by Engr. Iqbal Ahmed Khan
Engr. Iqbal Ahmed Khan
I am always proud of my fellow engineers because of their achievements. We can only ever scratch the surface of what we do in the Institution Of Engineers Pakistan (IEP), but I strongly believe that this article will illustrate how an engineer like Ghulam Abbas Cyclewala (GAC) who is basically a Chemical Engineer, with his passion for education and drive to instill high standards has succeeded in empowering others in achieving their full potential. I asked GAC, "Why are you called Cyclewala?" He looked at me with a smile, "I belong to the Dawoodi Bohra business community and my father was the leading Bicycle Merchant in Karachi since 1920. That is why I am called Cyclewala. My father died when I was seven." I felt free to enquire, by saying, "Will you tell me about your early education?" GAC removed his cap and scratching his head informed me, "I  was born  on 1st May 1943". Hed added, "I am 3 months older than General Musharraf, who I have been fortunate to be acquainted. He was born on 14th Aug 1943. I studied at Saint Paul’s English High School and did my matriculation from there.  Engr. Sadiq Pervaiz was my class fellow. I joined Adamjee Science College, doing my F.Sc. Brig. Adamjee was my class mate there and then I joined Dawood College of Engineering and Technology (DCET) where I passed my B.E. (Chemical Engineering) in the First Batch 1968-69." "What did you achieve until you did your BE?"  GAC replied, "Kia Zaroori Hai?" I said, I am interested to know more about you, as I am quite impressed with the entire collection of certificates hanging on the wall, as these are not just degrees.  There were some mementos also to be seen there. GAC, after taking a long pause, started, "When I was in school, I had craze to be a uniform man, as I was impressed by Army, Navy and Air Force personnel; whose children were my friends. I joined School Scouts, and qualified as a Quaid–E- Azam Scout; getting the highest position in Scouting, thus developing leadership qualities. Then in college, I attended the Civil Defence training course, qualified as Second Detachment Commander 1963, having won a shooting trophy for Sind. I was offered to join short commission army. Later I appeared for ISSB Exams for Air Force, was selected as GDP Pilot. However, as I got admission in DCET, I ultimately decided to become an Engineer." How did you start your career? "I was very ambitious, and my interests were short lived.  I used to learn anything which I observed, right from my school days I was a good debater and a very good teacher. I used to give tuitions to class 6th students when I was in class 8th and it continued till I became an Engineer.  As a part time lecturer, I have taught for two years in Saifee Poly Technic, and had the pleasure of teaching for 15 years at Al Jamea Tus Saifiyah, a world recognised as an academy of higher specialized studies. From 1969—1984, I worked for local and multinational companies, like May & Baker UK, BASF Germany, was the First Pakistani to be trained by Dupont in the USA in Safe Handling of Chemicals, National Oil Corporation Libya,  OGDC Pakistan, and Mercury Garments Pakistan. What were your responsibilities? "Kia Bataoon? I initially joined as a Manager then went on to become Technical Director followed by Vice President. I was responsible for all kinds of work. These included the preparation of feasibility studies, to installation, production, administration, and planning for marketing and training. You name it and I did it. After 1984, I was running my own consultation firm called Chemage (Chemage Group of Companies) of which I am the Chairman." Where have you travelled? GAC said that, he has travelled widely across the world. Speaking seven languages he has represented IEP in World Congress, and read papers in India and Malaysia. He has lived and worked in UK, USSR, USA, Canada, Libya, Tanzania, Kenya, Sri Lanka, Singapore, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Yemen, Egypt, Iraq and India. "I have delivered lectures and participated in conferences in these countries. I have written more than 50 technical papers and have read more than 25 papers, most of which have been published. I have trained over 5000 students in Career Counselling/Training  Sessions and  HSE programmes at university levels, especially at NED, HAMDARD and SIR SYED. I am also the author of three books and a multitude of various articles and essays." "I have served IEP in the capacity of Vice Chairman and Vice President Chemical for many terms. I am Life Fellow Member for over 35 years, member of  Think Tank Committee, life member of PEC and sitting Chairman PSQCA (Essential Oil Committee).  I am also Ministry of Science and Technology since 15 years. a vocational trainer and a member of Rotary International in addition to being a  member of the National Chemical Committee  Pakistan." In my private capacity, I have served the Dawoodi Bohra Community for over 50 years in various appointed positions as a member of the Central Council, as Secretary- Establishment in addition to other positions and Committees. I am voluntarily serving as a community counsellor and advisor, and I am also available for whatever service as might be required from me. What are your future plans? GAC said with a smile, I am a poor ignorant man, there is still so much more to learn and study. The only thing I wish to say is "I AM PROUD TO BE A PAKISTANI."  The whole of PAKISTAN is lying before me, in my eyes yet unexplored. I thanked Engr. GAC for sparing the time for this informative session from his busy schedule.