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  • My Warid 4G LTE SIM is here

    A few months ago i received a call from Warid Telecom that i would be receiving their new 4G LTE SIM for my phone, and then a few weeks ago i received an sms as well saying the same, and finally today i received my SIM.

    Warid has spent some money on their packaging as i received a pretty box with a small booklet explaining the features of the new network and SIM. Another good thing was that Warid has sent the SIM in multiple sizes, so that people with a micro SIM supported phone can also use the Sim, and those whose devices support nano Sims or the standard size also be able to use the SIM.

    I was also pleasantly surprised that after activating my new SIM, i received a call from the Warid help line guiding me how to activate my 4G LTE, and they also sent me SMS messaged detailing the process.

    However, unfortunately 4G LTE coverage is not yet that wide spread as my home does not come under the coverage area. I was also informed, that if in areas of no 4G LTE coverage my 2G connection will work and i will be charged 2G charges.

    Furthermore for the time being trial is being run and the 4G LTE connection is free.

    Once you receive your 4G LTE SIM from Warid Telecom send an SMS to 5555 with the message 4G to find out if your current location is in the coverage area.

    To enable 4G in your phone go to your settings, then select the Mobile Network option, and select the option GSM/WCDMA/LTE. On some phones such as on mine i had the option of 4G & 3G & 2G which i had to select.

    In APN enter the word warid, and in the name field enter warid as well.

    Hopefully if you have 4G LTE coverage in your area your connection will. Let us see if my area gets coverage, then i will be able to take it for a spin.

     

    November 30, 2014 • Pakistan, Technology • Views: 7168

  • Fire Side Chat with Badar Khusnood of Google Pakistan

    On Wednesday 19th November 2014 I attended a fire side chat with Badar Khusnood Pakistan Country Consultant Google, organized by Startup Grind Lahore which is powered by Google for Entrepreneurs. The host for the evening was Zohaib Khan Director of Startup Grind.

    Many things were discussed, where questions were answered from various topics such as incubators, accelerators, how a non-techie can play his role in a startup.

    Following is the round up of the things discussed:

    What Badar’s role is at Google Pakistan, and how he started his careers. He explained he graduated in Economics form Lahore School of Economics, and joined Nishat Textile. Then he moved to work for Small and Medium Enterprises Development Authority. He then further told us what he does at Google. He is involved in conducting market research and also helping Google understand the Pakistani market. He was also instrumental in the role of Google’s Chairman Eric Schmidt visiting Pakistan in 2012, and also the visit of Nelson Mattos, VP Emerging Markets Google.  Badar is also part of a Google Scouts program in which was started in 2005 by Google to scout for emerging markets in the world.

    The issue of youtube being banned in Pakistan and what it would take it to be un-banned. The main reason that he gave was that in countries such the offensive video which caused a hue cry has been banned in many countries, but the problem in Pakistan is that in order to do so youtube would have to be established in Pakistan with a domain of youtube.com.pk or youtube.pk and in order to do that legislations and laws are required to be in place for such a thing, but unfortunately in Pakistan we lack this. Google can not implement the ban just for Pakistan on youtube.com website as it comes under US laws, ad jurisdiction, while the .com.pk or the .pk version will come under Pakistan’s laws and jurisdictions.

    Differences between incubators, and accelerators were also discussed where the audience also posed their questions which were answered by Badar. Basically incubators are supposed to build a proof of concept of an idea, and the idea is validated at this stage. Accelerators come at the stage when the startups are to further grow and build their products and ideas.

    The models to generate funds for the company which companies follow, and he listed the following as the ones which a startup can adopt:

    • bootstrap your startup, that is spend your savings on your startup
    • ask your family and friends to give you the money
    • find an angel investor to invest in your startup
    • offer your time for money become a services based company doing freelance work for clients and then use the money earned to support your products
    • find venture capitals to invest in your company

    Google’s interests in Pakistan and also how Google has helped Pakistan in times of need were also discussed. We were told that USD $1 million were distributed to non-profit companies who were working to help ease the effects of the 2010 floods in Pakistan.

    Furthermore, it was emphasized that an entrepreneur should be a jack of all trades, and that he should acquire skills in the fields which require building, running and growing a business. Such fields include, technical (IT), marketing, accounting, sales, and administration. It is good to hire some one for that particular post, but if you are starting out, you should learn as much as you can.

    Networking is also very important, as entrepreneurship can not be done alone. Meet new people and find a common connection with that person whom you want to meet. The only way to do that is to get out of the building and to talk to people, attend events.

    After the talk I met with entrepreneurs from different companies, and shared ideas and discussed strategies with them.

    Overall the talk and the networking activity that followed was quite engaging and inspirational and i recommend that entrepreneurs who are starting out attend such events so that they too can learn and network with other entrepreneurs.

