TCB: How did you start your career?
NAM: I am originally a medical graduate but prior to this position, I used to work in the National Bank of Pakistan for ten years. After that, I joined Pakistan Institute of Tourism and Hotel Management.
TCB: Why did you choose this field as your career?
NAM: In Pakistan, people consider a career in hotel management or tourism industry as a last resort. They do not respect it much and only go for it when they do not have any other options or enough money. I wanted to provide a safe and healthy platform for those children to help make their lives better.
TCB: Has your institute impacted the food industry in any way?
NAM: Years ago, people thought to become a cook was embarrassing in a way. But now with the help of proper institutes like ours, they have started learning that it is a proper profession. A chef does not just know how to cook, but knows the science of food, its nutritional value, when it should be eaten or not etc. Being a chef is a much more respectable profession now than years ago.
TCB: What improvements do you think should be made in the food industry of Pakistan?
NAM: We need to educate our people more. Educated chefs would be able to reach international standards in regards to the quality or hygiene of the food. They would help make our food industry more profitable and academically strong.
TCB: What have been the biggest highs and lows of your career?
NAM: Even though the institute was established in 1967, it was not credited with any registration authority. Since I joined in 2013, it has gotten registered with the Sindh Board of Technical Education and National Vocational & TechnicalTraining Commission, Pakistan. I consider these as my biggest achievements. We will soon also be the first institute in Pakistan to award degrees in culinary education.
TCB: How do you deal with failures?
NAM: Failures are a part of life and make us stronger. What I do to improve upon my failures is that I remain patient and ask for advice from people I trust or idolize. Along with their consultation and my own patience, I try to learn from my mistakes and move forward.
Failures are a part of life and make us stronger
TCB: What advice would you like to give in light of your experiences?
NAM: The one thing I learned is that firstly, you should love your job. You should only choose the career path or field that you feel passionate or excited about. Secondly, never try to look for shortcuts. If you try to find easy ways to do something it will never amount to true success. Work hard for whatever you do. And thirdly, if you think something is hard to achieve, that usually means that it is worth everything. If you put an effort in it, the hardest of the tasks can be achieved and will bring you a lot of satisfaction.
TCB: What is “Success” according to you?
NAM: I do not count monetary or materialistic progress as success. Success is when you do something or have achieved something and it brings you happiness. Internal satisfaction and happiness is what true success is. You can earn a lot of money but inner peace and happiness are rare to find. Once you have gained that, then you are the most successful person in the world.