Last week, another one of our readers was invited to over to our studio for a small interview. This particular reader is very special to the team as he sets the record straight on a lot of issues and is someone that deserves to be looked up to. He is determined in his resolve and never ever accepts no for an answer. Circumstances don’t deter him from pursuing his objectives and in his own life and from what we know from those that know him personally, he has had multiple achievements made in impossible circumstances under his belt. This dude is straight up dope, if descriptive rhymes can be personified then he is best described as such. People of TheoryLamp, meet Salman Tariq – the man behind some of the greatest ventures that you will soon witness materialize.
Salman joined us last weekend. Since our studio is still under going some work, we invited him to a coffee joint not far off from our place. The drink was on us as Salman’s presence and the time he had decided to give to us was enough of a gift in itself! So after all the glorious introduction that we have netted out, you must be wondering who this Salman Tariq is? Well lets put his own words into play for that. “I am Salman Tariq, a graduate of electrical engineering. I am a casual guy that started off his career with dancing.”
So what is so special about a graduate of an electrical engineering program you ask? We have throngs of them running all over the place. Almost every third person you know is an electrical engineer and what ever good have they ever done for the country? Well, a wise man once told us that everyone contributes in their own positive way to the betterment of society. And as a human being you know that everyone has their own special story which details their contribution. What is Salman’s story then? What is special about it?
Hold on, did Salman just say that he started off his career with dancing? It is from this point onwards that things get especially interesting. We had gathered some tidbits regarding Salman’s life from people that know him; in particular small details from his life as a dancer. “From what we know about your life and the from what people have told us, you have exceptional dancing skills. You are an amazing moon walker and we have even heard people say that the soul of Micheal Jackson himself has possesses you. Are all of these assertions true?”
“Yes, indeed they are true”, replies Salman shying away from the praise in his trademark humble manner. Infact, Salman’s dancing was going pretty impressively. During his initial years at the university he studied in, he performed at almost every single event that was ever scheduled. Salman was showstopper material and would get everyone else dancing on the edge of their seats. His performances were electrifying and often times, when an event was going real bad – this man would be called in to help steer things from ending up a complete disaster. As expected, he was offered by many people to perform in bigger events even scoring a chance to start his own dance academy. With the years and years of effort he put into his art, and all that effort finally bearing fruit, you must be thinking that surely Salman went ahead and pursued the chance that he had?
The answer is a resounding no. Salman decided not to turn the God gifted talent he had into a career. Instead, he chose a very different path. Why was this the case?
“Well, I did not want to become part of an industry that I consider immoral and exploitative” he says. “The value system that I ended up subscribing to did not resonate with the system that the industry follows”. Salman gave up his chance of being able to make millions off his talent and instead embarked on a totally different journey.
Salman focused on completing his degree and then attempted to start his own business. His first initial attempts at business failed and eventually he believed that he needed to develop professionalism in himself and his work. So as is normally done by a young man in this day and age, he started to look for a job – and a job he did find.
“I started work as a business development executive at a well established company here”, he narrates. “Within a short period of time due to my performance, I was promoted to the post of Sales manager”.
“Our job involved a lot of cold calling. Trying to convince people to buy stuff they did not need and stuff I knew would never really help them in the long run”. In addition to the general harassment that he would have to deliberately take part in to make sales, he also saw that businesses would lie to their clients – the very clients that were their life blood. Seeing what happens in this particular domain of no holes barred phone spamming he made the hardest decision of his life – Salman decided to quit his job and move ahead to start his own business. “I want to start a business that has a certain grounding based on morality. I do not want to start a business that has no respect for its employees and its customers and works solely on the profit motive”.
For Salman, the product or service that his business will make comes later. The people and the mission of the company is what comes first. This is a very uncanny approach towards entrepreneurship and many people will think that he is going down the wrong path as an entrepreneur when he focuses more on the people that he employs. So what again you ask is so special about this? There are so many entrepreneurs in Pakistan. Infact, it seems that every third person in the country is an entrepreneur nowadays. So what is so different about Salman?
The answer to that question is not a particular feature that makes him different and interesting, but rather the fact that he serves as a role model for struggling entrepreneurs, ones that have become demotivated enough to consider giving up all that they have striven for. As you may have usually heard such people say is that they cannot continue as they need money coming in and with a business it simply takes too long. Usually, these people cite their families as excuses when the fact of the matter is that the job they will work in and end up hating is one that does not compensate them enough for this particular purpose.
Salman is still going strong after 3 consecutive failures. And Salman has a family to support as well. In fact, he decided to quit his job and start his business soon after his beautiful son was born. Yes, you are reading correctly! Salman, does not have any wealth stored in his multiple bank accounts but rather he struggles with expenses as is the case with entrepreneurs that are in the midst of setting up their business. He dreams of tomorrow in which all the learning that he has gone through during the toughest phase of his life would have paid off.
So what were Salman’s failures? and what has he learnt from them? What kind of a business is he setting up nowadays?
“Initially, I started a business that would involve assisting people in helping calculate the kind of courses they would need to take up in order to gain a certain GPA”. However, even though the software he developed was an important requirement that can prove to be quite useful to students that face severe difficulties in implementing a career road map, it wasn’t very well received. Where did it go wrong? “Well, I decided to charge a small fees for the software in order to keep up with expenses”. The software, which is still available required the user to pay a small fees of around 200 to 300 rupees. The product was launched at the Center for Advanced Studies of Engineering (CASE) in Islamabad last year or so. TheoryLamp deduced that the main reason the product was not successful was due to the membership carrying a price tag. It is fairly difficult, when your a student especially, to churn up any kind of money for a product that your not sure of. The correct approach would have been to have provided a free version of the application for download. This would have made students familiar with the value the software could have provided in their lives.
Salman moved on to his next venture after wrapping that one up. His second venture deals with the development of a software called I.C Explorer. The software features an innovative idea and allows for hobbyists and students to locate alternative I.Cs that allow for similar functionality in electronic circuits they are building in case a particular I.C that they want to use is not available. The software is still under development and will be available for sale soon in its beta release from Salman’s latest venture – De Applicant.
Salman’s determination to give everything he has in-order to gain success as an entrepreneur is a highly commendable trait to say the least. Where many people come up with a maximum possible list of generic excuses, Salman uses them to generate a perpetual self interest in his own resolve to achieve objectives that he has set out in his own life. There are many things to learn from his life and the manner in which he addresses the larger than life agendas on his bucket list can become of benefit to those people that require motivation and guidance in their own lives.
As we signed off, we wished Salman the best of luck in life and we sincerely hope that the tomorrow he dreams about is realized as he wishes!