    The pictures below have been shared with permission from Startup Grind Lahore.

    The pictures were taken by ShutterWorks Photography.

    Updates: The date of the event was corrected. The actual date was Wednesday 20th November 2014.

    The source for the pictures was added.

    • Fire side chat with badar khushnood
      Fire side chat with badar khushnood

    November 25, 2014 • Entrepreneurship, Pakistan, Technology • Views: 4410

  • Pakistan now Supported by Google Wallet Merchant Account

    This is a really good news for Pakistani Android developers as Pakistan has been added to the list of countries where Google Wallet Merchant Account is now available. Earlier, Pakistani Android developers could only upload apps as free and not charge any money via the in-app purchases or sell their apps.

    This new development will surely encourage and motivate Pakistani developers to make more apps, and also be able to make money from their apps. Now it is quite possible that we might start seeing apps without ads, as the only way for the developers to earn money was from ads.

    To set up your merchant account with your existing Google Play developer account and to find which countries are supported for paid apps and in-app purchases you can do so from here.

    Update: Updated at 11:40 pm Pakistan Standard Time on 8th November 2014. The word Wallet was added in Google Wallet Merchant Account as the correct name is Google Wallet Merchant Account.

    Android was added to text in the first paragraph.

    November 8, 2014 • Pakistan, Technology • Views: 10136

  • My Experience In Google for Entrepreneurs Speed Mentoring Session

    I had applied to take part in an event called Startup BBQ Speed Mentoring organized by Google for Entrepreneurs (Google Pakistan) and PASHA (Pakistan Software Houses Association), and had entered my product Inbox My Articles as the submission idea.

    On Monday 20th October 2014 i received a congratulatory email from Badar Khushnood (Google’s Country Consultant for Pakistan), Google for Entrepreneurs that my idea had been selected for speed mentoring. I was over the moon. Finally, my directionless startup, which was barely gaining any traction was going to get some well needed direction, and that it was one of the 7 startups selected from over 100 plus which had applied from Lahore, Pakistan. I was honored, and proud for being part of this, and also glad that me and my team did not give up on my idea and we had stuck to it, and have brought it to where it is currently. I myself had worked during the nights to add the new features which i though were required, and which i also needed as a user, while during the day i work on client based projects.

    Inbox My Articles is an RSS Reader which consists of an Android app, a website, and a cloud. The Android app has the capabilities of downloading articles for offline articles. There are many use cases of this feature, such as not wanting to miss the latest news when ever you use the app, so you want to download the articles onto your device. Another useful use case is when you are in your commute and want to follow your favorite websites on the way to office, you can download the articles before hand, and then read them later.

    I myself use Inbox My Articles every day, and where i live, we don’t have internet connection everywhere. 3G has just recently come in Pakistan, but from what i heard least it was still expensive, and my network is straight going to 4G LTE, which it announced, but i am yet to receive my new sim card which i was promised to receive but still have not received it, so as a result i am usually in places where i do not have an internet connection available, so i read the articles which i have downloaded earlier onto my device.

    I went with my team which consisted of the following:

    • Mustafa Neguib (Entrepreneur, Founder, CEO of MN Tech Solutions (Private) Limited)
    • Muhammad Adil Saeed (Development Partner & CTO of MN Tech Solutions (Private) Limited)
    • Muhammad Basim Majeed (Development Partner & Software Engineer  of MN Tech Solutions (Private) Limited)
    • Saad Siddique (Development Partner & Software Engineer  of MN Tech Solutions (Private) Limited)

    We arrived the venue, LUMS (Lahore University of Management & Sciences ) Smart Lab, Lahore, Pakistan at about 8 am on the fine morning of Tuesday 21st October 2014. I had insisted my team mates to wear formal attire, as i had assumed that since the top industry experts were coming to mentor us, we should be dressed accordingly, but the reality was to be other wise. Everyone was more or less in their casual attire.

    We were one of the first ones to reach the venue, so we had some time to take pictures with the banners, and set up our equipment (laptop with the pitch deck and presentation which i had prepared and my smartphone, and my business cards).

    As everyone else started to pour into the venue, i saw some familiar faces, and some new faces. I was awestruck. I was in the company of the people who were at the place where i believe i am destined to be. To see local heroes and entrepreneurs who made it on their own, i too strive to attain success and build a successful company one day, while in the mean time i am trying to survive with my team, hoping for that one big break.

    I believe that this event was our big break, and will be using it to the fullest to further grow the company.

    We were mentored by the following industry experts:

    Each of the mentors brought their view point, experience and expertise, which all was extremely valuable for us inexperienced entrepreneurs miserably trying to survive. As a crux we were guided on how we are to build our business and marketing plan, how to calculate our costs, how to find new users and how to get feedback from existing users. We also learned what issues our product contains, and how we can further improve it. One of the common themes was that we should target the local audience, and to localize the product. This surely is a point to ponder, and one direction which we should definitely think about. We also learned about marketing plans, and how much users are required for making money from ads.

