Bryan Farris

Bryan Farris

An Acumen Fund fellow in the class of 2011 who blogs at RisingPyramid.org.Bryan currently works at Ansaar Management Company in Lahore.

Building Pakistan brick by brick

Living in Pakistan far from home and my friends, it’s only natural that there are moments when I wonder what exactly I’m doing here. Then there are prophetic moments when the clarity of my purpose washes over me with force. This was a moment of comprehension: At Ansaar Management Company (AMC), we were  quite literally, laying the foundation for Pakistan’s future. In a country that sees more poverty than its government is willing to prioritise, a lack of affordable housing means that 30-50 per cent of one’s hard earned rupees go to paying rent.  When $120 per month is considered a normal family income, it’s hard ...

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What Obama didn’t say to Pakistan

On Wednesday morning at 7AM in Pakistan, all eyes were on America. As I cradled a steamy cup of coffee and willed the morning mental fog to drift away, I eagerly took in an invigorating State of the Union address from President Barack Obama. “In America, innovation doesn’t just change our lives. It’s how we make a living” I was inspired.  Had it not been for the morning cobwebs tying me down, I might have belted out a “Yes, we can!” To every young person listening tonight who’s contemplating their career choice: if you want to make a difference in the life of ...

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Lessons from a soap box factory

Here in Pakistan, there is a famous fable about a soap factory. Several stores in a wealthy country complained that they had ordered soap but had only received empty boxes. Recognising that they had a problem in their factory, the management thought long and hard to find a solution. In the end, the company purchased a machine worth a million dollars, and hired an employee to observe the boxing process. Problem solved. Soon after, a Pakistani company ran into the same issue.  The management thought long and hard to find a solution.  In the end, the company purchased a big fan and placed it ...

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Why job creation alone isn’t going to save Pakistan

Pakistan is a land of opportunity, but also has many needs.  It is critical to create jobs in this country, but it would be an error to believe that jobs alone will solve the issue of poverty. An article from Business Week titled, “A silver lining in Pakistan’s floods” states that “this natural disaster may have given the country an opportunity to tackle a recurring point of contention in Pakistan—feudalism.” The author states that aid money going to Pakistan should focus on job-creation strategies in addition to housing. She argues that the provision of jobs in relief work and an emphasis on business training ...

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