We travel across the Atlantic to meet Mohsin Ali for today’s Sovereign Story. In charge of all Sovereign Group websites and the CRM facility, he works on UK time although in May 2023, he moved with his family to Canada. We were intrigued and wanted to learn more.
Mohsin was born in Dadu, a small town in Sindh Province, Pakistan thirty something years ago and speaks four languages. Following high school in his hometown, he went on to higher studies in Hyderabad and in 2010, graduated from the University of Sindh with a degree in Computer Science.
After a short spell undertaking freelance work, he moved to Karachi in early 2012 for his first job with Riysoft as a website developer. The company’s headquarters were in the UAE and after less than a year it announced the closure of its Pakistan operation. Having impressed early on, Mohsin took the opportunity to relocate, doing so just eight months after joining Riysoft.
Mohsin was delighted to expand his horizons and grabbed the chance to move to the Middle East enthusiastically. At the time, he did not intend remaining in the UAE for an extended period. He stayed for more than a decade.
After a year, Mohsin went on to work for The Roots International where he had identified better opportunities well suited to his skill set. Working with eight other web developers, the team created and launched a website for a real estate project in 2014.
Mohsin was keen to diversify his experience and build a deeper knowledge base by working on different projects. In 2016, he moved to Hey Platforms where his team developed an app similar to Spotify. A year later, he joined Cavendish Maxwell for what turned out to be his last major project – this time working on a web application providing historic valuation data for UAE real estate.
Whilst working at Roots, Mohsin came to know Husain Kirmani who had joined Sovereign in 2015 as a digital marketing specialist. Husain suggested his friend consider a permanent move and Mohsin joined as Full Stack Developer – PHP at the end of 2017.
Hang on a second. A layperson reviewing Mohsin’s CV may well end up with acronym indigestion. “Full Stack, PHP, Riak (noSQL), RabbitMQ and Gulp” – just to cite a few examples. Mohsin, what does it all mean?
He smiled, as experts in their own field tend to do. “It’s really quite simple”, he said, “full stack developer means I can manage websites from the planning stage through to deployment – and beyond. The rest are just languages – PHP is similar to Java – and skills I have built up during my career”. To us, it all sounded rather complex.
What are Mohsin’s principal duties? He explained that he looks after all Sovereign Group websites. Apart from the main site, this includes the Sovereign Art Foundation. Following the acquisition of PRO Partner Group in 2022, a new project is to work on the PPG site too. His role is to control all aspects of the websites, including constant updating with enhancements, as they must be refreshed regularly. He also deals with any web security issues that may arise. An important aspect of the role is to work with colleagues dealing with Sovereign’s social media channels.
Mohsin also manages the CRM Platform – Sovereign uses Microsoft Dynamics 365. He is particularly keen to integrate this into Teams so that staff can use the data even more effectively.
Despite Mohsin’s work being technology driven, he does not work within IT rather he reports to Tiffany Pinkstone as his is a vital role as part of the Marketing Team.
Married to Bismah since 2019, the couple have two children. Abdullah is almost four years old and his sister Muzainah is two years younger. Ever precise in his work, Mohsin jokes that his son was born nine months to the day after the couple were married. Bismah is a fully qualified biomedical engineer but she is waiting at least until the children are a little older before considering any future career steps.
The family were very happy in Dubai but they realised that it was not likely to be a place where they could settle long term. Not wanting to return to Pakistan, they decided to pursue an application to immigrate into Canada. The country’s permanent residency applications are decided using a points based system based on four main criteria. These are age, qualifications, professional experience and fluency in English.
In Mohsin’s case, the process went very smoothly. The family moved to Toronto in May 2023 and they live close to the city centre. Although a very new experience, they are happy so far and intend to remain for the foreseeable future. In three years’ time, Mohsin can apply for citizenship – alongside his Pakistani nationality that of course he does not want to lose.
Away from work, and when not attending to family duties, Mohsin enjoys cricket. He plays “quite well” he says modestly and he is searching for the right cricket team that he can join in Canada. He is also keen on cooking and likes to try a wide range of cuisines rather than limit himself to Pakistani food. Although only recent arrivals the family have already travelled widely in their adopted country, a favourite spot being Niagara Falls which are not too far away.
It was a great pleasure meeting Mohsin and learning of the family’s exciting new life in the Americas. We wish you all the very best for the future as you settle in Canada; thank you so much for your time.