Great Ideas
The greatest challenge to the greatest ideas is how to take your brainchild and make it real.

An idea is just a thought – a figment of the imagination.

How do we get it out there?
We need someone to talk to.

Asian Culture
In Asia, gurus are revered teachers and masters and life often resolves around the coffee shop. Thus in a friendly place, people with good ideas can get help from social media experts – entrepreneurs who have been there and done that! This is the aim of

On the Drawing Board
Coffee Shop Gurus has done its research (over three years worth).

Their studies show there is no shortage of talent, ideas, will power or mentorship in Pakistan.

However, Western ideas cannot be replicated without taking into account localization and the eco-system of this part of South Asia, according to the CEO of the Coffee Shop Gurus Rohan David Emmanuel. As the curator of a TEDx event, namely TEDxAnarkali (, he has presented these issues at the international level.

In the Works
On the drawing board of Coffee Shop Gurus are startup events in Karachi and workshops for women in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the North-West Frontier province of Pakistan.

Track Record
Coffee Shop Gurus has organized startup events in Lahore and Islamabad. The group actively incubates businesses and conducts research. This research is then shared with these businesses. Even after the incubation period is over and a business is up and running the group remains in touch with the startups. Success stories range from home-baked chewable cookies, gift wrapping services, and photography businesses.

New Ways of Thinking
Entrepreneurship is all about giving new definitions to the things around us. Entrepreneurs change lives with greater ideas. “It is that thinking out of the box and that creative bug that helps promote new ways of thinking,” explains Rohan David Emmanuel. “Youngsters are making more of a social impact than a financial impact,” he admits. This includes high-profile social media presences too.

Dynamics of Entrepreneurship
Pakistan needs more institutions that understand the dynamics of entrepreneurship. Although micro-finance institutions are playing a vital role in sustaining the entrepreneurial eco-system of the second-largest country on the Indian subcontinent, no such institution has defined the entrepreneurial eco-system (in the sense of having a universal impact, a real changing of the landscape impact).

Coffee Shop Gurus doesn’t establish relations with micro-finance providers: they believe in establishing a business with what you have. For them, the core ingredients of successful entrepreneurship are enthusiasm and pursuit of that passion, and if you do it on your own then these factors multiply, building momentum.

Of course, they are not doing it totally on their own when they have the Coffee Shop Gurus behind them, so it is arguable that this is a different system and the Coffee Shop Gurus want to see how their system works without the input of the institutional micro-finance providers who also provide a level of support and oversight in addition to the cash loan. Rohan David Emmanuel acknowledges that the micro-finance institutions are playing a valuable role in the rural areas.

Contributing gurus (mentors) are a mixed bunch. This mix helps get a wide range of opinion which is tailored to the requirements of the businesses the group incubates. Curator of TEDxAnarkali 2012 in Lahore, Rohan David Emmanuel is the main guru. Others lending their names to the project are Buraira Riaz Grewal, Director Public Relations, Muhammad Asid, Director Corporate Relations, Momna Chaudhry, Manager Communications, Nadeem A Malilk, Director Enterprise Business, Huawei Technologies, Zia Imran, CEO, Vahzay Pvt Ltd and ex-Chairman, Pakistan Software Export Board, Naseer Akhtar, CEO, Infotech Group and Sana Mela, CEO, Bin Bag Productions.

Joining Hands
Gurus help by starting or assisting with channels such as social media and websites where investment outlay is low, but nevertheless where results can be obtained. Gurus share knowledge on each and every aspect of business ranging from starting from scratch to sales and reaping profits.

Gurus and the platform provide:

1. Mentoring; one-on-one interaction with top industry/market experts

2. Idea development and polishing

3. Skills to develop web presence

4. Hardcore sales skills

5. Weekly Coffee Shop meet-ups with the Gurus

6. Extensive learning for a period of five weeks

Free to Use
This is a learning platform for youth, and there is no charge for imparting knowledge. However, it is expected that the budding entrepreneurs will be prepared to help others once they are up and running too.

Author's Bio: 

I am an English specialist with I CAN READ. I have worked for major British institutions: British Council, British High Commission, British Railways Board and Linguaphone. I am a London-trained lawyer and have been the public affairs officer at the British High Commission, Singapore, as well as an editor in an international book publishing house and a national magazine. I am also co-author of two law books: English Legal System and Company Law, published by Blackstone, Oxford University Press. I am an Ambassador of Peace (Universal Peace Federation and Interreligious and International Federation for World Peace). Connect: Email!/abetoday