The immense horsepower in the Ismaili Professionals Network (IPN) engine is accelerating our community forward. With more than 100 fully dedicated team members across regional and national initiatives actively engaging almost 10,000 Ismaili professionals, IPN strives every day to fulfill its three pillars: contribution, collaboration, and career advancement.


Farhan Manjiyani

IPN takes a committed group, with an arsenal of deep subject-matter expertise, to create and maintain the success of initiatives such as IPN Connect, LaunchPad, IPNOnline, IPNBuild, Industry Alliances, Career Support, and large-scale national conferences. Three stellar individuals who serve in the highest professional capacity are featured here.

With IPN service hours rivaling those spent at their day jobs, Farhan Manjiyani (National Member Strategy Lead), Mehreen Kassam (National Service Lead), and Mumtaz Husani (National Placement Support Program Manager), share what drives them to serve.

For Farhan Manjiyani, it all began when he was interviewing for an internship at PwC. Unaware of IPN, he searched for an Ismaili network. Within two weeks of engaging with IPN, he spoke to four different people at each of The Big Four Accounting firms and scored the internship. After recognizing the power of connectivity within our community, he decided to pay it forward, and at only 20 years old, was leading a team of seven in the burgeoning IPN Connect to create a process and structure, to automate previously manual processes, and even more broadly, to migrate the entirety of IPN into more streamlined communication software to fulfill the sheer number of asks and offers.

Mehreen Kassam has always had an intrinsic motivation to serve, originating from her family, who she says, “showed love to each other through acts of service. It was never a question of ‘Should I volunteer?’ Rather, it was ‘How, where, and in what capacity should I volunteer?’” Similarly, Mumtaz’s heart is aligned with service as a core ethic of our faith, as she acknowledges, “the Imam’s guidance is that we have the responsibility of serving competently and effectively. The contentment of knowing that we’re enhancing careers, and improving the quality of life for the whole family brings me great satisfaction.”

Throughout IPN, Farhan is known as The SuperConnector. “While most of us sit and stare at our phones or computers, over-analyzing our emails and texts before sending them out, Farhan has already made multiple connections,” says Afroze Ali, National IPN Co-Lead. Farhan was instrumental in building IPN Connect into what it is today: the facilitation of 1000 professional introductions thus far, resulting in resume reviews, interview preparation, job offers, and inside knowledge of companies and career tracks. Since Farhan’s involvement, his team has doubled the case resolution rate to 85 percent. “Developing strategy, managing and driving execution, understanding team dynamics, motivation, and recruitment at scale—I would have never gotten these had it not been for IPN, and it would have taken my peers years to understand. This organization takes care of me and it encourages me to pour all my time, energy, and effort into it in return. It is the ultimate outlet for me,” says Farhan. 

Farhan, Mehreen, and countless other prominent IPN leaders mobilized hundreds of volunteers in about four months to pull off the Diamond Jubilee Alliances Conference (DJAC), the largest conference that enabled an interactive knowledge exchange amongst senior-level Ismaili professionals, a first of its kind. Former IPN Chairman, Zubair Talib, notes: “Mehreen led the design and implementation of DJAC with remarkably short timelines, substantial complexity, and numerous stakeholders, including National Council and 11 Alliances. She exhibited an amazing ability to recruit and lead a talented core team that led to over 1000 applicants, 650 attendees, and 50 speakers in over 25 sessions.”

The DJAC platform facilitated the introduction of three C-suite executives of multi-billion dollar companies who didn’t know each other and hadn’t met prior to DJAC, after which they have stayed in close contact and have fully realized the caliber and prowess within our community.

In order to reach the upper echelons of one’s career, we need persevering volunteers like Mumtaz Husani for guidance along the way. For almost ten years, Mumtaz and her team have successfully led 500 industry career coaching sessions for everyone from immigrants to advanced professionals seeking a critical eye and fresh perspective.

Beginning her role in the aftermath of the Global Financial Crisis, former IPN Chairman Karim Budhwani recounts, “Given the state of the economy and the unemployment rate, the pressure and intensity on the [Career and Professional Development] team was palpable. When National Program Manager Mumtaz took the helm, one of the first things she did was bring an extraordinary calm to this storm.” Countless candidates’ emails poured into her inbox thanking her for landing not one, but multiple, jobs after the resume revamp. For job-seekers today, Mumtaz notes that resumes aren’t one-size-fits-all and emphasizes the importance of customizing the verbiage according to job postings to reflect what the employer values.

What makes Farhan, Mehreen, and Mumtaz exemplary volunteers is that they challenge the status quo and scale initiatives from the ground up to continuously enhance the quality of both the volunteer experience and the impact IPN has on the global Jamat. “You first have to envision what the program looks like five years from now. You don’t ever want to create something that’s not sustainable,” says Mehreen. Farhan reminds his team constantly: “Never say that we’re just volunteers.” This pervasive professional attitude is what establishes the caliber of IPN and what propels our community to new heights.