Was invited by the US Embassy, Islamabad to attend the Town Hall with Secretary Clinton in Serena, Islamabad on Friday, 21 Ocotber 2011. HRC has a presence, I tell you. She kind of fills up a room with her persona. After the **** that happened in her personal life I was slightly overwhelmed with her strength and confidence. When she talks, you have no choice but to sit up and listen. Spotted Huma Abedin. Stunning! Grinned and waved at her … she smiled and waved back.
There were so many moments where I thought, “This is the best part of the afternoon” and one of them was meeting Tara Uzra Dawood. Tara is a graduate of Harvard law School and CEO of Dawood Capital Management. Under the larger umbrella of DCM, she runs a fund called the LadiesFund (minus the space). For details check out the website and/or facebook page. It’s an organization after my heart and is very interesting, but in a nutshell, it’s a business and financial consultancy service for Pakistani women looking for grants, loans, equity or merely a platform to promote their business. A firebrand of a woman, Tara and I chattered away and I realized there was a lot being done for Pakistani businesswomen. It frustrates me how little people know about these initiatives. If only these were advertised well! LF is a very web-savvy organization but despite being an Internet-geek, I had never heard of them before – perhaps if the media highlighted the positive things happening in Pakistan once in a blue moon things would be different???
Another one of those moments …
Met Wahaj us Sirja, CEO of NayaTel. Such a humble man. I of course walked right up to him as he was getting ready to make a phone call … I have no manners, I know, been told that a gazillion times, dunno why people still bother *eyeroll. Anyway, told him about Hunza and he was excited and very helpful. We exchanged cards, I emailed him, and he connected me to his contacts.
On the way out, I bump into Atif Aslam. Eeeee … ! Well, no, not really. I wasn’t star-struck but I do like the guy’s singing. Took a photo with him of course. How can I help liking him when he sings like this:
I am just discovering the joys of networking. Tara introduced me on email to the co-founder of All World Live, Anne Habiby. Girls, don’t expect me to hand it all out to you. Go to their website and read up on what they do. However, this is how they summarize their work:
Our model is simple – find the best growth companies, put them on the global radar screen, and let the market do the rest. This is the next economy.
We call this Visibility Economics™.
Got invited to a dinner hosted for the Pakistan 25 Fast Growth Companies in Islamabad. Met Anne … needless to say she was ah-mazing. Learned it was extremely important to keep a paper-trail of business transactions even if it’s just a bunch of Western Union receipts sitting in a shoe-box. However, bugged the hell outta my friends and am glad to say one of them got selected for the Arabia 500.
OK byeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee …