I believe that one of the core principles to create a better, vibrant, democratic and a more prosperous Pakistan is a 4-year college educated Pakistan with competitive skill sets which will also ensure economic survival and progress in an increasingly globally intertwined landscape. This belief has become firmer in the last nine years since I moved back to Pakistan, after having lived in the US for 13 years, and while going through the process of setting up multiple successful tech-enabled startups in Pakistan. Not waiting for the government or some messiah to fix this, I decided to take this initiative as a private, not-for-profit venture with the help of friends and family during my prime years so I can see the mission through its completion. This initiative is KITE– Karachi Institute of Technology and Entrepreneurship.
KITE’s core vision is to create a critical mass of well-rounded citizens with a “can-do” attitude who thrive in multidimensional, local and global societies. How will that help? It has become the need of the hour to have graduates who are locally relevant and internationally competitive. Such strong willed and powerful individuals will not only be able to improve the current societal setup but will also possess the necessary skills to become entrepreneurs. And being an entrepreneur doesn’t really mean you have to be the next Steve Jobs. Start simple and start small. Being a seasoned entrepreneur myself, I am well-aware of the importance of taking ownership— giving your dream all that you have knowing full well that you can fail. I aim to provide each student with a seed— an idea that is compatible with that student’s skill-set which can eventually take the form of a well-rooted tree—a business that will benefit not only the student but also all of society and the economy as a whole.
Experience is probably always the best teacher. What better way to ensure global competitiveness in our students than to send them abroad so they can learn for themselves? KITE’s recent affiliation with UT Austin will ensure that our students will be able to go abroad for exchange programs and network with the right people. But international exposure must go hand-in-hand with local relevance. The Career Office at KITE provides students with intense career guidance sessions to ensure all students utilize their own unique key strengths when deciding what career paths to pursue. The outcome of these sessions will also help the Career Office to decide which partners companies would best suit which candidate for work placement in the summer. Education at KITE is not just about theoretical concepts that students will memorize and forget; it will include live sessions with professionals, full-time internships, exciting ideas and start-up ventures, and an experience that will take a life-time to forget!