Reviving Hopes in Balochistan by Revitalizing University of Balochistan
- Name: Prof. Dr. Javaid Iqbal
- Position: Vice Chancellor
- Organization: University of Balochistan
- The Innovative Approach
He was dean pharmacy in Hamdard University Karachi. He could have enjoyed the comfort and coziness of life like enjoyed by 1000s of other deans. The next move would have been vice chancellor in any of reputed university in a settled city of Pakistan. Who advised Dr. Javed Iqbal to leave flowery stage and opt for thorny stage of University of Balochistan. He says “it was internal voice”. Our study shows that destiny has prepared Dr. Javed for a critical role anyone else can hardly play. Is there someone who likes to say hello to death. Dr. Javed said it and lived bravely in the front of deadly threats. Finally he won by defeating the deadly threats. His courage transformed a dead institution into a living, thriving, progressing, sustainable, dynamic University of Balochistan. Today, University of Balochistan is a central place and active player for the promotion of innovation culture in the entire province of Balochistan. This nation salutes Dr. Javed Iqbal; The Entrepreneurial Leader
- The Pre-Entrepreneurial
The man has observed his boat sinking for many years. He was the incharge of his department in University of Balochistan and developed it as the best department. We all understand the luck of the part when whole body started the process of depleting. He might have taken the notes on how the largest academic institution of his province falls to the local realities and in front of its own people. We can imagine about the solder that see his army defeated by the enemy. Prof. Javaid Iqbal was an entrepreneurial leader carrying a very soft heart and kind soul that feels pain on wrong doings happening around. He has been in the furnace of circumstances where gold was being burnt into ash. He might have tears on his face many times and got dried helplessly without getting any attention. Our observation indicates that Prof Javaid loves his university and treat it like his own baby. Let us think for a while about a father who sees his baby welcoming death slowly. The institution was closed for unlimited period. Professors got not salary for many months. Staff was found on road most of the times striking and asking for salaries as they have to feed their families. Funding agencies stopped funds because their projects are delayed with no hope for completion. The spirit died, hopes ended and institution was left over to the criminals, terrorists and anti-state activists. The vicious circle of circumstances took over the university with growing risk of collapse. The future glories of nations are determined in their universities. What future the people of Balochistan will have if their mother University is totally collapsed and finally closed? In this growing hopelessness, someone was being trained to break the vicious cycle – Prof. Dr. Javaid Iqbal; the entrepreneurial leader.
- The Start of Entrepreneurial Journey
There was a light invisible in the clouds of darkness. Now it was time to fuel this tinny light to combat the darkness. Prof. Javaid Iqbal is picked for this role as vice chancellor of University of Balochistan in 2013. Now the stored pains within an entrepreneurial leader got the opportunity to come out in the form of solutions of the problems. It was time for tears to turn into smiles and hopes. The time demanded form the entrepreneurial leader sitting at the back seats to come forward and lead from the front. The life risk is very common thing for this role of challenging the unchallenged forces. The entrepreneurial leader was supposed to combat the forces that led the university turn from place of knowledge to place of conflict, disputes and darkness. The question was striking the entrepreneurial leader and must be in the mind of reader was, “from where to break the viscous circle” The Demonstration of Entrepreneurial Leadership – The Revival of Hope We human are tied with the thread of hope that knits us to do undoable and turn impossible into possible. The hope of finding a new world led the Columbus to discover undiscovered world of Americas. The human do not lose fight rather human lose hope that leads to defeat. Somehow, the professor understood that great human secret and aimed to break the vicious circle by reviving the hope in the university. After taking the charge as vice chancellor, he managed to avoid direct conflict with situation at the moment. Unlike ambitious leaders, he did not let himself get lost in the fight against the waves, were already destroying everything. Professor Javed started preaching about the good, telling people that there is light at the end of tunnel and inspiring people to believe in the ultimate success of the right. He used to spend significant time on revival of hope and optimism. Firstly the professor himself developed a strong belief on return of glory period to the university. Within short time he translated this belief in his core team and everybody started talking about a dream yet to materialize. It seems that every one in his team got married with the princess of hope that led to the birth of optimism, determination and hard work. The Demonstration of Entrepreneurial Leadership – Conflict and Crisis Management Mostly leaders are highly inspired and extremely charged to restore good in the society. This