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Personal profile



Hasnain Zaheer is working on a comprehensive digital entrepreneurship research programme as part of which two research papers have already been published, three empirical papers and two design science research based projects are in pipeline.

Other areas of interest are digital business / enterprise strategy, digital innovation management, digital product management, digital marketing, social media management and use of digital technologies in e-learning, higher education and continuing professional development in frontier areas of technology, future of jobs and technological future.

Before entering research and teaching, he has served with distinction with companies such as Overture, Yahoo!, 24/7 Real Media, NSE.IT in mid-to-senior innovation and communication roles, ran a boutique digital strategy agency in Sydney and co-founded a digital startup.


Hasnain Zaheer's professional website is located at: http://www.hasnainzaheer.com

His Linkedin profile can be viewed at: https://www.linkedin.com/in/hasnainzaheer/

The Researchgate profile can be viewed at: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Hasnain_Zaheer

Academic qualifications

2016–2019      Ph.D (expected thesis submission in September 2019, scheduled extended date is Nov 2019).

Macquarie University, Faculty of Business and Economics (now Macquarie Business School).

Funding: Research Training Scheme

Scholarship: MQRES-Research Excellence Scholarship

Thesis-by-publication currently titled “Digital entrepreneurship: review, trajectory and practice” is based on four publications – a structured literature review of digital entrepreneurship (in second stage R&R at ABDC A journal), an integrative literature review of entrepreneurship, and two empirical results-based papers on entrepreneurial motivation and entrepreneurial process. 

2014-2015       Master of Research, Department of Marketing and Management, Faculty of Business and Economics, Macquarie University.

Funding: Research Training Programme

Scholarship: Research Scholarship Stipend

Thesis title: “How do innovative digital startups achieve success?: perspectives of Australian founders”, available at http://www.goo.gl/r1AArU.

Coursework units include quantitative and qualitative research, research communications and research frontiers (credit received for 4 out of 8 units)

Distinction in all research training coursework units in the first year and in research project (year 2). 

Professional qualifications

2008-2012       Master of Management, Macquarie Graduate School of Management (MGSM)

Units: Marketing management, Strategic marketing, Strategic management, New venture management, Organisational behaviour, Business performance measurement & management, Information & decision analysis, Public performance for managers, Human resources management and Accounting for management.

GPA – 3.25 out of 4

Pursued in conjunction with full time industry practice (2008-2012)

Professional certifications

2018                Fellow, Higher Education Academy (FHEA)

HEA is an independent non-profit organization based in London, UK that certifies achievement in the higher education sector, available at http://www.heacademy.ac.uk.

2013                Certified Practicing Marketer, Australian Marketing Institute (CPM AMI)

The peak marketing body assesses experience and qualifications as part of their certification process to industry practitioners, available at http://www.ami.org.au.

Published articles in in-house web magazine. 

Professional short courses

2016                Foundations in Learning and Teaching (FiLT), Macquarie University, 2016

2013                Certificate IV in Training & Assessments:Fortress Education: The currency of this qualification (acquired in 2013) has been maintained with an update in language, literacy and numeracy (TAELLN) unit and attendance in professional development sessions.

2013                PRINCE2 Project Management:Foundation and practitioner package training: eCareers

2008-2014       Google AdWords Professional; Google Analytics and Reporting Professional; Hootsuite Social Media Professional

Academic experience

2018-19           Reviewer, Computers in Human Behavior journal.

2019                Tutor, MKTG101 Marketing fundamentals, MKTG815 Consumer behaviour

2016-2018       Unit convenor, MKTG833 Social Media Management, Department of Marketing and Management, Faculty of Business Economics, Macquarie University.

Lectures, tutorials and assessments for the unit offered to post-graduate students of M.Com., M.IT., M. Int. Bus. and other Masters degrees. Duties have included management of the unit including curriculum design, delivery in class, designing and conducting assessments including final exams, supervised by unit moderator. I have received excellent student survey results.

2010-2018       Casual lecturer, digital strategy workshop, University of Sydney.

Conducting one and two-day workshops in digital strategy, digital marketing and digital innovation and related topics at the Centre for Continuing Education.

Hundreds of business owners and corporate executives have participated in these paid practical short courses. Their profiles have ranged from Executive Director of NSW Office of Environment & Heritage, marketing manager of Ikea, online marketing manager of Westpac, communications manager of Australian Stock Exchange, consultant at PwC, owners and employees of digital marketing agencies, to name a few.

2013-18           Trainer, Master trainer, Australian Pacific College, Sydney. Management and marketing units taught to international students.

2016-2017       Senior Research Assistant, Macquarie University

Aligning business education with industry expectations on employability and sustainability: Research report submitted to Department of Education and Training (Australian Government).

