iflix: The leading video-on-demand service giving space to Pakistani content

“By having an open office, everyone’s work gets done much faster, and the organisation manages to deliver more,” says Farees Shah, the Country Manager of iflix, a video-on-demand service based in Malaysia. Having opened up its Pakistan office in Karachi in January 2017, iflix is the first major player in the global streaming industry to set up shop locally.

Watch this video to hear his thoughts on entering a new industry (00:42), dealing with infrastructural challenges (01:17), his ideal work colleague (02:02), and the pros of an open office culture (02:22).

A LUMS and INSEAD graduate, Shah has experience in new business development, having previously served as co-founder of Daraz.pk, which has evolved into a major player in Pakistan’s e-commerce arena, and is now part of the Alibaba Group.

His advice for entrepreneurs entering new industries is to be clear about all the regulations that may apply, and to design ways of working around the harsh reality of Pakistan’s infrastructural shortcomings – for instance, using cash on delivery systems to circumvent the lack of credit payments; or having a ‘download now, watch later’ feature, as in the case of iflix, as a solution for slow and inconsistent broadband speeds.

Shah strongly believes that honesty and approachability are key components of leadership, and maintains an open-office culture at iflix, where any member of the team can approach anyone else. This facilitates faster decision-making, which is an important requirement for successfully managing startups.

Shah is hopeful that by 2025, Pakistan will have 100 million active internet users, making us a country with one of the largest internet user populations, greatly expanding the scope of online industries across the board.

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Farees Shah’s is currently reading Cricket Cauldron: The Turbulent Politics of Sport in Pakistan by Shahryar Khan.



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