Saqib Khan (SK) manages Pakistan’s largest selling battery brand in addition to being a contributing writer to Dawn’s column ‘Karachi Notebook’. He’s a brand manager, engineer, writer, dreamer all rolled into one. And there’s the love of photography which has finally culminated into the genesis of Will Shoot For Money.
And that’s besides creating Pakistan’s biggest Restaurant Review E-zine Restaurants Uncut, a brutally honest account of Karachi’s foodscape, truly a source of invaluable tips for the foodies, and of innumerable headaches and nightmares for the city’s restaurateurs.
He’s also the founder of Brandasy, Pakistan’s first brand dissection portal.
But this wasn’t always the case for SK. He has reached this point in his life after much twists and turns in his less than ordinary saga. Spurred on by his childhood fetish of dismantling toys and putting them together, SK chose a career in mechanical engineering, graduating from the venerable NED University of Engineering & Technology.
He then went on to spend the next year of his life managing 40 of the most union-infested hard nuts on this planet as a production engineer at Dadex Eternit Ltd, a joint venture between Eternit Denmark and Dada Group. If the unionized workers wasn’t enough menace, the plant he managed was located at the fag end of the factory, a desolate area which was haunted beyond which lay barren mountains.
And yet he lived to tell the tale.
Spending sometimes as many as 16 hours in a stretch with the exotic species called workers, SK realized his curiosity for human behavior was far stronger than his penchant for all things mechanical.
One thing let to another and before he knew it, he had attained Masters in Business Administration from the prestigious IBA, the oldest business school outside of North America founded with the help of reputable Wharton School of Finance. Unsurprisingly, he had majored in consumer behavior and branding.
In between he moonlighted as a movie and music critic for the Dawn Images.
In the midst of all this mayhem, he managed to write a book and tried to publish it, albeit unsuccessfully, through the National Book Foundation’s Children Literature Initiative, about the trials and tribulations of the teenage years.
SK’s love of travelling and interacting with new people has taken him to all sorts of stunning places on Earth, from the ancient tombs of Makli in Thatta to the tulip gardens of Amsterdam, from the mystical Chowkandi Tombs to the International Court of Justice at Hague, from the floating tomb of Noori Jam Tamachi in the middle of Kinjar Lake to Frankfurt’s surreal hill station Rüdesheim, from the exotic Murree to the amazing Sentosa Island in Singapore, Victoria Peak in Hong Kong, famous night bazaar of Kowloon, Madam Tassaud and Chamber of Horrors…. been there done that. All these adventures he chronicles on his travel blog Travel Hustling.
He has lived in Abu Dhabi, UAE; for four years, learning the ways of the Arabs while getting addicted to their delectable cuisine.
And yet his thirst for exotic locations, gastronomical adventures and marketing acumen remains insatiable.
All this treasure trove of experience he brings forth and imbibes in the brands he manages.
But his adventurous streak does not deter him from burrowing into a good old book. He has devoured seven of the top 10 media and marketing books of all time as adjudged by the prestigious AdAge.
He’s truly a ‘brandsman’ and your worst nightmare if he happens to be managing your rival brand.