Ali Ahsan

Thursday, August 18, 2016

A few years ago, I was working at a late stage startup called Okta in San Francisco. The startup itself was doing exceptionally well, but in the midst of everyone else’s success I felt like I wasn’t moving forward with my career or my life. One day, someone I knew called me in for an interview to potentially join a new company. It wasn’t much of an interview as much as me being told about what a great opportunity the new company was and how large was the financial package they were offering. On my way home from the interview, it hit me as to how empty my life had become because it was predicated on how much money I was making. I started thinking deeply about what I really wanted out of life and one thing was for sure, I didn’t want it to be defined by the money I earn. Over the course of the next few weeks, I talked regularly to my best friend (now co-founder) about this. One of our conversations led us down the path of analyzing the media industry of Pakistan and how there wasn’t really a platform that catered to millennials and if there was something, it was too focused on trying to show the outside world the ‘positive image of Pakistan’. That’s when we realized we needed something that was by Pakistanis, for Pakistanis; Mangobaaz – a progressive Pakistani platform that provided a counter narrative to what people normally see on mass media and targeted towards a younger audience.

It’s been a very interesting journey. There have been highs and lows. We’ve been very bold with our content which has earned us a lot of criticism, however that’s always expected when you’re not really following popular sentiment (still not fun though). By no means are we perfect. We constantly make mistakes and learn from them. After all, that’s what being in a startup is about. With this attitude and the opportunity ahead of us, there’s nothing I’d rather be doing than this. –Ali Ahsan, Co-founder Mangobaaz