It was a time of great change and uncertainty in the engineering world when Syed Tanveer Ahmed Jafri took the helm at Jafri & Associates (J&A). The son of the late Syed Sibte Ahmed Jafri, founder of the renowned consulting firm, Syed Tanveer Ahmed Jafri had big shoes to fill as he stepped into the role of CEO. As he prepared to lead J&A into the future, one could sense a feeling of excitement and anticipation among the staff, his history having all of the earmarks of a capable leader. Engr. Jafri has spent over 25 years in industry, with over two decades in the C-Suite. He gained his Bachelor’s and Masters of Science in Engineering in the United States. He has been responsible for generating 17GW of energy, and leading over $10B USD worth of projects. In entering this role, he exited the highly coveted position as CEO of GENCO 1 (Jamshoro) and GENCO 4 (Lakhra).
Engr. Jafri’s reputation for honesty and engineering acumen has been known far and wide– earning him the 2010 Legend in Energy recognition from the Association of Energy Engineers in the United States.
Engineering Post was privileged to sit down with the esteemed Engr. Jafri for an exclusive interview, during which we had the opportunity to discuss the state of innovation in the engineering industry and how J&A plans to pave the way forward.
As the newly appointed CEO of the renowned consulting firm, Engr. Jafri had a wealth of knowledge and insight to share on the subject. He lamented that, in his experience, “I believe we are currently experiencing what I would call ‘innovation stagflation’,” he began. “On one hand, there is no shortage of innovative ideas and technologies available to us. But on the other hand, there seems to be a reluctance to embrace these ideas and truly drive forward with innovation. Local clients are often more concerned with the familiarity of solutions, rather than seeking out truly innovative ones. This mindset has to change if we hope to truly move forward and make progress in our field.” Despite these challenges, Engr. Jafri has proven himself capable of finding innovative solutions to problems:
Engr. Jafri says that J&A is not content to simply be a part of the problem. The company is actively working to spark a change in the way the industry approaches innovation; during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, Engr. Jafri led a team that repurposed a hydrogen generator at Jamshoro power plant to produce clean, medical-grade oxygen for patients in intensive care. This kind of work, Engr. Jafri believes, is what’s key and missing from our education system.
“Young engineers are offered internships at industries. Rather they should be offered training programs where the work as trainee engineers so after 1 or 2 years when they are seeking job they will have on hands experience under their belt,” . Engr. Jafri emphasized gaining hands-on experience before entering the job market. “The current standard of education does not inculcate the skills of clear communication in the young engineers. As a consultant you need to educate your client about the newest trends and in writing and in person but this aspect is not focused on at universities,”
Yet in spite of this, Engr. Jafri remains optimistic about the future. “A term usually used for this is breaking point. But we should remind ourselves that you have to get to the breaking point before you have a breakthrough.”
As we left the interview, we were filled with a sense of hope and excitement for the future of engineering. With Syed Tanveer Ahmed Jafri at the helm, and Jafri & Associates leading the charge towards true innovation, we have no doubt that great things are on the horizon.