Haris Siddique set-up Artimization, Pakistan’s leading digital agency.
What’s your story?
To know more about the market, I joined a freelance portal and was able to win a contest of $50 on that portal. That achievement inspired me, and I with my co-founder started working enthusiastically to set up our business, Artimization.
After two to three years hard work, we along with our team were able to build a good reputation in the world of digital marketing. We are working in the development and design of applications and websites. We build customer`s corporate branding, we do creative design, packaging, animations and online marketing.
What excites you most about your industry?
There is plenty of opportunity to do things in your own way. If you are creative and have your own specific style, and you can pitch it to the clients, you will rock!
It’s innovative and unique. From marketing plans to designing, it’s imaginative, artistic and there is a focus on statistics. Besides creativity, we focus on being global. Connecting people around the world is a source of learning. You can become an expert in dealing with human psychology because this field gives you a one on one experience of dealing with humans in terms of branding according to their mindset, culture, and philosophies.
What’s your connection to Asia?
I was born in Pakistan. I spent my whole life here in the city of Karachi which is the metropolitan city of Pakistan. I established my business in Karachi because it is the media capital of Pakistan, 4 times bigger than New York, yet inexpensive to live and provides a platform to start new businesses with fewer investments and multiplied profit.
I have visited Dubai multiple times and I am inspired by their way of living and the commercial standards of Dubai. I loved the energy, always a vibrant and alive style of working there and I wish to establish my business in Dubai as well.
Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
Singapore is my choice because of the easy immigration process, easy business laws, and great market aspects. It is full of natural beauty that inspires the mind and a lot of proficient benefits like a wide spread of smartphones and numerous opportunities for people related to e-commerce business. Singapore is currently accommodating more than 3,600 active startups and has the strength for more as well. As my industry is marketing and design, Singapore has a good track record for advancing businesses related to gaming, social media, animation and design. That`s why I am attracted to it.
What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
“Don’t let your idea just stay in your mind and wait for the environment to be ready for you.”
Who inspires you?
Jack Ma (Alibaba Founder) started with a pay cheque of $12 a month and is now the richest man in China. He is a man who has impacted the entire economy and internet industry of China almost single-handedly.
What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
Go to a random Wikipedia article, Click on the first link (skip parentheses). Repeat. You will always end up on “PHILOSOPHY”. I tried this with almost ten different searches from entirely different subjects and the result was same. This actually surprised me and along with that my love of reading philosophy related topics has increased as well.
If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
We all have limited time but we always wish for more. I am very fond of travelling but due to my work burden, family responsibilities and other life hassles I don’t get much time to travel. If ever I got my time back, I would have been a solo traveller during my college and university years and I would have started more businesses when I was younger.
How do you unwind?
I love travelling and I enjoy long drives. For relaxation, I plan exclusive trips to places where nature speaks its beauty. I love hill stations and tracking.
Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
Singapore, Dubai and the northern areas of Pakistan. Singapore I like for its diverse, amazing and unique food, natural beauty, heart taking beaches and raw seafood. Dubai is great for festivals, shopping is great fun there and the commercial market is of a kind that you can learn a lot there. The northern areas of Pakistan are simple and full of natural life. Hospitality and the welcoming nature of the people will surely win your heart. Places like Kashmir, Nathiagali, Kalam, Kaghan and Naran are full of natural beauty, green belts and tracking is plenty of fun.
Everyone in business should read this book:
The Innovator’s Dilemma by Clayton Christensen.
Shameless plug for your business:
We do Quora management and link building through Quora for any brand. When services or products are too technical and we know that we cannot get replies to our questions, my media manager always mixes the question with any social matter or beauty related topic to get satisfactory traffic.
How can people connect with you?
I am available at my office which is in Karachi. International clients and people living other than Karachi can contact via email address. Clients can also generate queries on the company website. I am very active on Facebook and Instagram and use Quora and Skype as well.
This interview is part of the ‘Callum Connect’ series of more than 500 interviews
Callum Laing is an entrepreneur and investor based in Singapore. He has previously started, built and sold half a dozen businesses and is now a Partner at Unity-Group Private Equity and Co-Founder of The Marketing Group PLC. He is the author two best selling books ‘Progressive Partnerships’ and ‘Agglomerate’.