Afaque Riaz Ahmed is the founding Chairperson of The Education Enrichment Foundation (EduEnrich). A philanthropist at heart, he is also a seasoned and successful technology entrepreneur, who has founded, acquired and sold several high-tech startup companies in Pakistan and globally with success. He has an accurate grasp of technology and business ecosystems to successfully develop and market challenging, consumer driven indigenous products and services during the days of global recession. He believes the future of nations lie in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) coupled with entrepreneurship education, especially for countries like Pakistan. STEM and entrepreneurship are at the heart of majority of his previous ventures and EduEnrich is not an exception indeed.
He is also the founder and director of Breezecom group of companies, which is based out of Cyberjaya, Malaysia with operations in 5 countries, providing wholesale voice aggregation services to approximately 1000 telecom companies in 25 countries. By virtue of Breezecom, the research and product development in Telecom Switching and OSS, which is happening in Pakistan is unparalleled. Breezecom’s RnD efforts have been recognized through awards in 2011 by both industry associations including P@SHA, Pakistan and TMC.NET, USA as well as government entities like ICTRND Fund, Pakistan and MDeC, Malaysia.
Robotics Labs Karachi is the latest example of his personal reflections to bring change in the basic education of Pakistan at par with the international world. It is a high tech initiative targeted towards the younger lot (5-18 years) in Pakistan who want to truly set themselves apart from the factory-type learning by building a passion for Science. Now young children and teenagers have the opportunity to learn cutting edge technologies in Robotics, 3D Modeling, 3D Simulation, Movie Making, IPad Game Applications, Programming and many more through interesting workshops held throughout the year at Robotics Labs’ modern, secure and high-tech labs and classrooms for children. As of July, 2012, 3000 children have benefitted from these programs.
In 2011, he founded and is a partner in Breeze Angel Investments, a company which invests in early stage technology startups. Its current portfolio includes Goodcore Software Inc – an international software consultancy/outsourcing firm, The Game Loop – a company focused on mobile games, and a few others in stealth mode.
He has a long history of philanthropy and has been working closely with The Citizens’ Foundation, a Pakistani not-for-profit entity focused on primary and secondary education in Pakistan, operating for the last 15 years and managing around 800 schools providing quality education to marginalized communities. He is a project lead for one of their flagship campuses – The Deena Mistri campus.
In 2011, he was elected to Central Executive Committee of P@SHA (Pakistan Software Houses Association). Besides his contributions towards the tech industry causes, he is also supervising the drafting for cyber laws in Pakistan.
Afaque holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin, U.S.A. and an MBA from McGill University, Montreal, Canada. He has also completed various professional development courses and programs at Stanford University and University of California-San Diego. Prior to his moving back to Pakistan in 2004, between 1997 and 2004, he gained extensive experience in senior engineering and sales roles at several U.S. based organizations including Texas Instruments and Micron Technology.
Despite his busy schedule, Afaque dedicates time for mentoring and counseling students and their parents to order to guide them through career planning and education. He also runs a successful blog – BackToPakistan.com, which focuses on influencing expatriate Pakistanis to move back to Pakistan for change and by being the change themselves.
Sarwat Afaque graduated with high honors from the University of California at Berkeley in 2006 with a Bachelors of Science in Business Administration. She has one year of experience serving as the Vice President of the Haas Business School Association (HBSA) at the Haas School of Business, which functioned as a liaison between school administration and students and aimed to develop solidarity amongst students and HBSA members. She oversaw fund raising events, conducted weekly meetings, planned the end of term banquet and organized a team building retreat for fifty HBSA members.
Having a firm belief in acting as an agent for change as well as being focused towards effective structure and optimal use of resources, she volunteered to be the Treasurer of Park View Housing Management Committee. Her husband, Afaque Ahmed assumed the post of the Vice President and together, within a year, they transformed the committee that had been struggling financially for several years into one that had a surplus of funds which were successfully used towards the uplift of gardens, repairs and cleanliness of the premises, good water provision system, and a well paid and well managed staff.
In the same vein, she volunteered to be the class coordinator at her daughter’s schools for three years in a row, and successfully served as a liaison between the school administration and parents. Moving back from USA to Pakistan, she developed the ‘from the outside in’ view of her country. An ardent supporter of international level, good quality, modern education, she believes that this is the only way forward for the youth of Pakistan. The people of Pakistan can no longer keep comparing foreign systems to local ones but indeed, strive to create and adopt contextualized effective systems after having learned from the foreign ones. She is ambitious in bringing innovation and international curriculum elements to university level courses and a shift towards practical approach in all university education.
Muhammad Anis founded Masco Energy Services in 1978 and since then has been successfully holding the post of its Chief Executive Officer. To date, Masco Energy Services is at the forefront of producing innovative solutions for power generation needs of its customer. The company has its head office in Karachi and regional office in Lahore. It also has two satellite facilities in Faisalabad & Hyderabad. In addition to Pakistan, the company is providing its services to clients in Middle East and Africa.
Being associated with the energy sector for almost 35 years, Muhammad Anis sees progress through innovation and education as the only way forward for Pakistan. It is his utmost hope that people will understand the importance of liberal, modern, technical education for the uplift and betterment of the nation.
Muhammad Anis, along with his wife, has been associated with many large NGOs and non-profit organizations with the primary goal of actively donating substantially towards the education sector. He has been an ardent supporter of The Citizen’s foundation and has fully contributed two TCF schools. He is also an enthusiastic financial supporter of the NAMAL College, which aims to trigger innovation for the benefit of society, by establishing high quality education facilities of international standard. NAMAL college currently offers undergraduate degrees in Computer Science, Software Engineering and Electrical Engineering. Students are awarded University of Bradford degrees upon completion of the program requirements.
Mr. and Mrs. Mohammad Anis have harbored a strong faith in philanthropy from a young age. In 1980 they started Ayesha Masjid on Khyaban-e-Ittehad with the objective that mosques must be professionally and effectively managed. Through the years, they have nurtured their beliefs and today they successfully make sure people have a clean, safe and beautiful place to pray in, which is equipped with air conditioners, generator, clean water and separate floor for females.
Sameea Anis takes pride in the fact that she has successfully raised four bright kids, all of whom are top university graduates or are currently pursuing tertiary education. Being a matriculate herself, she deeply understands the importance of modern, liberal and technical education and has strived day and night to guide her children to the path of such education. Now, she wants to further this vision for the youth of Pakistan. Being an active philanthropist, she has been channelizing her funds mostly in the way of education. Along with her husband, Muhammad Anis, she has donated two schools to The Citizen’s Foundation (TCF) in which many underprivileged children are exercising their right to good quality education in a proper school setting. She also provides educational guidance and financial assistance to females and children from marginalized areas in Karachi, as well as promotes various educational institutions by recommending talented teachers. Apart from her educational efforts, she is one of the major donors present in this sector. Sameea also actively supports women communities by providing logistical, moral and religious support to them. Feeling the dearth of proper sections in masjids for females, Sameea had a fully air-conditioned female floor built at Ayesha Masjid in Karachi, which is operated and managed by her and her husband. Due to her efforts, a multitude of women now gather to pray taraweeh and Eid prayers in Ayesha Masjid. She is one of the primary donors and supporters of the Education Enrichment Foundation. Her knowledge, conviction and unwavering support make her an absolute asset for the organization.
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