Networking

Every entrepreneur sets out to become rich, successful and famous.

Yet not every one of them becomes that. Though they may work hard to their best, put in long hours they still fail to achieve their target. This is because entrepreneurs sometimes fail to do the most important thing which is required in today’s world: networking.

Nowadays in the corporate and entrepreneurial world the most important thing you need to have is not just the clichéd quality of working hard and following the rules but also how many people you know and how well you know them. This opens doors and leads to opportunities which you would have thought could not be possible on your own. The more people you know; the more they can help you achieve your target, let you know about more opportunities in the market which you wouldn’t be aware off and introduce you to more contacts.

According to the famous top manager Fred Luthans, networking accounts for 48% of the time the most successful managers spent most of their time on in relation to other activities which included 13% traditional management, 28% communication and 11% for human resource management.

Many successful people in different fields acknowledge the importance of networking. From celebrities like Simon Cowell, to actors like Edward Norton to entrepreneurs like Armstrong Williams. Armstrong Williams quoted “Networking is an essential part of building wealth”. Famous US attorney judge is quoted to have said “Sometimes, idealistic people are put off the whole business of networking as something tainted by flattery and the pursuit of selfish advantage. But virtue in obscurity is rewarded only in Heaven. To succeed in this world you have to be known to people”

Networking is an art which every entrepreneur must learn to use resourcefully along with their other tasks and activities as well if they wish to be successful.

Advertisements

Nehal Zafar

10685378_1586990411545278_2800294392538905501_nNehal Zafar, Masters from Szabist.
With no businessman in his family, Nehal wanted to be unique and prove his self-worth as he was the weakest in studies in his household. His desire to do so was the biggest motivation for him as he was starting out. Now, Nehal works 12 to 16 hours a day in order to efficiently manage his 4 Businesses. Of these the first is ANT Event Management (an event Management Company), the second is Perfect Blend (a professional Photography Services), the third is The Corporate Chef (a company to provide for corporate lunch events) and the fourth is Holler Media (a digital branding and online face-book page management company).
The serial entrepreneur began his journey from his home, with the help of personal references and money gathered from working as an ambassador in brand activation agencies. Success has followed him due to his untiring and consistent struggle towards his long term vision. And as of now he runs the business operations from his office in Dolmen Executive Tower, Dolmen City Mall.
What advice would you give to Szabist students who want to become entrepreneurs?
I think you guys are in the best university in the town. You have the best opportunity to build your network and PR. Szabist has a very strong student network and due to societies, all students know each other. So, students of Szabist, stop wasting your time and think how you can use your own friends in your business and grow with them. 

How has being an entrepreneur affected your family life?
I believe this is the most demotivating question and one of the biggest flaws of being an entrepreneur. You don’t get time for your family or friends. You only work day and night without thinking about your own self so that you achieve the target that you had set in the beginning.

Where do you see your business in 10 years’ time?
Nowadays, around the world, many organizations have reduced their long term visions from 10 years to 5 years. Anyway, in the next 5 years I see myself expanding my services to all over Pakistan and in the next 10 years I see myself expanding past the borders of Pakistan and going international with my services.

Vinesh Kumar

11034249_1583628901881429_4292717589929635334_nVinesh Kumar, a student of SZABIST.
On the first day of internship at a well reputed firm he came up with the design for a billboard campaign for the company, which was highly appreciated with a round of applause. He started designing logos and graphics that were being approved on the first attempt. For Vinesh, the journey to success has been long and harsh; he faced a number of obstacles on the way. However, the key for him was being diligent and perseverant.
To understand the intricate workings of the business, he worked on a nonprofit basis for a large number of companies, spending many sleepless nights designing and redesigning websites and logos before launching his own business. After accumulating experience, he started to work as a freelancer and eventually launched his own business: ‘Vinesh Kumar Creative and Software Solutions’. Since then, his clientele base and experience have made rapid progress. His clients include reputed firms such as Coca Cola and Shan, for whom he designs their websites and billboards.
How did you build a successful customer base?
Having an effective social network ameliorated my business. I also joined many societies at Szabist, where I developed a lot of potential clients. My specialty is delivering work on time before the deadline, which in turn boosts the faith of the client in the business.
What would you say are the top skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur?
Networking is paramount to any entrepreneur; it is the backbone of all operations. Having a successful clientele base at the end of the day is what gets the business rolling. Creativity and adaptability also rank on top of the skill-set for any entrepreneur to be successful. I cannot emphasize this point enough that it is pivotal for any entrepreneur to be open to criticism. In our field of work, everyone has different tastes, perceptions, and sometimes getting a design approved takes a lot of criticism and approval from everyone, so perseverance is the key for any entrepreneur to be successful.

