So on 14 April we saw the return of the Startup Insiders Session at T2F, in collaboration with TiE Karachi and P@SHA. The event promised what had been mentioned in Jehan’s post in the last week, and also on Jawad’s post. Jawad being his usual self said Jehan had asked him to join for entertainment value 🙂
Also on the panel were Adnan Agboatwalla, the Co-founder of Pixsense; Adnan Haider, the owner of Lootmar and now a consultant with IBM on a full time basis in the Middle East; Nouman Sheikh of Credit Chex and Imtiaz Noor, who is now a new entrant in entrepreneurship with Inspire-X.
Midway through the session we had a sizeable 70 people in the audience, mostly consisting of students and aspiring entrepreneurs. Most of the questions asked were pertaining to the challenges faced by people in forming ideas or what to watch out for when they are heading to form their own business. Not an easy one, but of course something that most people end up thinking about based on the risks attached with entrepreneurship.
An important factor pointed out by Imtiaz was about knowing your customer. This goes without saying that the more you know about them, the more they have their trust in you, the higher the influence you have. Hence, it is equally essential to understand and befriend the influencers within a customer’s life, thereby being a the top of the list of solution providers or advisors at any time.
One of my own learnings in this area is not to bank on savings to start your business. Most people do that, and when they’re tensed out they end up losing more than they had expected. Another fact that was covered, and this is important for just about everyone, is to learn the tricks of the trade you want to work on in your own business. So experience is what makes it all happen successfully, and this can be best gained through working for some time. Also, as Nouman pointed out, one can be an entrepreneur while working for an employer too. Entrepreneurship in effect being a state of mind, a way to do your own thing without having to be controlled each time. But of course, when you have someone investing in you, you’re bound to answer too.
Overall, a great session, the audience was quite active, the panelists were very open with their thoughts and suggesting ways to ensure that everyone received the message and the concept of entrepreneurship was clearly understood, and what to do and avoid while doing your own business.
Update: Jehan’s blog has a new entry for the session and can be read here.