Dr Umar Saif is a researcher, entrepreneur and public figure, with great expertise in management, consulting, and IT entrepreneurship. He has served as Chief Digital Officer of the Jang Group, CEO of Khudi Ventures, and is a Founder and CEO of aiSight.ai (formerly SurveyAuto.com).
Dr Saif is married with Dr Iffat Zafar, who is currently serving as a professor of paediatrics at the Children’s Hospital Lahore. Apart from this highly challenging task, she is also affiliated with the King Edward Medical University in Lahore. They both have two sons together.
Muhammad Saifullah Khan was the father of Dr Saif. He was highly recognised scholar and leading educationist in Pakistan. He was born in 1941 in Sahiwal, Punjab, and gained his bachelor’s degree from Government College University Lahore. Later, he also earned his Master’s and PhD degrees in Political Science from the University of London. He wrote several books and articles on various topics including politics, education, and literature in both Urdu and English languages. Earlier, he also served as the chairman of the Punjab Textbook Board and played a key role in the development of the curriculum for school students in Punjab. His contributions to academics enabled him earning the Sitara-e-Imtiaz in 2008. He died on September 16, 2014 in Lahore at the age of 73.
Dr Umar Saif has innate interest in computer science since an early age. He completed his bachelor degree in computer science from the Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS). After completing his undergraduate degree, Saif went on to pursue a PhD in computer science from the University of Cambridge in the UK in 2001. He completed his PhD in just two years and his thesis focused on the development of efficient algorithms for computational geometry. He then moved to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where he did his post doctorate.
Dr Umar Saif spent four years as a research scientist at the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL), where he oversaw the team that created the system technologies for project Oxygen, a $50 million initiative funded by the US Department of Defence (DARPA) and an alliance of IT firms. While at MIT, Dr Saif oversaw the Cambridge-MIT Institute's (CMI) multi-million dollar partnership with the University of Cambridge on emerging computer technology.
Between 2006 and 2013, Dr Saif was a full-time faculty member at LUMS.
In 2009, Dr Saif also oversaw all public-sector IT initiatives for the Punjab government while serving as the chairman of the Punjab Information Technology Board (PITB).
In order to improve citizen services for the police, high court, city district administration, health, and education, notably utilising smartphones, Dr Saif initiated a number of projects. In partnership with Google, he oversaw the creation of the Punjab Innovation Policy and developed Plan-9, Pakistan's first and biggest public business incubator.
He is primarily recognised with overhauling the intermediate and matric exam systems in Punjab. Under his direction, PITB developed the smartphone-based early epidemic warning system that was essential in containing the Dengue outbreak in Punjab in 2012 and launched an avant-garde citizen feedback approach for leveraging technology to fight corruption.
Additionally, PITB oversaw the installation of Pakistan's first automated fare collection system for public transport and automated the first Lahore Metro Bus System. Dr Saif oversaw the creation of Pakistan's first e-learning platform, which added interactive learning materials to school textbooks and made them freely accessible online.
Other projects completed under his supervision include computerization of land records across Punjab, Automation of Hajj Operations, Digitization of the Criminal Record Office (CRO), and Citizen Feedback Monitoring Program, which was then replicated by Albania and Romania.
Information Technology University (ITU)
In 2012, Dr Saif established Information Technology University (known as ITU) in Lahore, modelling it after MIT and becoming the founding VC for the institution. Then, at the age of 34, he was the youngest Vice Chancellor of any institution in Pakistan. His initiatives at ITU include an impressive emphasis upon Research and Development, which ITU licensing the MIT’s Technology Review Magazine, coined as one of the most credible scientific publications in the world. The Pakistani version of TRM is distributed every 2 months.
His company, aisight.ai is supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation, with major industry players including Unilever, PepsiCo, and Red Bull using their technology to drive data-centric strategic sales.
Dr Saif has provided extensive advice on e-governance initiatives with the Pakistani government for the Asian Development Bank, USAID, World Bank, and DFID.
He also represented Pakistan on the Global Agenda Council of the World Economic Forum between 2013 and 2014.
