Huda Garib is an individual who comes from a family who always strongly encouraged a culture of learning and education. Her passion for education and entrepreneurial spirit led her to make “e-Magine” for the city of Karachi; where the aim is to equip not only our youth but for people of all ages with the technical skills that prove to be a major asset for them regardless of the industry to which they belong.
Trending in Pakistan took her interview for “Wednesday for Women” in order to promote women entrepreneurship in Pakistan.
Huda Garib and e-Magine:
TIP: Short description about you. Including schooling, university and etc.
Huda: My name is Huda Garib and I’m the founder of e-Magine. Living in a country where the provision of a quality education, especially for women is regarded as a luxury; I truly consider myself blessed that I come from a family that has always strongly encouraged a culture of learning and education. Therefore, it really is no surprise that it was from an early age that I was able to establish an affinity with and an inclination for the education industry. Although, strangely enough, I always thought of myself as more of an entrepreneurial spirit, and so I found myself taking part in, and leading several projects during my school years, something that ended up paving the way for something much greater.
However, growing up in a country like Pakistan made me realize how far behind we are from the developed world in terms of technology, and providing our youth with opportunities for growth. This, along with my passion for education led me to delve into this vast industry in various capacities – wherein my main focus has always been to help students and teachers alike integrate technology into their daily work routines. When I started doing this on a very small scale, it was at that point in my life that I managed to find employment in one of Karachi’s top schools, Bay View Academy – where I worked for a number of years.
This, in addition to attending several educational and entrepreneurial conferences locally and internationally including the Youth Assembly at the U.N in 2016, has all contributed in helping me gain the confidence and training that I needed to start-up my own organization in this very field. Also, the fact that I am also currently enrolled as a distance learning student pursuing an M.A in Organizational Psychology at the Chicago School of Professional Psychology has continued to help me build on my own learning experiences and equip me with a greater level of skills to conduct a what so far has Alhumdulillah been a number of successful workshops and programs for students, teachers, and working professionals. And, this is something that I hope to Inshallah continue as part of my personal efforts to improve our local education system.
TIP: Please tell us about your entrepreneurial journey.
Huda: Here is the timeline of our journey.
- February 2017 – e-Magine commenced operations
- March 2017 – e-Magine hosted a graduation ceremony for our first ever batch of students with Abbas Hussain as our chief guest.
- May 2017 – I was invited as a guest speaker at a Mother Toddler event (a women and child only program) hosted by Samra Kazi.
- July 2017 – In order to cater to the growing demand, 2 separate children’s programs were being conducted. & Launch of MS Office Training program for individual working professionals.
- Sept 2017 – Commenced 3 month long After School Program at BVA (Clifton & Defence Campuses). & Conducted a Computers for Diva’s training program for women.
- Oct 2017 – Scheduled to conduct sessions at New Port University.
TIP: Tell us a little bit about your parents and family.
Huda: Well, I come from a family that I think has Alhumdulillah pretty successfully managed to find a balance between a traditional and a modern way of life. And therefore, while the practicing of family values is given top priority in our household; our elders have also always been pro-education, very much for gender equality, and in general have had a reasonably open mindset. I have 2 Brothers – Both of whom are married and Mashallah have their own families.
And, therefore I guess that it really is no surprise that even though we are a very close group of people and have done a lot together; each of us has also managed to experience our own set of adventures, as well as gotten an opportunity to try and make our own individual dreams a reality.
So, honestly speaking, at the end of the day, it doesn’t really matter where in the world any of us are, or what we’re doing, just to know that I Mashallah have such a wonderful family and such a strong support system around me –is really just an absolutely fantastic feeling!
TIP: How did you come up with the idea of e-magine?
In a country such as ours where the notion of incorporating technology into our professional lives is commonly viewed as a pointless luxury, it probably is no surprise that in an era where technology reigns supreme, we are often left lagging far behind the developed world. This very thought was only further consolidated when I entered the education industry a few years ago. I soon learned that a large number of students, teachers, and working professionals spent a considerable amount of time working manually on those tasks that could be done in a more organized, efficient, and quicker manner only if they made use of the available technological resources.
