lifefoods > About

We are Social Agricultural Venture


“At Life Foods our vision is to feed a growing world sustainably”


At “Life Foods” we are committed to providing people with fresh clean produce using innovative practices aimed at creating a sustainable eco system not just in our organization but in the society that we operate in.

Research Team

Mr. Asad Ilyas (Principal Investigator)

Mr. Asad Ilyas is an Assistant Professor of Accounting & Law, Patron of Sports & former Chairperson (Accounting & Law Department). He is currently a DBA candidate from Grenoble Ecole De Management, France in ‘Business Strategy within Hostile Environment’. He carries over 15 years of work experience in multiple countries & with employers of diverse background ranging from NYC law firm to Toronto based Actuarial Firm and Karachi based Top Business School.

A change agent with academic entrepreneurial tendency geared towards solving social problems, he believes in creating synergies through multiple ventures. He has a diverse background of Academia, Research, Data Sciences & Management and social / entrepreneurial venture initiatives in Pakistan and North America.

Dr. Wali Ullah (Research Head)

Dr. Wali Ullah is an Associate Professor and Research Fellow at the Department of Economics and Finance, Institute of Business Administration (IBA), Karachi, Pakistan. He worked as JSPS (Japan Society for Promotion of Science) Postdoctoral Researcher with Bank of Japan and Graduate School of Economics and Management, Tohoku University, Japan. He did his PhD in Econometrics at the Graduate School of Economics and Management, Tohoku University, Japan. He has published more than 15 research papers in well reputed journals, such as Journal of Forecasting, Journal of Applied Statistics, Statistical Methods and Applications, Economic Papers, and International Review of Economics.

His research is focused on Time Series Analysis & Forecasting and Monetary Policy. His research interests also lie in the estimation/prediction with Non-Linear State Space Modeling and Regime Switching Modeling.

Management Team

Mr. Humayun Shaikh (Project Head)

Mr. Humayun Shaikh is an accomplished, senior business professional with proven track record of 15+ years in Corporate Banking and Multinational FMCGs. He has been leading multiple categories ranging from home care to personal care and refreshments in top countries in Europe and Asia. He headed biggest portfolio of over €100 million in Unilever Pakistan. He has delivered innovations and explored white spaces in emerging markets, encompassing strategic planning, qualitative & quantitative research, creative development, media planning and retail channel planning.

He is an internationally certified Aquaponics Farm Designer with an entrepreneurial spark and mindset. He has successfully designed a system of 1000 square meters and currently working on expanding it to over 50 acres. He has brought innovative solutions into the field of Aquaponics by removing its capital intensive components and making it relevant for the small and medium farmers working in multiple environments within Pakistan.

Farhan Ilyas (Operations Manager)

Mr. Farhan Ilyas has a Global Masters in Business Administration degree from SP Jain, Singapore and UAE majoring in Wealth Management. He possesses over 10 years of diverse global experience from heading the wealth management division in Dubai to starting three successful ventures in Pakistan. He also has a vast experience in agricultural field of Pakistan due to family background and personal interest in the field. He has a well-rounded approach in all aspects of the business including but not limited to finances, production, team management, supply chain and expansion of the operations.

His currently focus is on removing bottlenecks, designing and implementing innovative solutions for localized problems related to Aquaponics system. He is very ambitious and highly motivated in making the first commercial & research based Aquaponics farm network across Pakistan in different environmental and climatic conditions.

Mohammad Hussain (On Site Resident Manager) – Aquaculture

Mohammad Hussain brings with him two decades of agriculture and farming experience. He is an experienced agricultural professional with expertise in crop management and fertilization, farm equipment maintenance and repair, and field cultivation. He is an expert in soil, seeds and crops and has hands-on experience of managing large farms and agricultural lands in Sindh and Punjab. He has a large network of farmers, growers, wholesalers and marketers across country. He also has great a command over fish farming/aquaculture and has been managing and maintaining fish habitats for many years, taking care of stock health, water management and feeding fish both manually and using automated machinery.

He possesses the basic knowledge of fish diseases, reproduction and genetics, nutrition, production systems, as well as environmental factors that affect the aquatic world. He also monitors and assesses the operations to ensure high standards of water quality, circulation and filtration, and environmental controls, and maintains its data for checking trends, bringing efficiency and optimization with the help of analytical team.

