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OPEN Islamabad – Annual Forum 2015 | Celebrating Excellence

Big Thanks to Our Sponsors

After the extremely well received Annual Forum 2014, we are excited to announce OPEN’s Annual Forum 2015, themed “Apna Maqam Paida Kar”, where we will be celebrating the success stories of individuals and organizations that have excelled in a certain field. Our event last year was designed around the theme of “Celebrating Entrepreneurs of Islamabad”. We gave the stage to 12 budding entrepreneurs of the city who were not household names but were doing a great job in making their mark. This year we are inviting people who have graduated to a level of excellence and demonstrable success.

The audience will be 500 invite-only professionals from a diverse group including but not limited to corporate, startup, academia, government and development sectors.

The Annual Event of OPEN Islamabad  is scheduled on 19-Dec-2015 from 09:30 AM to 05:30PM


9:30 Tea, Registration, Networking
10:00 Recitation from the Holy Quran
10:05 Opening Remarks Ather Imran, Chairman of the Board OPEN Islamabad
10:15 Talk Mowadat Rana I Think – Therefore I Am
10:45 Talk Irfan Wahab Unleashing Greatness
11:15 Talk Narjis Ali Windows, Sponges, Cards and Whirling Dervishes
11:45 Talk Prof. Dr. Anwar-ul-Hassan Gilani Swimming Against the Tide
12:15 Literary Performance
12:30 Talk Asad Umar Anatomy of Excellence
12:45 Lunch/Networking/Prayers
1:45 Musical Performance
2:00 Talk Shamoon Hashmi غمِ عاشقی ترا شکریہ، میں کہاں کہاں سے گُزر گیا
2:30 Talk Dr. Farrukh Hassan From Scientific Curiosity to Market Domination
3:00 Talk Iqbal Khan Fast and Steady Wins the Race
3:30 Talk Khurram Jamali Wearing “I am Pakistan” Brand
4:00 Talk Dilawar Syed Connecting the Dots – The PAKISTANI Continuum
4:30 Closing Note Owais Anjum, President OPEN Islamabad Achievements and Key Announcements
5:00 Tea, Networking


Keynote addresses by seasoned entrepreneurs and executives on topics relevant to entrepreneurs

Panel Discussions

Frank and candid conversations with people who have been through the process of raising capital for business in Pakistan


Accomplished entrepreneurs of Pakistan will share their stories and experiences

Great speakers with great topics

Precisely chosen big names from our own world


Asad Umar

ex CEO Engro Corporation

Anatomy of Excellence

03:00 AM - 08:24 PM

About Asad

As the elected representative of Islamabad, Asad Umar played a key role in evangelizing and bringing OPEN to Islamabad. He has previously attended OPEN’s annual conferences in the US as a key note speaker and has a strong relationship with the global organization.


Dilawar Syed

President OPEN Global, ex-President OPEN Silicon Valley President FreshDesk

Connecting the Dots – The PAKISTANI Continuum Around the World

03:30 AM - 08:24 PM

About Dilawar

Dilawar is the president of FreshDesk North America. Prior to Freshdesk, he was CEO at Yonja Media Group, a social media company. He previously ran platform strategy and operations at Yahoo! and also worked for Siebel Systems and SAP in the past. Dilawar also served on President Obama’s Advisory Commission on Asian Americans & Pacific Islanders. He holds an M.B.A. from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and a B.A. from UT Austin.


Irfan Wahab Khan

CMO Telenor

Unleashing Greatness

04:00 AM - 08:24 PM

About Irfan Wahab

Mr. Irfan Wahab Khan has been Chief Marketing Officer of Telenor Pakistan Ltd. since April 2013 and has also been its Deputy Chief Executive Officer since May 2015. Mr. Khan served as the Chief Executive Officer of Telenor LDI and Executive Vice President of Corporate Affairs at Telenor Pakistan Ltd. until April 1, 2013.


Narjis Ali

Charter Member and ex-president, OPEN Washington DC CEO & President, Sure Secure Solutions, LLC

Windows, Sponges, Cards and Whirling Dervishes

04:55 AM - 08:24 PM

About Narjis

Narjis was instrumental in helping establish OPEN’s Islamabad chapter. She has over thirty years technology and management experience and is highly skilled at Security Engineering and Security Requirements Management for large Government contracts.


Iqbal Khan

CEO Alachsoft Founder, Sabaq Foundation

FAST and Steady Wins the Race

05:00 AM - 08:24 PM

About Iqbal

Being a veteran entrepreneur with over 25 years of experience in the software industry, Iqbal Khan brings a lot of inside knowledge about things that OPEN promotes. He has run various software product and services businesses in the US. Currently, he runs a software company based in California and Islamabad. Iqbal has also started a non-profit in Pakistan called Sabaq Foundation that provides free video lectures to Pakistani students.


Khurram Jamali


Wearing “I am Pakistan” Brand

05:03 AM - 08:24 PM

About Khurram

Khurram has a decade long professional and entrepreneurial experience in financial services, consulting and technology across USA, Pakistan, China and Singapore. He presently leads the emerging South Asia performance team at Google, which works with ROI-driven clients that view online as a sales channel. This includes clients in the travel, classifieds, tech and e-commerce sectors. Khurram also has a start up that develops Urdu language learning apps for youngsters amongst the Pakistani diaspora. Khurram earned his BA from Middlebury College in the USA and his MBA from INSEAD and is fluent in English, Urdu and Mandarin


Dr. Mowadat Rana

Renowned Psychiatrist

I Think – Therefore I Am

05:05 AM - 08:24 PM

About Dr. Mowadat

Dr. Mowadat Hussain Rana is a renowned psychiatrist who was awarded Sitara e Imtiaz by the Government of Pakistan for his contributions. He has authored of nine books and fifty national and international publications. His interests include psychotrauma, health professions education and psychosocial interventions in the field of mental health. He is currently the Chairman of The Healing Triad, an organization committed to mental health and education.


