Meet SGNovember 6, 2020 2021-10-21 19:52
Salim Ghauri sharing memories of his mother
My story is not very complicated. It’s a very simple story of an ordinary child who nobody believed would ever make it big in life.
I was born in 1955 in Bahawalpur. I left my birthplace at an early age of three when my father brought our family to Lahore. Yet I still remember with fondness the Shahi Bazar of Bahawalpur, its balmy evenings, pleasant nights and scorching afternoons. It can be said that Lahore taught me how to walk on my two feet, but it was Bahwalpur that taught me to walk on my knees first.
I was a restless and curious child and till today I remain so. I believe that a person who does not have a sense of wonder or a desire to excel, cannot achieve anything in life. I consider myself fortunate that though I was a naughty child, God blessed me to become an exceptional entrepreneur, turned my failures into success, and showed me a way whenever I was at a dead end. Nature has always been kind to me, and the hand of God has guided my efforts and hard work. My restlessness has always made me do things in a hurry, be it walking, eating or making money.
In Lahore I went to the school situated right across the road from our house near Nursery Ground, Main Market Gulberg. From the first day, I enjoyed going to school and never had to be forced. For me going to school was an interesting way to keep myself busy. Each day I got up early, had my breakfast and went to school. To this day I follow the same routine and even on Sundays I do not sleep till late. I get up early and dress up before going for breakfast. Discipline comes naturally to me. I am fond of doing things on time, keeping focus on the outcomes, and making life easy for others. This is the reason why I make friends very quickly, and people enjoy working with me.
After pre-school I joined Linzer Day high school, a co-ed institution which was run by a German lady who was also the principal of the school. I still remember her to be a strict disciplinarian; and the entire school, including the teachers, was scared of her. I stayed in Linzer Day High School till eighth grade, but was never attentive towards my studies.
I was so bad at my studies that when time came for me to take my matriculation exam at the end of high school, my mother refused to enroll me. She was sure that I would fail, and cause embarrassment for her in the family. I was so heartbroken by my mother’s opinion of my abilities, that my heartbreak became my motivation. For the first time in my life I became very serious about my studies and I promised my mother that I will pass the exam with the highest possible grades. When the result was finally announced, it turned out that my grades were higher than anybody else’s in my entire family.
I started college in 1971 at FC College, Lahore. My college days were carefree and careless. It was an emotionally liberating experience, without strict rules, corporal punishment, restrictions or uniform. We dressed, ate and socialized as we pleased. I am proud to be a Formanite. I was a pre-engineering student and although I did get decent grades, my academic activities were limited.
When I was in college my father was running a vast business, and he had strong business ties with Romania. He imported machinery from Romania and supplied in Pakistan. Because of his deep business ties the Romanian government had made him a person of significance in Pakistan. This was just like my current position as Honorary Consulate General of Australia for the province of Punjab.
The Romanian government had offered my father scholarship for his children if they ever wanted to pursue a science degree. When I passed my intermediate exams I had the chance to avail this scholarship. After two months of receiving marching orders from my father, I packed my bags and went to the Institute of Petroleum and Gas in Romania (now a university) for higher education.
I was introduced to computers in Romania. This chance encounter changed my life and later it became my introduction in Pakistan. My friends observe that I might not have benefited from my degree in oil and gas but I have dug up the potential of information technology in Pakistan in the form of NETSOL.