Nabil Ashraf

Sunday, June 11, 2017

I’ve craved innovation almost all my life! As a child, I remember, I would always play around with stuff and try to come up with things of my own. I’ve had a great passion for tech since we had our first PC at home. Those were the days of Windows 98 and dial-up connection. As I grew older my passion for technology got stronger and deeper. I’d always be exploring new pieces of software. I used to call myself a “tech-explorer”. As a teenager I fancied robots, Artificial Intelligence and how smoothly they integrate with our daily lives.

Following my passion, I got admission into COMSATS for their Computer Sciences program backed by Lancaster University, UK. I was very active in debating and dramatic societies. Yes, I have a flair for acting and directing. (I’m not just a techie) That’s when I debuted my first stage play. It was quite an experience both directing and performing in it.

I started participating in Model United Nations (MUN) Conferences during my first year and won a few laurels representing my university.

One of the most memorable experiences was participating in Aman Ki Asha Council at Nagpur MUN. Those were the best moments of my life. I made friends for life and learned how similar we all human beings are.

This was the phase in my life when I started freelancing and discovered my passion for Graphics Designing. The realization that I could turn my passion into income was the most exciting of all.

I dived deep into it and started experimenting with Web Development and to my utter surprise, it literally hooked me to itself. I started learning new technologies but I always had a gut feeling to do more and evolve it into something bigger.

I decided to stretch my horizons and created an online portal for my fellow university students to share past papers. You won’t believe how crazy hits my website would get during exams!

That was so exciting but I couldn’t manage things alone and had to shut it down to concentrate more on my studies.

In the course of events, I met Umer, the co-founder of our startup, through our debating society. We worked together for months and found out that our passion for technology was super aligned. Hence, we started working together on freelancing projects and gradually ended getting bigger and bigger clients.

And oh, how can I even forget mentioning about my parents and siblings. They have been my backbone in the entire process. There was not even a second when they did not believe in me and my work. And that was all I needed.

My family stood by my decision to start my own business rather than going for a job. Throughout! What else could I ask for?

In my business, the major struggle that I faced was finding the right mentors and managing my work and university life balance to help me achieve what I wanted. It was extremely hard to bear with the pressure of working on my startup and at the same time the pressure of being the final year student at university. Everyone I knew thought it was a mistake starting too early.

Managing time with family and friends was another challenge that sucked blood out of my life! Although maintaining work-life balance was the hardest battle I fought, time taught me how to take control of my life eventually.

As far as my professional life is concerned, I felt very strongly that I needed the guidance of a mentor to keep me on track. I started looking for mentorship within my field of work like a mad man. And with the help of God, I found people who not only guided me but were there to help me out during my struggling phase.

They instilled in me the faith to be who I wanted to be and it was this faith that translated into – my startup that I co-founded.

It was me and Umer Baig’s vision to help people find solutions in their day to day life with the help of technology, the passion to innovate, create tech products and disrupt the market that led us into starting our own startup.

The biggest lesson that life taught me is that,

“Persistence and perseverance are the keys to success. Never stop believing in yourself no matter what. In the end, it’s you who can make it or break it.”