A Dream to a reality, PEC Preston Entrepreneurial Challenge

Preston Entrepreneurial Challenge (PEC) 2015 had its charm spreading over two tight eventful days.The participating teams took part from major cities of Pakistan including Turbat, Gilgit, Karachi and Sukkur.

The huge number of participation from all across the country, proved that PEC is expanding its roots all over the 5 provinces with a tremendous pace.

In an interview with the Chief Organizer of Preston Entrepreneurial Challenge, we got to extract the whole summary of this 
astounding and enchanting event.

The Chief Organizer of PEC was Mr. Hassan Nisar.The achievements and capabilities of this young entrepreneur are worth mentioning.This young and sparkling entrepreneur, born in Sialkot is already the Managing Director of Eventie, Director of Barkat Flour Mills and Naimat Private Limited and he is an active member of Academic Council Institute of Business Leadership. When teenagers plan to become a super hero, he not only planned but actually became the most achieving upcoming entrepreneur. At 16 years of age he was managing Haider Flour Mills at Sialkot, on turning 22 he started running his own flour mill named as: Barkat Flour Mills inWazirabad, the journey continued and at 24 he became the Director of Naimat Private Limited. Most recently at 27 he became the Managing Director of Eventie.

I am great full to Mr. Hassan Nisar for taking out his time to answer a few questions about Preston Entrepreneurial Challenge and the series of the events:

 Q. What was the Idea behind PEC?

Chief Organizer:
To help encourage a more entrepreneurial spirit among young graduate students, an event called “Preston Entrepreneurial Challenge (PEC)” was planned for young prospective entrepreneurs. We rise up every year to provide the aspiring entrepreneurs a platform where they can come and explore their entrepreneurial capability as the event comprises of different entrepreneurial challenges faced by an entrepreneur in real life."

Q. Who conceived the idea of PEC?

Chief Organizer:
The idea of bringing PEC in our university was a brain child of Mr. HumayunShuja, Director Entrepreneurship Development Preston University and myself. The idea was discussed between us in Islamabad Kacheri on February 12th, 2013.

Q. What are the aims and Objectives of PEC?

Chief Organizer:
The aims and objectives that were set for PEC are;
1.   To develop entrepreneurship culture.
2.   To make a platform for refinement in the business plans of the participants.
               3.  To arrange angel investors for the aspiring entrepreneurs. 

Q. Who decides the slogan of PEC, and how are the slogans selected?

Chief Organizer
Well, each year we formulate our slogans according to a definite theme.
In PEC 2013, 
Our Slogan was "JawaanoKoPeeroKaUstaad Ker"
Because we feel that in this era and in this time, there is a need for our youth to excel.

In PEC 2014, 
Slogan was "KhudPeyYaqeen"
Believing in the fact that youth needs to dictate itself, and start implementing what they believe.

In PEC 2015,
Slogan was "SitaronSaayAgayJahan AurBhiHain"
This slogan was selected as we are moving our theme in a sequence, if you look back we had encouraged the youth to excel and set the precedents and in 2014 motivated them by developing self believe and now showing them that the world is endless and the dreams and goals can be achieved, as every success takes us to next level.

For the selection of our slogan, every time the suggestions are taken from the organizers and faculty members and after consultation, Mr.HumayunShuja then decides the perfect one, which depicts the theme aswell.

Q. What is the whole procedure in organizing such an event?

Chief Organizer: 
We go through a very thorough procedure by covering all the major and minor areas. How we move is that we have first selection of organizers which is being made by getting registrations of the students and than our Director for Entrepreneurship Development shortlist and finalize the dream team. Than the list of activities which are to be conducted in PEC are discussed in Team`s meeting and final suggestions are put forth to our chancellor for approval. Once the approval is being made the event is being announced. We send invitations to all HEC recognized universities of Pakistan.
Event has than different stages after which the selection of teams for Grand Finale is being made. It starts with team registration in which a minimum of three members and maximum of five can participate. Then there is a round of executive summary submission and on the basis of that teams are further shortlisted for Grand Finale.
In Grand Finale we have a mix of competitions each year from the following Elevator Pitch Competition, Business Plan Competition, Junk Yard Activity, Business Quiz Competition, Launch Pad Competition, Stakeholders conferences, Entrepreneurs Success Stories and some surprise activities. The winners of PEC are on the basis of aggregate score in all events.