Research strategy, interviews, case study analysis and writing the report.

Professional Experience

2009-2016       Director of digital strategy, Simplogy Web Business Pty. Ltd.

In this boutique consulting and training provider in the areas of digital-driven business transformation, e-business, digital marketing strategy, content marketing, search engine optimization, social media marketing and online advertising in Sydney, I have provided advice and service at strategic level to more than 20 long term clients.

Notable projects:

Knowledge Media on their brand Private Wealth Network (September 2008 to April 2014). Working with the directors, I brought about a digital strategy driven business transformation. This practice has been documented as a case study - Enjeti, M, 2012, ‘Building a business with bricks and clicks’ in Kotler et al. (eds.), 2012, Marketing, 9th ed., Pearson Publishing Australia, pp. 554-556.).

Knowledge Media - Brand: 3 Pillars Network (September 2008 to April 2014) - New website and online strategy, training of staff in managing and using digital assets such as website, newsletter / email marketing, social media, analytics and webinars.

Glasshat (formerly Search Academy), a 30 people strong search engine marketing specialist agency - I have provided services in helping them build systems and processes for management of their client projects. I also managed a division of their SEO practice during August 2013 to February 2014.

KnowledgeCareer (April 2014 to April 2016): Product manager and head of operations role in developing an innovative learning and development application.

2007-2008       Business and technical analyst, 24/7 Real Media (WPP), Sydney.

Working in the product management team of Decide DNA at 24/7 Real Media, I helped maintain and enhance a leading search marketing software and gained technical knowledge of search marketing. Part of a 25 member product team

2004-2007       Head of content solutions, Yahoo! Search Marketing, Sydney.

I led a team of 5-6 content specialists who exceeded both qualitative and volume goals during my team leadership, introduced career progression system, systemised the operations, led the offshore outsourcing project and transition to Panama, a vital project for which I underwent train-the-trainer programme.

2002-2003       Assistant manager, NSE.IT Limited, Mumbai

An SEI-CMM level 5 (top level in a software quality rating framework, similar to ISO) software company with 350 employees, products and services in financial domains and a Web based learning business called Finvarsity).

I product managed a suite of financial e-learning products for investors as well as financial markets professionals (stock brokers and fund distributors), leading both the new course development team and the marketing team.

2001                Product Manager, Webmaster, TMI Network (Careercommunity.com Ltd), Hyderabad.

Digital application for continuing professional development of management professionals - themanagementor.com, venture capital funded, 100 people team.      

2000                Co-founder, Knowledgecareer.com, New Delhi

Internet start-up modeled on the concept of a multi-sided exchange of learning. Although the enterprise closed within a year, it gave the founder team an opportunity to handle the start-up lifecycle from concept to prototype, funding issues and marketing. The enterprise generated considerable media interest.

1999                Principal correspondent, Business Today, New Delhi

                        Information technology and Internet beat for a major business magazine.

1995-1999       Management trainee, Officer, Senior executive officer, National Stock Exchange of India Limited, Mumbai.

                        Communications, marketing, dispute resolution and investor grievances.

Research interests

Research statement

I conduct meaningful research with practical relevance so that the research output can directly lead to policy development, creation or modifications in institutional infrastructure and greater understanding of entrepreneurship behaviours and processes. I rely not just on journal articles but also development of books, textbooks, curricula, educational games and activities as tools to advance societal well-being and emergence of new enterprises. My research is inter- and transdisciplinary at the intersection of entrepreneurship (process, learning, eco-systems), strategic management (resource-based, contingency, business model, strategy), information science (digital technologies) and social sciences in the digital technologies, resource-constrained and social contexts.


Teaching statement

Learner-focused curriculum development and transdisciplinary, innovative teaching practices have been recognised by the award of Fellow, Higher Education Academy (FHEA). I pay attention to balancing academic rigor in the content with the employability imperative and make such choices on the basis of long-term objectives of learning. I use techniques like Kahoot to create a lively and interactive classroom and often practice flipped classroom when appropriate. Finally, I leverage my industry experience to bring business, marketing and entrepreneurship practice into the classroom not just with interesting snippets, battle scars and stories but also by writing mini case studies and assessments.

Community engagement

Positive contribution to business and society

2013-2016 - Digital services to the clients of STARTTS (NSW Service for the treatment and rehabilitation of torture and trauma survivors) - associations and groups of refugee communities. The aim is to help community leaders and volunteers to use digital technologies to serve and connect their community members. I created a digital strategy for each community group with assistance in domain name and hosting, providing a fully-functional Wordpress website with ancillary systems such as newsletter, events application, membership management, social media integration. I provided structured training and demonstration to volunteers, and delivered the system with documentation, support and help in encouraging adoption.

