Our most inexhaustible and useful resource is human capital. Optimal utilization of this resource holds the ability to turn any industry into an example of accelerated growth.
With an aim to plug in the industry to the best in human resource, the Pakistan Software Houses Association for IT and ITES (P@SHA) brought back this year one of its flagship events, the P@SHA Career Expo.
The Expo covered more dimensions of career building than most such events, as it included entrepreneurship under its scope to serve its objective of facilitating the overall growth of the IT sector.
The event, which took place on Saturday, June 2, 2012 at the Marriott Hotel in Karachi, was open to all and lasted from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm.
The Crystal ballroom was reserved for the company booths for the occasion and was abuzz with activity throughout the day. Companies had outdone themselves to attract prospective employees to their stalls. While TRG offered prizes to the candidates who could solve their ‘mind games’ and puzzles, Access Group held a lucky draw for the candidates whereby one lucky person walked off with a brand new cell phone.
Amongst the companies present were Systems Ltd, Workforce Software, ArpaTech , Etlize Pakistan, Ten Pearls International, Game View Pakistan (Pvt.) Ltd., TPS, TRG Tech, Primatics Financial, Goodcore Software, AutoSoft Dynamics, Mazars Consulting and Avanza Solutions.
While most participating companies had sent in their senior people to provide counseling and guidance to young professionals and students at the company booth, some had gone a step further than that.
Companies like Workforce Software, who were also the Gold Sponsor for the event, sent in professionals who volunteered their time entirely for counseling in the hall adjacent to the main area. They also interviewed some of the candidates on the spot to shortlist potential talent to hire right away.
The counseling was an opportunity for students and young professionals to interact with the industry’s best. Notables from the IT industry were available and ready to give their input and attention to anyone who wanted it, the rest was up to the mentees; how they interacted, how much learning they gleaned from it and what they made of it.
Among the counselors were Farzal Dojki, Ansar Muhammad, Afaque Ahmed, Ahmed Ayub, Naveed Qazi, Naureen Anwar, Khurram Majeed, Afaq Ali, Meesam Raza, Syed Salman Ahmed, Saqib Mansoor, Hasan Rizvi, Shoaib Zaidi, Shahjahan Chaudhary and Imtiaz N. Muhammad.
The first workshop (Resume Writing & Interview Techniques) was conducted by Nausheen Ishtiaq. The hour-long workshop began at 11:30 am and was highly interactive. Nausheen herself has had the experience of recruiting employees which made her a credible and relevant source of guidance.
Following this, the workshop on “Careers in ICT” was conducted by Ansar Muhammad. The workshop enlightened participants about the various options (and their nuances) available to them within the field of IT as they embark on building their careers.
Undoubtedly though, the panel discussion and idea-storming session were what really made the Career Expo stand apart and rise above all similar events.
This activity was held in conjunction with the P@SHA Fund for Social Innovation. The shortlisted ideas from this session will be run through the sprucing mill until they are perfect for their final submission as P@SHA Fund for Social Innovation entries.
The panel discussion ‘From Idea to Start-up’ featured Shahjahan Chaudhary – CEO, Teamants, Zaid Enam, Afaque Ahmed – Founding Owner, Could BPO and Farzal Dojki – CEO, Next Generation Innovations.
Each of the panelists borrowed from their own experiences as entrepreneurs. Their call to entrepreneurship held much more effect than any motivational speaker’s because each one of them had chosen to bear the opportunity cost of entrepreneurship at some point in time. They had been through the grind.
The panelists cited their own experiences and elaborated upon the concept of social impact for the benefit of that chunk of audience which was not already familiar with the P@SHA Fund ideology.
At 3:00 pm the discussion was closed and the floor was open for 60-second pitches. Participants who had come in with ideas for a start-up with social impact formed a queue. One by one they all stepped up to the podium and pitched their ideas to the panelists. Some were brilliant while others were a bit nervous, but all in all it was an interesting round, and gave way to five ideas shortlisted by the panelists.
The shortlisted participants were then assigned a mentor each and broke away for a 15 minute discussion with each of their mentors. The objective was to work out practicality and details of the idea and its implementation, and prepare the shortlisted participants for the second round of pitches – this time three minutes long.
The second round of pitches was tougher as the presenters had to face questions from the audience and other mentors and convince them of the idea’s viability. Following that, the exercise was wrapped up for the day. However, the participants will continue to work on their ideas with their mentors till such point that their entry is perfected for the P@SHA Fund.
It was indeed a successful event, and would not have been possible without our Gold sponsors Workforce Software. We thank them for their support and partnership. P@SHA plans on holding a similar one in Lahore next.
Praise of the P@SHA Career Expo as received through our social media:
Had great learning , Event was amazing ,specially workshops! – Obaidullah Naqvi
PERFECT! And talking To Mr Imtiaz Noor & Miss Jehan Ara Was More Perfect (than) things I had in my mind – Rafay Qureshi
Splendid.. met so many new experts.. Had a great time!! – Umer Sohail
It was nice to be there and was, no doubt, prolific for every individual, fresh or experienced. Provided a single platform to meet list of companies. Yet another constructive step from P@SHA– Sharjeel Riaz
A really good effort from P@SHA. Definitely had a lot of advantages. Thumbs up to Ms. Jehan Ara, the team of organizers, and volunteers! Please do continue conducting such events in the future! – Basit Saeed
Had a lovely time there! It was a very lucrative Expo for youngsters! This kind of expo really shows that Pakistan is full of talent and has potential to grow and shine! – Saad Ahmed Khan
Awesome event MashAllah. Workshop by Madam Nausheen Ishtiaq was excellent. – Safi Siddiqui