Rabia Garib is the Editor-in-chief of CIO magazine in Pakistan. Rabia, a Simple and workaholic lady is also the CEO and co-founder of Rasala Publications, which focuses on IT trade, where her responsibilities include business strategies, content development, training and design. She is also the Chief Executive of Toffee TV. Toffee TV is a great learning-aid that helps children learn through stories, songs and many fun activities in Urdu.
CIO is the world’s largest business technology leadership magazine. It is printed in many countries around the globe including Pakistan. She has been honoured with LadiesFund Trailblazer Award, for being a female role model and high achiever in Pakistan. Rabia is also heading up one of the world’s largest technology consumer magazines, PC World Pakistan.
Rabia believes in strenuous hard work and is of the opinion that persistence is the key to success. She explains that women must not take on a job or start up a business thinking they would become millionaires, rather working every single day and not losing focus is the main thing. She herself works round the clock and is playing her best to make mark on this world and helping in any way she can.
Her passion for information technology, education and technology trade journalism are profound and are categories that will change the face of the world as we know it today. Based on her experience in technology trade media and convergence of different media platforms since 1998, she was selected as an Eisenhower Fellow, to represent Pakistan in the 2-month Multi Nation Program amongst 24 other countries, and specialized in the field of technology Trade Journalism and New Media.
Rabia believes that family life always suffers when a person is dedicated to their job. And this equation only works out if the family is understanding and supportive. In her case, her conservative family, especially her mother, has backed her every step of the way. While her mother was a housewife herself, she never objected to Garib pursuing her professional ambitions. And Rabia found this unwavering source of support early on in her childhood.
Her father wanted her to study in an all-girls school. However, when her brother got admission at the Karachi American School (KAS), her mother said that if her son got to go there, so would her daughter. For the rest of her life, that’s always been her pretext for everything.
Although smart phones and gadgets make work easier and timings more flexible but the drawback of it all is that work always follows you around. One will find Rabia responding to e-mails even at three or five in the morning. Considering Rabia's passion for IT, one can’t help but wonder if this love was cemented from the start. From her childhood dreams, Rabia wanted to pursue music, sports and writing. Her first preference was music, but having found no avenue to pursue, she turned towards writing. All three things are still part of her life.
On the topic of female bosses, she says, “They are terrible. They are extremely proficient but at times they are cut off from reality, at least I certainly am. I don’t care what’s happening — I just want my work done. I am an extremist by nature — I’ll never be moderate when it comes to work.”
Rabia’s advice for all the Pakistani working women is to never start off a business or job thinking you are going to be a millionaire. One should dream big, but also be persistent over a course of time in order to achieve what one aspires. Most of all, Rabia believes in supporting other women and never getting intimidated by men. Her preference for female employees is so strong that her organisation makes a deliberate effort to hire primarily women.