2015-2016 - Lecturer, ASES, Macquarie University

Deliver a two-hour session on business models at the inaugural ASES entrepreneurship club session.

Research engagement

Peer-reviewed publications, work submitted and work in progress


Zaheer, H., Breyer, Y, Dumay, Y. & Enjeti, M., 2019, ‘Straight from the horse's mouth: Founders' perspectives on achieving ‘traction’ in digital start-ups’, Computers in Human Behavior, Vol. 95 pp. 262-274. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chb.2018.03.002.

Zaheer, H, Breyer, Y & Dumay, Y, 2019a, ‘Digital entrepreneurship: an interdisciplinary structured literature review and research agenda’, Technological Forecasting & Social Change, Vol. 148, 119735. doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.techfore.2019.119735. (in print)

In preparation

Zaheer, H, Breyer, Y & Dumay, Y, 2019b, ‘An integrative review of entrepreneurship research in the current decade’, in final preparation and proofreading to submit to Entrepreneurship: Theory and Practice (ABDC A*)

Zaheer, H, Breyer, Y & Dumay, Y, 2019c, ‘Digital venturing: entrepreneurial career journeys enabled by digital technologies’, in supervisory review to submit by October 2019 to Entrepreneurship: Theory and Practice (ABDC A*)

Zaheer, H, Breyer, Y & Dumay, Y, 2019d, ‘Digital entrepreneurship: a process model’, in supervisory review to submit by October 2019 to Technological Forecasting and Social Change (ABDC A).

Non peer-reviewed publications

Breyer, Y, Tan, LP,  Zaheer, H, Denby, L & Rickards, S, 2019, ‘Aligning business education with industry expectations on employability and sustainability’, Department of Education and Training, Australian Government, Learning and Teaching Repository, https://bit.ly/2W7pFYE.

Zaheer, H, 2015, ‘How do innovative digital startups achieve success?: perspectives of Australian founders, thesis, available at http://goo.gl/r1AArU.

Zaheer, H, 2019, Digital entrepreneurship: review, trajectory and practice’, thesis in preparation, expected completion in August 2019.

Presentations and conferences

Zaheer, H. and Breyer, Y., 2016, ‘Digital technology-based innovative new ventures as a field of research in entrepreneurship’, Australian Centre for Entrepreneurship Research Exchange (ACERE), pp.43, 3-5 February 2016, Gold Coast, QLD, http://acereconference.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/2016-ACERE-Handbook.pdf.

Zaheer, H, Breyer, Y & Dumay, J, 2019, ‘Entrepreneurial process in digital new ventures’, Australian Centre for Entrepreneurship Research Exchange (ACERE), 6-8 February 2019, Sydney, NSW, http://acereconference.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/acere-2019-program-e.pdf.

Zaheer, H, Breyer, Y & Dumay, J, 2019, ‘Digital entrepreneurship: an interdisciplinary structured literature review and research agenda’, Australian Centre for Entrepreneurship Research Exchange (ACERE), 6-8 February 2019, Sydney, NSW, http://acereconference.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/acere-2019-program-e.pdf.

Zaheer, H, Breyer, Y & Dumay, J, 2019, ‘Let a hundred flowers blossom: toward diverse perspectives and a more holistic understanding of the entrepreneurial process’, Australian Centre for Entrepreneurship Research Exchange (ACERE), 6-8 February 2019, Sydney, NSW, http://acereconference.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/acere-2019-program-e.pdf.

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics where Hasnain Zaheer is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

entrepreneurship Social Sciences
transdisciplinary Social Sciences
strategic management Social Sciences
interdisciplinary research Social Sciences

Network Recent external collaboration on country level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots.

Projects 2016 2020


Research Outputs 2016 2019

  • 6 Citations
  • 1 h-Index
  • 2 Article
  • 1 Commissioned report
  • 1 Abstract

Aligning business education with industry expectations on employability and sustainability

Breyer, Y., Tan, L., Zaheer, H., Denby, L. & Rickards, S., 2019, Canberra: Australian Government Department of Education and Training. 79 p.

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned reportResearch

Open Access

Digital entrepreneurship: An interdisciplinary structured literature review and research agenda

Zaheer, H., Breyer, Y. & Dumay, J., 1 Nov 2019, In : Technological Forecasting and Social Change. 148, p. 1-20 20 p., 119735.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Health Services Research

Straight from the horse's mouth: Founders' perspectives on achieving 'traction' in digital start-ups

Zaheer, H., Breyer, Y., Dumay, J. & Enjeti, M., 2019, In : Computers in Human Behavior. 95, p. 262-274 13 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Product development

Digital technology-based innovative new ventures as a field of research in entrepreneurship

Zaheer, H. & Breyer, Y., 2 Feb 2016, p. 43-44. 2 p.

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractResearchpeer-review

Open Access