May 14, 2019 · 4 min read

Catalysing Co-Active Learning at Sarmayacar’s Annual Summit

Sarmayacar is a pioneering venture capital firm investing in the future of Pakistan.

Recently we held our first Annual Summit (#SAS19) in Hunza where the entire Sarmayacar family came together for a 3-day experience that was designed to cultivate sharing and co-active learning with the magnificent Karakoram mountains in the background.

In one half of a twin-track agenda for portions of the Summit, Sarmayacar fund’s team and current investors were joined by prospective investors from across the globe, including prominent international VCs like Michael Stuenkel, the founding partner of Lakestar. In the other track, leaders from portfolio companies Bykea, SimPaisa, ProCheck, Patari and Dot & Line worked directly with our assembled team of leadership coaches, led by Simon Court from Value Partnership out of London.

Sessions tailored to tackle common challenges in a nascent ecosystem

Our collaboration with domain experts and coaches for the Summit is a great example of our strategy to build bridges and add value, bringing the latest ideas in leadership, strategy and organisational development to growing companies in Pakistan to power their success.

CEOs and COOs from across the Sarmayacar portfolio mapped where their businesses are using Value Partnership’s business journey framework. They shared critical obstacles and collaborated on strategic solutions. They explored their leadership impact and developed coaching skills so that they could take the benefits of their learning back into their businesses.

Portfolio leaders were also coached by legal expert Mubariz Siddiqui on mental models that could ease the adoption of best practices across various governance functions of their venture-funded businesses.

Group activities geared towards long-term community building

Participants left with insights, tools, support and some inspiration to be an even more effective leader in their organisations. Those who visited the country for the first time left with the culture of Pakistan and conversations with leaders from every city’s startup ecosystem. The Summit served as a platform for everyone to share their problems, understand themselves better and to build concrete plans that will help their businesses grow.

We believe this is just the beginning. Our value-added strategy will develop and extend further as we increase our investments in the coming months and years. This is breaking genuinely new ground for Pakistan.

Select feedback from SAS19 attendees:

I am a curious person by nature and there was a lot for me to learn here. We have built a kind of family which shared not only their problems but also learnt a lot while having some fun. Jan Bolz, IOI Capital

The gender mix, cultural mix, mind mix and different age groups, everything was there and I think the relationship we have built here will last beyond the Summit. I have known a lot of these people from before but this Summit has cemented all those relationships and they will continue so thank you.
Ishaq Kothawala, Bykea

You all have the same problems and challenges I have seen everywhere in the world. It is not something you should be ashamed of but it is something to build on, which is something you are already doing.
Clemens Jeneral, Intellyo

I wanted to substitute my conscious and unconscious biases towards Pakistan with real experiences. I must say thank you to the Sarmayacar team and all the local people we interacted with. I want to say thank you to everyone from Pakistan for sharing so many insights and not being superficial.
Alexander Frech, Austrian Post

I got much more than what my original aspirations for the Summit were, from the sessions we had with the investors and entrepreneurs. What I found particularly helpful was how to coach other people in a manner that makes them be better coaches and mentors to their own teams, and to listen to their problems, and to work with them on solutions so they inculcate a problem-solving mindset and translate that culture further down the chain.
— Yassir Pasha, SimPaisa

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