Faizan Siddiqi Profile picture
Golf Simulators,AI Startup,Anti Money Laundering,AD-Tech, IPOs,Media & 3PL.Some of the verticals where Ive either built, scaled or failed. ex-GE /Tyco/MCI
14 Jan
IBFT fees down to 0 has helped the average Pakistani see the value of "transacting digitally" without fear. When you remove the barrier to entry you enable many in the ecosystem that were left out prior. @StateBank_Pak good on you for putting citizenry first. Regulation is hard
Esp as viewed by the private sector. So we must all come together to build on the success/rails/supportive regulator to figure out"what fees for what value"should remain in the system.Most things cant work with 0 fee, so use cases for incumbents who have invested must evolve too
This cant be a winner take all game or a zero sum game. The truth is some where in between.Without early market players & investments, digital systems would have not existed. Without infra from telcos/banks we wouldn't be here either esp not without a progressive regulator in tow
Read 5 tweets
14 Jan
Transitions are good. Current state of play has given us a seat at the table. Online communities are the new equalizer &not geographies.
In-person inefficiency of doing biz is out due to remote.We have the momentum to gain from the insights & discussions across networks anywhere
As all things go virtual, the only thing that matters is brand. Now more than ever, investors, partners, customers & prospect emp, will meet & engage with your content/web presence before they meet you, if ever. Brand is every startups super power or kryptonite. Build wisely.
As we go more location neutral and virtual, rely more on online channels for sourcing, growth sales, hiring etc., your online presence will matter more than ever before. It is the new 10 second interaction to make a good impression.
Read 10 tweets
13 Jan
Realize this: no permission required to change careers, start something new perhaps a hobby or learning how to code.The launch date to the above is ur willingness to enact change.B4 u set out to build a vc backed dream,build a small biz 50/100k annual rev. I assure u it's tough
Small changes like starting a hobby or burning a bridge to move the f* on teach u life's biggest lessons. Always over index on small data vs big data till u cant. Unless you can perfect your skills at a small scale not many can last perfecting skills at a large one. Start today.
Hustle culture 24/7 is reductive. If you are always complaining of too much going on you are likely already loosing the battle. Focus, wins; concentrated execution wins all the time. Don't start something unless u genuinely believe in impact and outcomes of teams vs $s only.
Read 14 tweets
25 Dec 20
No one should be taken seriously that needs a govt handout to do Start-up, If you need that push, perhaps you are the same as all other rent seekers, albeit glorified.
If the government really is serious about some thing and is so inclined, the best this to do is just just get the h*ll out of the way. Imitating incubators and VCs and deploying tax money for a poor country, into these lofty ideals is equivalent to criminal mis spending of funds.
Worse are their fake cheer leaders. Those who get jobs, postings, paper work and more opportunities to mis direct the youth of this country. It is near impossible to do business with the govt. Imagine the challenges and nascent needs of a startup in that position
Read 21 tweets
12 Dec 20
I want to help new founders get off to the right start in 2021. Be a deliberate thinker & actor. Don’t react- pro act. Pre empt. Have a model of how you think positive outcomes work. When data stops meeting reality. Re calibrate. Be intentional. Build frameworks act on them.
What is it that will make a Prosumer Product say product X successful?Is there a gigantic white space for it to succeed? Why doesn't any thing exist in the space? If you operate like this and have some thing viable to show for it we are in business.
I’m increasingly interested in startups that are like hybrid dev shops for a particular industry or sub-industry. The food verticals are all primed for growth.The national craving for $earnings should incentivise local players to start looking at export validated by local growth
Read 11 tweets
11 Dec 20
If you think startups get over night success, re evaluate your thinking. If you are frustrated to read all the stories across twitter etc over how people got in on AirBnB,DoorDash & the Slack IPOs it didn't happen by being on the sidelines.Invest now in Pakistani tech startups
or forever hold your peace. We are at an amazing cross roads where technology continues outperform and eat traditional investment opportunities globally. Tech will also solve for many troubles that Pakistan faces today. Invest in the young talent that will solve for the new PK.
To grow with the startups you have to grow the ecosystem. If you only engage in coffee banter; discussing why startup A will fail & why startup B will fail, all you're doing is working against your self & the ecosystem.This is the new world. Data isnt the new oil, it is the water
Read 10 tweets
11 Dec 20
Thanks @jehan_ara this is always a two way street. You get what you invest in. I have been exceedingly lucky in having some of the best mentors one could ask for. blog.chinookstrategy.com/on-being-so-fo… If you are so inclined you can read more about that here, notwithstanding some lessons
A great mentor is more beneficial than first money or any money in. Look for mentors who prioritise your successful outcomes vs their social media updates. The same test applies to all things in life, if you are going to help some one make sure you leave your camera at home.