led to high level of confidence and over estimation of their capacity to defeat the evil. Early success on the road to new world causes the leaders to indulge in the irrelevant wars. They take ambitious moves and lost in the waves stronger than their capacity to manage. Professor Javaid was trained for this role and he has proven to be fully capable in this aspect. Professor understood that his job is not to fight with not-good-part of the circumstances. His job is to plant good, water it to grow, protect it from wild animals and help it show its fruits. In the follow up he has to replicate this tree plantation of goodness until entire university start enjoying the fruits. He never made the darkness his enemy rather he simply took the candle in strong hands and kept increasing its magnitude. Gradually the light has eaten the clouds of darkness and entire institution is enlightened. Just imagine the institutions located on Saryab road known for regular terrorist attacks, have been closed for unlimited time, known for non-academic and unwanted activities is now open for 09am-10pm. We personally enjoyed the tea from cafe was open at around 08pm. The university door was closed for out of province people for many years. Now university gives feeling of second home for any visitor from anywhere. The hopes were revived and crises were managed. The Demonstration of Entrepreneurial Leadership – Leading by Examples The academically known term “leading by example” means the entrepreneurial leader is a quite selfless. He is not shy to stand up and do the tasks. He never preaches and then slipped away expecting other to do. He stand up, do the undoable, set good examples to follow and expect others to get inspired and follow his path. We personally saw the professor cleaning windows during our first Invention to Innovation Summit 2016 in University of Balochistan. One day he entered the university in winter during the period of heavy snow fall. The university took the white cover of snow and main road was almost blocked due to snow fall. He simply took the tool in hand used to remove snow and started cleaning the road. Imagine the vice chancellor cleaning the road of the university. The example was set by imposing fine on those who were responsible too. A strong message was given to entire university that performance means here now. The period of non-performing culture is over now. Professor Javaid is leading the university by example. The university was known for the culture of strikes by students, teachers and staff. Here are two examples showing how strike culture was ended in the university. A group of students started intervening in administration and forcefully asking staff to leave. They wanted to have strike and university to be closed. The professor upon knowing it just came out of the office took the leading students with irony hands and handed over to the police. He also managed the case politically too by making elders of students groups realized that how these few student activists are playing against the interest of education. In the early days of his leadership, a strike by the lower staff was arranged. He just came out to the protestors and started chanting the same slogans. The protestors felt honored to find the vice chancellor demanding the same demands. Then he accepted all the demands of the protestors and made a gradual plan of their implementations. The few demands were accepted and resolved immediately rests were put on some future schedule. The entrepreneurial leader gave direct access to his office blocking the way of being played in the hands of few lobbyists. The professors never did the politics of power rather he led by the examples and enforcement of the rules. The Demonstration of Entrepreneurial Leadership – The Team Building There are leaders who take solo flight and register very speedy growth. They often find team building causing slow progress as others also have to go through a journey of trial, errors and learning. The Professor Javaid understood that he has very tough and long road to travel and needs strong team to join it. His road was full of thrones, life risks, having ups and downs. So he took the long and slow path of growth through team building. Again he never punished those who refused to partner his voyage of discovering new university. He nurtured those who shared the pain and were ready for great sacrifices of this journey. He assembled people having ability to challenge their past performance and compete with themselves. Within a short period of time the silent solders started appearing and leading their fronts. He might have not studied the entrepreneurial leadership but he exercised it well. He also cashed the golden opportunity of freshly foreign trained PhDs. He took them to new culture of performance before they become the part of old system. He managed to assemble good team, empowered them to take initiatives, helped them to turn impossible into possible and shine along with him. He believed in shared vision and inspired the team to own this shared vision of making University of Balochistan a leading institution in the country. The infrastructure of university has totally renewed, new buildings are added and a look of modern university is developed. The Demonstration of Entrepreneurial Leadership – Winning Trust of Stakeholders The trust works as catalyst in the relationships either personal or professional. The