Support Team

Dr. Huma Baqai (PR Strategy & Institutional Relations)

Dr. Huma Baqai is Associate Dean (Faculty of Business Administration) and Associate Professor of Social Sciences & Liberal Arts at IBA, Karachi. Her teaching & research experience spans over a period of more than 20 years. She is working with both national & international media as an international relations expert & political analyst since 1999 & has served both as an analyst & an anchorperson on PTV (Pakistan Television) for ten plus years, followed by Chanel 24 & News One.

Currently, she is in Board of Directors of more than ten Educational Institutions, Private & Non-Profit organizations. She is also a Certified Corporate trainer from the International Academy for Leadership, Gummersbach, Germany. She is a visiting faculty at Air War College, National Institute of Management, Karachi. She is part of Track-II diplomacy between Pakistan & Afghanistan.

Dr. Huma Baqai, to further her agenda of education, women empowerment and social causes, has cultivated a vast network which includes private / public educations institutions, governmental bureaucracy, federal & provincial legislators, security agencies, major media outlets and think tanks.

Mr. Sohaib Saleem (Legal Adviser)

Mohammad Sohaib Saleem holds an LLB from University of London and a Master of Laws (LLM) from University of California Berkeley. He started his Legal career in 2007 as an IT & Commercial in-house Lawyer. Sohaib has experience of working with both big corporate (K-Electric, Kalsoft, PSO and Central Depository Company) and startups, advising them on complex Commercial, Project, Energy, Supply Chain, Intellectual Property & IT related legal issues. Sohaib has hands-on experience with advising businesses on overcoming legal bottlenecks, bureaucracy and compliance with various regulatory frameworks

He currently sits on the board and is a founding member of Wukla (Pvt.) Ltd and Paksign (Pvt.) Ltd which are award winning legal tech startups. He is also member of the board and advisor on strategy at which is one of the most innovative and fastest growing ecommerce startup of Pakistan which made to the first round of Ycombinator USA. Sohaib, besides being an entrepreneur and lawyer, is an academic and is currently associated with IBA Karachi. He has keen interest in agriculture, farming, water, forestry, aquaculture, horticulture and biodiversity, and is very much passionate about it.

Mr. Sharjeel Hasnie (Finance Head)

is the Program Director BBA and Program Offices, and Assistant Professor Accounting & Law Department, at IBA Karachi. He is pursuing his DBA in Finance from Grenoble Ecore De Management, France. He received his MSc degree from Anglia Ruskin University (London College of Accountancy), UK in 2009. His current research interests are focused on Islamic Finance, Microfinancing for SMEs and Shariah Compliance and is currently collaborating with Islamic Banking and Microfinancing institutions to expand the Islamic Banking and Finance network across country.

Prior to joining IBA, he was working with Fisher Ash Holibrook House Ltd. UK as accounting expert. His research areas include Finance, Islamic Finance, Accounting, Auditing and Taxation. He is an avid entrepreneur and currently managing family business of agriculture and fruit farming. Apart from his commitment toward his personal and professional development, he considers serving Pakistan and its society as his moral responsibility.

Ilyas Anis (Compliance Advisor):

Ilyas Anis holds Professional Membership of ICMAP (Institute of Cost & Management Accountants) having 8 years of experience in taxation, business structuring, auditing, financial management and accounting. He supports companies in important decisions on strategy, operations, finance, investment, technology, organization, private equity and M&A. He is currently fulfilling interim CFO engagements with various overseas cross-industry firms seeking guidance on financial planning and investment planning.

Why are we doing it?

Agriculture Sector of Pakistan employs over 90 million Small to Medium Farmers. Despite this, Pakistan is a net importer of food and ranks 116th on the GHI. Pakistan’s agriculture sector is operating with high water losses (60%+), low crop yield (less than 1/5 of standard), high post-harvest crop losses (40%+), low agricultural land utilization (75% or less), high reliance on hazardous pesticides (75%+) and unskilled workforce. This situation will worsen as Pakistan is being hit hard by the effects of climate change.

Four of the main crops grown in Pakistan are Cotton, Wheat, Rice & Sugarcane. They are amongst the most water intensive crops hence, further aggravating the water crisis. These issues stem from illiteracy, extreme poverty, lack of agricultural research and governance issues. Additionally, usage of short term solutions like stronger chemical fertilizers are resulting steep decline of crop yield every year.

Pakistan presents one of the worst case scenarios among developing countries. Currently the Aquaponics based greenhouses due to their capital intensive infrastructure do not make sense for the market of Pakistan. Therefore there is a need for a social venture to setup this facility, create local knowledge base related to it and make it feasible for the local environment.