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.e change themselves.