Zia S. Hasan is an entrepreneur and an award-winning Business Mentor, managing her business venture “WOWPK” through which she Honours, Celebrates, and Highlights successful women role models in Traditional and Non-Traditional Careers and economically empowers them through skill development programs and mentoring.
As an award-winning business mentor, she has served as a mentor for start-ups at Standard Chartered’s Women in Tech program Cohorts 1, 2, and 4, Enterprise Challenge Pakistan (ECP) by Prince Trust, Uk, Social Technology Entrepreneurship Program by SEED Ventures and as a judge for NIC’s National Health Hackathon, NIC’s Hepatitis C Hackathon, NIC’s Hacktivate, Women in renewable energy, Epiphany Lab, health tech and others. The World Bank has selected her for the ‘Girls Learn Women Earn initiative’. In addition, Hasan has been invited as a panelist, moderator, and speaker at various forums. Moreover, she has conducted workshops on different business themes to educate women about entrepreneurship, financial literacy, business marketing, etc. Zia S.Hasan is an extraordinary woman who knows well how to use knowledge, wisdom, and skills effectively and efficiently.
This doesn’t end here as you will be surprised to know that Hasan is also the Founder of the Alumni society of the Department of Microbiology, University of Karachi, passionately managing it since the last 12 years. She also writes and runs a business-centric blog and has many publications in print and digital magazines.
Zia has built a reputation for her knowledge, leadership qualities, and expertise in Business, Community Building, and Women’s Advancement and Empowerment.
At Fempreneur, we are proud to feature her in our “Women Who Inspire” series. Let’s get to know more about her inspiring journey.
Please tell us about yourself and how you get started with your career.
I am a community builder, a microbiologist, and a successful entrepreneur who works in the non-traditional field since the last 6 years. I am also a mentor who is passionate about building new businesses and working with entrepreneurs in realizing their dreams to make an impact. My passion is working alongside budding or struggling entrepreneurs especially women entrepreneurs to convert their pilots into industry-leading companies and increase their odds of success.
I started my entrepreneurship career in Dubai in the field of Nanotechnology as it always fascinated me. I then further expanded it to Pakistan as wanted to bring this advanced technology to my dear country.
Your work as WoWPk Founder has been great from the beginning. Please tell us more about it.
At WOWPK, we are passionate about supporting women to achieve goals they never thought possible. We have conducted many workshops, courses, and seminars on skill building, with a prime focus on financial literacy and personal branding, career guidance sessions, three successful events of WOW Awards, and many business and social networking meetups to help women connect with each other and learn from each other’s experiences.
“WOWPk”- What was the thought process behind it?
Women of Wonders Pakistan (WOWPK) was founded in 2019 with the aim to highlight and acknowledge the efforts of our wonder women, to share resources to help them grow, to inspire young girls to think out of the box and explore careers that need women workforce and leaders (non-traditional careers). WOWPK provides an environment for the personal and professional development of women through formal and informal training. We are committed to developing the potential of women leaders, career women, and entrepreneurs, helping them grow, and celebrating their successes.
When you were setting up your Entrepreneurial career, what challenges did you face?
I was lucky to have the support of my family in my entrepreneurship career. I consider myself lucky that I and many women of my generation have now better opportunities and work environments than the previous generations. Leading an all-men team to all-men clients, the journey was challenging. This means being able to delegate efficiently and mindfully and set an example too for other women to follow.
As an entrepreneur, what have been your biggest achievements?
My biggest achievement as an entrepreneur is that I am the first female director and co-founder of a company in the Nanoautomotive industry in Pakistan. I feel humble yet proud that I have been able to mentor and guide many startups to achieve business excellence. My greatest satisfaction comes from leading people to achieve great things while helping them develop to their full potential. Furthermore, I take great pride in building, leading, and coaching startups that consistently maintain the highest performance standards.
You have been a part of various hackathons and business mentorship programs including the Social Technology Entrepreneurship Program by SEED Ventures. What has been your greatest learning experience, while mentoring women-led businesses?
Women have great potential to learn, improve, and excel provided they have the support system to help them achieve it.
What qualities do you think entrepreneurs should possess?
Ability to take calculated risks and be very very focused.
It is always good to see our youth looking for new avenues, thinking out of the box, and embarking on the roller coaster rides of Entrepreneurship, however, the hype around being an entrepreneur, so you have freedom, can make your own choices, and choose your own destiny needs to be balanced with some reality. As an entrepreneur, since you are pouring your heart, soul, pride, reputation, money, and countless hours into your venture, so do give due consideration to the fact that all of this is unfruitful if your life is not disciplined. Being an avid entrepreneur for some time now, I see many young aspiring entrepreneurs misunderstanding responsibility for “being the boss.” Some people generalize employees as followers, and entrepreneurs as leaders but with leadership comes a lot of responsibilities. A successful entrepreneur works with others to ensure a vision is followed through. She articulates a vision clearly to others. She sets an example and then expects her team to follow it. She serves as a model of a good attitude and uses approaches that others can emulate.
Please share your proud moment with us.
When we had signed a B2B deal with the prestigious agency managing Rolls Royce, BMW, and MiniCooper in UAE.
What is your obsession?
Seeing women succeed and take the lead on the decision-making boards. I will continue my efforts in helping young girls become great leaders.
What advice would you like to give to aspiring women entrepreneurs?
The work-life balance is every entrepreneur’s most coveted dream, the most sought-after treasure, and for women entrepreneurs, it is very crucial. Know that you are capable of achieving anything with dedication and good time management. Looking to the future, I would advise aspiring women entrepreneurs, to set their sights high. Challenges may cross or trip you along the way, but keep the courage to proceed and the motivation to convert problems into opportunities. Do the work. Show the value that you bring. Make the most of yourself by fanning the tiny, inner sparks of possibility into flames of achievement! Keep fighting for your dreams.