Jawad has a degree in Actuarial Sciences from Purdue University, Indiana and a Masters degree in Statistics from the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign.
Usman has a degree in Industrial Engineering and Operations Research, with highest distinction, from Purdue University, Indiana, . He worked with Supply Chain Planning Software at i2 Technologies, Dallas, before returning to Pakistan.
Rumman has a degree in Accounting, with distinction from Purdue University, Indiana.
What is UrduStudio?
Imagine a retired school teacher in Gilgit listening to Saadat Hasan Manto’s works on his mobile phone, or a 10year old 2nd generation Pakistani child in California getting acquainted with Shaikh Chilli on his ipod while on his way to school!.
Well therein lies the gist of our Idea:
To provide an alternate way via Urdu Audio books, for both young and old to either get acquainted with Urdu literature and heritage for the first time or to rediscover the classics they might have grown up with.
UrduStudio aims to be the premier online portal for delivering high quality digital Urdu Audio books, covering a wide range of genres, from timeless classics to children’s stories to poetry.
An idea that was conceived in 2009, finally got the much needed impetus for implementation in late 2011, when it was selected amongst the first batch of winners to receive a Google seeded P@SHA (Pakistan Software Houses Association) fund for Social Innovation.
This is just the start of what we hope will be long and successful endeavor to rekindle a love for the Urdu language and pass on its rich heritage to a new generation!
Interest in reading in general and Urdu specifically is on the decline. Even demographic data from out two existing book services The Readers Club (www.thereadersclub.com) and www.kitabain.com suggests that the younger generation is rapidly moving away from Urdu and we can cite a number of reasons for this disturbing trend, namely:
The proliferation of digital media and other sources of entertainment, a lack of engaging new material and a constant complaint of a lack of time to sit through an entire book. Even for people with the motivation to read, a dearth of availability of good books especially in far flung areas is a deterrent.
What’s the Plan?
We are working towards using the ease of distribution of digital content to our advantage.
The process we’ve initiated is to convert to audio the major Urdu works and Children’s classics, which anyone can then listen to at their convenience on a host of digital devices.
The first step involved the development of our own web platform which has now gone live in the form of UrduStudio. Going forward we have plans to further distribute this content via the various mobile platforms/app stores etc including Android, OVI, Apple etc, and license to other resellers.
We consider regional languages to be an essential part of the social fabric of any society. The Social Impact of this undertaking can be widespread both in terms of keeping the national language alive by passing it on to future generations, and be preserving the rich literary heritage we’ve been blessed with.
Beyond just Pakistan, we forsee a potentially sizable audience for Urdu Audio Books especially children of our expatriate population and people in other Urdu speaking countries (India for example), where many can understand and speak the language but not read the text.
Other potential interest might come from retirees, people with visual impairment or those living in areas with no bookstores.
This can also act as an encouragement for writers and publishers, if their work can go out to a much larger audience.
809 Business Cettre, Mumtaz Hasan Road, Off I.I.Chundrigar Road, Karachi, Pakistan
Telephone: 92 21 324 26851