Q.Who were the Sponsors for PEC and how difficult was it to find them?

Chief Organizer:   
Getting Sponsors always a tough job. In any event the major aspect that is considered is getting the sponsors as without them the events success is not possible. We have four packages for our sponsors Bronze, Gold, Silver and Platinum. In terms of difficulty than would say that yes it is a difficult job but the dedicated team of PEC is always on toes and we have separate teams for separate tasks. Their day and night effort and continues follow up makes it easy for us.
As we started PEC in 2013 so in first edition sponsors were reluctant at beginning. But as the reachof PEC13 was communicated to them they were more than eager to sponsor our event. We received overwhelming response in our first year and our sponsors for the first edition were:
1.     Zong (Platinum)
2.     NaimatPrivate Limited (Silver)
3.     ICT R&D (Gold)

In our second edition (PEC14) we sent proposals to outlined potential sponsors for the event and to our surprise the required sponsors were arranged in no time. As our sponsors of first edition were more than willing to sponsor us:
1.     NaimatPrivate Limited (Platinum)
2.     Eventie (Silver)
3.     Zia Steel (Gold)
4.     Shahid Studios (Bronze)

The ongoing trend of PEC made us sure that the third edition will be the biggest one, as the interest of the universities and students were increasing day by day. For which we had to raise the participation number of teams for Grand Finale resultantly we needed the big amount to cover our expenses. The outreach was made and ALLHAMDULILLAH our past sponsors responded to our proposals and new approached sponsors were also found encouraging. Thus making the pool as:
1.     Zia Steel (Platinum)
2.     Naimat Private Limited (Silver)
3.     Habib Bank Limited (Gold)
4.     Kashmir Estate (Gold)
5.     Telenor (Bronze)
6.     Victory Pipes (Bronze)

Q. What is the role of the Strategic partners and which organizations usually play this role in PEC Events?

Chief Organizer: 
The basic purpose of bringing strategic partners to PEC is to promote entrepreneurship culture in our society as the strategic partners selected by us are those who are using their platforms to promote it already. By having them it makes us easier to make the impact in the society. Strategic Partners year wise are below:

1. TiE Islamabad
2. National Productivity Organization
3. Jang Group

1. TiE Islamabad
2. Islamabad Chambers of Commerce
3. Rawalpindi Chambers of Commerce
4. Jump Start

1. TiE Islamabad
2. Islamabad Chambers of Commerce
3. Rawalpindi Chambers of Commerce

Q. How do you search out for the jury Members of different events?

Chief Organizer
Jury Selection has always been a tough task as we really need to have a blend of balanced judges.We have always considered therenowned academicians and entrepreneurs for business plan competition. And for other competitions we search and choose from the relevant field.

Q. What prize is given to the winners of PEC events?

Chief Organizer: 
Usually, Winners are awarded with cash Prize Money and Winning Trophies.Besides this we have seed money option available for the start-ups. Beside event winners we have mementoes for event category winners and our sponsor Naimat Private Limited welcomes any of the finalist to reach them for seed money.

Q. What kind of organizers do you get each time and what do you think their importance is?

Chief Organizer: 
Well, events like these cannot happen with just an idea. You need to start working months before, otherwise just dream of getting a magical spell.
Fortunately, the organizing team I get every time is amazing. For me they are the backbone of the event and perhaps any event like this is not possible without an efficient team.
I am truly grateful to all of them for helping me and making this event possible.