Umair Ashraf

11002659_1581114078799578_3329574952431865547_nUmair Ashraf, second semester student at SZABIST.
After completing his A-levels, he then travelled to Italy to pursue a certificate course in Interior Designing, as his family business is about lighting design. Umair enlightened us that the stereotypical image people have of a family business heir, been born with a silver spoon and the path laid out for him being easy and straightforward; is not actually true. Inheriting a successful family business also presents the challenge of dealing with experienced people who expect perfection from the first day. He has to put long hours in the business straight after university and has no time for the instant gratifications that engulf many of today’s generation.
Umair’s company is called Pak Burma Traders. His business caters to a variety of lighting products such as led lights, chandeliers and table lamps etc. The Company has at least one or two distributers in every major city of Pakistan. The unique thing about Umair’s business is that it is the Sole distributer of FIAM, MACY, and LAVOV in Pakistan. To make sure that the business not only stays relevant but also thrives in the future, Umair is constantly applying the theory he learns in school to chart out a winning strategy.

What was your motivation for starting a new business venture?
When I was a child I always wanted to be an entrepreneur, and helping my father work from a young age made me want to realize the dream of continue working and running the family business.

What would you say is the top skill needed to be a successful entrepreneur?
Being patient and loyal is the key. In this age we are all in a rush towards taking decisions which can help us succeed overnight but it actually takes a lot of years and a lot of hard work to establish a well settled business. Secondly you need to be loyal to your customers and do not let greed influence your decisions.

Aamir Aghai

10991186_1577589015818751_4114686968426941232_nAamir Aghai, Student of SZABIST.
His company started of when he was in his 6th semester; Aamir and his friend were walking in the 100 courtyard after a lecture on economy of Pakistan and during their conversation they realized that they both had a few decent ideas to promote online shopping in Pakistan. They had a detailed conversation which lasted 15 minutes. It occurred to them that the ideas can be pulled off practically. The discussion continued for 2 weeks, that is when the two friends laid the foundations of FAWG (Fariz-Aamir Website Group). Aamir and Fariz started off with 2 projects; the first known as grabadeal.pk. It’s basically an affiliate merchant website that provides a platform to multiple retailers and manufacturers to promote their products via their forum. The second one, Homekart.pk is an online virtual grocery store which sounds much simple in concept but drained Aamir and Fariz. For Aamir, the day the webpage launched, when his dad distributed business cards to his peers telling them that his son did it,that was one of the proudest feelings for him.What advice would you give to SZABIST students who want to become entrepreneurs?
Coming from a fellow entrepreneur, it is not easy making it out there. There were many times I just wanted to quit, times that I was sleepless and times when others told me it wasn’t possible, but let me be honest, it all fades away the day you get your first order from some remote place you don’t even know of. That feeling just makes your day!

How many hours do you work a day?
That really depends; sometimes it’s just a 9-5 day. Sometimes I have to stay back at late until my mom calls and tells me if I don’t leave office now, she won’t let me in the house.

How important have good employees been to your success?
Very important indeed! But all my good employees are better friends. The success of these projects was possible because when I could not afford to keep employees, I asked my friends for help which they did, for no pay at all!

Alay Hussain

10169317_1574610989449887_2459393686843244616_nAlay Hussain, student at SZABIST.

There was a boy, careless and not hard working at all. He almost flunked his O-level results. One day his teacher told him that he will never pursue any career successfully. From that day, his outlook on life changed. The boy began working hard, took life seriously and most of all started thanking Allah for giving him a beautiful life. In his 6th semester at SZABIST, he started an advertising company named ADSHAW.
The startup helps small companies to advertise by posting their ad in lit board on the back of the Rickshaw. As small companies are limited on budget, this advertising field was a blue ocean where no one has entered as of yet. ADSHAW currently has four partners and two employees who handle the logistics. In a time-span of 8 months, the startup has made 9 clients and has 15 rickshaws running all over Karachi. For them perseverance was the key as initially they made thousands of calls and suffered a high amount of neglect. Today they are generating good revenue and in future want to put advertisements on anything moving on the roads or that matter even airplanes. 

What advice would you give to the students of Szabist who desire to become entrepreneurs in future?
Never ever think that you cannot succeed. The taste of being your own boss is very different and its fun. Make yourself work with a slight humor because when you need to work for 16 or 17 hours, seriousness can kill you. Working hard is important but the best entrepreneurs work smart.

What has been your most successful form of marketing?
We have used extensive word of mouth marketing because we are in B2B form of business so this is our best choice.

10389696_1572029816374671_7497643257943615488_nDaniyal Qaiser, student from BABS program and a member of SZABIST Entrepreneurial Society.
Few years back he started his business “Skipper” for exporting polo t-shirts to countries like South Africa and England. Daniyal gets them manufactured locally and then exports them to the designated addresses of his cousins for them to sell in those markets. His monthly average now stands at around 700 to 800 t-shirts. The motivation behind starting his own business was that he wanted to carry out his expenses on his own. Plus for him a person who is earning has his own recognition in this world and he is known as a productive member of the society. He attributes his honesty in business as the trait that will serve him well in the future too.

Where did your organization’s capital come from?
Well I only needed funds during the starting period and my dad funded me. Now i don’t need any sort of funding. But honestly i did return him his funds back when i made some good profits

What do you feel is the major difference between entrepreneurs and those who work for someone else?
Entrepreneurs are the boss, they own everything. Nobody can order them, they make any decision they want and they are not answerable to anyone in the organization.