Jehan Ara is indeed a powerhouse within herself, with nearly 3 decades of experience in Marketing, Communications and interactive new media in Hong Kong, the Far East, the UAE and Pakistan. She is a motivator, an entrepreneur, a social activist and a strong propagator of extending the power and use of Information and Communication Technologies beyond pure traditional business, to empower and enable communities.
She was born in Karachi but spent her early years in Hong Kong, where her father worked as a banker, and where she obtained her primary education. After college, she got a job and worked in Hong Kong for several years, eventually moving to a regional-level role for a major media firm. She moved back to Pakistan with her family in mid-90s after her father’s retirement.
On her WordPress blog, she describes modestly herself as, “I am a person of average intelligence who can best be described as a pretty good human being, a communicator, an entrepreneur, a mild activist, a believer in the general goodness of people and an optimist.”
Ara is the President of the Pakistan Software Houses Association for IT & ITES (P@SHA). She has been spearheading efforts at P@SHA for the past 10 years during which time she was responsible for developing the P@SHA brand and for creating linkages between P@SHA and local and international partners.
Jehan is a Member of the PM’s Taskforce for IT & Telecom. She sits on the Advisory Boards of the Central Depository Company, Punjab IT Board, Plan 9 Incubator, LUMS Center for Entrepreneurship incubator “The Foundation, the Sindh Advisory Board and several universities.
She is also the President of Bolo Bhi, a Research Based Civil Society organization that focuses on Open Access and a board member of a non-profit research organization IDEAS and has recently joined TikTok’s Safety Advisory Council.
She has been a Mentor to many aspiring entrepreneurs and startup founders for the past 20 years. During her last 10 years at P@SHA, Jehan has initiated and worked on many initiatives including Startup Insiders, the P@SHA LaunchPad series, the P@SHA ICT Awards and the P@SHA Career Expo and The Nest I/O P@SHA’s Tech Incubator.
She regularly speaks at conferences and seminars all over Pakistan and writes for several industry publications. Ara strongly advocates for Privacy & Data Protection-Legislation and Cyber Crime and has been working on ‘Take Back the Tech’ meant to raise awareness and knowledge on how we can use technology to end the violence against girls and women.