    I would like to say, that we were grilled and prepared for barbecue as the organizers had claimed to do so. I myself learned alot, pitching became better and we modified our pitch when the next mentor came.

    Apart from the mentors mentioned above, founder of TechJuice, one of Pakistan’s top technology media companies also guided and advised us. TechJuice was also one of the seven startups selected, and i thank her for her advice and guidance.

    This was not the first time when i was part of an event like this. I was also part of the Game Jam 2014 Lahore, but this event was at another level as this time, my and my team’s hard work for the past 6 months was recognized and accepted as an idea which i am even more determined to work on, and to further improve it and use the knowledge gained in building this into a business.

    This event was the perfect time for making connections and increase our networking circle. I am glad that we were given the chance and met some extraordinary people. We really thank Google Pakistan, Google for Entrepreneurs and PASHA for selecting us, and giving us a chance to learn and experience, and to be mentored by the industry experts.

    I would also like to thanks the mentors who took out time from their busy schedules in order to mentor us, and to help us learn from our mistakes, and most importantly to guide us. I will never forget what i have learned here, and i will do my best to implement what i have learned on Inbox My Articles, and also on any future product that i work on.

    Update @ 24th October 2014 3:03 AM : Added link to blog post to the article about my experience in Game Jam 2014  Hackathon Lahore

    • Google for Entrepreneurs Week Startup BBQ
      Google for Entrepreneurs Week Startup BBQ

    October 24, 2014 • Entrepreneurship, Pakistan, Technology • Views: 4692

  • An idea to help solve a social problem

    We all have a single life to live, and what use is the life if we can not use it to help others. In line with this i am always thinking of new ideas of how i can help solve problems that others face.

    In Pakistan there are many issues which need to be addressed urgently and are as follows:

    1. terrorism
    2. education crisis
    3. energy crisis
    4. health related crisis
    5. corruption

    There are many other problems which also need to be addressed, but the ones listed above are the core problems which need urgent solutions

    There are efforts underway by different segments of the society to solve each of those problems. I myself am already engaged in helping solve an education crisis by being part of the The Citizens Foundation’s Rahbar Program, where i mentor children of class 9.

    I am also an entrepreneur and a software engineer, and i would like to solve a social problem by using technology. Having experience in developing geo location apps, i thought i could build something which also brought in contribution of the users using the service. Solving social issues is a combined effort, and one can get all the help he can get in solving the issue. The Rahbar program is totally run by volunteers of The Citizens Foundation. I know that there are people who are passionate enough to bring a better change in Pakistan.

    Please read the text below where i describe the problem at hand, and what solution i propose. I would then like to you fill out this form

     Safai Helping Raise Awareness About Cleanliness In Your Neigborhood

    Problem Statement

    I wish there was (a) better way of showing the government officials and also other individuals the poor state our neighbor hoods are in terms of their cleanliness and how they are not being cleaned regularly. We want to pinpoint those locations where rubbish is not removed which can further cause problems such as diseases, etc…

    Solution Answer

    My idea is a mobile application and an accompanying website which will be geo location based. Any one with the application can tag locations, and show those tags on the map which will be both on the application and also on the website. Our aim is to have as little tags as possible, and to keep it that way. The user will also be able to upload pictures of the location and will be able to upload them on to the system. Other users can also comment on the tags and hopefully do something to help solve the problem. My idea is a platform which will give a voice to a social problem which needs to be solved.

    Solution Statement

    Safai (cleanliness) is a(n) product that allows you to pinpoint locations which you think need to be cleaned and inform others about it

    Source of the featured image is: http://www.dawn.com/news/495992/as-economy-grows-so-do-chinaaes-garbage-woes

    May 19, 2014 • Entrepreneurship, General, Pakistan • Views: 3771

  • My Trip To Ramkot Fort

    In late 2013 i had decided to volunteer for the The Citizen’s Foundation Rahbar program, where i met wonderful people who like myself had taken out time from their busy schedules to volunteer in order to do something for our country.

    My co-mentors arranged a trip to Ramkot Fort, Azad Kashmir. Pakistan. We travelled by bus leaving Defence Housing Authority Lahore early in the morning so that we could beat the traffic. Do note that this fort is near the Mangla Dam in the north of Pakistan.

    I enjoyed the beautiful landscape which my country has been bestowed. The fort itself is on an island, and can only be reached by boat once you reach the location.

    I highly recommend one to go see the Ramkot Fort. I went on a one day trip, and i had reached my home by night time.

    I have uploaded some of the pictures of the amazing trip. I hope that you enjoy them.

    May 15, 2014 • Pakistan • Views: 2926