Shamoon Hashmi

Media, Government

غمِ عاشقی ترا شکریہ، میں کہاں کہاں سے گُزر گیا

05:25 AM - 08:24 PM

About Shamoon

Shamoon Hashmi’s diverse career, spanning over three decades, has traversed multiple disciplines of print and electronic media, development sector, civil service, academia and legislative service. He presently serves as a Joint Secretary in the National Assembly of Pakistan but is more known for his TV career as an anchor, compere, Script Writer and a documentary producer. As a social activist, his personal commitment to gender and development issues are widely respected. He is the author of a book, titled “Strengthening Women’s Political Participation”, which has also been translated in Urdu by Aurat Foundation. He is a recipient of President’s award of “Tamgha-e-Essar” and PTV Award."


Prof. Dr. Anwar-ul-Hassan Gilani

Pakistan Council for Science and Technology

Swimming Against the Tide

06:00 AM - 08:24 PM

About Prof. Dr. Anwar-ul-Hassan

Prof. Gilani is currently the Chairman, Pakistan Council for Science & Technology. He started his professional career as a Lecturer (Pharmacy), at the Bahaudin Zakariya University Multan, where he stayed till 1986 and later joined the Aga Khan University. Dr. Gilani has earned 3 Patents, is a Member, Editorial Boards of 10 journals of international repute, is a co-editor of two WHO Books on Essential Medicine and published around 350 articles with cumulative IF around 700.


Dr Farrukh Hassan

Genetic Engineering

From Scientific Curiosity to Market Domination

06:30 AM - 08:24 PM

About Dr Farrukh

Dr. Farrukh Hassan is PhD in Biotechnology & Genetic Engineering. She has an experience of 14 years in R&D of bacterial based bio fertilizers and 5 years teaching at university level and has 5 International Publications to her credit. She setup first Bio- Technology company in the country. She is pioneer in manufacturing and commercialization of bio fertilizers and bio based fertilizers in Pakistan. She got best Upcoming Women entrepreneur Award WiBCON 2010 and Best Women Entrepreneur Award in Science and Technology USAID 2014. She is a devoted mother and judiciously balance time between work and family.


Kalsoom Lakhani

Founder/CEO Invest2Innovate

Connecting the Dots – The PAKISTANI Continuum Around the World

10:30 AM - 08:24 PM

About Kalsoom

Kalsoom Lakhani is the Founder/CEO of Invest2Innovate, or i2i, which supports startups and the broader entrepreneurship ecosystem in developing markets, beginning in Pakistan. She is also the co-founder of The Hero Project, a storytelling platform that celebrates and highlights everyday hidden heroes. Kalsoom has trained young entrepreneurs, changemakers, and civil society leaders in Cambodia, Ireland, Ukraine, and Kazakhstan.

Organizing Team


Umar is a history nerd who loves to read old books and make drawings. Sometimes he writes software too.

Umar Ashfaq - Executive Member @ OPEN Islamabad

Sidra  possess strong communication skills and has worked actively with technology start up ventures and worldwide leading market research companies for over 8 years now.

Sidra Jalil - Executive Member @ OPEN Islamabad

With 7+ years of diverse and international experience focusing on management consultancy, project management and career counselling, Shafaq is an energetic and ambitious person who can work in large teams and deliver results under pressure.

Shafaq Soomro - Executive Member @ OPEN Islamabad

Qarib has over 13 years of diverse industry experience and is a technology specialist along with being an avid volunteer for social causes.

Qarib Raza - Executive Member @ OPEN Islamabad

Maryam Kausar is CEO of a tech startup, MMI, which develops games. She is a member of women in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) and has represented Pakistan in women in stem conference held in Dubai in 2015.

Maryam Kausar - Executive Member @ OPEN Islamabad

Amir is an experienced IT professional dealing in web applications, customized solutions and complex architecture. He has worked in a variety of web application platforms and ideas.

Amir Khalid - Executive Member @ OPEN Islamabad

Umair is a Data Management Professional, focused on open source software, with over 13 years of experience and has served some of the highly competitive software markets.

Umair Shahid - Executive Member @ OPEN Islamabad

A dynamic entrepreneur running his own technology startup “Flikkable”, a tartan graduate from Carnegie Mellon bagging high end experience of working with Amazon and Microsoft.

Obaidullah Khawaja - Board Member, VP Outreach @ OPEN Islamabad

Owais Anjum is a Silicon Valley trooper for a good number of years is a Spartan armed with an MBA from San Jose State University the oldest public institution on the West Coast of US

Owais Anjum - President @ OPEN Islamabad

There is no bout with experience and Mansoor Khan has an aura that symbolizes experience and success, he has been weathered in time as one of the most successful entrepreneurs.

Mansoor Khan - Charter Member, Board Member @ OPEN Islamabad

Ather, with a Masters from Purdue University, has over 15 years of professional experience with various IT and ITES organizations, and is currently Senior Vice President at Sybrid Private Limited.

Ather Imran Nawaz- Chairman of the Board, VP Programs @ OPEN Islamabad

A serial entrepreneur, co-founder of multiple businesses including an IT company, leather products manufacturing & export and high tech equipment brick & mortar shops. He loves taking challenges and believes in innovation, creativity, dedication & hard work.

Farukh Malik - Board Member, VP IT @ OPEN Islamabad

Big thanks to our partners