The young face behind PIPE - Abid Rashid
I am Abid Rashid, 24 co-founder and Chief Technology Officer in E-Resolute, Srinagar. I have done my Bachelors in Information Technology and followed it by MBA in IT from National Institute of Business Management. I started as a tech entrepreneur a long time ago. I am passionate about technology; it runs in me and is the only thing that excites me, always. I see myself as a programmer and a gamer, who loves to work on simple yet out of box ideas. I have founded few ventures like Fuel My Phone and currently a new Android app, Pipe.
I and my friend Zubair Lone always wanted to create different channels of information that people are actually interested in. As tech guys, we started with an idea called Help Alerts - a web portal which would send alerts, as in competitive exam alerts like KAS & IAS and many other kinds of SMS Alerts to people to keep them updated. But soon after creating such portal that was based on SMS cellular services, SMS service was shut down in Kashmir and Help Alerts was no more a story. However disappointing that was, we did not just give up. We always wanted to deliver information when it was most useful and needed. Soon after the SMS ban was lifted, we thought to resume Help Alerts. But the challenge was even bigger. The Smart Phones had overtaken us. No one was using SMS’s any longer. So we thought to develop a mobile app and start sending push alerts which would be free as compared to SMS.
As we began to think about the idea, the first thing that came in our mind was who would send the alerts? This meant putting in human resources to push alerts daily. We wanted to flirt with this idea first. However, upon brainstorming we came up with an idea to setup an information platform instead. A platform where people could create channels and connect to them to get real time information. That’show PIPE came into existence.
Pipe is a platform which bridges the gap of information. We are obsessed with socializing and social networks. I wanted to create a very serious network. A network that was less funny and focused more on real time information, that was accessible anytime anywhere across the globe.
Pipe is a platform which delivers information instantaneously to millions of people. It’s an information network that delivers information according to your own interest; a platform which is spam free and less irritating that does not engulf your entire life. You get what you need. You are connected to the pipes that you are interested in and get information specific to your choice. It's very useful; it kind of filters your information requirements to your needs. I am very happy with the response Pipe has gotten so far. Half a billion messages have already been sent through Pipe. It’s helping many local businesses here in Kashmir.
Kashmir is a little technologically impaired when it comes to real skill set. We have many engineers here, people graduating in IT. However, the skill set required now, is very hard to find in Kashmir. The real problem lies in the institutions and our system of education. Most of the institutions employ people who are abreast with archeological information in their respective fields. People here don’t keep up with the latest in technology and you will find the curriculum’s filled with programming languages that are extinct now. The same is taught to our students here in colleges. As a consequence, the students have no idea about the latest developments happening in the world. They keep groping the age old technologies in their precious learning years.And then we complain, we don’t have technical enthusiasts here and go for outsourcing IT in other parts of India. How in the world will this stop? Kashmiri’s are as talented, if not more, as any other people around the world. All we need is to keep our educational institutes updated with the latest technical know how and give up on the ancient technical manuscripts that are still followed.
There have been no challenges so far. We at Pipe are in love with technology. We are three members in Pipe, Zubair Lone and Younis Shah and me. We love playing with technology while enjoying the things we do and are mad about it. And as they say, with madness comes love! Our love and madness has always been technology! The only thing that we need is time, time to deliver beautiful technology and world class products.
I love my culture and people. I strive for building a great ecosystem to support our local economy. I turned down many offers outside the country as I never had any intentions to create a career outside. In fact I believe that I have an edge staying here, to start something wonderful. Love for my homeland, my people and a passion to create something in this part of the world made me stay here. And why leave Kashmir, when you have the wazwan here, I won’t give up on that :P