News Desk |
Beaconhouse School System and the National Incubation Center (NIC) Islamabad recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in Islamabad which aims to foster and establish an entrepreneurial mindset in the young innovators of Pakistan.
Through the MoU, Beaconhouse School System – Pakistan’s largest education system – and NIC, a premier state-of-the-art campus, have focused on actionable training for the students. The MOU was signed by Mr. Nassir Kasuri, Executive Director Beaconhouse Group and Mr. Parvez Abbasi, Project Director NIC, Islamabad.
A lot of our employees, businesses, and customers are growing in this time where the ability to transform a company and grow a company based on digital technology is here.
Speaking at the ceremony, Kasuri said: “Beaconhouse envisages imparting 21st-century skills to its students from the very start of their educational journey at schools. We as educators have the responsibility to nurture and channelize the strength and abilities of our students and for that we need to move away from traditional learning style and focus on more hands-on, project-based style of learning.”
“This Partnership hopes to develop programs for the incubation of entrepreneurial mindset in students. It is our intention for the future to have this collaboration raise the level of success that aspiring entrepreneurs are able to achieve,” he said.
While appreciating Kasuri’s vision on the future of education in Pakistan, Project Director, Parvez Abbasi said: “We are delighted to be partnering with Beaconhouse group as we believe this MoU is a new step in bridging the gap between industries and schools as this will foster the commitment to excellence by incubating promising entrepreneurs to contribute to the economy of Pakistan. As a well-established incubation center, we look forward to introducing our incubatees to the new and exciting opportunities presented by this agreement.”
NIC Focusses on Actionable Training
With an aim to focus on actionable training, the industry veterans and thought leaders from across the industrial sector mentor the incubatees. The curriculum helps to understand capacity building in product development, digital marketing, design thinking, investor pitches and various necessary entrepreneurial skills.
With an aim to focus on actionable training, the industry veterans and thought leaders from across the industrial sector mentor the incubatees.
It was earlier reported that NIC Islamabad is fostering innovation and growth through one-to-one mentor sessions and regularly hosted tech talks. The report added that these programs allow the incubated startups to connect with industry experts and gain access to grants, VC network, digital platforms, and solutions.
NIC Islamabad encourages startups to participate and compete in local and international events. Some of the existing startups at the NIC made their mark and showcased their products at the 4FYN held in Barcelona every year.
Top 5 of the shortlisted startups will be selected for the Jazz xlr8 program to get access to Jazz’s user base, its digital platforms and a global network of mentors. Jazz xlr8 is aligned with VEON’s Make Your Mark initiative, which is aiming to transform the future generation through exposure and seed funding.
Why Empathy at Work is Essential: Ursula Burns, CEO Veon
Global Village Space (GVS) Managing Editor Najma Minhas recently sat down with Ursula Burns, CEO Veon, during her second visit to Pakistan with Veon. The global company is one of the world’s largest communications providers and owner of Jazz, Pakistan’s largest telecommunication company. Ursula first visited Pakistan in 1984 as a young engineer with Xerox at the time. Following is the complete interview of the CEO Veon.
You have faced many obstacles in your life – you were poor, African-American, and a woman. How did you end up becoming the CEO of Xerox, a Fortune 500 company and now Veon?
Ursula Burns: I happened to be an engineer and went through a series of roles at the company that prepared me for even bigger roles, and ultimately for the CEO position.
The curriculum helps to understand capacity building in product development, digital marketing, design thinking, investor pitches and various necessary entrepreneurial skills.
I extended myself out of the company and spent quite a bit of time working in the community and working with the government. So, I was a ‘package’ that was fit for the job. However, the other part is that the rhetoric around the three characters you mention – a poor, black, woman – is that you are set up for failure.
Moreover, this is the standard structure of how our society operates. My mother made it clear to us – my siblings and I – that those things are facts, but two of them are incredible strengths to build on – being a woman and being black – these are positive attributes and not negative at all. The poor part we had to work on because if it continues throughout your life, it would be challenging. So, my mother made it clear that there were very few obstacles that I could not work my way out of and she taught us not to spend a lot of time thinking about what other people think.
Do you think you managed the team at Xerox differently because you were a woman versus if you had been a man?
Ursula Burns: I could not tell you because I have never been a man. I managed the team the way that I manage it. I do believe, from where I can observe, women have some distinct differences. One of them that I realized earlier is that our ability to listen is more keenly refined than a man’s ability to listen. Second, our ability to empathize is a very positive trait as it brings out the best and more in people in the team.
Ursula first visited Pakistan in 1984 as a young engineer with Xerox at the time. Following is the complete interview of the CEO Veon.
Now this is being changed because we are raising our children differently, so we have to find different ways to emphasize the value of a woman’s inherent nature. But these differences used to be viewed as weaknesses, but now it is being realized that more than ever, we need empathy in work. Not sympathy, but understanding. This ability that we have to be able to work together and that there are ways to work together – there are win-wins – without crushing someone and without making it a wargame.
These are things I consider attributes and strengths for me and for women in general. And one of the reasons I happened to be successful was that I had a little bit less of those things than most women, and it is an interesting balance because I am not as empathetic. I am probably slightly more upfront which helped me be successful.
Pakistan is one of Veon’s largest markets – how have you tried to get your grip on understanding Pakistan?
Ursula Burns: One of the ways is to visit the place. This is my second visit with Veon, and I have been here twice previously in 1984 and 1991 while working in Xerox very early on. One should come if only because the TV does not give an accurate depiction of the country. You are subjected to all these negative images. However, this is a country with good roads and busy people, even though there is a side that needs to be modernized. So, one has to come, so you can see for yourself what you are dealing with.
Even though you cannot over-index on that because you cannot see a lot. The second is to spend time with the people from here when they come to us. So, Veon’s leader in Pakistan, Aamir Ibrahim, who is the CEO of Jazz, is responsible for making Veon leadership understand what it needs to, about Pakistan because he is the guardian and representative of that market in the boardroom for us.
You were known in Xerox for bringing change. What kind of change do you envisage bringing into Pakistan and the Jazz business?
Ursula Burns: This is about technology. The population of this country is growing fast, and they are going to be digital natives. A lot of our employees, businesses, and customers are growing in this time where the ability to transform a company and grow a company based on digital technology is here.
I think it is essential that I spend time with business leaders and government leaders here, to build and enable the required infrastructure for rapid progress which for a country like this is vital but also very difficult. Some of this enabling work has to do with necessary infrastructure, things like access to education, having people with essential reading and writing skills is vital for the success of Veon. So, we have to help these governments transform this.
Are you doing any of that as part of your corporate responsibility work?
Ursula Burns: We sell technology so having people with skills to use it and have access to it, along with the necessary infrastructure through which it can be prolific is very important. So, I spend quite a bit of time with leaders to form a partnership to progress business. It is in some ways selfish to us, but it is also required for the foundational success of Pakistan and the other countries where we operate.