What we should know about you
Questions answered by Hassan Bin Rizwan, CEO
1. Imagine yourself/yourselves 5 years ago in comparison to the situation you are in today. Which achievements surprise you the most?
Exactly five years ago, I was just starting out with this venture. All that we had imagined hasn’t come to pass as several of our goals are yet to be achieved. At the same time, several of our achievements also came as a surprise. The recognition of our work at an international level wasn’t something we had set as our goal. However, as part of our effort to galvanize support for our mission, we reached out to forums in Pakistan and abroad for recognition and support. Getting selected for the empowering people. Network community is one example. Our recent award at the Transformational Business Awards hosted by IFC / FT in the U.K. was a pleasant surprise and a shot in the arm for our mission.
2. What was a troubling time that you managed to overcome?
COVID-19! The summer of 2020 was terrifying. We came to the edge of closing down. Our cash flows were in a severe crunch and we had to live it one day at a time. The fact that we were forging strategic partnerships with government bodies during that time, kept our spirits high and allowed us to endure that period. Though, our financial indicators aren’t still in a safe zone, the worst seems to be over.
3. What is your biggest learning as an entrepreneur so far?
I think lessons are the biggest asset you have as an entrepreneur. Your wins are not as important as your lessons, which mostly come from failing at something. So, picking one big lesson is pretty hard. I have a few that all entrepreneurs need to keep in mind.
The first lesson is that there is no formula and no book that will teach you all the lessons. You will learn your lessons yourself. You can’t come prepared for this job. All you have is ‘on the job’ training for your role as an entrepreneur.
Another lesson is to make sure money is not your biggest motivator in your venture. It has to be something bigger. Something more meaningful has to be part of the mix. The reserves of energy and passion you need in your journey as an entrepreneur can only be maintained if there is a strong purpose behind what you want to do.
Another important lesson is to look at every problem as an opportunity. Only a positive mindset can keep you going in times of distress and darkness.
- epAward Winner 2019
- Silver Prize for MUSE at the Reimagine Education 2020 in the Education category organized by Wharton College, U of Penn, USA (2020)
- Best Educational App (MUSE) at the Global Education Suppliers and Solutions Expo, UAE (2020)
- SABAQ won the Consolation Prize at the 15th Transformational Business Awards in the field of Education, Knowledge & Skills (2020)