The Government of Pakistan has honoured Luqman Ali Afzal, a BSc Economics 2002 graduate of Mushtaq Ahmad Gurmani School of Humanities and Social Sciences, LUMS with the prestigious Pride of Performance award.
This is the first time ever that the Government has added the entrepreneurship category for this award, one of the highest civil awards of Pakistan. Afzal attributes his flair for entrepreneurship as a student at LUMS managing the student convenience store (Khokha Inc.) with two employees, which spawned into a flourishing enterprise engaging many students and generated enough money that paid for his university fees.
“I am thrilled that the Government has finally recognised entrepreneurship and the effort of entrepreneurs on a formal level. It is a great honour for me and LUMS has definitely played a huge role in my achievement. Not only did my University provide a strong academic background to me but also served as my first experimental ground where I managed the student convenience store and received first-hand feedback from my clients. This experience was instrumental in the development of my business acumen. I am glad to say that Syed Babar Ali, Founder and Patron of LUMS, was the first person to congratulate me. The way that my teachers always gave me the opportunity to test out my ideas was a driving force in getting where I am today,” said Afzal on receiving the Pride of Performance award.
Today, Afzal’s enterprise, the Monal Group employs over 2,100 people at four restaurants, two banquet halls, and two amusement parks spread over Islamabad, Rawalpindi and Lahore contributing more than 180 million rupees annually in taxes, duties, fees and rentals to the government.
The Monal Restaurant in Islamabad has become an iconic tourist attraction and has transformed the socio-economic dynamics of surrounding villages, enriching the lives of over 500 families. An active member of the LUMS Islamabad Alumni Chapter, Afzal mentors LUMS students and alumni entering the food business. He also serves the Lifetime Learning initiative at LUMS where he recently received recognition for his teaching. He also works with Rizq, a LUMS alumni-led social enterprise minimising food wastage and reducing hunger in Pakistan. The Monal Foundation manages a school and a hospital in Afzal’s ancestral village. The hospital is free and serves more than 500 patients each day specialising in neonatal care, hepatitis and eye care.
Afzal will receive the award on March 23, 2019 at a formal ceremony.