16-year-old Pakistani boy sets entrepreneurial record

07:34 PM | 31 Aug, 2015
16-year-old Pakistani boy sets entrepreneurial record
LAHORE (Web Desk) – A 16-year-old self-taught Pakistani boy Raffay Ansari has set entrepreneurial record with his experience and earnings despite facing a rare disease.

Ansari is a self-taught programmer.

He’s been an iOS developer for over three years and has now graduated into full-stack, meaning he’s comfortable working with a number of different languages as well as both back-end and front-end technologies.


The teenage prodigy from Pakistan has earned several thousand dollars freelancing online, coded games that have attracted about 8 million cumulative downloads, and is now on the brink of launching his own startup.

Raffay has Ataxia, which means he has difficulty walking, speaking clearly, writing, reading, and other activities that require fine motor control. Raffay tells Tech in Asia that his muscles continue to weaken, even after his diagnosis over 2 years ago.

The disease is more of a gift to me.

As I can’t sleep much at night, I utilize the time learning new things instead.

People treat me differently and are always willing to help. It’s a huge advantage, he beams.

It wasn’t always so simple. Raffay’s condition meant he was different from his peers at school.

He was bullied and found it difficult to socialize and make friends. His teachers didn’t know how to handle him properly, and he would be constantly rebuked for missing classes.

Raffay says his turning point came when he was introduced to the video game Borderlands.

“I was just another kid, living his life, using Facebook and YouTube.

After I started playing Borderlands, I became fascinated with how this was developed. What were the mechanics?

How was it engineered? I needed to know more,” he explains.

The internet became Raffay’s teacher. He taught himself how to code through free online courses, primarily from Code Academy.

His parents were initially reluctant to encourage his sudden interest in programming, but warmed up to the idea once they saw his passion for it.

By the age of 13 he had successfully bid for and completed his first freelance assignment – coding the iOS game Mr Flap.

Raffay says he understood that to be a successful programmer, he needed to occasionally “get out of my mind and think of other stuff.”

He was inspired by the psychologist Edward de Bono and read a lot of his published work on lateral thinking and creativity.

“Now, whenever I get stuck on one line of code, I take a deep breath, think, and rewrite so that it’s perfect,” he says.

For Raffay, a typical day begins at 7 am, when he wakes up and gets ready to go to school.

At 3 pm, when school ends, he goes to the office of Lahore-based startup incubator Plan9 and busies himself with his entrepreneurial work.

He’s stationed there till 8 pm.

Afterwards, he goes back home, eats dinner, and continues his tasks till the wee hours of the morning.

His freelancing income has paid for an array of gadgets, as well as the constant physiotherapy he must undertake to treat his disease.

Raffay’s first interaction with Plan9 came in 2013, when he applied for incubation.

He wasn’t accepted due to his age, but was offered an internship instead.

Plan9 director Nabeel Qadeer noticed his precocious talents and started to mentor him personally.

Soon, Raffay was acting as a technical consultant for the startups housed in the incubator, and eventually went on to work with 11 different ventures.

He participated in and won the Ideas Xtreme Competition for two consecutive years, and also worked for an established software house in Lahore.


Raffay is now on the brink of launching his own startup, Odyssy, which he describes as a data-driven content management system (CMS) targeted at bloggers and publishers who aren’t very technologically savvy and who don’t want to spend time coding in HTML.

“It’s more amazing than WordPress,” he smiles. He reveals Odyssy is on the brink of closing its seed funding round – US$20,000 from an angel investor based out of Islamabad.

Despite only recently clearing his GCE’s, the teenager has fierce ambitions for the future.

“After my A-levels, I want to attend college and do a dual degree majoring in mechatronics and business management.

Then I’ll dive back into entrepreneurship.”

Courtesy: Tech in Asia


Pakistani rupee inches up against US dollar, Euro, Pound, Riyal and Dirham; Check latest rates here

Pakistani rupee witnessed upward trajectort against US dollar and other currencies amid positive economic cues.

Dollar Rate in Pakistan Today

On Wednesday, the US dollar moved down and was being quoted at 283.7 for buying and 286.75 for selling.

Euro remained stable at 309 for buying and 312 for selling. British Pound rate increased to 361 for buying, and 364 for selling.

UAE Dirham AED dropped to 77.6 whereas the Saudi Riyal rate stands at 76.

Today's currency exchange rates in Pakistan - 6 December 2023

Source: Forex Association of Pakistan. (last update 09:00 AM)

Currency Symbol Buying Selling
US Dollar USD 283.7  286.75 
Euro EUR 309  312 
UK Pound Sterling GBP 361  364 
U.A.E Dirham AED 77.6 78.3
Saudi Riyal SAR 76 76.8
Australian Dollar AUD 187.72 188.22
Bahrain Dinar BHD 758.58 766.58
Canadian Dollar CAD 209 211
China Yuan CNY 39.93 40.33
Danish Krone DKK 41.41 41.81
Hong Kong Dollar HKD 36.49 36.84
Indian Rupee INR 3.42 3.53
Japanese Yen JPY 1.49 1.56
Kuwaiti Dinar KWD 923.13 932.13
Malaysian Ringgit MYR 60.97 61.57
New Zealand Dollar NZD 175.89 177.89
Norwegians Krone NOK 26.68 26.98
Omani Riyal OMR 740.01 748.01
Qatari Riyal QAR 78.36 79.06
Singapore Dollar SGD 211 213
Swedish Korona SEK 27.45 27.75
Thai Bhat THB 8.09 8.24

Gold price sees major drop in Pakistan; Check today gold rates - 6 Dec 2023

KARACHI – Gold prices in the local market continue to decline in line with the international market.

Gold Rates in Pakistan Today - 6 December 2023

On Wednesday, the price of a single tola of 24-karat gold stands at Rs219,400 and 10 grams of 24k gold costs Rs188,100. 

Each tola for 24 karat is Rs216,700, 22 Karat is Rs198,640, and 21 karat rate per tola is Rs189,613 and 18k gold rate is Rs162,525.00 for single tola.

In the global market, the precious metal moved down, and hovers around $2023 per ounce after drop of around $10.

Today Gold Rate in Pakistan

City Gold Silver
Lahore PKR 219,400 PKR 2,625
Karachi PKR 219,400 PKR 2,625
Islamabad PKR 219,400 PKR 2,625
Peshawar PKR 219,400 PKR 2,625
Quetta PKR 219,400 PKR 2,625
Sialkot PKR 219,400 PKR 2,625
Attock PKR 219,400 PKR 2,625
Gujranwala PKR 219,400 PKR 2,625
Jehlum PKR 219,400 PKR 2,625
Multan PKR 219,400 PKR 2,625
Bahawalpur PKR 219,400 PKR 2,625
Gujrat PKR 219,400 PKR 2,625
Nawabshah PKR 219,400 PKR 2,625
Chakwal PKR 219,400 PKR 2,625
Hyderabad PKR 219,400 PKR 2,625
Nowshehra PKR 219,400 PKR 2,625
Sargodha PKR 219,400 PKR 2,625
Faisalabad PKR 219,400 PKR 2,625
Mirpur PKR 219,400 PKR 2,625


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