If there is one thing that will forever be a notch in social media’s favour, it is the plethora of stories that have finally found their voice. The digital ascension of our times has disrupted many industries, but it has also turned that boring morning commute into a golden opportunity. Because of our newsletter, and Eman’s encyclopedic knowledge of podcasts, I have amassed quite an entertaining playlist.
But, while said list of favourites is brimming with entrepreneurial inspiration, it is also rather unfairly skewed. I think we can all acknowledge that the global conversation surrounding innovation tends to focus on a particular region, at the expense of others.
The oft overlapping regions of South Asia and the Middle East, for example, rarely find their way to the limelight. Which is something that the ever-wandering Amad Mian, of ‘The Amad Show’, found a little too annoying. During the formative days of his now immensely popular podcast series, he found himself reflecting on his vast network of creatives and entrepreneurs. In his own words, a question that drove his vision forwards was, “why do we keep looking for stories outside, through Ted and other mediums? Why don’t we look internally?”
And just like that, the seeds for a beguiling story were sown. Simultaneously poignant, informative and adventurous, the series, and the journey of the man at its helm, are both stories begging to be heard.
A Boat Looking For Harbour
Like many a creative spirit before him, Amad Mian didn’t land on the innovative doorstep intentionally. Instead, his path was initially much more conventional. While he grew up within an entrepreneurial environment, accustomed to his father initiating new ventures, his own story took a routine, albeit fruitful corporate turn.
After studying finance at Ryerson University, he went on to work at CIBC. Now, most of us will agree that an investment banking position at CIBC is rather lucrative. But, over a conversation with his brother, Amad realized how success really is relative. He knew that he didn’t like his job, but when asked why he was still doing it, he was at a loss. In his own words, “I had no real answers for why I was doing it.”
With his new-found epiphany in tow, Amad went back to Ryerson and pursued an entrepreneurial program, and started chasing more creative ventures.
The Road Less Travelled By
Once he immersed himself in the creative space, it wasn’t long before a number of interesting projects crossed his way. A particular milestone was the venture capital platform, Karavan, which invests in ambitious tech start-ups in Pakistan.
On their roster so far, is a plethora of potential game-changers like Mauka Online; which is shaking up the gig economy in Pakistan by empowering domestic staff.
Perhaps what adorns this venture with Amad’s signature is the reliance on community. “We don’t want to just invest money,” he says, “we want to see how we can help a business grow.” What this translates into is an imitative that leverages Amad’s vast network, and in doing so offers budding entrepreneurs across Pakistan something that they might need even more than the funding; mentorship.
As he explains it, “all of our businesses are community driven.” And, in an environment that hasn’t been known to foster entrepreneurship (although that may be changing, fingers crossed) fostering a community spirit may just become the gift that keeps on giving.
The Show Must Go On
While The Amad Show kicked off in April this year, the idea of content creation had been on Amad’s mind for some time. “I really believe that everybody should be creating content,” he says, “there is so much out there, it’s just about creating your own niche.” And it was clear that his niche, was nestled somewhere amongst the conversations that he kept having with inspiring people.
In his own words, “the reason I wanted to start a podcast is that I love talking to people. I legitimately love sitting down, having coffee, and learning about the stories of people.” When you listen to an episode of his podcast series, this becomes apparent. Whether he’s talking to photographers, artists or entrepreneurs, he is more than willing to revel in their journeys And his willingness to let his guests use his platform to find their own voice, is precisely what makes his brand of content so very infectious.
Eternal Sunshine Of The Curious Mind
It is a tale as old as time, of someone who listens to their heart and opts for the unconventional, uncharted territory. But what makes Amad Mian’s journey a bit of an anomaly is that he found himself when he stopped trying to reach an end goal. His resume albeit impressive, also branches out in various different directions. It sketches a journey that is always shifting, and never really ends.
And perhaps, that is the main takeaway. For his many listeners of course, but also for Amad himself.
Commenting on the notion of having an end-goal in sight and working towards it, Amad feels that, “what I’ve come to terms with is the fact that you just enjoy the journey, and keep on doing whatever you love.”
About the Author
Ushah Kazi is a freelance writer, pop-culture junkie, and resident communications expert at Meraki.