When we talk about an ecosystem, it is about executing ‘The right thought by the right people,in the right environment, at the right time and for the right reason’ which ultimately leads to the right result. It is about instilling an enabling environment with a level playing field and a positive discipline that helps each and every individual realize their potential and their capacities to achieve objectives accordingly. That means providing each individual with the right knowledge, relevant skills and confidence to evaluate options and produce the best possible results.
Since Pakistan has become independent, the nation has seemingly failed to reach its potential which the great Quaid-e-Azam had dreamed of. One of the main reasons for that has been the constant interference in institutional development that has halted the progress of the Eco-system and a think tank with a lack of productive thinking. Therefore, selection on merit has been overseen and people have been selected based on who they know and this has led to incompetent personnel holding positions they are not technically qualified for. Consequently, the more competent people are forced seek opportunities elsewhere, where their skills and talents are better utilized and moving to the West is the best example of this, which as lead to a major brain drain.
Overtime some people have begun to realize the impact of these strategies and certain steps have been made to overcome this. With the many problems currently faced, especially with an increasing influx in population and lack of utilization of resources and productivity, Entrepreneurship is considered as a major step in the right direction and work has begun to develop an entrepreneurial ecosystem. However, the present day scenario is still full of complications and a system that is moving around in circles. Unfortunately majority of the think tank that is trying to ‘Solve the problems’ is doing so with the same mindset that was used to create these problems in the first place.Entrepreneurship to a certain extent is about initiating and running businesses, but what really makes it stand out is the positive impact it creates through non conventional and innovative developments, value addition and creativity.
Therefore the first significant step that needs to be taken is to change the mindset and to undo habits that have made the nation’s output unproductive. For example, the current schooling system is more focused on minting money, while the parents are stuck in a societal bubble where they feel the more expensive the school is, the better education it provides. The reality check is that, allowing a lot of schools to be developed in areas made for houses is not beneficial. Firstly, it means that schools are operating predominantly as businesses rather than focusing on their purpose of providing quality basic education. Due to this, teachers with lack of skills are being hired.
Students are given copious amount of homework which ‘burdens’ them theoretically and limits their learning but doesn’t develop their practical skills. Additionally, due to lack of space, opportunities for various extracurricular and sporting activities also become scarce which further hinders the parameters of their growth. This system ends up producing students who are bound within a narrow thought process and afraid to take calculated risks, where learning is deemed a burden and therefore they end up never developing the ‘out of the box’ and creative mindset.
Similarly, higher education instituti-ons implement learning methods that are theory based and therefore end up producing graduates with a job seeker mindset but not having the skills that are required in the evolving practical world. Since marks are given more importance than learning, students are focused on ‘cramming’ information that in reality they don’t understand. There is a bigger divide between the requirement of the industry and the quality of graduates being produced nationally and as a result effectiveness of the industry is unproductive with lack of value addition and behind the global competencies.
Nations are developed on cohesive solution orientated approaches, which are enhanced through capacity building and teamwork. Right now, there are many stakeholders involved in trying to implement the paradigm shift towards an entrepreneurial ecosystem, which to the naked eye is a success but in reality has not produced the expected results. There has been an element of triumph in changing mindsets towards entrepreneurship, but the output of these budding entrepreneurs reaching the market with viable products and services does not meet the expectations.
The key question which must be asked is WHY has the nation not seen the results, despite a number of people putting their hands up to help rectify the problems? The answer lies in the fact that cut-throat competition still exists, and despite figuring out the importance of Entrepreneurship each stakeholder is consumed by their own thoughts of having the ‘perfect solution’ which ends up becoming a personal agenda and as a result the process of reaching cohesive solutions in never attained. At present, the current methods can be related to that of a building where we are emphasizing on constructing a costly and lavish multi storied skyscraper, but have forgotten to strengthen the foundations.