Indo Pak young entrepreneurs build bridges

Indo Pak young entrepreneurs build bridges

An ongoing bilateral convention of young Indians and Pakistanis aims to develop recommendations for both governments

Some 35 young Indian entrepreneurs, professionals and change makers crossed over to Pakistan at the Wagah border this past weekend, dressed in white shalwar kurtas, to participate in a groundbreaking Bilateral Indo-Pak Young Entrepreneurs Summit start ing in Islamabad on Oct 29.

A visit to the Pakistani Institute of Fashion Desgin, Lahore

A visit to the Pakistani Institute of Fashion Design, Lahore

The Indian guests were warmly met at Wagah border by their hosts, Young Entrepreneurs Forum (YEF) of the Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry (ICCI). YEF has organized this bilateral interaction in association with Aman ki Asha and in partnership with Young Indians (Yi), and Commonwealth Asia Alliance of Young Entrepreneurs (CAAYE).

Governor Punjab Ch. Mohammad Sarwar hosted a dinner reception for the Indian and Pakistani delegates on Sunday evening. On Monday, delegates participated in a panel discussion on “The Eco-System of Entrepreneurship in Pakistan” at the Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS).

Screen-shot8-PMAn entrepreneur can be of any age, said Prof. Mohan B. Rao, Associate Dean (External Collaborations) of Indian Education Society’s Management College & Research Centre, stressing that the education system should support entrepreneurship.

Director, Nextep Learning Systems, Namrata Khona, said students should be trained to be job-creators, rather than job-seekers. “Let them go out and create entrepreneurial ventures,” she added.

At the Arfa Karim Software Technology Park, Indian delegates expressed keen interest in the IT initiatives taken by the Punjab Information Technology Board (PITB), particularly those optimizing healthcare delivery. Delegation leader and founding President of the Commonwealth Asia Alliance of Young Entrepreneurs (CAAYE) Dr Rahul Mirchandani said he would love such projects to be marketed to India. There are so avenues where India and Pakistan can find mutual grounds for business and cooperation, he said.

At the panel discussion at LUMS

At the panel discussion at LUMS

Indian delegates also participated in a special interactive session at the chartered university Pakistan School of Fashion and Design (PIFD).

Rasika Wakalkar, a fashion industry entrepreneur from Pune, said that there was a great potential on both sides in the fashion industry and there was a need to work together to get maximum benefits.

The convention formally began on Oct 29, 2013 at the Jinnah Convention Center, Islamabad, hosted by the

The initiative aims to provide a platform to representatives of the youth in both countries – a significant step given that the youth accounts for over 60% of our populations.

Group photo at the dinner reception hosted by Punjab Governor C.H.M.Sarwar

Group photo at the dinner reception hosted by Punjab Governor C.H.M.Sarwar

The Convention brings together change makers and young entrepreneurs to interact, promote linkages, discuss, deliberate and share ideas on building bridges and propose recommendations for the political leadership of both countries. The recommendations may also be presented to heads of governments of both countries at the Commonwealth Heads Of Government Meeting (CHOGM) to be held in Sri Lanka in November.

Shiraz Gidwani, a Dubai-based Indian entrepreneur, told reporters that the warmth, love and hospitality they encountered in Pakistan was a source of great encouragement. He added that ‘Aman ki Asha’ had already turned into ‘Aman’ rather than just being an Asha (hope).

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