December 14, 2022

In the month of November, Aspire alumni in Pakistan joined events in three major cities —Islamabad, Karachi and Lahore. Coordinated by the Pakistan country affiliate, Haleema Abassi, and Regional Faculty Advisor and long time supporter, Dr. Mariam Chugthai, these in-person events strengthened the community. Through these events, Aspire hopes to create opportunities to learn both from each other and from professionals who are excelling in their respective fields and serve as remarkable examples of leadership.

Shared Experiences of Perseverance at Sapphire Fibers

On 12th November 2022, our alumni in Lahore had a meeting with the company director of Sapphire Fibers, Shayan Abdullah. Sapphire is one of the lead players in the Textile Composite sector of Pakistan. During the meeting, Abdullah shared his father’s journey of setting up the company and the challenges that came with it. This story taught the alumni lessons of perseverance and resilience in the face of hardships. Alumni also contributed their personal stories of overcoming challenges. “The session helped me understand that nothing is fixed,” said Malaika, Aspire Leaders Program alumna from 2022. “There is so much we can achieve if we are determined. If we face failures, we can always move on and branch out to other fields.”

Learning the Importance of Collaboration at Tabadlab

On the 15th of November, 2022, alumni in Islamabad visited Tabadlab, one of the biggest and most renowned think tanks and advisory services firm, and had a meeting with Mosharraf Zaidi – a Pakistani-Canadian public policy professional and the founder and CEO of Tabadlab. During the meeting, Zaidi shared the significance of persistence and commitment in order to achieve our goals through his story of running the biggest advocacy campaign on education in the country. He emphasized the importance of taking different stakeholders on board to achieve a common mission, and the ability to look past differences to achieve a common goal.

“A vision can only become a reality when all concerned parties are included in the process,” he said.

On being Life-long Learners

On 16th of November 2022, alumni in Karachi had a meeting with HBS alumni, Salman Ahmed, and Saud Hashmi. The discussion revolved around the importance of being life-long learners and approaching matters with curiosity to learn and grow. Alumni talked about the most recent books they had read and shared their ideas with the group. They learnt the significance of “going through the grind” and the value of hard work to achieve success. The event was attended by alumni from nearby areas — one alumni even traveled 500 kms from Sukkur to Karachi just to attend.

The beauty of the Aspire Leaders Program is that it brings together people from different corners of the country under one platform.”
Dr. Mariam Chughtai, Aspire Regional Faculty Advisor for Pakistan


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