INTERVIEW WITH HAMZA JAVAID, FORMER PRESIDENT ISLAMIC SOCIETY, UNIVERSITY OF SURREY, UK

KHALIL AHMED
(feedback@pgeconomist.com)

Apr 9 - 15, 20
12

PAGE: TELL US SOMETHING ABOUT YOURSELF.

HAMZA JAVAID: I am a third cultural kid, fortunate enough to live in three cultures (Middle Eastern, South Asian and the West). Now for almost four years while completing my PhD in management from the University of Surrey UK, I read and listened about the brain-drain from Pakistan. So, after spending close to a decade in UK, I decided to come back to serve my country. Professionally, my work philosophy is "the import and export of Knowledge". Academically prior to PhD, I did three Masters in Software Engineering (Bahria University- Pakistan); Business Administration (Cardiff University); Human Resource Management (Surrey University); and an Entrepreneurial studies from Said Business School (Oxford University).

HONORS AND AWARDS

Year 2012 (April), Chairman Education, Pakistan Young Leaders Conference, Islamabad

Year 2011 (Oct), Received a Medal of Contribution from World Skill London 2011

Year 2011 (May), Nominated for Fund Raiser of Year award at the Students Union Annual Awards, University of Surrey, UK

Year 2011 (April), Worked as the Election Commissioner for the National Union of Pakistani Students and Alumni (NUPSA), UK

Year 2010, Nominated for six awards at the Students Union Annual Awards, University of Surrey, UK (was president of the Islamic Society):

1. Outstanding Contribution to the Student Community
2. Outstanding Contribution to Representation
3. Fund raiser of the year (Jointly won the prize with Mohammed Shahbeeb Ali)
4. Student Run Event of the Year (won)
5. Faith & Religious Society of the Year (won)
6. Best Society President (won)

Year 2009-10, Elected President, Islamic Society, University of Surrey

Year 2009, Elected Senior Resident, Hazel Farm, Accommodation, University of Surrey

Year 2009, Keynote Research Speaker, CIPD Southern Branch, Surrey UK

Year 2008-09, Elected Treasurer, Pakistan Society, University of Surrey

Year 2008, Won the award from CIPD of the "Most Progressing Student", in the area of Human Resource Management (FML- University of Surrey)

PAGE: DO YOU THINK ISLAMIC BANKS NEED TO BE MORE AGGRESSIVE IN FINANCING ENTREPRENEURIAL PROJECTS IN PAKISTAN?

HAMZA JAVAID: Islamic banks or other banks in Pakistan must work to promote and advocate environment where people can start their own businesses. I think we generally as a society react to current climate in solving the problems. Great organization or creative thinkers are always proactive, they foresight their strategies in advance for various situations. Now focusing on entrepreneurship is significant these days due to unemployment. Question is how we encourage people to become entrepreneur. First is awareness through electronic and print media. If we can have entertainment reality shows at prime times then why not business reality shows. Secondly, universities can do a lot here by inviting entrepreneurial businesspersons regularly to their campuses to take advantage of their expertise. Thirdly, I would encourage business minded people to utilize internet properly. One can connect to hundreds of business experts who have shared their experience either through a blog, website or putting their videos on YouTube. http://www.fastcompany.com/mba/ &http://www.meettheboss.tv/ & http://www.bnet.com, few websites that cover a lot on changing business trends. We are required to develop a culture of Islamic investment banking, where angel investors from the business fraternity help prospect/ new graduates and experience entrepreneurs.

PAGE: YOUR VIEWS ABOUT SMALL AND MEDIUM ENTERPRISE (SME) SECTOR IN PAKISTAN.

HAMZA JAVAID: SMEs are one of many pillars to drive any economy. Because of the downturn in Pakistan's economy, it is easy to say SMEs have suffered. Let me share something really good here as well. In the past 3-5 years, I have seen many SME building up through the social media. Start-ups using Facebook, twitter, YouTube and many other tools for marketing and developing personal relations. It becomes easy to communicate and engage for expert advice. Dynamics of business world are changing very quickly, today and in the future we will see different kind of works that were unimaginable before. Like now, there are many SME in the software industry of Pakistan developing smartphone applications alone. I would like to emphasize here that public and private business authority/ institutions with collaborative work can improve the status of SMEs in Pakistan. We need to create learning and sharing environment in the sector. Anyone wants to grow they need to collaborate rather compete. We must create knowledge based business websites for free advice on business plans, proposals, different law issues, human resources, managerial and financial accounting, leaders and managers roles. It is easy to do this. There is a need to have a will of doing it. Alhumdulillah, Pakistani men and women are very talented, but need resources to enhance and develop new skills to cope with the changing world. If Punjab government initiated the laptop scheme, then they must also find ways to connect these laptops to internet for less cost.

PAGE: YOUR VIEWS ON ACCESS TO FINANCE IN PAKISTAN.

HAMZA JAVAID: Pakistanis can help Pakistan wherever they are living in the world. We need to balance out the news that goes outside the country. We need to do a lot of work here. Media cover most of the time the political debates. New trends need to be adopted where they show new venture that need consideration. It is amusing the media showing glamorous dramas and straight after that we see political debates of criticism. Mostly, people use Google for their answers these days. How many writers we produce that write good for Pakistan. I advocate to my circle of friends to talk positive and come up with solutions. For past couple of years we saw Pakistani university's students associated themselves with TEDx and arrange talks by inviting inspirational Pakistanis from the country to their events. When it comes to social media very few are out there who promote Pakistaniat, as we saw go-green campaign over the facebook, where everyone put Pakistani flag behind their display pictures. So, if our image is good, we will get attention.

PAGE: YOUR COMMENTS ON YOUTH OF PAKISTAN.

HAMZA JAVAID: As part of the youth, I can say that we want change of overall system that has been used in Pakistan and failed. As youth we want to do more ourselves with support in the form of expert guidance and direction when required. Trust us we are ready to do the hard work. When we are outside the country we understand how important is to keep image of Pakistan. Higher education did a good job with their budget to send students overseas for higher studies. In the same way, if other public institution along with private build program likes apprenticeship, graduate jobs, and entrepreneurial activities then you will see the rising Pakistan dream in the south Asia.

Education institutions of all levels must inculcate practical exercises of the real world in their students. We need to have more creative and innovative minds these days and the current education system that resembles assembly line of the factory is not sufficient at all. People in power must realize quickly that old heads alone cannot survive in the new flat world.