Change Pakistan Conference 2017 Peshawar | Panel Discussion

By: Zukhraf Gull
JumpStart Pakistan’s Change Pakistan Conference 2017 Peshawar turned out to be a phenomenon of epic proportions. People from all over the city gathered in abundance. Students and professionals alike, all hung on to every word that the honorable dignitaries had to share, might it be the keynote speeches or the Panel discussion.

panel discussion

A panel discussion is a tradition that JumpStart Pakistan has created and maintained. It is usually an hour long exhaustive discussion over a single topic by 4 panelists (CEOs, Academia Leaders, Motivators, and other Influential people) and a moderator. 45 minutes out of the hour is core discussion by the participating panelists about what they think of the topic and if they have any stories to tell about it. The rest of the 15 minutes is the audience Q&A where people in the audience can have one on one discussion with the panelists and get their confusions cleared.

Topic and Participants  

This time, CPC17’s Panel Discussion was on the topic “Life of an Entrepreneur”.

1.Professor Dr. Atta Ullah Shah, VC City University Peshawar
2.Mr. Muhammad Iftikhar Yazdani, Science Journalist, Entrepreneur
3.Mr. Zafar Iqbal, Manager Industry Academia Linkages Abasyn University Peshawar
4.Mr. Mudassir Malik, CEO Apps Genni

Along with moderator Mr. Khurram Mujtaba, CEO JumpStart Pakistan

The discussion started off with the role of Pakistan’s Academia in building Entrepreneurial mindset in the youth of Pakistan. What is being done and what needs to be done in order to make sure that youth start to consider Entrepreneurship as a viable path for their career building.

Dr. Atta Ullah shared City University’s initiatives for developing a more sustainable entrepreneurial setup in Peshawar. He explained how they are developing a model where every participant is going to be part owner and that how equity based model is the most efficient approach.

Mr. Yazdani shared his opinion on how students are not being taught directly how to think like an entrepreneur. He also discussed the difference between a businessman and an entrepreneur and how people mix up the two.

Mr. Zafar Iqbal talked about filling the gap between industry and academia in terms of technology since. Our academia curriculum is still teaching obsolete stuff and the technology has far surpassed it. He talked about how necessary it is to bring the course content up to speed with the industry trends. So that the students are aware of what’s happening around them in real time.

Last but definitely not the least, Mr. Mudassir Malik, who came all the way from Lahore. Discussed what struggles and hardships an entrepreneur has to go through to make it in the industry. He elaborated everything through his own journey of 9 years. How he had to strive every single second and how many sacrifices he had to make. He concluded by telling everyone in the audience that even though it’s a difficult journey but every part of it is worth it and that if you want to be an entrepreneur, you cannot give yourself the luxury of a Plan B. You dive straight in and you work for it.

Then came the Q&A part, the panel was opened to questions from the audience and due to shortage of time, 2 questions were entertained. The first revolved around what sort of training should be given in order to create entrepreneurs and what curriculum changes are needed to achieve it. While the 2nd question was about how students themselves need to realize their own role in the development of entrepreneurial ecosystem in Pakistan and how they need to shape their minds and goals accordingly.

Mr. Khurram Mujtaba, CEO JumpStart Pakistan, who was moderating the panel; thanked the panelists for their contribution in building the right Entrepreneurial ecosystem in Pakistan. And hoped that these type of healthy conversations will continue in future where Entrepreneurs, Industry and Academia will come together to achieve a bigger goal of changing Pakistan.