For the top executives of a fast growing company, the office in Karachi is highly informal. In the basement of a small building, Faraz Khan and Khusro Ansari sit on their chairs a few yards apart, and hardly will you find the feel of a corporate environment, where peons and secretaries move around every now and then. Instead, itís as casual as it can get.
While Faraz talks to Khaleej Times about his humble beginnings and ambitions, marketing guru Khusro continues with his work, engaging in serious discussions with visiting guests as well as staff members. The two young men are the characters around which the soon-to-be-launched book, Midlife and Naked, revolves. “This was our first office, and we started from here, and now we don’t feel like moving out of this place,” explains Faraz.
Their company, Social Entrepreneurship and Equity Development (SEED) was founded in 2009 and has since expanded significantly. The duo is a strong believer in the potential of social entrepreneurship and their company serves as a platform for the development and the facilitation of entrepreneurship in Pakistan.
It also acts as a repository of knowledge, creating a sphere of a diverse range of information — academic, theoretical, practical and experiential — for visionaries and entrepreneurs, particularly those with a social mandate.
According to the dynamic duo, development is an important part of SEED’s agenda. This approach emphasises on creating and providing equal opportunities for people in the community to help them dev-elop and enhance their skills and talents. They also believe in contributing to the development of a viable business idea so that the road from opportunity to outcome has lesser hurdles.
“Business viability and social impact are the two most important things. SEED invests in that idea, thus creating an environment conducive for transforming ideas into reality,” said Faraz. “You need to educate the huge masses here about entrepreneurial acumen and social entrepreneurial acumen. We will put in money in any initiative but it needs to be sustainable as well.” The writer of the book, Shaista Ayesha, has spent seven years of her life teaching university students, and her expertise includes subjects like entrepreneurship.
For her, success is generally a highly overrated phenomenon and, as a result, it fails to relate to average people. For her, the task of writing the biography of the two growing entrepreneurs was a very interesting one. “The book is their biography, but it’s not about success alone, as these two are still evolving,” said Shaista, sitting opposite the main characters of her book. “It is their story — a story about their journey as it goes on and this is what makes it real.”
According to Shaista, the book is unconventional because it isn’t written in the way biographies are narrated. The first three chapters of the book narrates how Faraz and Khu-sro have evolved into present-day entrepreneurs. The remaining part of the book discusses why failure is an important part of the learning process, why success is overrated and how passion is the foundation for sustainable ventures.
“They emphasise the importance of ‘we’ in contrast to ‘me’ and both truly believe that development and progress in Pakistan can be achieved if the Pakistani nation recognises its entrepreneurial spark and spirit,” she said. “A combination of this entrepreneurial talent and collective efforts instead of isolated endeavours can help to achieve the goal of progress.” The book is set to rel-ease in Dubai on September 29.
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