It was a scorching day of May 2012 when Qasim Hussain came to Pakistan with almost nothing in his pocket and a very heavy heart. He was born and bred in Saudi Arabia and could not get a proper education due to family restraints. Thirty years of his life, he spent painting houses, working as a technician, sometimes as a mechanic, fixing electrical appliances, skipping from one thing to another to try his luck. He would try and read every book he could lay his hands on, going for help to his phuphi, who used to teach him to read. The turn of events led him to come to Pakistan. When he landed Lahore, the roadsides were lined with burning tyres (it was a political strike throughout the city). There were no relatives and friends in Lahore. He wanted to find some work as soon as possible because time and money were running out and there was added family pressure but who would hire him with no education or reference. He was feeling that survival was impossible.
After much trying, he got a job in a small call centre and started living there. It was not a very comfortable place to live in but he did not have much choice. The country where he came from, even the people who pick trash from roadsides, sleep in air-conditioned rooms and eat packaged food. So it was very hard for him to adjust despite the fact that did not have a lavish lifestyle back home. In a few days, all his money was spent and he was broke. He went for help to the owner of the call centre and told him that he did not even have money to eat. He never knew he would ever ask someone for money like this. The boss turned him down. That night was the worst night of his life. Friendless, penniless and shaken inside. All night he wept and couldn’t sleep. That next morning he decided that he would struggle so hard that he won’t ever have to go through this feeling of helplessness again in his life.
A friend he made there, gave him a rented apartment and supported him with his lodgings while he tried to figure out what to do. Freelancing was an idea revolving in his mind but he couldn’t think of any skill through which he could serve anyone. So he started learning logo designing, MS Word, photoshop, HTML and similar things of the sort on the internet as he could operate a laptop. This platform opened a small gateway for him to offer his services and learn more. In a month or two, he had money to adequately support himself for his basic necessities. Every single day he spent up to four hours learning new things online and then worked till he could no more. Due to his responsiveness, more companies gave him web designing work. Furthermore, in the Hajj Season, he provided his services to the Pakistan Embassy for Saudis as he was fluent in Arabic.
Now that there was no stress of food and lodgings, he started thinking about sending money back home to support his family. There were still responsibilities like his five sisters’ marriages, his own permanent settlement issues, secure future, etc. He was doing many freelance projects related to business travelling when Hotel Crown City Gujranwala asked for his services to design a website for their hotel. They paid him fifty thousand for this. He got a couple of more offers regarding tour packages, car rental sites, flight modules and hotel management, but he was still in an utter state of confusion regarding his future job aspects. It was then when an idea popped into his head, to launch a software which would auto-generate websites for his customers regarding these services.
Hiring software engineers and programmers for this job seemed like a good idea. He did not have a big amount so he was risking a lot if this was not meant to work out the way he wanted. He hired many people but as Qasim, himself was not familiar with software languages he could not evaluate the progression of his employees. He suffered a lot of loss as many people he paid were not aware of the language to write the program in. But he was not one of those who gave up. He kept searching and finally came across a programmer, Irshad, from Peshawar, whom he thought he could trust this with. It took both of them 3 months to develop a single part of the software. During this time they suffered a lot of setbacks which left them feeling hopeless but Qasim had decided not to give up. Irshad almost gave up on him but he did not give up on Irshad, which was the reason that he stuck by him. When the software was first introduced, it was simple with a few features but more was yet to come as they were working on it. Orders started pouring in, they had to speed up the process and finally after a long time it was fully functional and optimized. He paid Irshad from his freelance wages which he would do when Irshad was away doing another day job. His first earning was around one lac. People liked his work and after a month all the money he had invested in, came back and with that his heart truly smiled with gratitude to the Almighty. His hard work had paid off and he had proven himself to his family. He started a small company and got it registered.
Mr Qasim Hussain is now the owner of PHP TRAVELS with over three thousand clients worldwide, living in DHA with his wife and two kids. He has online meetings with several business companies worldwide on many platforms. His company has grown to a large scale and recently he was invited as the special guest to a big workshop, “The Great Pakistan” by COSPACE. It was an honor for him to be seated along with Saleem Ghauri, who is known as the Bill Gates of Pakistan and owner of Netsol. His economy graphs are rising by the day.
All you need in life is motivation and true intentions. Allah always helps those who help themselves. We have a lot to learn from this great man. Qasim has taught us that even if you have no resources when nothing seems to be working the way you want and the world gives up on you, you should never stop struggling.