Caretaker Minister for Science and Technology
On 17th August 2023, Dr Umar Saif took charge as the Interim Federal Minister of Pakistan, having two portfolios of Science and Technology and IT & Telecommunication.
Dr Umar Saif received numerous awards and honours throughout his career in recognition of his contributions to the field of computer science and technology.
In 2014, the government of Pakistan presented him with Sitara-i-Imtiaz, one of the highest civil awards, in appreciation for his contributions to Pakistan.
He was the first Pakistani to be recognised in 2011 by MIT Technology Review as one of the world's top 35 young innovators (TR35). In 2011, he became the first person from Pakistan to win the esteemed Google Faculty Research Award.
He was chosen by the World Economic Forum to be a Young Global Leader (YGL) in 2010.
Other awards he has received till yet includes, IDG CIO Technology Pioneer Award, the Mark Weiser Award, the MIT Technovator Award, and the Microsoft Research Digital Inclusion Award.
His research papers have won best paper prizes from IEEE Percom and ACM CHI. Dr Saif was a Trinity College Overseas Scholar and a Commonwealth Scholar at the University of Cambridge while pursuing his PhD. He was the first Pakistani to get a PhD in computer science from Cambridge at the age of 23.
The Economist, Time Magazine, Forbes, New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, CNN, BBC, New Scientist, and MIT Technology Review are few of those publications that have praised Dr Saif's work.
Microsoft, Google, the Oxygen Consortium at MIT, the Cambridge-MIT Institute, USAID, the World Bank, and HEC have all funded his researches. He is a Fellow of the Cambridge Commonwealth Trust and the author of several noteworthy articles.
Dil Ka Rishta App
Dr Umar Saif prepared “Dil Ka Rishta App” in October 2022.
Dr Umar Saif’s net worth
Dr Umar Saif’s wealth is estimated at more than $23.9million in the year 2023.
Dr Umar Saif's Keynote Address at Future Fest 2023
KARACHI - Following are the foreign currency exchange rates for US Dollar, Saudi Riyal, UK Pound Sterling, U.A.E. Dirham, European Euro, and other foreign currencies in Pakistan open market on October 4, 2023 (Wednesday).
Source: Forex Association of Pakistan. (last update 09:00 AM)
|UK Pound Sterling||GBP||351.5||355|
|Hong Kong Dollar||HKD||36.74||37.09|
|New Zealand Dollar||NZD||171.55||173.55|
KARACHI - The price of a single tola of 24-karat gold in Pakistan is Rs 201,100 on Wednesday.
The price of 10 grams of 24k gold was recorded at Rs 172,410.
Likewise, 10 grams of 22k gold were being traded for Rs168,730 while a single tola of 22-karat gold was being sold at Rs196,807.
Note: The gold rate in Pakistan is fluctuating according to the international market so the price is never been fixed. The below rates are provided by local gold markets and Sarafa Markets of different cities.
|Lahore||PKR 201,100||PKR 2,300|
|Karachi||PKR 201,100||PKR 2,300|
|Islamabad||PKR 201,100||PKR 2,300|
|Peshawar||PKR 201,100||PKR 2,300|
|Quetta||PKR 201,100||PKR 2,300|
|Sialkot||PKR 201,100||PKR 2,300|
|Attock||PKR 201,100||PKR 2,300|
|Gujranwala||PKR 201,100||PKR 2,300|
|Jehlum||PKR 201,100||PKR 2,300|
|Multan||PKR 201,100||PKR 2,300|
|Bahawalpur||PKR 201,100||PKR 2,300|
|Gujrat||PKR 201,100||PKR 2,300|
|Nawabshah||PKR 201,100||PKR 2,300|
|Chakwal||PKR 201,100||PKR 2,300|
|Hyderabad||PKR 201,100||PKR 2,300|
|Nowshehra||PKR 201,100||PKR 2,300|
|Sargodha||PKR 201,100||PKR 2,300|
|Faisalabad||PKR 201,100||PKR 2,300|
|Mirpur||PKR 201,100||PKR 2,300|