A few weeks ago, I was asked to speak at an Acumen Fund Community Gathering (CG) event in Karachi about my passion and background in economic development. The purpose of this annual celebration was to galvanize the local Acumen community in Pakistan – focusing on social entrepreneurship and patient capital – and Bryan (the other Fellow in PK) and I also wanted to share our hopes and early experiences in our new country/home.
Although I was mostly anxious about speaking to a room filled with 200 people that surely had many more inspiring stories to tell than I do, there was another item on the agenda that I found myself eagerly anticipating. Over the previous weeks, the Acumen Pakistan team had been working on a short documentary of my placement company, Pharmagen Healthcare Ltd, and this video was to be debuted at the CG. While I was excited to see how the footage came out, I was also selfishly motivated…
Since I began the Fellowship (and even before), I’ve struggled to explain what it is that “I do.” I wrote about this dilemma back in October, but I quickly realized how complicated the problem became with my placement in Pakistan. As a pastor in Long Island once said, after giving a 2 minute prayer for my safety as a “soldier” in Pakistan: “why else would you go to Pakistan unless you’re in the Army?”
To help dispel these misconceptions, I was planning to put together a video, introducing Pharmagen, the amazing management team here, and the incredible community that we work with throughout Lahore. Fortunately, Acumen beat me to the big screen. Although the film focuses on the water division (and not the rural pharmacy chain), it’s a great introduction to the company and I hope it inspires you as much as it did the community at the CG.