Saturday, November 24, 2012

Why Entrepreneurship should be a Preferred Carrier Choice for Business Graduates in Pakistan?

I have been asked often why I promote entrepreneurship to an extent that I don't even give career guidance to employment seekers ... Answer: lots of reasons, here they are: Entrepreneurship creates employment, and to know the importance of entrepreneurship you need to imagine the pain, humiliation & misery experienced during unemployment ... being unemployed is a horrifying, to know it you have to experience it; God Forbids ... and it gets even frightening when you have a family dependent on you ... often we heard about individuals committing suicides, killing their children, or giving them to orphanage house, let alone selling them in the market etc. all of this seems easy then to bear the pain & anxiety of being out of work... it is a little surprise why employment is one the top two most crucial problems of macroeconomics, the other one being the inflation.

Promotion of  Entrepreneurship definitely has a way out from this crisis ... entrepreneurship is about creating new businesses, which at least creates (self-)employment for the entrepreneur at least. In technical terms an entrepreneur commercialise innovation, however for a layman an entrepreneur simply is a person starting a new business ... and that’s not just about it, it is quite likely that he creates employment for others as well in this process ... consider an example of a simple vegetable cart, which can generate employment for at least three to four individuals (meet any proper vegetable cart owner for details) ... The educated, able, skilled lot of this country if is encouraged to start small & medium size businesses then it will not just be beneficial for them but also for a lot more. This is kind a social responsibility the concerned may not want to ignore...

My confidence in this solution to a painful economic problem of unemployment is reinforced, rather concretely established, with a saying of Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H) that the Rizq provided by Allah s.w.t is distributed among people such that its 9/10 parts goes to businessmen or traders and 1/10 parts goes to the employed ... entrepreneurs are definitely the ones who fall under the category of businessmen and traders... What a clear direction it is to solve the problem of unemployment!!! However this requires one to believe in Taqdeer i.e. ones Rizq is predetermined by Allah s.w.t and He will provide it in due quantity if one strive for it, not more than that, not less than that ... a society, where entrepreneurs, businessmen or traders believes likewise, would be free from unemployment simply because every one of them will be satisfied with their income; this will help create an atmosphere of cooperation instead of competition, and subsequently opportunities for everyone would become available in a decent quantity simply because most people will not be in pursuit of multiplying their wealth thanks to their belief in Taqdeer; they will be happy of what they have and earn*.

And yet there is another reason to talk about entrepreneurship, local business development reduces the reliance of the economy from foreign MNCs... it’s a myth that MNCs help local economies grows ...  unfortunately this false notion is believed by educated ones; many business students raise this question 'what about the employment generated by these MNCs'? That’s a question asked in isolation, an MNC doesn't just create employment for a few, but along the way it also puts lots of other local firms out of business, through their business strategy (though this might not always happen) henceforth as a net result the employment in an economy may not increase. The sole motive of that MNC is to generate ROI; if it invests say $1 million, it will take away $1.1 million (for example) from that economy leaving it worse off in the end. A part from this an MNC influences the entire socioeconomic and political structure as a whole depending upon the extent of its operations. Multi-national oil exploration companies, Banks, Automotive giants, construction giants etc., have consistently proven to be destructive for the local economies in the past...** 

Having said that local economic development can reduce the reliance of an economy from MNCs, but that’s possible only if entrepreneurial ventures are encouraged, and those who have the potential may realize their responsibility to go for it... And that’s where the key barrier lie; our education system from the very start keeps telling & motivating the students to become an employee, and nothing else. Many who have the ability to become entrepreneurs are forced by the system to become employees rather. However in Pakistan people belonging to various communities like Pathan, Memon, Chinioti, Dawooodi Bohra, and Dehli wala community are still saved from such a trend; as all or most of them raise their kids to be business minded and educate their kids to the extent necessary to manage their family businesses. The rest perhaps seek employment in the businesses started by the members of these communities or in MNCs. The businesses in Pakistan are perhaps growing to the extent to which these communities are growing. The rest of the population may also need to take charge, before it’s too late.

The business schools can help here, instead of creating employees for MNCs and Banks, they need to realize their social responsibility as well and begin to inspire & train their graduates to become entrepreneurs instead. PAF-KIET is doing just that, it is not just teaching its students entrepreneurship in theory, but also helping them to experiment in real time by encouraging them to erect pilot tested business models. Center of Entrepreneurial Development (CED) @ PAFKIET is dedicated to enable students to earn through self-employment by the time they are in third year. This CED does this by guiding the interested ones and connecting them with potential investors etc. Holistically speaking the idea is to create an eco-system, an environment conducive for students who aspire to be entrepreneurs or start their own little business in real. Once a critical mass of student is on it the idea of entrepreneurship would become contagious and reach its tipping point threshold, the rest will only follow. Once this environment is there, becoming an entrepreneur would become a preferred carrier choice for the most.

This is already beginning to happen in KIET particularly its CoMS (College of Management Sciences) department at Main Campus, and soon the contagion will spread to other campuses as well. And there is nothing secret about it, in fact we want to keep it like an open source project so that people from outside can also benefit and help us achieve the objective of making every passing student at PAFKIET an entrepreneur, and learn ^ replicate our experience elsewhere. Collaboration is the key, instead of competing with each other, other universities and organizations working to promote entrepreneurship are invited join hands to work for it, as the end result will benefit everyone InshaAllah ... 

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* This contrasts traditional & Islamic concept of entrepreneurship with the western or capitalistic one as there success of an entrepreneur is only when he multiplies his wealth constantly as not doing is simply not considered rational from their perspective. Therefore this makes it imperative for the promoters of entrepreneurship in Pakistan, particularly when they quote the hadith mentioned above, to be careful so that their message shall remain coherent with the beliefs of their fellow Muslims from a metaphysical perspective... 

** Don't have time to go in details here, anyone looking for detail shall go through Naomi Klein’s book & documentary 'The Shock Doctrine', Noam Chomsky's articles and books on globalization (Google them), John Grey's book 'The False Dawn', Mark Achbar's documentary 'The Corporations', various documentaries of Michael Moore etc  etc ... (Disclaimer: this is my personal analysis, not the official position of the intuition I work for, and besides I also don’t label all MNCs are bad, there may be exceptions as well)

The author is In-Charge of CED @ KIET, Vice President of GEAR, a Social Entrepreneur, Author, Researcher and tweets @javaidomar

3 comments:

  1. Thanks for sharing such a nice piece.

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  2. Pakistani business community can be an active and valuable partner in United Nations Global Compact by implementing its key principles part of their business strategy. It will be very beneficial to make linkages to other business communities across the globe. This will help Pakistani business community to cope up with challenges of a fast changing business world.

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  3. Its a good thing ......... realy helped me in visualising my thoughts more deeply.

    ReplyDelete