Excuses or entrepreneurship?

Published: June 16, 2010
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Pakistan can not see the change until we change our attitude.

The weather was nice in Islamabad. Clouds surrounded the Margalla Hills, while discussions went on about the economy, the deplorable business outlook and politics.

I was listening to these people speak about Pakistan’s worst business environment. They were saying that it is difficult doing business in Pakistan. Some of them were even planning to shift their businesses overseas.

I called them to stop. They were stunned. I remained quite for a minute and then posed a question. Can we ask Student Biryani and Dilpasand Sweets to close their businesses and shift to any other country in the world? They did not say anything but the answer was clear.

Today we have numerous points to advocate that Pakistan is not a great place for business. We cannot deny that we are in a severe energy crisis, we cannot forget that our governments have crafted chaos in economic policy making, we cannot ignore that the law and order situation in the country is not the best but is this a time to surrender? Is this a horizon whereby we can say it is all over?

Unfortunately we are unable to see success stories in this great land of ours even in this highly volatile environment. This is the country that made a businessman who sold 25 paisa Tasty Chhaliya (betel nuts) a millionaire. This is the country that allowed businesses like Student Biryani to sell their franchises for millions. This is the country that let Dilpasand Sweets grow exceptionally.

People, I am not quoting the names of inherent business families in Pakistan. Tasty, Student Biryani or Dilpasand Sweets are not the only names that have achieved such phenomenal success. If we travel through Pakistan we can see many examples where people are growing faster than they can in any other part of the world. Regardless of dangers to life in our country, some people work whole heartedly. They equally increase value and provide employment to the poor.

The only point is that we have two strata of people. One, are the people of excuses and other are the people of entrepreneurship. We are not ready to work in the flow of our excuses and we expect success. I remember when Vidal Sassoon stated the only place where success comes before work is in the dictionary.

We do not understand that it is not enough to cry over policies of the government and the worsening law and order situation in the country. This is what we have and we cannot change it until we start working towards the revival of our economy. This can only happen if we develop a culture of entrepreneurship in the country. Entrepreneurship that is free of excuses.

It is really unfortunate that country’s economic performance is getting worse even though we have a large number of people graduating with business degrees. The basic problem is that our youth is more interested in acquiring jobs or immigrating to developed countries rather than bearing the hassle to start something themselves. I am sure that the owners of Student Biryani, Tasty and Dilpasand Sweets were not highly educated. They had the same level field as we have yet they made it and we live in excuses.

Thomas Edison once said “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” Do we have 10 ways that did not work in anticipation of success? We need to find solution for our economy. If we do not have great economic management at the macro level, we can at least make to start. Let us not wait. We can even start with nothing.

A wise saying goes people of accomplishment never sit back and wait for things to happen. They go out and make things happen. This is our time to decide whether we are a nation that is waiting for things to happen for us or will we go out and make things happen. Let us start living free of excuses and fear and start working. Pakistan can not see the change until we change our attitude.

saqib.omer.saeed

Saqib Omer Saeed

A financial researcher, analyst and adjunct faculty in CBM, SZABIST, BIZTEK & University of Karachi and blogs at www.bizomer.com

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