The Tech Industry has revolutionized the World over the course of a last few decades. Visionaries such as Mark Zuckerberg and Steve Jobs have created multi-billion business empires because they weren’t afraid to dream big and turn them into reality. (Both of their respective companies have now moved on to Augmented reality ;] )
Although Pakistan lags behind in terms of technological advancement, we had the opportunity to have a chat with someone who wants to be a trailblazer in the Pakistani Tech Industry.
Meet Saad Jangda, a Michigan University Alumni, Former Snapchat Employee and a hardcore Tech Enthusiast.
After finishing junior school and with two years left to his disposal, Saad set his mind to get into the University of Michigan. However, Getting into the esteemed college was no easy feat. He was persistently working towards achieving his goal. Good grades weren’t all that he needed. An essay good enough to boost his application was also necessary, so he decided to draft a write up on Pakistan. Unfortunately, Saad didn’t get the admission.
The man was not ready to give up, not even close. He took it in his stride and came up with an option B, University of Toronto. The explanation behind this choice was his plan of getting his courses transferred to the University of Michigan in the second year. During his first year at UoT Saad took the initiative of launching his first brainchild called “Counselling Pakistan.” It was an online platform connecting potential overseas students to current ones. The volunteers helped the students pick a perfect fit for themselves in terms of a college. Saad explained that this was a non-profit organization which was created to promote entrepreneurial spirit in the youth.
The project had to bite the dust but not before helping around 4000 students get into their desired universities. The founders felt being the non-profit that it was, the organization was unable to serve deserving candidates, and so operations were shut down.
The following year, Saad was able to get himself enrolled in the University of Michigan. The dream had materialized, and the institute served as a stepping stone for him. By 2013 Snapchat had started taking off, and this was the opportunity he wanted to capitalize on. A Youtube channel called UMICH60 was launched by him where he made 60 secs videos of all the events taking place on campus. He also started interning for a company called RAPT.FM where students could log in on the website and start a video conversation with any random participant, his role was designing the framework for the website, and he enjoyed working at it. Unfortunately, the site died because there was no market fit.
Saad was never a great fan of career fairs, he personally never found them useful. He mentioned, “I never went to any of those with the intention of speaking to prospective employers and pitching myself to them. I would go to them and collect all the business cards and later send out cold emails. I emailed around 100 people including Mark Zuckerberg and several from the Snapchat team, which didn’t work. I still wasn’t ready to give up!”
It was later that he turned to LinkedIn, made a premium account and started sending out private messages to all of the potential employers again and that worked out! He received a reply from a Snapchat personnel while he was sitting comfortably in a local chai dhaba sipping his tea away. Caught the flight next day and was interviewed two days later. He was offered a job at Snapchat in Advertising, Revenue generation. Explaining his work experience, he explained: “We had to create systems and software to show Wallstreet that we are capable of being an advertising company, which hasn’t happened yet but it will take time as the business is still young.”
His particular experience at Snapchat taught Saad that everything would fall into place if you don’t lose sight of the goal you have set for yourself to achieve.
A year and a half later, he left Snapchat and come back to Pakistan with valuable experience and his focus on filling the huge gap in the technology sector of our country. “In US much has already been done in regards to technology that now they are just working on improving it. However, in Pakistan, it is still in the developmental stage. I am now working with Careem, and I aim to create something which can overcome this gap and hopefully I will be able to give back to the country’’.
Saad’s pursuit of his dream is an inspiring story for those who dare to dream. The key is never to give up!