IMO News Service
Pune: A new initiative aimed at driving Muslim involvement in India’s startup and technology economy was hosted in the city of Pune on February 7, 2016. Tausif Malik, Anees Kutty and A Gaffar Khan jointly organized the Indian Muslim Entrepreneurs Network‘s conference (IMEN), all of whom have a long history of involvement in business, technology, and community organizing.
The event’s theme was “Be an Entrepreneur…Be a Value Creator”, thus expressing the trio’s vision of the country’s Muslim community becoming more involved in stimulating the business sector and developing opportunities for the next generation.
The event started with Networking Breakfast. The participants interacted with each other and exchanged business ideas and business cards.
The opening ceremony of the event began with the recitation Holy Quran by Mufti Muneer and followed by Indian National Anthem by children.
Chicago-based Tausif Malik, Founder of IMEN, welcomed the gathering and highlighted the role of Islam in promoting entrepreneurship and contribution to motherland.
He also said that the event was meant to align with the policies announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi of “Startup India and Startup India” Digital India, Skill India and Make in India.
He also introduced co-founders Anees Kutty and Asim Gaffar Khan. Later, he invited Sameen Razzaq a leading journalist to co-host the event.
Sameena introduced the event itinerary. Speakers were invited to the podium. The Key Note Speakers included Mohamed Yunus, Social Entrepreneur; MQ Syed, Managing Director, Exhicon Group, and Executive President, Imamia Chamber Of Commerce & Industry, Maryam Asif Siddiqui (Winner of Geeta Competition hosted by ISKON International); and, Uzma Naheed, Founder IQRA’ International Women’s Alliance.
Mohamed Yunus is a Hero of Chennai Floods. He saved lives of many people and also delivered a baby. The mother named her child Yunus, despite herself being a Hindu. Mr. Yunus talked about his experience of being Social Entrepreneur and helping people. MQ Syed, who is also Publisher of TradeFairTimes; Founder of Trade Times TV; Editor in Chief of Desh Ki Maryada Urdu Daily, spoke on his experience of being an entrepreneur. Maryam Asif Siddiqui, the winner of Geeta Competition, has also been honoured by Prime Minister of India. Maryam is also a Public Speaker and Motivator. She shared her experience on being a achiever. Ms Uzma Naheed, Founder IQRA’ International Women’s Alliance (IIWA) comes from a family of the founders of University of Deoband. She also spoke and shared experience on being a Social Entrepreneur.
The event saw a number of other speakers as well. These include Ashraf Mohamedy (Managing Director at Idafa Investments Pvt. Ltd. & Rehbar, Regional Head, West India); Mariyah Rehmani (a teenager who authored E Book “The Hijab And Its Purpose: Understanding the veil”); and Farah Deeba (A Educationist and one of the youngest Headmistress of School).
Among other organizations which participated in the event include Franchise India, Al-Ameen College and BNI. Their representatives acquainted the gathering about the activities of respective organizations.
Post lunch session started with Panel discussions. The panel discussion on “Role of Women in Business & Community” was attended by Farah Deeba and Uzma Naheed. It was moderated by Sameena Razzaq.
The panel discussion on “Business, Entrepreneurs and Muslims” saw the participation of Ashraf Mohamedy, Aleem Faizee, MQ Syed, Altaf Rehmani, Anees Kutty and Mohamed Yunus. It was moderated by Tausif Malik.
Post panel discussion, the attendees took prayer break for Asr Salaat and this was followed by Tea break and networking.
The attendees also participated at the Startup Showcase. This was the first ever Startup Showcase competition by Muslim Startups. The Startup Showcase opened with a brief lecture by Aleem Faizee, Founder, Publisher, CEO & Editor Ummid.com. He spoke about the Government of India policies about Startup India and Standup India and vision of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi and how Muslim community can be part of this new intiative to make India innovation and knowledge hub.
Altaf Rehmani, a Serial Entrepreneur and Investor, spoke about Do’s and Don’t, failures and how to come back in game. Nasser Mehdi, Program Facilitator, Empretec United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, briefed the audience about the Empretec United Nations program and how Indians can benefit from the program.
Tausif Malik later on introduced the finalist of Startup Showcase Irfan Pathan founder of “Coffee Addict”. Pathan mesmerized the audience by giving history of coffee and the role of Muslims in spreading the coffee drink. He was supported by his cousin and team member.
The investment panel and judges included MQ Syed, Altaf Rehmani, Niyaz A Soudagar and Aleem Faizee. A Question & Answer session was held with the investment panel, judges and attendees.
Shefali Mehta, Team member gave a emotional speech about how the team worked hard and supported each other. The event concluded with award ceremony, appreciation of the team and participations and Dua by Mr.Kutty (father of Anees Kutty).
Businessman of the Year Award – M Q Syed
M Q Syed is credited to have executed record breaking event “Mahakumbh at Haridwar” (greatest gathering of people on the planet), Have executed world’s biggest live performance stage for “Lay Tarang”, (Guinness Record) and publishes and edits “Trade Fair Times”, the pioneer and the most read monthly tabloid in Asia on Trade Fair Sector. M Q Syed has mentored and inspired numerous Muslim youth and startups.
Shaheed Abdul Hameed Award for Bravery – Mohammed Yunus
The state government has honoured 26-year old S. Mohammad Yunus for his “selfless, noble and brave act” of rescuing nearly 2,100 people during the recent floods that devastated Chennai.
“In the event that you had met me a couple of months back, you would have been stunned. I used to work such as a cash-making machine. I was never a social individual. The surges taught me an extraordinary lesson. It was an eye-opener to me,” Says Mohammad Yunus while receiving the award,
Educational Excellence Award – Maryam Asif Siddiquee
Maryam Asif Siddiquee, a student of Mumbai’s Cosmopolitan High School first stood out as truly newsworthy by winning the ‘Gita Champions League’ – an International competition organized by the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) – and then surprised the whole nation by donating all her award money to different charitable organizations in various states. Interestingly Prime Minister Narendra Modi additionally felicitated Maryam and became his friend.