By Atlas Corps
August 3, 2023
Today, we speak with Scholar, Muzaffar Ahmed (Cohort 11, Pakistan), who joins Atlas Corps as part of the Atlas Corps: Pakistan Emerging Leaders Initiative.
This special initiative is a dynamic collaboration between Atlas Corps and two Atlas Corps Alumni-led organizations: Accountability Lab Pakistan and CaterpillHERs, with the goal of building community across emerging professionals in Pakistan by building the capacity of local leaders and community-based initiatives.
Muzaffar is a rising social change leader and entrepreneur in Pakistan and is passionate about the issues of clean energy accessibility and energy efficiency because he believes that solving these problems can help developing and under-developed countries in their economic growth. He is the Co-Founder of Burq 7 Tech, a startup that empowers household consumers to control their bills and become more responsible and eco-friendly.
Name: Muzaffar Ahmed
Home Country: Pakistan
Current Organization: Burq 7 Tech
Role at current organization: Co-Founder
Social Issues: Affordable and Clean Energy; Climate Action
What inspires you the most as a leader?
I think for me, the most inspiring thing as a leader is the impact my work can bring in the lives of Pakistani people including myself, because I have also suffered with the problem that my work is trying to solve, and I can relate with the emotions a person goes through when dealing with this problem and the relief they would feel if there is a solution available for such problem.
Please tell us a little bit about the type of work that you do at your organization and the impact it has made in your local community.
Burq 7 Tech is a startup which is developing a smart electricity monitoring system to help Pakistani domestic consumers in reducing their consumption to keep it within their monthly budget. We are at an early stage of our development, so we have not been able to make a significant impact in our community yet; however, due to Pakistan’s reliance on fossil fuels as primary energy source for power generation and the economic crisis our country is going through–because of which electricity prices are getting higher every month–our monitoring system has the potential to not only keep domestic consumers’ electricity usage within their monthly budgetary limit, but it will also help our government in decreasing demand which can lead to economic as well as environmental benefits due to less GHG (greenhouse gas) emissions in our environment.
Why is it important for you to work towards clean energy and climate action?
I have an educational and professional background in renewable energy, which teaches us to develop energy solutions that are clean and sustainable which is essential not just for our economy but also for the environment. So I feel that I am best equipped to develop solutions in the field of clean and sustainable for Pakistani people, for whom due to our economic decline and rising inflation, electricity is becoming a luxury rather than a necessity. Also, our country’s current energy mix is creating environmental problems for Pakistani people in the form extreme weather conditions and recurring natural disasters like floods.
Product Working Explanation
Product Environment Impact Potential
What has been your favorite part about the Virtual Leadership Institute so far?
The Virtual Leadership Institute has been an amazing learning experience, where I get to learn new skills and tools for personal and professional growth as well as hone in some of my previous skills. But among all of it, the part that I liked the most about VLI is the feeling that I am now part of a bigger community of individuals who are willing to support me and give a helping hand whenever I need it, which I experienced during conversations with my peers in my Cohort and during the call with my peer coach.
What is your best quick tip that you can share with us about how to succeed in the Virtual Leadership Institute?
Don’t just focus on completing modules! Try to develop an understanding about the topics and skills that are being taught in these modules because your level of understanding of these skills would determine how effective its implementation would be in your leadership journey.
What is your Leadership Project about and what impact will it have on the community you serve?
My Leadership Project is a part of my startup idea, which is about developing an MVP (Minimum Viable Product) of my smart electricity monitoring system and conducting its consumer testing with at least 20 consumers for minimum 3 to 4 months. The purpose of this project is to collect data on consumers’ electricity usage behavior along with their feedback on the product’s features and what they would like to be included in it. This data would help in developing a final product that consumer has more acceptability for and can help them solve their problem. Having a smart electricity monitoring system that consumers can effectively use to reduce their consumption will lead to reduced energy demand which will have the potential to not only benefit Pakistan’s economy but also reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from our environment caused by our power sector.
What are your plans after the Virtual Leadership Institute and how will this experience help you achieve these plans?
I am working on my startup idea and with my VLI project is a part of it, I would be putting my efforts into taking my idea further and developing it into a revenue generating business. The experience I gained during VLI would help me to grow my business while keeping my focus clear on my goal and mission, which is to create an economic and environmental impact in the lives of domestic electricity consumers all over Pakistan through my startup.
What message would you like to send to individuals (Volunteer, Donors, Board of Directors) who support Atlas Corps?
The experience, skills and tools that Atlas Corps provides through their different initiatives has inspired many Scholars and Fellows who, coming from different career paths to become effective social change leader in their respective fields, have become part of this community. I want to thank all the organizations and individuals who have supported Atlas Corps in their mission to develop effective and passionate social change leaders from around the world who can become a catalyst for a lasting positive social impact.
Thank you, Muzaffar, for sharing your leadership journey with us. We are excited to see you continue to inspire positive change in the future!
Feeling inspired? Follow us on LinkedIn and Instagram!
Interested in doing more? Donate now to help us reach leaders around the world for a better future.
Love what you see? Rate Atlas Corps on Great Nonprofits to share your feedback.
Photos from Muzaffar’s personal archive.