Next Generation Innovations: CEO’s experience helps IT start-up excel in short time

Published: August 12, 2012

“Before launching his own company, one should work with start-ups and learn how to build a company from scratch,” suggested Farzal Dojki

KARACHI: 

Despite the economic slowdown, Pakistan’s information technology sector recorded an average 15% growth during the last three years, the former managing director of the Pakistan Software Export Board, Zia Imran, had said in an interview with The Express Tribune, citing the country’s talented workforce and rapidly growing entrepreneurship trend as the main contributors.

In order to document the stories reflecting this growing trend, The Express Tribune interviewed an IT professional, who even worked with the world’s largest brokerage firm, before starting his own company because of losing his job.

“Before launching his own company, one should work with start-ups and learn how to build a company from scratch,” suggested Farzal Dojki, founder and CEO of Next Generation Innovations (Next Geni) – one of the many successful start-ups acting as catalysts for the growth of Pakistan’s IT industry.

It is the experience of working with start-ups that helped Dojki’s company, which develops software and deals in business process outsourcing (BPO), excel in a short time.

Launched in 2009, Next Geni’s revenues may not be very high, but the company, which employs 29 people, recorded an impressive growth of 300% in the last two years.

A computer science graduate from the University of Texas at Austin, Dojki, between 2002 and 2004, worked for Merrill Lynch – the world’s largest brokerage firm back then.

Dojki, who also holds a masters degree in information systems from New York University, then joined Bearing Point – a consulting firm based out of NYC.

“I had to come back to Pakistan anyway because my siblings had settled abroad and I wanted to stay with my parents,” he said.

His interest in working with smaller companies and with even smaller teams took him to three start-ups as an employee. He relates the success of Next Geni to his experience of working with the start-ups.

In 2005, he joined C Track, which was launching Tracker Direct Insurance. Working for Tracker was an interesting experience, he said, adding it taught him how to build a start-up from scratch.

He then worked for another start-up Pixsense – a company started by two Pakistani boys based in California, for developing mobile phone apps for pictures and their immediate sharing. He worked for them from Karachi.

This, too, was a very good experience as Pixsense was a good company and had clients like Vodafone, Dojki said.

The third start-up he worked for was Amana – a mobile payments company just like easypaisa. The company closed after being hit by recession.

After he remained unemployed for six months, he decided to launch Next Geni. However, it took him a while before the company made some progress.

Being a new company with no prior experience, it was not easy to find clients in the beginning, Dojki said, as this usually happens with all BPO start-ups. “It was the connections of friends and family that earned us our first five contracts.”

“iTeleport, a high flying start-up based in Silicon Valley, was my first customer,” he said. “The company was run by a Pakistani boy and my friends and family connected me with him.”

After they got first few contracts, things went rather smoothly for them. Once struggling to get contract, Next Geni is now expanding its footprints in Europe and may also launch an office in the US.

“We recently opened an office in the UK. We wanted to make sure that we can also sign contracts from our UK office especially,” he said, “because some clients feel more protected in doing business from a place like London – one of the world’s most sophisticated cities for business and finance.”

“We don’t yet have an office in the US, we are virtually present there though,” he said, adding, he frequently visits the US for getting more business.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 12th, 2012.

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Reader Comments (18)

  • Falcon
    Aug 12, 2012 - 3:30AM

    An inspiring story. Thanks for sharing.

    Recommend

  • Raj - USA
    Aug 12, 2012 - 3:46AM

    One thing I admire with this guy is that he did not give up even after so many problems and became successful in the end. Good Luck and my Best Wishes to this enterprising guy.

    Recommend

  • HolierThanThoug
    Aug 12, 2012 - 3:54AM

    Great going guys….

    Recommend

  • unpredicatable
    Aug 12, 2012 - 3:57AM

    MASHALLAH we have got so much talent in our country we just need to give them the required education,facilities and to show them the right track and then INSHALLAH we will be one the most advanced and prosperous nation in the world.

    Recommend

  • Omer
    Aug 12, 2012 - 4:14AM

    Very inspiring. We need to promote entrepreneurship in Pakistan if we are to get out of this mess.

    Recommend

  • Rafiq
    Aug 12, 2012 - 5:17AM

    I once saw the office of Pakistan Software export board on a normal working day at 9:30 am. Not a single employee was there.

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  • Javed Iqbal
    Aug 12, 2012 - 6:37AM

    We Pakistanis are very talented & have learnt, though very hard way, how to survive in the adverse circumstances. Pakistanis are great SURVIVORS in real sense of the word. In nerves rocking conditions obtaining across Pakistan, target killings in Karachi, socio-economic strife in Balochistan, an unending aimless war in KPK, religo-ethnic cleansing in northern areas, political dramas in Punjab besides daily load shedding, power outages & fuel shortages, a Pakistani ventures a company & make its footprints visible in Europe & USA is commendable. Well done, SHABASH & all the very best

    Javed Iqbal

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  • QQ
    Aug 12, 2012 - 7:35AM

    remarkable

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  • Zohaib Uddin Khan
    Aug 12, 2012 - 8:17AM

    Good interview, rather I would like to say nicely planted and intelligently exploit the ‘Recession Hit, Lose the Job and Become an Entrepreneur’. I’m not being pessimist over here, but encourage the readers to think about the 3-6 months of finances and brave decisions.

    One more thing, I would like to ask from Farzal that why he don’t like to share that he worked at Techlogix (Pvt) Ltd., I feel its one of the prestigious institution of Pakistan software industry. Anyways, Good Luck Next Geni!

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  • Positive Pakistani
    Aug 12, 2012 - 2:00PM

    Another backdrop of this entrepreneurship possibility in Pakistan to have enough privileged background to support you for a matter of some years so that you can survive by that time before getting your first success….At least 2 or 3 times I thought about starting my own company but all the times I was forced to “keep myself in my shoes” because of the reality that I can’t survive if spare my time and money for success which is not immediate /is gonna take time…

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  • Haroon Barlas
    Aug 12, 2012 - 3:34PM

    Farzal has a great thing going for him. He was always one of the top in his class back in 2002 when we were classmates at UT.

    This guy brings inspiration to all those who are willing to go the entrepreneurial route.

    Well done Farzal!

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  • Aug 12, 2012 - 4:19PM

    pakistan is performing well in it industry because of such people.

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  • Aug 13, 2012 - 12:32AM

    MashAllah

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  • Hina
    Aug 13, 2012 - 2:28PM

    Wish you all the more success Farzal!

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  • shakeeb
    Aug 13, 2012 - 5:47PM

    Hi,

    I know Farzal, he is very dedicated person and very hardworking I wish him best of the luck for his future.

    Recommend

  • Abdul Wali Khan
    Aug 15, 2012 - 1:22PM

    Really enjoyed reading it, very informative and motivating,

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  • wajihaluqman
    Aug 27, 2012 - 5:43PM

    can i contact him?

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  • BaraBhai
    Sep 4, 2012 - 12:07AM

    IT Scene is Pakistan is over rated. Give me 10 local IT companies that have done anything significant, with global recognition, in last decade or so?

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