Campus Connections goes to KASBIT

There is no perfect recipe for success. The ingredients and the instructions all vary from place to place and person to person. What worked ten years ago may not work now and what is innovative and revolutionary today may become obsolete tomorrow. If anything is certain, it is that determination and the willingness to fail and to learn is essential to make it anywhere.

Campus Connections’ seventh session was held at KASBIT. In attendance were Hatim Dabbawala CEO Bohra Developers, Imtiaz Noor, Lead Brand Director MCB Arif Habib Savings & Investments Ltd, and returning panelist Zia Khan, CEO Panacloud.

The panelists literally left their seats to go into the crowd and ask students and engage with them. And so even those that were hesitant, gathered the courage to speak.

Hatim implored the students to go out and explore opportunities since business and career building is non-existent without socializing with other people. He sighted his own recent experience of going to a recent conference in Karachi. He was excited to see a lot of entrepreneurs and startups from Lahore and Islamabad, yet very few from Karachi. “Young people need to get out there and explore. The more exposure you gain, the more people you meet, the more acquainted you are with ground realities.”

Imtiaz added his own experience of failure to the conversation. “I failed at being an entrepreneur. So I decided to recognize my own faults and work on them to become career driven.” He narrated how he met the CEO of MCB AH at a social event and they got to talking, and by the end, the CEO had offered him a job.

A student expressed his interest in being an HR manager and wondered how he would approach the field. Imtiaz told him to look beyond the CVs and the emails that people receive every single day and go to the activity hubs in the world today. He pointed out that looking at the same CVs over and over again can drive anyone to boredom, yet looking at a single line that differentiates a candidate should entail an interview call. And as far as the activity hubs were concerned, Imtiaz mentioned github. Hatim chimed in at this moment, “If I see someone’s code on Github, I’d hire them straightaway.”

Zia, returning with characteristic flair, told the students to become obsessed in their pursuit of greatness. “If you’re in my line of work, and you’re not a psycho, you can’t win.” He spoke of his disinterest in speaking with anyone unacquainted with cryptocurrency, the blockchain or A.I. because that would be a waste of time. And he made the whole auditorium chuckle when he said he rushed to the bathroom with his laptop this morning because he couldn’t wait to get started. “You have to incorporate Rabt (connection), Zabt (patience) and Khabt (obsession) into your lives. Those are the ingredients to success in my world.”

The panelists collectively posed a question to the students next, specifically the marketing students. ‘In this day and age, should Guy Soap use Facebook to run an advertising campaign?’ They received mixed responses ranging from ‘Yes, of course, Facebook can help tap specific markets’, to ‘No, their target market relies more on television for their content.’ The latter responses were correct according to the panelists and for the very reason stated. The exercise was meant to demonstrate how a ubiquitous tool could be largely useless in a specific scenario.

As the session came to a close, the panelists offered much needed advice in a changing world. Zia pointed to the poor state of educational institutions and encouraged the students to come out of the rut of conventional thinking, “Make sure to stay in the know of changing trends and adapt.” Imtiaz was succinct, “Where passion, interest and ability intersect, money and passion lie.” And finally, Hatim summarized, “Don’t focus on getting a job, but building a career.”

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