Pakistan Education Fund Drive

Less than two months ago, I set out to raise funds for an education fund drive with the purpose of raising enough money to support education for at least 1 child in perpetuity. Good education should give people the ability to think through situations, reason out things, and ask the right questions; these three things together can open up a range of opportunities for the educated mind. My idea was based on the simple premise that an endowment fund be formed that could invest the raised money and support the child’s education through the profits earned. The initial capital was supposed to be kept in tact, and the funds could keep on supporting a child’s education every month.

Since I’m a firm believer in the power of education and wanted to convey why it was so important for Pakistan, I had discussions with The Citizens Foundation, an NGO working in supporting education for the under-privileged sector, and prepared a video slide documentary, and uploaded that on Vimeo. You can find that link here:

The Story of Life – A 20-minute video presentation

I started to share the video around, most amongst friends and family to raise some funds. My personal benchmark for success of the project was raising funds for educating a child for at least a year. With the grace of Almighty, only within a few weeks, I managed to raise a sum of Rs. 110,500/- enough to support education for over 9 children for an entire year. This was a great thing to have happened, although the goal of raising enough funds for sustainable educational support remained partially complete. I submitted the funds forward to The Citizens Foundation, and started working on other pursuits.

Soon thereafter, I had someone wanting to contribute to the cause and the person sent the funds too. So, I am just reopening the collection drive for a second round, hoping to raise some more money for these children. If you are interested, or know someone who might be, please feel free to share this post around.

Also, if you have any questions, or comments, or some feedback, feel free to write to me about that.

Thanks for your support!

“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” – Nelson Mandela

What is the Role of Education?

Let’s question our age old concept of education, what is its role and what is it supposed to do?

It’s of course different from literacy, which is the ability to read and write.

Education might be imparted or not be in classroom environment.

The receiver has to be motivated.

The giver can take any form (could be a person, nature or even a machine).

Education should enable the person to think clearly and to question ideas. If you know the art of asking the right questions, you are half-learned anyway.

It should free a soul enough to listen to others’ viewpoint, and critically think through it without being offended, even if it is totally the opposite of what s/he thinks and believes.


Mark Twain aptly wrote: “I have never let my schooling interfere with my education.”

Ratan Tata’s Succession Planning: Looking beyond family


In the previous couple of days, there was a hype about Ratan Tata looking for succession for the reason that succession candidates were sought beyond the Tata family.

It’s an encouraging change in the dynastic fashion of business empires in the Asian, and more so in South Asian countries. However, a system of checks should be brought about in place with such a radical change to be brought about. Why? Because the entire set of systems, procedures, policies and most importantly, human resources, are attuned to the family business systems.

With family businesses, there is a concept of loyalty and long-serving employees holding senior positions usually not on the basis of only merit, but on the basis of a mutual commitment to the cause of the group since long. Certainly, this is good to an extent. However, ensuring these people get ample opportunities to update their skill set to keep them fit for their positions is the organizational responsibility too. More often than not, no one’s interested in promoting such continuing education of people in family businesses.

As much as it is a commendable decision, there is a need to check that the new person at the helm of affairs realizes this, and doesn’t only keep replacing the previously employed, committed employees.

Keeping the above in mind, and acting accordingly will also ensure a growth mentality to prevail in all organizational levels and merit would breed further merit, leading to a virtuous cycle of growth and continuity.

Doc, Gimme a break!


Some renowned psychologist, Dr. Dorothy Rowe, said Angelina Jolie’s behavior would lead to her child’s insecure adulthood. Are you really serious? I mean, yes, it came as a shock to the poor fellow but it is all right to be shocked every once in a while. Look at it this way, the lad’s mother just taught her an important lesson in life: Don’t always believe what you see. This could be life-changing for sure, but in a positive way perhaps.

I remember we were taught at how statisticians sometimes fall prey to the trap of linking correlated data as being a case of causality, meaning to say that not always do correlations imply causal relationships. This is one such case where there could possibly be such an affirmation based on correlations but being insecure has a lot more to do with the overall upbringing and individual personality, not only with one incident such as this one.

More than anything else, the news item resembles a PR gimmick for the book of this “distinguished” author. Marketing practitioners often quote “there is nothing such as bad publicity” and this article seems to be following suit to that idea.

I would, however, credit Tim Walker for the interestingly curious title to the article. I clicked it saying “what shit!?” but the point is I clicked.

Meaning of Education


What does education mean? Who is an educated person?

Educated is not equal to literate. Literacy has to do with an ability to read and write and comes through as a result of study, practice and usually imparted in a classroom setting.

Education is beyond literacy. To me, education means the ability to think, understand and interpret things. However, most importantly, it means the ability to question. There is a problem with ascertaining the educated rate, though, of a group of people, country, or even the world because there is no such statistic.

Literacy has to do with quantity; education has to do with quality. We desperately need “educated” people, not just literate anymore.

Role of Education in Entrepreneurship

Education’s importance can not be emphasized more when it comes to entrepreneuship. Indeed, an enlightened mind would be better prepared to handle the vagaries of the domain, however, it’s not that the highest qualification or the most expensive business school graduation would definitely lead you into a dominant entrepreneurial position.

In the story of Coca-Cola Bangladesh, a leading successful bottler had his two sons sent to USA for further studies. One studied at Boston University, the other at Harvard. After their graduation, they both got six-month training in Coca-cola Atlanta head office. Returning from there, it seemed like they would quadruple the family business in no time. What happened, though, was a lot of arrogance, indifference and lack of initiative took them into complacency, which eventually took the company operations into huge losses by 2005.

It’s funny how people start believing they know everything, or almost everything and disregard any one else. Precisely this is when the downfall of great people, businesses, empires and states start.

Although firmness is good, but rigidity is a weakness. Flexibility & humility are great strengths that go a long way to deliver in entrepreneurial pursuits.