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Your Name: Batool Mehdi
Business Name: FYI Magazine, a Pakistani pop culture publication
Type of Business: Other — Print Magazine
Business Location: Pakistan
Reason for starting: During my summer break from college in London, I returned home to Pakistan to intern at various publications. While working, it occurred to me that print media in Pakistan is confined almost exclusively to either fashion or politics. There were no avenues for popular culture. This got me thinking about the kind of magazine that I myself would want to read– one that offered fresh and new perspectives on fashion and politics while truly being passionate about exploring other areas like film and television. I realized there was no magazine out there like this, and that’s the genesis of FYI.
How do you define success? Success is a barometer that’s unique to every individual. When I think success, I think someone who is pleased to go into work everyday, charged and passionate. Such a person is bound to be doing something right, and is therefore truly successful in my eyes.
Biggest Success: Five years on, FYI Magazine is now widely available across all book stores in all three major urban centers of Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad. I have seen so many magazines come and go in this duration while FYI has grown from strength to strength. We are one of the only independently run publications in Pakistan, i.e not backed by a newspaper or media group to have the the kind of market presence that we do.
FYI also stands out for its trendsetting covers and cover stories that continue to push the envelope and do something different every time. In a country where English is a niche market and where only fashion and politics seemingly sell, we’ve created a unique brand.
What is your top challenge and how have you addressed it? Being an independently run magazine is a difficult undertaking at times. The economic state of the country affects marketing sometimes, but the only way forward is to continue going strong in sales, which we have. Getting an issue out on time is also not always easy as various external factors like the situation of the city, come into play.
Who is your most important role model? I am incredibly inspired by driven, ambitious people. I have seen such role models in my own family who have inspired me to have a dream, and go after it. I am proud and blessed to call my family my role models.
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Edited by The Story Exchange