Q. Did you get enough support and appraisal from 
Preston University?

Chief Organizer:    
Preston University as a citadel of knowledge strongly believes in active participation and development of students curriculum and extra-curriculum skills. It is proud of having constructive role in providing quality education for Pakistani and foreign students in a learning environment since the last 30 years. When it comes specifically about PEC we always found Preston University administration and staff very profoundly taking part in the event and assisting the event in best possible manner. The Guidance, moral support and monetary support is always on deck.

 Q. What was the response of the Participating Teams in Pec13 and now after 2 years in Pec 15?

Chief Organizer:
Participants to me are always considered as key to success, as it’s the participants who makes or breaks the event. They are the one who take event to next level. We have always announced event not more than 25 days before close of registrations and this year merely 18 odd days. But to our surprise, the buzz and wait of participants is always making us have the number of participants beyond our expectations every year. The graph of participants have increased tremendously in just three years. We The PEC TEAM have always tried our best to meet the expectations of our participants. And they have always found us up to the mark. I find your platform a great way to once again thank all the participants of PEC because of whom the PEC`s were memorable for us and turning the events to a successful ones.

The best response that I could ever rate is from Iqra University Karachi:

The outreach PEC has made in past and present year is as below:

Grand Finale

Winners of PEC
                                         2013 – NUST Islamabad                  

 2014 – COMSATS Abotabad

                                                    2015 – Kinnaird Lahore

Q. what is PEC`s X – Factor?

Chief Organizer:
PEC is never going to be a success unless one person is there, as to me he is a compass who is continuously activating the magnets of knowledge curiosity and wisdom. He not only tells but explains and demonstrates with an inspiration and really effected my eternity and perhaps I can never tell where his influence stops. The most influential and man of honour Mr. HumayunShujais PEC`s Success Factor or what you call the PEC`s X-Factor.

Q. Perhaps the most desirous question of all: Why Mr. Hassan Nisar is in PEC?

Chief Organizer:
Why Hassan Nisar is in PEC? This is something which is hard to be expressed as the passion for entrepreneurship is in me since my teen days. I have found no better way than entrepreneurship to serve the nation and people of your country. I am a seasoned entrepreneur who have not only run some traditional businesses but also have brought out some new concepts in some of the ventures. My journey started in 07(although have been in field since teen age), and from then I realized the true importance of the entrepreneurs.
As the idea of PEC was conceived by me and my Teacher Mr. HumayunShuja, in the days when I was a regular student of my very own Preston University. The first event brought that motivational factor for me to really contribute for entrepreneurship as I always wondered during my carrier and studies that how I can contribute to entrepreneurship.
Why I am so much keen about promoting it as I have seen many public figures promoting youth and claiming as a success that Pakistan have a youth above 60%. But to me it’s a real worry as:What we are doing for that youth? Where are the platforms for that youth which they can use? What are the basic facilities being made for that youth? How we are going to get our youth accommodated in terms of jobs? When we see these basic questions unfortunately we don’t see any answers or platform from public or private sector.This concern about youth and the people who inspired me my father Brig Nisar Ahmad, Sitar-e-Imtiaz Military and my teacher Mr. HumayunShuja vision of promoting the entrepreneurial culture have been a great strength and factor to be associated with PEC. As if we see progressing nations the reason of their progress is more based on entrepreneurial activities in the nation. It’s a fact that government sector cannot create much job employment as the private sector by creating entrepreneurial activities can. An entrepreneur does not only create jobs but also makes contribution in the economies of the nations. Any such entrepreneurial activity that starts is not limited to him or herself. They engage the supplier, manufacturer, middle man, distributor, etc. Entrepreneurs are also the best way of meeting the needs of the customers/consumers as they keep innovating the products by identifying the demands.
So, arranging the event for the aspiring entrepreneurs through Preston`s platform in shape of PEC is found by me as one of the best way to serve the nation.

"I am honored and Thankful to Mr Hassan Nisar, for giving me some of his precious time.I believe people will get great inspiration from a great personality".
                                                                                     Bakhtawar Mahmood


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