Your Name: Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy
Business Name: SOC Films, a film company specializing in investigative and socially motivated content
Type of Business: Arts & Entertainment
Business Location: Karachi, Pakistan
Reason for starting: SOC Films was the first documentary and animation house run by a woman in Pakistan; I created the company in order to introduce a new genre of filmmaking in Pakistan. We do not have any documentary production houses, and animation is still in its infancy. SOC Films was created because it fulfilled a dire need in the local industry. I also wanted to create a space for young filmmakers who were serious about creating quality programming to learn and gain valuable experience.
How do you define success? Success is the ability to produce the content that you want without compromise on your ethics, quality and vision. It is having the freedom to tell a story on your terms in order to push boundaries, grab peoples attention, and have difficult yet vital conversations.
Biggest Success: My biggest success has been the creation of a 3D animated television show in Pakistan. The show is about social justice, and I created it to inspire children to believe in themselves and their place in Pakistan’s future. For a documentary filmmaker, this was considerably out of my realm of expertise. We look forward to launching it next year.
What is your top challenge and how have you addressed it? My top challenge is creating demand for content that does not have a market in Pakistan; I often find myself creating that market for the first time. Non-fiction story telling and animation that is not compromised by heavy-handed sponsorship is hard to find in Pakistan. I have found that the challenge is simply in exposing clients to this new way of making a connection with audiences. They need to be convinced that these mediums are as effective as traditional advertising or film.
Who is your most important role model? My father is my most important role model; he was a self made man, and I have definitely caught the entrepreneurial spirit from him.