It goes without saying that the world is advancing towards a more technologically reliant environment. Millions of people have innovative ideas in their mind every day but, to quote the late Felix Dennis, “Ideas don’t make you rich. The correct execution of ideas does.”
Entrepreneurship is the bridge between an idea and its rightful execution. Many businesses built on strong ideas have significantly improved humanity’s living standards. Jeff Bezos started off with an office space and a handwritten logo and today, he stands tall as the richest man on the planet. Steve Jobs changed computing with the iPhone and MacBook and today, Apple stands to be the leading smartphone company in the world. Jeff Bezos, Steve Jobs, and all other innovators started off their businesses as small enterprises and their work revolutionised the world.
Sadly, little to no importance is given to studying Entrepreneurship in Pakistan. Our youth, the pioneers of tomorrow, are inclined towards building new businesses and creating job opportunities but are never given the right kind of knowledge and resources to capitalise on that inclination. For these ideas to turn into tangible results, the study of technology and entrepreneurship must be built into our curriculum and our educational systems.
The Suleman Dawood School of Business (SDSB) at LUMS has decided to take the first step towards a future where students are equipped with the right skills to lead a new business era. Their new Master of Science (MS) in Technology Management and Entrepreneurship programme “fuses modern business administration issues with state-of-the-art technology management approaches,” according to the course description on the SDSB website. The course aims to offer a unique environment for students to learn, develop, validate, and prototype their marketplace ideas.
The MS in Technology Management and Entrepreneurship is a 1.5-year programme divided into one year of coursework and half a year of field thesis (students can also register for summer semesters). Major courses include Organisations and Leadership, Financial Management and Accounting, Technology, Design and Innovation Management, and Business Venture Proposal Writing. The field thesis includes a project that is linked to a real client so students will be able to benefit from the work exposure and networking opportunities.
The programme calls out to those interested in taking their innovations to the next level and empowers students to take on new and exciting challenges in the real-world. It also offers graduates a strong reputation going into the job-market; this is ideal for those that aspire to be product managers, technology leads, and design consultants. The programme is designed and executed along with an executive in residence from the tech industry who will ensure that the programme is relevant to current industry requirements.
About the Institution
LUMS is the top ranked university in Pakistan according to the QS Graduate Employability Rankings 2020. It may be known best for its business and law degrees, but it also has one of the best schools for engineering in Pakistan. Countless technology start-ups have been birthed by LUMS alumni in the past few years.
Established in 1986, the Suleman Dawood School of Business, is the first of the University’s five schools. The curriculum offered by SDSB was designed in collaboration with Harvard Business School and Ivey Business School. SDSB has active research partnerships with international institutions, which facilitate faculty research and case development on an international scale and their alumni are considered one of the best in the fields of business and management.
What the Industry has to say
This step taken by LUMS is a giant leap towards the advancement of entrepreneurship in Pakistan. Other companies seem to think so, too. Yasser Bashir, the Chief Executive Officer at Arbisoft says,
“A serious shortage of tech-savvy middle management afflicts most businesses in the tech sector, especially start-ups. This MS degree seems like a great initiative to help this situation. Given how 2019 proved to be an inflection point for Pakistan’s start-ups, the timing of this programme could not have been better. The graduates of this programme will be readily available to help established tech companies break their size plateaus and help the many new start-ups currently taking off that will be ready for growth-stage challenges over the next few months and years.”
The Director of Operations of the world-renowned start-up, Careem, also had many positive things to say about this degree. Mr. Zeeshan Baig said,
“This seems like a strong programme, especially at this time. The programme will prepare candidates to be well equipped with the changing digital ecosystem and will help produce strong leaders for the tech industry. This will just not fulfil industry requirements but also bring academia closer to it.”
Both Mr. Bashir and Mr. Baig seem to think that this programme comes at just the right time for Pakistan’s youth and that they should make the most of this wonderful opportunity provided to them by SDSB and LUMS.
This initiative taken by LUMS says a lot about the aim and ambition of the institution. It shows that the University deeply cares about the future of their students, as well as the future of Pakistan as an emerging nation. The programme provides prospective tech innovators with a blend of design innovation proficiency and managerial leadership that typically takes years to develop on a job.