trust binds each other’s, creates enabling environment to exercise things and builds confidence to think for more collaborative and shared endeavors. Due to continuous crisis, the projects given to university were delayed and mismanaged. The donors like higher education commission, provincial government and others lost their trust. They saw their given money totally wasted and no hope for future compliance too. The entrepreneurial leader understood the secret of getting trust of stakeholders back. He understood that there is only one way and that is completing projects on time with all due compliance. He has to put his house in order first before talking to the donors for new projects and interventions. He gave significant time, developed dedicated team and set high goals of executing projects. Suddenly magic started happening. Projects not only ensuring the compliance rather were completed before time. The transparency was made top most priority in the projects. The zero tolerance was ensured for the corruption. The trust of stakeholders is restored through proactive performance. The stakeholders were lucratively looking at the University of Balochistan as more trusted and active partner for development projects. New projects started coming to university and giving birth to the new life. The development becomes the darling of institution giving smile to everyone. The reader must enjoy the statement of a donor; “We had the worst experience of working with University of Balochistan and we are having the best experience now too”. The Demonstration of Entrepreneurial Leadership – Financial Management The funding is the backbone of every system and organization. The literature on rise and fall of organization reports cash flow problems as beginning of the crisis. The financial crisis guarantees the death of organization. We do not know who taught the financial management secrets to the professor of pharmacy. But we know that he developed mastery in financial management. We as students of management believe in professional qualification. No financial guru can believe in what a professor of pharmacy did. He got the institution near to bankruptcy and made it highly rich institution in the province with lot of new investments. His ability to outreach to local, provincial and federal Government with strong belief in revival of the university managed to bring a lot of funds. He could not get a single penny just by begging the money without solid plans. He invested a significant time to develop very convincing and encompassing growth plan for the university. He and his team presented these promising plans with ensure deliverables to gain funding. The financial fairy once got angry from the university and left it, now came back again. The staff used to be seen on roads protesting for salaries being paid on time. The professors who totally lost the hope and started searching jobs here and there now enjoy the market salaries without a single day delay. The University of Balochistan has launched many new projects to fund research of its faculty. The ongoing projects funding from HEC is crossing 60 million and soon will touch 100 million. The university made huge investment in projects, buildings and programs. The Demonstration of Entrepreneurial Leadership – Automation of Systems and Process ICT enabled environment in the institutions eradicate corruption of all kinds and ensure compliance, timely delivery, good services and efficiency in the system. University of Balochistan was little exposed to the world of ICT applications. Most of the things were done manually that create loop holes in the system. The professor trusted on IT department of the university and assigned it the process of system automation. This approach has also saved millions and empowered internal leadership to analyze, develop, implement and recycle the entire process. This also led to successful implementation of ICT projects and reduced the likelihood of implementation failure. The automation gave increase of millions of revenue and blocked all the mal practices can be expected from the manual systems. The Demonstration of Entrepreneurial Leadership – Quality Education The major breakthrough made by entrepreneurial leadership of Dr. Javed is reviving trust on degree of University of Balochistan. Numbers of nationally reported cases of fake degrees belong to this university in the times of crisis. He restored the image by redefining education quality and enforcing strick quality measures. Zero tolerance is observed in merit, assessment, exams and other education quality measures. He introduced cheating-free and transparent examination, semester system in all programs and strict follow-up of academic calendar. Everybody loved his statement in an interview “before 2013 people were not willing to get degrees from UoB and today President of Pakistan is distributing the degrees to the graduates of this university.”
- The Summary
The university has travelled in 2-3 years from 3000 students to 10000, from 400 MS research scholars to 2000, from manual to ICT based institution, from routine protest to zero or insignificant protest, from financial failure to financial sustainability, from isolated to provincial leader in academia and particularly from hopelessness to optimism and great excitement. The all is done because Dr. Javaid Iqbal an entrepreneurial leader preferred university over his life.