Sameer Ahmed Khan is the CEO & Co-founder at “Social Champ” (social media scheduling tool) and “OuzelSystems” (tech consulting firm). He recently graduated from ‘The NEST IO‘ incubator, in Karachi, Pakistan. He attained 2nd Position in Bachelors’ Degree in Computer Science from University of Karachi, Pakistan. Moreover, he is also a Former Nokia Developer Champion, Microsoft Certified Professional & Specialist, Microsoft Community Speaker and former Microsoft Student Partner.
Sameer has technical expertise in Cross Platform Mobile Application Development, Cloud Computing, Windows Phone and Windows 8 Application Development using latest technologies including; Html5, Node.js, MongoDB, Azure Cloud, PhoneGap (Cordova).
How did Sameer Ahmed Khan start his startup?
“Back when we were in university 3rd year, after winning our first ‘Mobile Exhibition’ competition we collected enough confidence to work for international clients. That’s when we started ‘OuzelSystems’ in our university days. We got few clients and continued working as we studied. That’s how it all started. It’s a funny story, back in university, we didn’t have the means to buy a domain named ‘OuzelSoft’, we made ‘OuzelSoft’ digitally present all over social media. However, after a year when we checked the domain for ‘OuzelSoft’, it was purchased by someone else, so we decided to have a domain titled as ‘OuzelSystems’ and luckily our chairperson of the computer science department, Sir Badar Sami, helped us buy that domain. We didn’t have credit cards back then. I remember, the first android phone we bought was after selling our iPad which I and Zohaib won in one competition! This is how we bootstrapped too, by winning cash prizes and devices in competitions!”
How much potential does Sameer see in the IT Industry of Pakistan?
“It’s growing exponentially. And not just me, the world acknowledges it too. You’d be surprised to see a lot of business are going totally online and growing. For example, a tailor doing great business from his Facebook page is a great example of how a common man is connected with the digital world in Pakistan. Still, a lot has to be done, but we are moving forward. However, it’s the youth and coming generation that I see the most potential in. They are much more connected and smarter than us. If their energies are channeled wisely, Pakistan can do wonders!”
What difference does Sameer see between the IT industry of Pakistan and abroad?
“Their moms are on snapchat and our moms are not. Well jokes apart, it’s just that they adapt technology shifts faster than us. So it takes time for a proven idea from abroad to work in Pakistan. Most people believe what works in other countries would exactly work the same in Pakistan, that’s not the case. The dynamics and mindset to adapt a change are totally different. But we are getting there, slowly but we will.”
If Sameer is offered a handsome salary from a silicon valley company, will he avail it?
“No, right now my focus is totally on the success of ‘OuzelSystems’ and ‘Social Champ’. Any opportunity that benefits these startups will be taken care of. Tough call, but that’s how it is. And please, I’m not a very rich person saying this. I just don’t dream about dollars or a big house but a very happy peaceful life with the people I love the most.”
How can our government play a role in bringing the Revolution in the Information Technology?
“The Government can act as a catalyst to accelerate the change and revolution I.T industry and startup ecosystem brings but it should be clear, that in most cases great ideas really don’t rely much on how government can help. There are numerous different payment systems in place, so researching about them will slow a startup’s speed, but they cannot be blocked. Again, this is in 90% of the cases.”
His message for the newbies in IT?
“Dear newbies, I know the IT world is totally confusing to you with all the advancements, new libraries and technologies emerging every day, it’s hard to keep up and decide your true focus on. I had been in that state before. You have two choices, either be overwhelmed with all that is happening and be nothing, or focus and take one step at a time. I’ll share what worked for me. You can come up with your own way and it’s totally fine as long as you know what you are doing. What I did was, I tried everything I found interesting to see that if it stays interesting and exciting once I dive into that world and try mastering it. Like back in the days, I dived into the world of back-end development, hacking, designing, game development, etc, but only front-end development gave me that level of excitement. And just to be clear, when I said I dived into different worlds, I wasn’t in them for few days or weeks. But spent a long time in learning them and implementing them on projects so that I can show to the people what I coded or developed! I spent 2+ years in the back-end world but still didn’t like it. Most students these days spend only a week watching a YouTube video tutorial and give up quickly!”
Sameer Ahmed Khan is a role model for the youth in the field of Information Technology and Entrepreneurship. In a short span of time, Sameer proved his worth with a number of achievements. You can follow him on Facebook.