The Art of Gentle and Soft Persuasion- Dr Zahir Ali Syed

Dr Zahir Ali Syed, Director of UIT (Usman Institute of Technology), was plucked from us yesterday June 11, 2021, in a murderous event reminding Karachites of how Hakim Saeed was taken away from us in a terrorist murder some 25 years ago. Inna lillah e wa inna ilaihi rajioon!
He was a mentor to me and thousands of senior academicians and senior IT professionals, a pioneer of IT industry, a great academician, who was my first employer at ABM data systems in 1986. He headed Computer Society of Pakistan in 1990s, headed KIIT in 2000s, and also worked on the genesis of Habib University in late 2000s. His other ventures included BRYJ and MITF and Cambridge Advisors Network. He had MS/PhD from MIT/Stanford in I think early 1980s.
What a great loss.

I learned from him how to be persuasive in a soft, gentle manner. His unique gift was his clarity of mind and sincerity of purpose. I learned to do my first database programming project in DBase in 1986 for his company ABM which was my first employer at age 24. I learned my first professional ethics lesson when I left ABM after a few months to join Suparco without giving a notice. I can still recall my embarrassment and fear of being called by him, being gently admonished and being told how to gracefully leave a job after a proper handing over and taking over.
I learned from him how to organize international conferences during the CSP International Conference in 1997, learned about issues of Pakistan IT industry from him in committees during the deliberations of National IT Policy for Vision 2020 in 1998, and later National IT Policy deliberations under various working groups formed in year 2000 under Dr Ata. I remember another of his venture BRYJ which organized a seminar on e-commerce at IBA on August 23, 2000 when I was a Deputy Director of CCS, IBA (seminar pic is attached).
I learned from him about academic issues as an external evaluator of assessments conducted by University of Huddersfield for KIIT in mid early to mid 2000s. His another venture MITF along with Azhar Rizvi can be credited for initiating the entrepreneurship ecosystem in around 2010 when no one was talking about it.
We have interacted scores of time during his tenure at KIIT. I did a detailed case study on KIIT with him in late 2000s. Interacted with him extensively later during his directorship of UIT.
This is an interview where he is highlighting his commitment to serve his community
Copied from my FB Post.

Shahid Shah, Adnan Kudiya and 141 others






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