Looking into any development role that I could play, I noted that while there are various centers where such knowledge can be obtained, they are mainly catered towards the male demographic. Hence, women, children, and remedial students amongst others are left behind.
Moreover, having gained the support of my former employers who had always encouraged me to move away from the norm, and introduce new and innovative teaching methods and expand the curriculum helped provide me with the confidence I needed to play my role in evolving our local education industry. While undoubtedly there was no arguing against the measure of success that I obtained during my days of employment, there was the realization that a dedicated approach could see a far greater reach beyond a limited student body.
Therefore, I decided to take a major leap of faith and dared to e-Magine. Moving away from a secure teaching job, and working on an organization that would represent the dream; and voila! Not too long into this planning, the city of Karachi was soon introduced to e-Magine; where the aim is to equip not only our youth but people of all ages with the technical skills that will prove to be a major asset for them regardless of the industry to which they belong.
TIP: Who is on your team?
Huda: Until recently it was just me running and managing e-Magine as a sole proprietor with the help of a few trusted individuals who have been serving as advisors in an unofficial capacity. However, with operations Alhumdulillah expanding, the organization is now gradually recruiting the services of professional individuals. Thus, far I have taken on board a very talented individual who is working as the administrative head of e-Magine.
He is currently a marketing student about to complete his undergrad. His passion and dedication to helping the company grow along with his fondness for taking on challenges that are extremely evident; as he uses his skills and knowledge to ensure that all logistics are taken care of and also expand our clientele. A combination of my trusted panel of advisors and a committed administrative head have undoubtedly been a major asset to the company.
TIP: How does your start-up achieve its goals?
Focused marketing efforts using social media platforms such as Facebook, WhatsApp, and Instagram, tirelessly researching and being on the lookout for new opportunities, as well as constantly working on ways to expand the range of programs we offer are all tried and tested strategies that continue to help e-Magine achieve its goals.
TIP: What were the difficulties running a start-up being a woman in the beginning?
Huda: Starting an organization in what is traditionally viewed as a mainly male-dominated industry, and an economy where people generally have a rather myopic of women contributing to the business sector has presented its own unique set of challenges to deal with. This has often resulted in many having doubts and lacking faith in my abilities to fulfill my goals. However, passion, hard work, and prayers can certainly go a long way in helping one achieve their dreams.
Despite all those hurdles, a dedicated approach, the readiness to learn from my mistakes, and a desire to make a difference has Alhumdulillah helped e-Magine become what it is today!
TIP: What is that one thing that motivates you every day to keep going?
Huda: Just to see my students/trainees have an enjoyable learning experience is extremely gratifying on its own. And to get their feedback on how they were able to successfully relate the skills they’ve learned to real-life situations is something that gives me the satisfaction of knowing that I have made a difference in the lives of those around me, and it just motivates me to do more!
TIP: Do you feel you have achieved your goal?
Huda: While e-Magine has Alhumdulillah has achieved an immense amount of success in this short phase, I do believe that this is just the beginning for what can someday be we a well-established organization that provides more than just basic computer classes. There are a lot of plans that are constantly being worked on and put up on the drawing board. And this really is only possible because I’ve got an excellent group of people around me who are constantly helping me to build-up on my vision of Inshallah making e-Magine literally everyone’s go-to place not only for any tech related training but also the place where one will go to for acquiring basic soft skills as well such as confidence building, public speaking, etc.
In fact, to start making this a reality, we are also currently in the process of getting a tournament organized in January wherein the participants will be judged and given awards based on their ability to create and deliver presentations.
So, in essence, while they battle it out for supremacy, it really is going to be a test of their technical and soft skills. We do currently have a main sponsor on board. It’s a UAE based business intelligence company called Inseyab, and are in the process of getting a couple more to pull-off what will Inshallah be a grand event! As the big day gets closer, this is something that you all should be hearing about in greater detail.
So, in addition to conducting our currently on-going programs, as well as constantly working on ways to grow E-magine, we now also have this up-coming event on our hands. So, yes, while there are a lot of things going on simultaneously, it’s only because I sincerely believe that e-Magine can Inshallah achieve a lot more than it already has!
If you want to check out more of her work, visit e-Magine Facebook page
Facebook page link: https://www.facebook.com/emagine.edu/
Contact details: 03482666626