This tech entrepreneur started out from his college dorm room
Published on: September 27, 2018
The life of an entrepreneur is not easy. “During the day you think five times – why the hell am I doing this,” says Raza Saeed, CEO of Confiz Limited and Pakwheels.com
Saeed’s entrepreneurial journey started in 2002 with a competition he participated in during his sophomore year at LUMS. The competition was hosted by IEEE – the world’s largest technical professional organisation for the advancement of technology – and the prize involved a trip to the US. Saeed saw it as a golden opportunity for a US trip.
His team’s business plan involved a wireless network of electricity meters, which could eliminate the need for manual meter readings. While their submission was not selected, they still approached LUMS’ administration to help execute their plan and find funding.
Their idea was shut down. Saeed suspects their young age had something to do with it.
At the time, concepts like venture capital and incubators were rare, a problem he believes persists for Pakistani startups today.
But through a $1,500 investment from a former school tutor, Saeed and his friends, all software engineers, were able to register on an online website for freelance work. While they ditched their original idea, they were able to make some money offering technology services on this platform.
Projects kept coming in and their business grew to a point where all five of them could afford to leave the college hostel and get a place of their own.
After graduating in 2005, Saeed launched Confiz Limited.
Today, the company has 250 employees and offices in Pakistan, the US, and Europe. It provides a host of technology services, including mobile apps, enterprise systems, and machine learning, to a clientele that includes Fortune 500 companies the likes of Microsoft and Intel.
Saeed strongly believes that Pakistan needs to invest in the IT sector – with a particular focus on job creation for the largest segment of our population, aged 30 and below. Through this, the country can leapfrog ahead and emerge as a true Asian Tiger, says Saeed.
Watch this interview to learn about the journey of launching Confiz Limited, what traits he values most (03:22) and who inspires him (04:20).
Raza Saeed’s is currently reading: Measure What Matters – How Google, Bono, and The Gates Foundation Rock The World With OKRS, by John Doerr.
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