KARACHI: Five Pakistanis and a local startup have made it to the Forbes 30 Under 30 Asia 2019 list of entrepreneurs and game-changers.
According to Forbes, a total of 300 names were chosen for the list from over 2,000 entries representing 23 countries and territories in the Asia-Pacific region, which were heavily researched by a team of reporters and vetted by an A-list of judges.
The Pakistanis have been selected for their achievements in the categories of entertainment and sports, enterprise technology, retail and e-commerce, social entrepreneurs and healthcare and science.
Ahmed Rauf Essa, 27, co-founded Telemart at the age of 23, which Forbes describes as “one of the largest e-commerce platforms in Pakistan”. He was named under the “Retail & Ecommerce” category of the Forbes list. Outside of B2C, the company has an extensive wholesale channel which caters to more than 500 dealers online, and is an end-to-end solutions provider for major firms such as P&G, Lucky Cement and Ufone.
Karishma Ali, 21, who belongs to Chitral, “is currently the only female football player from her hometown playing at the national club level”, says Forbes. Ms Ali has represented Pakistan at the Jubilee Games in Dubai. Also, she has founded the Chitral Women’s Sports Club.
Named under the Forbes “Healthcare & Science” category, Laila Kasuri, 29, is a water analyst with Global Green Growth Investment’s Policy Solutions Division.
According to Forbes, Ms Kasuri has led research at organisations such as the World Bank, the US Army Corps of Engineers, and the UC Davis Centre for Watershed Sciences on climate-smart irrigation, flood risk reduction, and river basin planning.
Twenty-nine-year-old Zainab Bibi, who has been listed under the “Industry, Manufacturing & Energy” category, founded Pakistan Society for Green Energy in 2013 to develop new methods of renewable energy.
“Since its founding, the company has successfully developed a bio-fuel from waste tissue paper, and introduced Camelina Sativa, a drought-resistant plant that can be made into bio-diesel,” said the publication.
Zain Ashraf, 28, has been recognised in the list of “Social Entrepreneurs”. He founded Seed Out — a non-profit, non-religious and non-political crowdfunding platform — four years ago. It has raised over 600 entrepreneurs in four cities of Pakistan since then, with average funding of Rs90,000 per person.
Listed under the category of “Enterprise Technology” is Roshni Rides — a women friendly carpooling platform for commuters based in Pakistan. The company is founded by four classmates from Rutgers University in the United States — Hanaa Lakhani, Hasan Usmani, Gia Farooqi and Moneeb Mian. The company arranges affordable rickshaw rides along designated routes between a refugee camp and common destinations such as markets and hospitals.
Published in Dawn, April 5th, 2019