First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID19 times?
Murtaza Hussain : I am fine as well as my family and my team.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded or joined this company
Murtaza Hussain : I’m Murtaza Hussain, an MBBS final year student from Karachi Medical and Dental college. I am currently the president of HOPES and I started as a volunteer in my first year.
HOPES was founded by a group of medical students who could not bear to see people suffer because they had no help in an emergency.
How does your company innovate?
Murtaza Hussain : Our volunteers over time have helped innovate HOPES. We started with a small room with improvised cardboard boxes as shelves for storing medicines to be distributed, which now operate in three different places and we also have our own fully equipped laboratory.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business and how are you coping?
Murtaza Hussain : This time is truly a challenge for us as individuals and as an organization. Yet every obstacle is a door of opportunity. In these dire times while only a few of us operate from the office our team continues to work from home using social media to reach our audience. We have been using a few crowdfunding platforms like Launchgood and Daraz.
Did you have to make difficult choices and what are the lessons learned?
Murtaza Hussain : Yes, Desperate times call for desperate measures. While we had to cut down on our dispense days and the number of people on the field; we started four campaigns at once: Zakat campaign, Ration campaign, PPE campaign, and an inpatient meal campaign. It was quite difficult to be funded for just one campaign let alone four in these uncertain times when people hoard supplies and save money but philanthropic souls never fail to restore our trust in humanity. It is good to take risk than to regret not taking at all.
How do you deal with stress and anxiety, how do you project yourself and your company in the future?
Murtaza Hussain : Stress is inevitable in uncertainties like COVID 19 pandemic and the global lockdown. I manage my anxiety by being grateful for every moment because I am privileged. My team is also my support system, we are responsible for each other’s wellbeing.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Murtaza Hussain : We are our only competition and HOPES wants to evolve and be better than before.
Your final thoughts
Murtaza Hussain : We are in this situation together. In this time of a standstill, technology keeps us moving forward and social entrepreneurs will keep on crafting the future. HOPES for all!