Ms. Erum Masood
EVOLVE: Please give a brief rundown of your professional career?Erum: The shortest and quickest rundown is I have been associated with the media/marketing cum PR since last 24 years. Having said this I love what I do, and the consistency of my profession is entirely on the passion I have for the industry I chose to work. For more than 9 years I headed a British Pakistani Channel and then leading on to becoming an Entrepreneur myself with a start up career and transforming it to teaching the same.
EVOLVE: What prompted you for motivating students and women for start-up businesses?
Erum: Well, coming back to Pakistan after almost 15 odd years I found that the best thing about this country is the youth, which is almost 68% or more I considered myself as a young entrepreneur not in terms of my age but in terms of the business set program. My aim transformed into teaching youth especially the women to empower themselves by doing something they want and to do it better, my course is called be your boss, tricks of trade.
EVOLVE: There are only nine successful start-ups since 2017 since your course, How to start your own business. Is the progress not a bit slow or is it encouraging in your opinion?
Erum: Not all slow, its probably the most progressive thing from my end, a country where 522 start up businesses were initiated was left with 22 only (with daraz and food panda and few others) so my number is still reasonably good if not. I look at things more on a positive note the rest 9 startups are probably not ready yet with the investment as the so-called incubation centers only provide space nothing more. If I had to invest in an incubation center it would be more focused toward generating fund for the startups! Insha ALLAH
EVOLVE: When did you establish your own business and what challenges you face as a business woman?
Erum: I started my own business in 2015, the challenges were not that easy but when you are ready to take a risk its like I must do it, so just do it. Starting a business for any one irrespective of the gender is difficult in my opinion it is a bit easier for women.
EVOLVE: You have worked as advisor for Asia Commonwealth Businesswomen’s Network. What significant role has this network played in development of Asian Business women?
Erum: I am currently the advisor Media Asia and commonwealth which is an easy to access to the 53 countries which is a huge platform for women to interact and liaise for trade and training development. In the last 4 years our total membership has increased from 700 females to 6800. Our main role is to empower women in procurement and providing opportunities through trade/federation. Our Pakistan group leadership program is joint venture with Shajar Capital which will arrange corporate funding and capital investment through micro finance banking for startups and middle tier women centric businesses.
EVOLVE: In view of your philanthropic contributions at different platforms and your famous interview in FHM Magazine, you are also called as Peoples Person. How would you comment on this honorific title?
Erum: Well, the title is honorable and much appreciated, my contributions in giving back to the community and by being a mentor for Ponds Miracle Journey I realized that any individual can make a difference by doing something that can do better and making sure that the return is through a gesture which is an asset. I am a happy within today as when I get a note on social media from my students and my junior colleagues that I am the role model, it makes me smile but also lighten ups my strength to keep doing good till it becomes the best! Simple principle just being human.
EVOLVE: You have spoken to todays women in a different and vigorous way, therefore, considered a noteworthy coach for Pakistani females. Do you see some positive outcome of your efforts in pursuit of your goals?
Erum: Yes, of course and I am sure that what ever I have said is what ever I have done or if not will make sure I do as I preach and as a coach and a mentor I have raised my standards for being worthy of the respected titles I have earned.
EVOLVE: With your immense experience of working as PR, Marketing & Media Consultant for more than 15 years, Shajar Management Consultancy has enhanced its scope of services. Please highlight such services briefly?
Erum: Shajar Management Consultancy (SMC) is a startup where we provide PR and Marketing/Media services to mainly startups as pocket friendly budget and financial assistance and more importantly the team that offers such services are young, fine and extremely talented professionals. SMC is business model which in the next 24 months would be adapted many corporate houses I am hoping to look forward.
EVOLVE: Your person has supported different associations for gaining advantages such as, Enhanced Productivity, Performance, Social Adequacy and Progressive Team Work. Do you think these are the core advantages for success of any organization?
Erum: Yes, they are most of the organizations prosper and grow on the team productivity, working together and communication skills, I always say we are only as good as our team is so lets work together for a better tomorrow.
EVOLVE: How would you define Social Adequacy?
Erum: Social adequacy is globally the most effective tool to work and an attitude which is best when executed.
EVOLVE: You are currently associated with Think Pink breast awareness campaign. Are you satisfied with its achievement and performance so far?
Erum: Think Pink is close to my heart few my friends back home in London had pushed me in 2006 to support this charity and since then I have been working around it. Almost every year we raise fund/donations through our own pool of Forward Ladies a group in UK, last year I attended a fund-raising dinner in Pakistan and was impressed to see the women supporting the cause from every field.
EVOLVE: Are you satisfied with current welfare systems in the world and how successful are social organizations in bringing social adequacy in the third world?
Erum: Ah, satisfied is a strong word and I am not sure if I can phrase myself around however social enterprise is the fastest growing these days and largely in the western world, the developing countries will have to force this practice by creating an awareness through incubation centers, startup programs through corporate trending and training and spread the footnote.
EVOLVE: You have developed curriculum of Fortune 101 taught at Indus Valley School of Arts & Architecture. What was the idea behind it?
Erum: Even an artist needs to know how to sell his talent or art, the title was created by the CEP Director who has always extended great support to implement such courses which empowers the individual through business tools.
EVOLVE: Any message for the readers of Evolve Business Publication?
Erum: My relationship with Evolve is evolving since 2014 and I am extremely happy to see that even today in a digital world people pick up a copy of Evolve to read the content/editorial for the standard it has maintained. I would encourage all readers to continue reading as readers are leaders. Happy Reading and best wishes to Mr. Ijaz Chowdry and his team .