Super Woman, Maria Adil


“When I read about this lady I genuinely for a moment thought, Wow, she is a super woman. Please welcome Maria ADIL”.


OK so explanation.

Was invited to speak on the panel for entrepreneurship at the US Embassy Islamabad’s Annual UGrad Alumni Reunion. They were covering travel and lodging and as you know by now I am a champion freebie of course I went. They put me in Serena for the night. Cool, right? As my friend says, You don’t need to be rich to have fun. Mwahahahaha.

So in the AM I head down to the venue. LOADS of young people. GOSH, it was enough to make the mid-life crisis kick in. It was a lot of positive energy I can tell you. Seeing old friend/neighbor Osman Saddique who is now an alumni coordinator at the US Consulate Peshawar was a treat. Can’t believe he is the same kid who used to play cricket in our street and get scoldings from my mother. Tee hee.


So, panel starts. Of course Ayla Majid was there. love the woman to bits. She is so brainy … like not the “I have read all of Tolstoy” kinda brainy but the accounting, FCCA, ACCA, (all other acronyms made from English alphabets certified) kinda clever. 2 other gentlemen that I barely knew. And this is my dahlins when the moderator, a young girl barely out of her teens introduces me as. Maria ADIL. I guffawed out loud. AHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. No wonder she thought I was a superwoman. Confused me with someone else I guess. Have to Google this Maria Adil person now. Am intrigued.

One thing I realized during the session was how even now so many kids are clueless about how to make their ideas into reality. Some questions that sill come up are;

– How do I finance my project?

– Where do I find incubators or accelerators?

First thing everyone needs to understand prolly is how businessman and entrepreneur are different. If there are 5 textile mills in the country and they are not meeting demand of the market then you start a new textile mill. Does exactly what any other does but its meeting market demand. There you go. You have a business.

Then you have an entrepreneur. Entrepreneur identifies a problem. Has probably been affected/afflicted by it. And tries find a solution to that problem. So to me personally entrepreneurship is about;

1. Self discovery

2. Saying no to being a “victim” to a problem.

3. Finding a solution where traditionally you are told there was none

As Ayla very aptly said in Pakistan you see problems everywhere. From the grassroots level to the very top. So this is the Land of Opportunity now quite literally. For example, I am a woman. Not allowed to work outside unless its teaching at a school or a girls college. Am a new mother. Can’t even do the little I am allowed to. So I go ahead and start the Women’s Digital League –  a platform where women can work from home on various ICT tasks. Where do I get my money from? I don’t have any. Erm … I make it online. OK, but then what about spending on a website and putting a system in place? I use WordPress and mu BFF “Excel Spreadsheets” and Google tools. How do I pay my employees? They are all ad hoc – project based workers. What about power outages? Get a UPS. Internet problems? Get TWO connections instead of one and PRAY. Internet censorship … no YouTube or Skype to phone calls that clients used to pay for? Apologize to client and not take YouTube tasks or send them to a friend in another country (really, takes 10 minutes to upload a video max … what kind of a friend would say no to helping out with that?) – instead of Skype use Hangouts (calls to landlines in US are FREE) or get a phone card … they usually last for ages.

So you see … everything has a solution or that’s how an entrepreneur thinks. So don’t worry about things before you have started. Take the plunge and the net will appear. If you MUST have funding, try crowdfunding, or pitching in the various startup competitions that are happening these days. if you are good, the money will come, I promise you.

If you have any Qs, just LMK. Mayeb I will answer or I can always pass them on to superwoman Maria ADIL.


OK Byeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

P.S. Dear Serena, I took all the toiletries and emptied out the mini bar. Just saying.


6 thoughts on “Super Woman, Maria Adil

  1. superwoman you sure are. Adil, i thought at first it might be your maiden name. 8-P Way to go Maria. Needless to say i am proud of knowing you. Love.


  2. I’ve been invited to do an artist residency in Rawalpindi / Islamabad in April and the itinerary includes a trip to Lahore, probably 9th – 11th. I know that the organisers have fitted in a lot of visits including galleries and the National College of Art but I’ll try and get a bit of spare time when I’m there. I’ve been to Lahore before and spent a day in the walled city and also visited the Shalimar Gardens, the Badshahi Mosque, Lahore Fort and Cuckoo’s Den restaurant. Had a fabulous time. I love Pakistan and am so delighted to be coming back. Just have to hope there are no glitches with the visa. I’m coming over with another woman artist from the UK and we’ll be working with some Pakistani artists at the Zaira Zaka print studio in Rawalpindi to produce an international exhibition. I’m so excited. 😀


  3. I will come and see you wherever you are. I am sure they will let you breathe in between. 🙂 I am so excited for you and meself. Had no idea you had visited Pk before. Are you on FB? I tried looking for you. Add me and we can share contact numbers etc that way.


  4. here I am on FB. I’ve just added your page. I’ll be spending most of the time in Rawalpindi and Islamabad with a visit to Murree and Lahore. When I came before I also did a road trip to the Hunza Valley in the Northern Region which was amazing and a day trip up the Khyber Pass to the border with Afghanistan near Mitchni Post. We were the last Western tourists allowed up the Khyber Pass and we had a jeep full of soldiers to accompany us. Also visited Peshawar before the suicide bombing started. So very sad. It is such a lovely city and very friendly and welcoming. I’m very excited 🙂

    There will eb an exhibition at the end of my residency so I’ll make sure you’re invited


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