Imran Khan

One of OPEN’s goals has all along been to support businesses in Pakistan in a manner consistent with our core principles of staying “Hungry and Foolish” with respect to entrepreneurism. OPEN chapters have historically gone out of their way to assist Pakistani businesses efforts to gain traction in the US and global markets.  We started off by assisting those Pakistani businessmen visiting the US, as we were busy establishing ourselves. We, then with the assistance of MIT Enterprise Forum, started the MITEFP-OPEN Business Acceleration Plan competition in Karachi Pakistan. This allowed us to gain traction with the young and budding entrepreneurs their. There were some hesitancy within OPEN about opening a chapter in Pakistan as some other similar organizations did not do as well due to lack of right kind of leadership needed. The winners of BAP competition showed us that there is a new breed of Pakistani businessmen who have the credentials and zest who could be worked with. Read more

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Salman Ahmad

In the history of nations, there comes a time, when the chasm between what its people deserve and what they are getting is so huge, that revolutionary changes are needed to restore the balance. I believe that time is now for the people of Pakistan. It does not take much to look around at statistics and news from nearly any perspective to see that the State and the existing mind set amongst the Pakistanis has moved astray from the vision of the founding fathers. I have received countless e-mails, calls and tweets from concerned Pakistanis who all want to see a fundamental change in the dangerous trajectory that Pakistan is on. Read more

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Imran H. Khan

President Obama’s state of the union focused on investments into education and innovation as the key engines for maintaining USA’s leadership position in the long term. The same is equally applicable for developing countries like Pakistan. OPEN has been facilitating entrepreneurs in America for over ten years. OPEN joined hands with MIT to conduct Business Acceleration Plans as a way to doing the same in Pakistan.  It was felt that rather than focusing on start ups it would be socially more effective to take companies whose sales were $1M-$5M to the next level. This is the reason for naming it as an acceleration plan. BAP has impacted 120 companies over the last four years that it has been conducted.  The four finalists of the BAP were in Boston today and interacted with OPEN’s New England Chapter members.

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by Contributors from OPEN Chapters

Organization of Pakistani Entrepreneurs of North America “OPEN” is now in its twelfth year of existence.  At its core it is a philanthropic organization of like minded innovative and entrepreneurial people who contribute their time and efforts for the greater good of the society that they live in. Its top driven loosely coupled model of chapters has enabled it to grow to all corners of the US, extending its impact even outside these borders. Each chapter has evolved based on the inherent local business strengths as well as the level of support from the community.  In celebration of OPEN’s tenth anniversary in 2008 all the chapters got together at the organization’s  birthplace in Boston. During this event the leaders from different chapters presented their vision for the future. The purpose of this blog is to capture some of what has transpired since then. Read more

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by Imran H. Khan

monisI had the good fortune of meeting three amazing Pakistanis who are in the process of changing the Pakistani society. They are young in years but mature and savvy in technology, business and the art of managing dynamic organizations. They share traits that are common to global entrepreneurs of self drive, respect for time, global market awareness,  getting quickly to the bottom of things and balancing priorities. All three of them got their education and training outside Pakistan and are now inculcating and mentoring Pakistanis with what they learned abroad.  As it turns out they are spearheading in the three synergistic technological areas of education, research and industry. Sometimes the stars get aligned and the right opportunities are given to people with the right credentials and motivations. Read more

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by Imran H. Khan

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Pakistan’s current export of engineering goods stands at around $243 million out of total exports of $19 Billion. If we are to also include $300 Million in defense oriented exports and $169 Million in Software products and services exports, the total high margin high tech industrial export is a meager $712 Million for last year.

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by Imran H. Khan

January 5th., 2010Main Campus

National University of Science and Technology is a combination of many colleges that were setup to take care of defense needs, as well as some others. Its main sprawling campus occupies a complete Islamabad sector of H-12. I had the opportunity to visit the campus in my recent visit to Pakistan and had the privilege of speaking at a seminar titled “Commercialization of Ideas”. There is a growing sensitivity at NUST to translate research being done there into the commercial domain. The three main speakers covered the subject from different perspectives.

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by Imran H. Khan

Take a good look of the photo of Attock Fort as I am going revisit it towards the end. The use of term science and technology subconsciously suggests that science comes first and technology is a product of science. There is a growing sense in the West that this linear thinking is disconnected with reality. The new thinking states that most of the science could not have been made possible without the availability of technology. While this discussion is best left to people are a lot more cerebral, I would like to focus on the question of relative importance given to technology and science in the developing world in general, and Pakistan in particular. Countries like Pakistan have to make smart choices in terms of allocation of limited human resources and money. Read more

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OPEN's Tenth Anniversary

by Imran H. Khan

As a teenager trying to decide what direction to take my life, I vacillated between the vision of the future painted by Aldous Huxley’s “Brave New World“/Rachel Carson’s “Silent Spring” and Ayn Rand’s “Atlas Shrugged“/”Fountain Head“. Growing up in Pakistan, I could readily identify with Ayn Rand; and came to the conclusion that it is Prime Movers who create great societies and countries. Prime movers can exist in a number of specialties, adding value to the society in their respective domains. But within the spectrum of Prime Movers, engineer-entrepreneurs are the cream of the crop. This is in evidence in all the dominant countries of the world today. In late 90’s, a group of Pakistani American business leaders got together to create Organization of Pakistani Entrepreneurs of North America (OPEN) in Boston. Since then five new OPEN chapters have come into being in different US large cities. We celebrated the Tenth Anniversary of OPEN’s founding in October last year. I am continuously amazed at the level of commitment and charity by OPEN’s charter members who contribute their precious time and money to galvanize entrepreneurism within the Pakistani American community.

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I gave a Seminar titled “Zen and the Art of Becoming a LifeStyle Entrepreneur” as part of the seminar series at OPEN New England.  The talk was geared towards explaining the choices available in this style of entrepreurism in general and consulting in particular.  I shared lessons from my experiences in running such an enterprise for  the last fifteen years.

The powerpoint of the presentation is shown below.

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Zen and the Art of Becoming a Lifestyle

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