Any one who you respect can be a great mentor if you look up to them first because of the individual traits they have vs how $ successful they are. Most folks make the mistake of looking for mentors or seeking help from those who are more socially mobile or visible or rich.
Read 20 tweets
10 Dec 20
Technology ≠ Transformation. There is no 1 to 1 corelation between having good technology & being able to transform your organization. In some cases if you have too much work happening under the hood, aka tech you are likely trying to leap to digital from a vastly analogue world
The real villain that most Csuite folks dont get is, Technical debt.Everyone in tech wants to tackle it but nobody plans to tackle it in the Csuite. That because the common misconception is that hire more people build more software, launch more apps, all will be well. Sadly not.
How many times have you seen seen any parts of time/budgets reserved to pay back an orgnanizations technical debt. So before we jump into further mechanics of what the problem is and a likely solution, here is what technical debt means.
Read 17 tweets
9 Dec 20
Digital transformation as a service. Has the time come? I'm fairly confident that transformations time has come at large to be offered as a service. From process to operations to change management. Digital is a small construct in the large scheme of things. Digital enables it.
The issue with transformation is, It is painful. For all parties concerned. The folks who end up being blockers of new process n transformation agenda either succeed or die trying. But with that push n pull the disarray caused in any organization is akin to a toxicity shot.
When u inject any thing its reaction time is faster than taking oral drugs. Hence if u don't manage the toxicity element as an outcome of the change an organization is going through, either your process vitals will fail or you will need so many steroids to recover
Read 15 tweets
8 Dec 20
If 2020 was your year of complaining you truly missed out on the ability to start some thing without
1)A VC
2)Build a Nocode product
3)Engage with millions 4 free
4)launch in under $500 & scale
5)Go global
6)Diversify your income
7)Have a side hustle by using other ppls channels
Other people's channels are interesting if you have your eye on the unusual. Like when The Queen's Gambit came out on Netflix, the popularity of chess skyrocketed.From 200%+ jump on searches on eBay to online chess platforms seeing a 40% rise.With over a Billion app downloads
The game became a sleeping giant. The show came out in October if you are some one who follows trends you saw a spike and you capitalized. If you didn't here's where u start looking for trends. Trends.google.com and an other place
Read 16 tweets
27 Nov 20
Companies like countries can't run on dumb people. A company is typically a microcosm of a country & its people. If you expect certain out-of-the-ordinary characteristics in a company that aren't true to your country you are in for a surprise.
It's akin to praying for a diff outcome when u know it's not possible. No country can escape poverty with bad economy, A working economy is a developed economy. You don't grow companies by saying "pray for xyzs growth" why do the same for your country? It has to start by stopping
That's counterintuitive how can u start something by stopping. It's simple just like we must stop hiring dumb folks in companies we must stop voting dumb people into government. When shit happens, they'll say "pray for PK" prayer isn't the way out of poverty or unicorns.
Read 16 tweets
26 Nov 20
Desperation is not motivator in isolation.The thinking that you will have your greatest ideas and triumphs if you are desperate, is rich people talk the same as telling lesser beings that getting up at 4am to start your work day is key to being a billionaire any thing less is not
By that measure, if being on the edge of desperation or being poor is such a great motivator why aren't rich people constantly locking away their luxuries & basic necessities in escrow when they work? Have that hanging by a thread and failure take it all away?
The fear of loosing it all or going back to zero is true motivator no doubt. But being on the edge is not good for the body or soul. Understanding it, recognising it and having the ability to work through it are 3 different types of skills.
Read 17 tweets
25 Nov 20
Popular thinking is not always accurate. A misleading assumption is the focus of non profits and ngos or even big biz car is on entrepreneurship. Most SMEs operate at subsistence level and do not create jobs. Portraying Pakistani youth as "digital natives"
& being innately entrepreneurial distracts from the real problem of the economy: a lack of quality wage jobs. For all those decks that start with half the pop being under 25 & the number of smart phone users are wildly out of touch with reality if u tout that as the opportunity
This is the aid agency and google effect. When Google came to sell advertising in this country they made the first of these decks that every sad marketeer in this country latched on to. The dream being sold is not one that converts as easily as a google advertisement.
Read 14 tweets
20 Nov 20
Govt: We will enable digitally led exports, we will enable our youth, we will launch inward payment schemes so all the FX can come across hassle free. AIC:The Rules would make it extremely difficult for AIC Members to make their services available to Pakistani users & businesses
Even if the members of AIC aicasia.org/members/ are grandstanding. It should be cause for concern.We need some one on our end with the wherewithal to be engaging with these guys. All of them banded together to protect their interest as should our govt. But 1st know what it is.
Digital economy domestically dis proportionately runs on Google(Search/Cloud/Mail/YT/Maps/Android), Amazon(AWS), FB(whatsapp/insta), Cloudflare. Imagine a world where these services go dark? Do we have local/regional players who step in? Whats the short/long term impact?
