Entrepreneur Extraordinaire, Raza Saeed on his Success
February 24, 2012
Having graduated with a BSc (Honours) degree in Computer Science, Muhammad Raza Saeed, CEO of Confiz Solutions and Pak eVentures, the company behind PakWheels.com, speaks of how he decided to set up Confiz. "After my sophomore year at LUMS, a few friends and I decided to participate in IEEE international competition which required participants to conceive, design and implement a scientific project. We chose to streamline and automate the meter reading process for electric power supply companies with a design of a wireless module for meters, allowing all wireless meters to form a wireless mesh and communicate with central office. Today it's becoming common but we are talking about 2002 here. Though we were not able to get into the top 10 and could not be invited to USA for the final round, we decided to pursue it as a commercial venture and we chose to raise money from individuals. However, again we did not succeed in that endeavour."
Despite facing these setbacks, Raza and his friends showed perseverance and decided to start their own software consulting and development company to generate the required revenue for their idea. "Gradually we started to get a lot of customers and this led to formal start of Confiz in 2005," says Raza.
Since 2005, Confiz has grown to become a leading technology services company with more then 120 employees and an international client base ranging from high profile small startups to large global enterprises. Raza proudly adds, "We have recently moved into our new corporate headquarters which sets a benchmark for office space for other technology companies in Pakistan. "
Displaying more of his entrepreneurial spirit, Raza set up PakWheels.com, turning it into another successful venture. "PakWheels.com is one of the largest internet portals in Pakistan with more then 250 million pageviews generated by over 45 million users in just the last 12 months alone!" enthuses Raza.
Auto Show organised by PakWheels.com on March 23, 2011 in Lahore
PakWheels.com is helping thousands of Pakistanis buy and sell their dream cars, connect with others with a passion for automobiles and get feedback and help from other automotive experts. Adding to this, Raza says, "Apart from PakWheels.com, we have also launched NaiTazi.com which will provide Pakistanis with a single portal for classifieds, yellow pages and a lot more."
Despite heading two successful businesses now, Raza had to face many difficulties when starting up. "Setting up businesses in Pakistan for a first time entrepreneur, especially right out of college, is very challenging. From finding affordable office space to setting up reliable infrastructure, such as internet and electricity; to finding qualified employees and high quality mentors and advisers that can provide guidance; the challenges are numerous," lists the young entrepreneur.
Talking of how he overcame these problems, Raza states, "I think it all comes down to perseverance and continuous pursuit of your vision with dedication and hard work. You also need to be open to reaching out to other accomplished individuals for help."
Highlighting the importance of his time spent at LUMS, Raza says, "The education imparted at LUMS and the entrepreneurial culture inculcated here has been instrumental in helping me establish these ventures and be successful at them. Apart from education, LUMS has a very strong alumni support structure where a budding entrepreneur can get all the help needed to succeed. Also, people like Syed Babar Ali, Razak Dawood and many others at LUMS are so kind and generous in spending their highly valuable time helping students and entrepreneurs succeed in their vision."
Raza advises those hoping to start up their own businesses to just do it. "If you have a dream or a vision, then you need to keep following that goal with hard work and focus. Always be very eager to learn, have infinite curiosity and don't give up. You will reach your desired destination!" Raza finishes with a quote from the famous German writer, Goethe, "Whatever you can do or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it. Begin it now."