In the diverse landscape of career choices, individuals carve unique paths based on personal preferences. Some gravitate towards the security of government jobs, while others seek opportunities abroad. Then there are those with an entrepreneurial spirit, driven by the desire to create employment rather than just seek it. This shift from job hunting to job creation comes with its challenges, as demonstrated by the inspiring journey of Akhsaar Ali, a 38-year-old entrepreneur in the solar panels business.
A Journey of Resilience: Akhsaar Ali’s Story
Commonly known as Akhsaar Lala in the solar panel market at Dalazak Road, Peshawar, Akhsaar Ali’s entrepreneurial journey began in 2010. Faced with multiple rejections from public and private organizations due to a lack of professional experience, he turned to entrepreneurship. Setting up a small shop in Pabbi, Nowshera, Akhsaar entered the solar panel business, driven by the positive response from people facing prolonged power outages in Peshawar and Nowshera districts.
Akhsaar’s journey is a testament to resilience. After his father’s untimely demise, he left his education incomplete and took on the responsibility of supporting his widowed mother and financing his younger brothers’ education. Despite initial financial constraints, he delved into the sale and purchase of solar panels, gradually building his business.
The Rising Demand for Solar Panels
Over the years, the demand for solar panels has surged, fueled by the widening gap between electricity demand and supply. Akhsaar notes the increasing prices of solar panels in the market, indicating a growing interest in alternative energy sources. Despite the seasonal fluctuations, with summer bringing higher profits, Akhsaar envisions expanding his business to Punjab, Dubai, and Afghanistan, capitalizing on the substantial market demands in these regions.
The Potential of Renewable Energy in Pakistan
Experts like Dr. Zilakat Khan Malik emphasize the crucial role of solar and wind energy in Pakistan’s industrial future. The country’s energy shortfall has reached unprecedented levels, reaching 8500 MW. Dr. Malik advocates for a strategic shift towards renewable energy, citing the economic benefits of job creation, energy security, and reduced carbon emissions. With wind corridors and ample solar resources, Pakistan has the potential to generate substantial electricity through renewable means.
Government Initiatives and Opportunities
Government initiatives, such as the Alternative and Renewable Energy Policy 2019 and the National Solar Energy Initiative, underscore a commitment to harnessing renewable energy sources. The Small and Medium Enterprises Development Authority (SMEDA) plays a pivotal role, allocating funds for pre-feasibility studies to bolster self-employment and support the SME sector. Additionally, economic zones like the Rashakai Special Economic Zone (RSEZ) under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) aim to promote business, investment, and job creation.
Looking Ahead: A Vision for Job Creation
Javed Khattak, CEO of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Economic Zones Development and Management Company (KPEZDMC), highlights the successful completion of the first phase of RSEZ. This accomplishment sets the stage for economic growth, job creation, and the transformation of KP into a hub of trade and investment.
As Pakistan grapples with the challenges of energy shortages and unemployment, the stories of entrepreneurs like Akhsaar Ali and the strategic vision of experts and government initiatives provide a beacon of hope. The transition from being job seekers to job creators is not only a personal journey but a collective effort to shape a brighter future for the nation.
Fahad is an entrepreneur and a marketing enthusiast who loves to write on trending topics. He loves travelling & playing tennis is what he does in his leisure time. He tweets @fahad164.
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