DigiSkills is a flagship program by Ministry of Information Technology and Telecom. The First Batch Induction Ceremony organized for the program was hosted by Ignite on July, 20th 2018 at Marriott Hotel, Islamabad. The occasion was graced by Federal Minister for Information Technology and Telecom, Mr. Yusuf Shaikh and Secretary, Information Technology and Telecom.

The Purpose of the event was to celebrate the overwhelming response received from people across the country regardless of their social or financial position, which highlights the inclusive nature of the program. The targets set-up for sign-ups and courses enrollment were easily surpassed.

DigiSkills is Pakistan’s largest online, free training program, which aims to equip a million people across the country with digital skills to help prepare them for the future of work.

Event was graced by the representatives from Ministry of IT, Telecom sector, startups and Media.  Chief guest of the event was Mr. Yusuf Shaikh, IT Minster.  Ms. Marukh Qureshi hosted the event.

Ceremony was started with the recitation of the Holy Quran by Qari Abu Bakar.

The recitation was followed by welcome address by Mr. Yusuf Hussain, CEO Ignite. In his opening remarks, he highlighted that DigiSkills had surpassed its enrollment target by 250 percent and had crossed 55,000 enrollments.

Secretary IT & Telecom Mr. Aamir Ashraf khuwaja’s also addressed the participants. In his address, he talked about the tremendous growth in IT sector in last five years. Talking about DigiSkills, he stated that the program brings lots of different groups into the fold of technology driven employability. Housewives, girls in rural and remote areas, students and youth belonging to all disciplines, not just IT, are being enabled to hone freelancing skills. In his ending notes, he said that DigiSkills program is actually helping our current generation to gear up for the future and stand shoulder to shoulder with the rest of the world.

A panel discussion titled “future of work” followed Secretary IT’s address. The discussion was aimed at discussing the fourth industrial revolution, the future of work, what Pakistan needs to do to respond to this transformation and how DigiSkills is preparing our people for the future of work.

Ms. Samar Hasan, Co-Founder Epiphany – Moderator of panel discussion.

Passionate about making an impact in Pakistan, Samar co-founded Epiphany, www.epiphany.com.pk, a social enterprise/impact consulting firm aimed at strengthening the capacity of organizations, enterprises and start-ups, especially women-led and socially/environmentally driven.


Mr. Yusuf Hussain, CEO Ignite

A tech entrepreneur, angel investor and tech enthusiast with international experience, Yusuf Hussain has expertise in startup acceleration and funding, incubation, public policy, offshore services, IT-enabled organization transformation, program management, legal negotiations, technology sales and executive management. He is currently serving as the CEO of Ignite – National Technology Fund since December 2016, where he has a mandate to build the knowledge economy in Pakistan through funding of innovation and commercialization of research. Under his leadership Ignite has successfully launched five incubation centers in Islamabad, Lahore, Peshawar, Karachi and Quetta, funded technology startups and initiated a nationwide digital training program, DigiSkills.pk.

Mr. Hisham Sarwar, Founder Being Guru 

Hisham Sarwar, a seasoned freelancer who has earned more than $1 million, has always been known to be an independent thinker and a risk-taker, proving his far-sightedness time and again. Infomist, his brainchild, was established at the time when not many had foreseen the demand for website development. Since then, it has grown leaps and bounds under his visionary leadership, perseverance and hard work.

Ms. Zia S. Hasan, Co-Founder and Director NShield Solutions

Zia is the Co-Founder and Director of NShield Solutions www.nshieldsolutions.com, a Nanotechnology based surface protection company in Pakistan and Dubai. She is the first and only woman in Pakistan who is successfully leading an Auto-Detailing and Nano Ceramic Glass Coating service-based company. Within the span of just 2 years, due to her strong leadership, hard work and passion, NShield has now become Pakistan’s biggest surface protection company with 4 branches across Pakistan (Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad & Peshawar) and has the biggest dealership network of Toyota in these cities. Her successful social media marketing strategies and campaigns have made NShield a popular name among the automotive coating industry in Pakistan.


Ms. Abia Akram, Director Projects Special Talent Exchange Program (STEP) & CEO National Forum of Women with Disabilities

With a personal experience of physical disability, Abia Akram has been engaged in the activities of Disability Movement since 1997. In the struggle of giving voice to women with disabilities, she has been lobbying with parliamentarians, UN high level representatives focusing on developing advocacy strategies to raise awareness, network, and build capacity and at the UN level in relation to the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and Inclusive Development. She also coordinates efforts of including persons with disabilities in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and its sustainable development goals. In particular, established National Forum of Women with Disabilities, Independent living Centre with Special Talent Exchange Program (STEP), Ageing and Disability Task Force, Commonwealth Young Disabled People’ Forum, Global Network of Emerging Young Women DPI and recently assigned the responsibility as Global Chair, Global Youth Council UNICEF-NY, Co-Coordinator, Asia Pacific Women with Disabilities United and Coordinator, Trustee of SightSavers International, South Asia Disability and Development Initiative (SADDI) Project.


Mr. Asad Baig, Executive Director/Founder of Media Matters for Democracy

Asad Baig is presently Executive Director/Founder of Media Matters for Democracy. He started his media journey with Geo in 2004. Eventually, his career track led towards Open Society Foundations, where he managed the Media Program for four years. His work at OSF accorded him the opportunity to play a leading role in national efforts for media safety, professionalism, ethics, open internet and advocacy for access. He has supported nationwide efforts on these areas and has been a founding member of Pakistan Coalition on Media Safety (PCOMS), Pakistan Coalition for Ethical Journalism (PCEJ) and Alliance for Access. Asad has represented the Pakistani media development sector at national and international platforms. Over these years he has developed a keen understanding of media and digital economy and has come to believe that the development of alternative economic models is the key to a professional and sustainable industry. He has also become increasingly interested in the issue of ideological polarity in the media and is now working on showcasing alternate narratives and ideologues. He is the driving force behind Media Matters for Democracy. He passionately believes in the power of media and wants to play his part in ensuring that the media in Pakistan embraces its true value, projects progressive ideals and optimizes its potential as an instrument of strengthening democracy.

necessary knowledge, skills, tools and techniques to take maximum advantage of the opportunities available for freelancing, employment and entrepreneurship.


After the key note address, the guests were invited for a hi tea, which also provided the participants to socialize and connect with industry partners, experts and entrepreneurs that were present at the occasion.