It is so important to own what we have done as that can allow us to shift the way we do things: bigger and better.
Ali Khan Swati, Co-Founder Awaami
The biggest challenge for me was defining success. Around 46% of small business leaders don’t know if their digital marketing strategies are working. This means that the majority of small businesses are spending their marketing budget on strategies they aren’t certain are working. How I solved this challenge? There were two keys: Took time to determine my goals, and identify the key performance indicators (KPIs) that drove me towards that goal. For example, if I wanted to generate more leads in 2018 for one of our biggest clients, we set a goal, then found a way to measure things like inbound traffic, new potential leads, qualified leads, conversion rates, etc. For me, taking time to do the hard work of setting goals and KPIs before you get in the day-to-day grind of managing your digital marketing campaigns is essential for defining success.
Maria Umar, Founder Women’s Digital League
I was dead scared of the fashion industry and I went ahead and pulled off a fashion runway!
Fajer Rabia Pasha, Executive Director Pakistan Alliance for Girls Education
The biggest challenge I overcame in 2018 was to ensure sustainability of PAGE through smart strategic planning around engagement of key stakeholders, finance, systems and visibility.
Arzish Azam, Chapter Director Startup Grind Islamabad, Manager Google Business Group Lahore
The biggest challenge in any entrepreneurial ecosystem is that people don’t like collaborating and work in silos whereas it is pivotal to build a collaborative startup ecosystem to achieve big results. The biggest challenge we overcame was to bring together the biggest ecosystem players from Lahore on the same page.
Ibraheem Ahmad, Training Consultant at Torque
I overcame two biggest challenges in 2018. One was getting out of my comfort zone to explore more possibilities, got bigger opportunities and that gave me and my business sustainability. Second was overcoming my emotional state where I had acute depression because I had an emotional burnout (as told by my psychologist) as a result of excessive work and travel. But, I think that’s a price we must all pay while we get out of our comfort zone, since that is the only way to achieve great things.
I am a storyteller and 2018 was like a story for me. I got myself into a fast moving train, where my passion was to meet people and network with fellow passengers. However, my job role is to keep an eye on the content that is being constantly popped up on my screen. I missed a couple of stations. However, no regrets. The destination is still unknown, but the journey so far is really amazing 🙂 Looking forward to 2019!
Sadia Bashir, Founder at PixelArt Games Academy
I had been in talks with multiple investors in the past, but it never went through, this year I got funded for my dream project.
Do let us know about your learnings from 2018 and the amazing things you want to do in 2019!