When I completed my 10th Grade, I had an option either to go for engineering or Fine Arts and I wanted to pursue both fields simultaneously. Let’s be honest here, I love Arts more than Engineering. So, I opted for Fine Arts not caring about “Log Kia Kahenge” because my brother pursued Engineering and we have a history of engineers in our family. I won multiple awards nationwide as an artist at college level. After clearing 12th grade, my dad asked to pursue any other field but not Fine Arts because artists are considered as broke. I opted psychology following my dad’s advice and later on inducted at QAU to complete Msc. Business Psychology only to end up not finding even an unpaid internship at that level. After three months, I got a job as a content writer- My life was always hard and I am happy about it.
Later on, I followed my heart and took Professional Salon Training after my job hours for 1-year. I loved it so much that I went on to study cosmetology during my training. When I tried to get started with my own salon, my dad stopped me saying you did MSc to become a barber? I know that sounds funny but I wanted to start a business of my own and I loved it. Is that a bad thing to do what you love when you are educated? I didn’t argued on it and tried to improve my salary so that I can invest in some other venture. Isn’t it my right as an employee to upgrade my skills and to improve my salary? My CEO told me that,” I am female who lives with his father and therefore, I do not need too much money for my expenses as compared to male staff who are married this is why he can’t raise my salary.” What kind of world we are living in?
I changed my job and the new CEO one day told me that, “You know if you know ads and if you were a certified professional, I do not have to hire another resource. I didn’t knew that you are not a certified person at the time of the interview.” I started searching online to find digital marketing academy in Islamabad and find none but one in Karachi. So I contacted them and started taking online lessons during lunch hours. I took, I guess, two classes but then I was constantly been interrupted by my CEO during lunch hours at a point that I resigned from my position in favor of upgrading my skills with a hope of starting a digital marketing agency of mine someday.
I started Annie Rafael- Digital Marketing Agency in 2016. Being a female entrepreneur is really tough. I got an overseas client who asked me to revamp his website and then start social media marketing. I had a great team but my front-end developer went on to further his studies and I had to search for another resource to finish the project in four months. I found a developer but he didn’t performed well in 15-days and I made an immediate decision to get inducted in web engineering academy and finish it in three-months instead of six-months and finished the project successfully.
Finding the Right Resource as a Problem for Startups!
Handling male employees is hard. You talk to them strictly, they will talk ill about you. You talk to them in a friendly manner, they won’t listen and take you seriously. Most of my resources are from Karachi. Does this means that Islamabad does not have quality resources or CEO’s like mine are not in favor of training their resources? I had faced so much trouble that I had to undergo rigorous professional trainings in following fields:
- Digital Marketing and Strategy
- Business Innovation
- Graphics Design
- Web Engineering
- Photography and Videography
- Joint Venture, Capital Venture and FX
- Wireless Hacking
After doing these trainings while managing my startup, now I have a sound team but in Karachi.
Not all ideas gets incubated in an incubator!
I am not against any incubator and never will. All incubators are playing their role in the progress of Pakistan and that’s why I consider them friendlies. I need a help, a guiding hand to assist me in providing direction how to improve my business and I found none that’s why I had no option but to take private coaches onboard.
How ProVault is born?
ProVault is basically a solution to all your problems. It’s a premium training, consulting and mentoring hub. I think, people on job has a right to launch and run their own enterprise. Simultaneously, we need to upgrade our mindset, we as female entrepreneur need:
- Professional Night Academies to upgrade our skills
- 24/7 access to mentors, coaches and investors
- Brilliant team to make our dream work on standby
- Responsible managers to look after our startup even if we are doing our day-time jobs
- Coaches to motivate us, educate us how businesses work, famous failures and taking our startups to be indexed to foreign stock exchange
- Study materials, webinars and online tutorials to be accessed 24/7 helping entrepreneurs from anywhere in Pakistan to make our business stand out.
- Health and fitness coach so that we can think better and work better
- Quality money management trainings and how to save our money
It’s digital version is under-process.
NASDAQ wants to come to Pakistan but it sees serious deficits in our startup ecosystem. One of the biggest problem is accountability and not taking business prospectus seriously. Immature behavior of startup founders is another reason. We talk a lot about the problems pertaining startup eco system but never strives to solve it. ProVault is a result of all the problems me and my fellow entrepreneurs are facing. I know it’s hard to implement ProVault in Pakistan but talking about the problems won’t do any good either.
Creator ProVault– Premium Business Training/ CEO Annie Rafael- Digital Marketing