Hammad Siddiqui is the only US Chamber Qualified Non-Profit Expert Consultant in South Asia with more than 25 years expertise in capacity building for the business association in improving governance, memberships development, revenue generation, social media outreach, and policy advocacy. Currently, he is the Country Director at CIPE (Center for International Private Enterprise). Previously, he spent working 16 years with British Deputy High Commission.
Hammad Siddiqui has trained over 200 business association professionals in countries like United Kingdom, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Cambodia and Papa New Guinea. Moreover, he has written a Book “Bootstrapping your Career” about career development.
Why did Hammad choose to become a trainer?
“My specialization is very particular to business associations development. About 11 years ago, when I started this job at CIPE, one of the key areas we looked at was the capacity building of chambers and business associations in Pakistan. Our diagnostic reports revealed that they lack strategy and understanding of their core function. Since there were no trainers in Pakistan who could deliver quality content specific to the needs of chambers and business associations, I started developing training programs and given my expertise, trained hundreds of staff members and business leaders. So in short, my entry in this field was demand driven.”
Hammad has been to so many countries, as a trainer, what difference did he observe between the audience of Pakistan and other countries?
“Not much, reason is simple, we all are humans, and chambers and business associations in countries like ours have same issues. One thing I would like to mention is that Pakistani audience lacks focus and have shorter attention time span, at times I have also felt that some participants are not committed to improvement and modernization of ideas.”
Despite having immense talent and potential, what does our youth still lacks?
“I think the major lacking is a part of our society. For instance, I have felt that our young people do not read much. Therefore their knowledge level is limited to textbooks. I believe that individuals who grow exponentially in their careers are those who develop their knowledge beyond textbooks. Reading or listening or may be watching world experts helps a lot in personal grooming. Learning is a never ending thing. I believe in a continuous learning mode, and that is the only way to stand out from the crowd.”
What interesting question has Hammad ever got from any of his students/trainees?
“I think at the university level, a lot of young people are unsure about their careers. I often ask them about their plans, and most, I would say 90% would talk about joining a multinational after completing their degree programs. However, that is not the reality. When everyone is after few opportunities, only the best wins. The most interesting questions I have ever got was from a Telecom Engineer who bought the book “Bootstrapping Your Career,” read the books and inboxed me “Sir I have read the book, will I now get a job?”. I felt sorry for him. Books can teach you stuff, clear your ideas, however, you are the one who has to do the implementation!”
How can our Government play a role for the betterment of our youth?
“If you are talking about creating job opportunities, I think the Government should just allow the private sector to grow and expand. Bigger the industry, better job opportunities there will be. Also, I think over-regulation and lack of policy harmonization between provinces cause confusion and distort the entrepreneurial ecosystem.”
His Advice for Our Youth
“Focus, learn and implement.”
If any wants to become a trainer like Hammad, what will he advise him/her?
“I get this one very often. I believe a good coach needs years of experience in the industry, knowledge beyond book, excellent communication skills and ability to interact with a diverse group of people. All that comes with lots of hard work. That does not mean that young people cannot become trainers, what I mean is that they need to know what they are talking. I believe that cutting and pasting from Slideshare is dishonesty!”
We are proud of people like Hammad Siddiqui in our Country. We should learn from their experiences and should act upon their advice as well. You can follow him on Facebook.