Monday, February 1, 2010

The B-Effect (in PK)


Last week I traveled to Karachi for AMC and got a (much needed) dose of good ol’ Acumen Fund energy while working out of the AFPK country office & attending the prospective Fellows 2011 dinner. Smart, capable and ambitious people here in PK, from young entrepreneurs to highly seasoned business persons, are working hard to move this country into a better tomorrow. For instance, I met with Mahboob Khan, a female partner of an architectural firm in Karachi, and I was incredibly moved by her intellect, passion and resolve to design high quality, aesthetically pleasing housing for the BOP.

I left Karachi renewed in spirit and returned to Lahore with Blair Miller, AF Fellows Manager. Have you ever met someone who brings energy & life to nearly every aspect of your own? Someone who is continually working to inspire, motivate & challenge others to be the best [fill in the blank] they can be? B.Miller is that someone – and on her first visit to PK she didn’t’ miss a beat.

So, with both of us in Lahore - me gun-ho about AMC’s potential impact in Punjab & Blair pushing me & the other PK Fellows to experience our time here on yet an even deeper level - and Jawad, CEO of AMC, showing me the ropes of how to start a business in a demanding environment, I find myself, despite my initial skepticism about being able to thrive in Pakistan, building a greater, stronger sense of self.

Look, this experience is definitely not full of marigolds & roses (the oft-used Pakistani flowers) all of the time because believe me, there are serious challenges in working & living in Lahore. But, I’m able to grow & feel at home because of the people here – my new friends, new extended family, colleagues and all of the Blairs of this world that I meet daily. So…here’s to embracing and enduring tomorrow.