Asha Jadeja Motwani is a name that both India and Pakistan are unlikely to forget. The world of IT is familiar with the name of her late husband – Rajeev Motwani. While Rajeev is known for being the mentor to Google co-founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page, his widow is now venturing into an investment opportunity that might establish a broader and stronger bridge between India and Pakistan.
An investor in over a 100 tech start-ups from Bay Area in US to India, Jadeja has carved her own path in the last 15 years.
She has now come up with a unique concept which not only aims at giving an opportunity to Pakistan’s budding tech entrepreneurs but also creates a bond between the country and India.
Pakistan will have its first Maker Fest event in 2016 thanks to her.
Tech-innovators, creators, artists and hobbyists from across the country will showcase their devices, inventions and products in the fest.
In a conversation with Dawn, She says:
“I want to create a civilian bridge between India and Pakistan by introducing Maker Fest in Pakistan earlier next year…this would be my first investment in Pakistan.”
India has been holding the fest for the last three years. In fact, it was Jadeja again who introduced the fest to India.
Maker Fest Pakistan will witness collaboration between young Indian entrepreneurs and their Pakistani counterparts.
Jadeja is optimistic that among the Pakistani start-ups that will find a footing, at least one or two could be from the Kashmir valley.
Sounding upbeat about Pakistan and its young entrepreneurs, Jadeja remarked:
“The young entrepreneurs and activists from Pakistan are fearless, courageous and care deeply about the world around them. I feel that the Pakistani youth is putting their efforts into causes that make a positive social impact, which is humbling, at the very least.”
But for a collaboration of such a scale, one needs to have a politically conducive relation between the two countries.
She philosophically says, “Peace is not only a good idea at the moment, it is a smart choice.”
She believes that if Pakistan and India are able to collaborate on this scale, their combined market can give China a run for its money.
Maker Fest is a continuation of Maker Faire, which is hosted across America, Europe, Africa and Japan, among other locations. Maker Faire was launched in California in 2006 and now hosts hundreds of thousands of attendees twice a year.
That is not all. She says that the Rajeev Circle Fellowship, founded to help budding entrepreneurs from India and Pakistan, will connect them to resources in the Silicon Valley.
Professor Motwani co-wrote the Page Rank algorithm, which formed the basis for Google’s search techniques. He was one of the earliest members of Google’s technical advisory council. A winner of the prestigious Gödel Prize, Professor Motwani’s research spanned various fields such as databases, data mining, data privacy, web search and robotics.
“Today, whenever you use a piece of technology, there is a good chance a little bit of Rajeev Motwani is behind it,” was the tribute paid by Sergey Brin after Rajeev Motwani’s death in an accidental drowning in 2009.