“I HAVE A VERY OPTIMISTIC APPROACH IN LIFE; I LOVE MY FAMILY AND MY STAFF. WE AT ORIENT BELIEVE THAT OUT OUR STAFF IS OUR FAMILY. WHEREVER I AM TODAY, IS BECAUSE OF MY FATHER AND MOTHER WHO HAVE A PIVOTAL ROLE IN MY CONDITIONING. I HAVE STUDIED ABROAD AND TRAVELLED A LOT BUT THE CONDITIONING I GOT FROM MY FATHER MADE ME WHO I AM TODAY. MY FATHER, S.H HASHMI, INSPIRED ME A LOT, AND HE TAUGHT ME DIFFERENT THINGS ABOUT THE ADVERTISING INDUSTRY.”
How do you see the advertising industry in the next 5 years and what changes and hurdles we can experience?
The world is changing fast; we need a different business model to sustain in the industry. Creative agency and over all media industry is going through a massive change. You would be surprised to know that the advertising spend in the MINA region was 60% on digital, last week Facebook had $42 billion in cash reserves. Therefore, the overall dynamics of the media industry is changing. We need to accept the fact that our life is incomplete without the digital evolution. With the help of technology, agency have the access to data, which enables them to segment accordingly. Similarly, Marriot and Movenpick never thought they would compete with Airbnb. The world is moving towards digitalization and we need to adapt with this change.
“YOUR ATTITUDE, DETERMINES YOUR ALTITUDE”
Do you think we have been able to match ourselves from the international market?
Consumer consumption of media is changing fast, people watched television but now you can stream and watch later. YouTube and other streaming websites have changed the sphere of media and consumer consumption. We still have a long way to go, before we compare ourselves to the international markets. Today we talk about artificial intelligence and machine learning, because that is how things are changing. If I open my google, it is going to open differently and yours would open differently, so the machine and our devices are learning from us. Brands and institutions have changed with time and they have adopted to this digitalization, and I believe it is a fantastic age to live in and we should embrace the change and move forward with it.
How do you compare your agency with others agencies in the market?
Orient McCann is one of the few agencies in Pakistan, which is providing one window solution for clients. We are doing creative, media buying, PR and Digital, we believe that backend specialization is must but at the same time, it is much easier to synchronize every strategy together. In olden days, it was the same, then it was divided, clients had different agency for PR, creative, media buying and Digital, now again organization and clients are going for one window solution provider.
“MANY PEOPLE DIE AT TWENTY, THEY ARE ONLY BURIED AT SEVENTY”
What are your responsibilities as chairperson of MAP (Marketing Association of Pakistan)?
MAP is my baby, in 1999, I became the youngest President of MAP ever, and by the grace of god, I have been part of MAP since then. I have had the privilege of serving this position multiple time and I have been elected unopposed every time. MAP has been a big contributor in this industry, there are brilliant minds that are involved in our councils to share their time and experience. Our Lahore Chapter is doing a wonderful job; Amir Salam and Nasir Jawed have done amazing work. MAP conducts the biggest marketing conference, MARCON, which happens in Karachi and Lahore on alternative basis.
You faced an unfortunate time in your career, what would you say about it? And what is the other side of the story?
To put it in simple words, I was at the wrong place at the wrong time. Life is not fear, if you accept the fact it becomes easier to accept the reality. I have never worked with the government before except for one time, which was a mistake that I did not know about. We primarily deal with commercial and multinational clients, Sindh government came to us and asked to work on a project, later NAB accused us for charging extra commission, which we did and it was our right to do so. However, to explain my self was difficult, for that, I had to spend time in Nab custody, however I realised crisis in life makes one strong. it certainly taught me a thing or two, during my time over there I read a lot of books, because I wanted to stay positive and on top of that I was right on my part but sometimes you need to go through a bad phase in life to understand the other side of life as well.
“If you are greatful i’ll give you more” – (Holy quran)