I was born in a town called Hull in the North East of England in 1977 while my father was studying for his PhD at the University of Hull. After a few months of enjoying the British weather my family moved to Pakistan so I had some of my earliest education there. A few years later we moved to Los Angeles, California where I tasted the American Elementary school system.
At the age of 8 we moved to Brussels, Belgium. This is where I had my most formative years growing up from the age of 8 to until I finished high school at 18. I attended the International School of Brussels (www.isb.be). At ISB I began to hang out with some of the richest and well connected people in the world. A tuition fee of close to USD 50,000 meant that only a certain demographic could afford the school. In the meantime, I would also visit Pakistan in the summers and visit some of the poorest in the world.
Seeing this disparity of wealth from such an early stage had a big impact on me and shaped a lot of my purpose and goals in life. Seeing the world from both the rich and poor firstly taught me that money doesn’t necessarily lead to happiness. Everyone has problems – a rich kid in high school might be figuring out how to be cool in front of her friends and a poor kid from Karachi might be figuring out how to get her next meal. But problems are problems. Obviously it is nicer to have certain types of problems.
After graduation from ISB, I went to the University of Manchester, UK where I studied Computer Science with Business and Management graduating with a First Class (Hons) in 1998 and graduated top of my class. Ever since an early age I have had a knack for computers and if there was one subject which I could ace without studying it was Computer Science. I also had a passion for computers as I could already see that from the early 1990s that computers would have an impact on all industries so I wanted to be involved in this field. I also knew that eventually I wanted to run my own business and help people and knowing computers would help me in all sorts of businesses as well as have a big impact on society.
After graduation from University, I began my career at Accenture, consulting Fortune 500 companies such as Boots Retail, Microsoft, Oracle, Sky and Virgin. As an example project, I sold USD 6 million of consulting work to a major telecoms client in Ireland. I was responsible for the Profit & Loss for the account and managed a team of 30 to help deliver the work over a 9 month period. My experience in consulting gave me the confidence that even some of the best run and most profitable companies in the world have many systems and processes that can be improved.
In 2003, I went on to start my own business as a solo programmer based in my bedroom in North London. I eventually grew the team to 30 people and we acquired over 70 customers including Amazon, Apple, Google, Intel, Samsung and Xbox. I went on to win the European prize for innovation for a mobile app we developed for Amazon. After successfully running the company for over 4 years I sold the business to a larger industry player. Running my own business gave me an insight into the challenges that entrepreneurs and small businesses face in bringing their ideas to reality.
After running my company, I took a break from the real world to get a Masters of Business Administration from IMD Business School in Lausanne, Switzerland. It was here again that I met some of the richest people in the world as not many people can afford to invest $100,000 in their MBA in their late 20s and early 30s. These people were committed to gaining the right knowledge and skills.
I went on to consult governments on innovation, marketing, strategy and technology including the government of Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Pakistan and the United Kingdom. This gave me an insight into having an impact at a bigger level and taught me some of the challenges and opportunities of working with governments.
I am passionate about helping people see how technology can make their lives simpler. I have not only been innovating with technology in London but have also setup companies in Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Geneva, Lausanne, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Peshawar, Islamabad, Lahore and Sydney. Travelling while working on digital businesses has helped me understand what each of these cities offers and has given me insights on spreading Internetism globally.
Along my own journey I had several of my own breakthroughs in mindset. I suffered many depressions, many moments of weakness, heartbreaks, losing in business etc. But along the period I read hundreds of books, attended seminars like Tony Robbins and studied courses like Neuro-linguistic programming. Slowly friends started to ask to be coached by me to help them find and achieve their goals.
I am available for both short and long term consulting or coaching.