Read 4 tweets
20 Nov 20
A country for old men. We have a serious disincentive as a nation for young people because those who are in government/responsible for economic growth have not been young in the last 4/5 decades. This is not an ageist tweet, trust me. Tough to legislate outside of ur demographic.
Let me illustrate. What are the wins this govt is touting. 1) Package for real estate development 2)Incentives for textiles 3)Amnesties for Tax evaders 4)Healthcare cards 5) Privatization limbo for money bleeding state companies. 6)CPEC related projects
So how many 20 yr Olds do you know that are in real estate. Or can get into it. It's what I call a 'Mafia Sport'.Similarly how many post college grads are in the textile biz? When was the last time a fashion design institute kid launched a line that became a global runway darling
Read 25 tweets
19 Nov 20
For all the ex-pat Pakistani missing Pakistani comfort foods. Why not a startup subscription box of origin spices. Want your fav kabab roll, heres a sachet for its spice mix, want some guys imli chutni heres the dry ingredient mix that goes into it, want Nihari..u get the idea
Since shipping cooked food is more expensive & highly regulated. Best to go across town and convince the top 20 food groups that can be productized to sell you/license you a spice blend. Why should there only be Shan+National mixes, why not go to the source and have them produce
Granted some cooking will be required when you receive the box, but imagine the value that one can unlock by working with vendors to sell packaged blends of their core products to be shipped world wide/even consumed locally. Do you think Shan+National would do well
Read 5 tweets
19 Nov 20
Mentoring vs Whatsapp groups and uncle forwards. Every day within countless groups there are individuals who are consumers and producers of unsound data. From this corp group, to that corporate group to this ceo chat to that industry biradairi all we are doing is wasting time.
But with chaos comes opportunity. The chaos was a race for human kind including our own kinfolk to figure out a way to use the features of whatsapp & justify their station in life. Behold the whatsapp group flex. At best sharing the day's news & at worse vids on cures for corona
To all the @grandpafintech types and generally folks with a storied career or those who genuinely want to help the next generation. U can't do it by competing with 20yr Olds in your 60s. The less you consume the more you can produce. So stop consuming the whatsapp Kool aid.
Read 13 tweets
18 Nov 20
You can’t change your career by age 30 or 40?
You can get married late in life?You shouldn’t do some thing new, do only what you know? Play it safe

Who comes up with this baloney?

What happens in society is people getting clouded by NOISE.The noise of other peoples expectation
Especially family, friends and others closest to you. Whilst they can be the solution, some times they are part of the problem.

As my dear friend @raza_matin says, “the perceived safety net of 'familia' is the real weakness, what we think is resilience, really is a crutch”
Don’t fall for the trap of Doctor, Lawyer or Failure as career choices that families and generational middle class insecurities have brought to bear . You have many options, most of which you don’t even know today. Just know when to cut the noise out and focus on the signals.
Read 7 tweets
15 Nov 20
Ease of doing biz. Entrepreneurs and small business face a spade of challenges especially the indiscriminate taxes and levies imposed by the various levels of government in PK. The explanation is straight forward we just choose not see it.
When u have a vast majority of folks who have never run any thing successful let alone a biz are the ones running this country.They only understand feudal extraction (rent seeking). It is the same as babu mentality.Targeting those who perceptively have something to give.Or loose
When the vast majority of the people running the country are under qualified and lazy across all levels, this is what you get. Worse still, these taxes they collect hardly deliver any benefit society at large or the common man. It is an exercise to siphon for self & their cronies
Read 18 tweets
14 Nov 20
Don’t let your mentors confuse you, biz isn’t all that complicated: sell 1 thing to 1 person you don’t know, then repeat. Best case, get faster at it along the way and make sure the product/service remains compelling.
Mentors are great so long as you don't confuse them to be CxOs in your biz. Remember your biz is your biz. Seek advice and use them as sounding boards or SMEs. If your mentoring outlook is picking some ones brain, make sure u pick the parts u need vs the parts they aren't using.
Stay away from tittle inflation when looking for mentors. Look for quality of human being.Look for some one with high EQ & empathy. In my experience the best mentors I've had are the kindest ones @ large. It starts by being kind enough to lend you their time followed by headspace
Read 15 tweets
13 Nov 20
The type of friends or networks you have will contribute significantly to your outlook. If you happen to be a hustler, they likely have the potential to give you deep insights. Locally like most other places, its typically who you know mixed with what you know
That will add significantly to the outcomes you make for your self. Some of the most boring professions make for the best network effect. Having access to commercial bankers, who see all kinds of funding needs & interact with the "traditional" businesses in our ecosystem
tend to be an invaluable source of insights to the most boring and unsexy verticals that can use a hustler. The value unlocked by commercial bankers is second only to pindi boys. The other variety of folks that lend insights are those, who are in the business of being middle men
Read 9 tweets