29572254_10101564397172328_3884227104772
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn

Ph.D. University of Cambridge

Post-doc MIT

Founder and CEO, SurveyAuto.com

Chief Digital Officer, Jang/Geo Media Group

Chief Investment Officer, Khudi Ventures

UNESCO Chair for ICTD

Academic 

  • At Cambridge, my thesis work focused on mobile operating systems and ubiquitous computing (long before mobile computing, IoT were in vogue).
     

  • At MIT, I was part of the $50 Million Project Oxygen which imagined a future of computing beyond a desktop/laptop. A lot of technologies developed by the MIT Oxygen teams became precursors to pervasive computing technologies, devices and models we use every day. 
     

  • In the past 15 years, I have worked mostly on technologies for  people living in the developing-world -- the "other" 5 Billion. This includes a fairly diverse body of work. Below is a selected list of projects which have had real-world impact: 
     

Public Service

  • I had the privilege of digitising an entire government over a period of 7 years as Chairman PITB. We developed over 300 systems, including digitisation of land records, automation of police, local government services, tax collection systems, vaccination coverage, schools monitoring, court automation, hospital management systems etc.

  • I established Pakistan's first research university (ITU) as its founding Vice Chancellor. This university has grown to over 12 academic programs, close to 80 faculty members and over 1,000 students. 

  • I established Pakistan's first large startup incubator, Plan9, which helped bootstrap Pakistan's startup ecosystem. It has graduated over 200 startups, with a collective valuation of over $100 Million.
     

  • I established Pakistan's largest online freelancing program called e-rozgaar and helped mainstream freelancing in the country. e-rozgaar has trained over 10,000 online freelancers who have earned over Rs. 200 Million
     

Entrepreneurship 

​​

  • I am currently focused on SurveyAuto.com, which is uber-ising field surveys, data collection and analytics using AI and Machine Learning. SurveyAuto has received funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. 
     

  • As its Chief Digital Officer, I am digitally transforming Pakistan's largest media conglomerate, Jang/Geo Media Group. 
     

  • I head Khudi Ventures, where we are replicating successful consumer Internet products in Pakistan market, including niche social networks, online advertising platforms, digital payments, e-commerce etc. 
     

  • I have founded several startups, including SMSall.pk (Pakistan's largest SMS social network, grew to 14 Million users), See'n'report (Pakistan's first citizen journalism platform) and BumpIn (link exchange).
     

Media

  • I host a TV show on Pakistan largest TV channel, Geo News. My show, called "Geo tu Aisay", invites inspiring Pakistanis to share their story in a TED-style talk. When it's running, it's one of the most watched TV shows in Pakistan.   
     

  • I was part of "Idea Croron Ka" on Neo TV, which became Pakistan's equivalent of Shark Tank.
     

  • I brought MIT Technology Review to Pakistan and served as its founding Editor-in-Chief (2014-2018) to promote high-quality science and tech journalism in Pakistan. 

Awards and Honours

  • UNESCO ICTD Chair (2018)
     

  • British Council Outstanding Alumni Award (2017)
     

  • 500 Most Influential Muslims in the World (2015 - 2020)
     

  • Sitara-i-Imtiaz by Government of Pakistan (one of the highest civil awards of Pakistan) (2014) 
     

  • ACM CHI Best Paper Award (2013)
     

  • Google Faculty Research Award (2011)
     

  • MIT Top 35 Young Innovators in the World (TR 35) (2011)
     

  • Young Global Leader, World Economic Forum (2010)
     

  • MIT Technovator Award (2008)
     

  • Mark Weiser Best Paper Award (2008)
     

  • IDG CIO Technology Pioneer Award (2008)
     

  • ACM/IEEE ICTD Best Paper Paper (2007)

  • Microsoft Research (MSR) Digital Inclusion Award (2006)
     

  • National Commonwealth Scholar, University of Cambridge (1998)