Ali Naqvi talks to Abdullah Mehmood, Founder & CEO Rex Media Group, about his journey as an entrepreneur. With skills in marketing, social media management, content creation, and PR, Abdullah Mehmood is all set to make waves in the marketing and PR industry. Only 18, his heading his own public relations company. For him, success is just a stopover in a long journey ahead.
ALI NAQVI: You call yourself a serial entrepreneur, is this the only differentiation between you and other typical entrepreneurs?
ABDULLAH MEHMOOD: Firstly, I don’t call myself a ‘serial entrepreneur’. I don’t think it is reasonable to give a title to yourself. You are given a title based on your achievements, accomplishments, and most importantly your work experience. As far as the difference between me and other entrepreneurs is concerned, I am no one to differentiate between myself and others. There is no difference at all, a serial entrepreneur is one that can successfully manage multiple businesses.
AN: What inspired you to start Rex Media Group, and how do you plan to take this public relations company forward?
AM: There was no specific inspiration to start Rex Media Group. It was just out of the blue you can say. I had some very good relations with media agencies and I was a lot into the marketing stuff. At the age of 13, I was running multiple Facebook pages each having a million followers. It allowed me to interact with different people and personalities mostly public figures who wanted to feature on my pages. This was how I came closer to media agencies and brands. Through my pages, they availed the opportunity to engage over 3 million people at once. So, this was the exposure to digital marketing and media that helped me a lot as a professional. In February 2020, when I started doing PR events and activities concerning influencer marketing, I approached different public relations companies, but no one took me seriously because of my age. All I wanted was to do PR. I was short on budget. So, I worked hard and explored the international PR industry. I spent all my energies just to learn how things worked. In the meantime, I established international connections, and then I used those connections to resale the services. This was how I managed to arrange some funds to invest in Pakistan. This was done in just six months. In this short time, I learned a lot. This is the background behind the creation of Rex Media Group.
AN: Most people think that COVID-19 is an opportunity to tap unconventional and innovative ways of doing business, do you agree?
AM: I agree. COVID-19 gave me the opportunity of time. It broke the daily routine and the run-of-the-mill kind of life changed into something new. It was this ‘time’ that allowed me to do extensive research and invest my time thinking about new possibilities. I think without COVID Rex Media Group would not have been possible. So, we should use the situation productively to our advantage.
AN: Vlogging is a very dynamic field, why did you decide to shift your focus on business and marketing?
AM: I was a very passionate Vlogger. I spent some years doing it but somehow, I don’t know how things changed and I started feeling that I am limiting myself in terms of scope. There were not as many opportunities as the time it consumed. Creating engaging content every other day was also difficult for me. The thing is that I am strengthening my backend. The way I am exploring my opportunities in business will go a long way in establishing myself as a professional. Only then I would be an effective vlogger with having something to say. It’s not that I am completely out of touch, but my full focus is on my business.
AN: Since COVID-19 E-commerce is shaping markets all over the world, how do you see the trend in Pakistan in terms of advertising and digital marketing?
AM: The conventional ways of marketing and advertising are dying out. Since COVID, digital marketing is being utilized all over the world like never before. Even conventional media like TV, Radio, and Print have shown the door by innovative digital media. Today, people prefer watching their favorite TV shown on YouTube than waiting for it on TV. Social media is the spine of all digital media activity. E-commerce is certainly shaping up in Pakistan. Corona became the catalyst for e-commerce to thrive.
AN: The uncertain political situation impacts the business and eventually marketing, how important is it to keep this factor in mind while making a marketing strategy?
AM: I think the uncertain political situation only impacts the large industries. For B2C businesses, political scenarios don’t play any significant role. While making the marketing strategy the only focus is the consumer.
AN: The majority of businesses in Pakistan are dominated by ‘Seth Culture’ how important is it to educate them about the value of digital marketing?
AM: I haven’t yet encountered such a culture. I don’t have anything to say about it. But even if we assume that there are businessmen who are not educated enough as they should be to run things professionally, most of them have qualified marketing and business professionals who take care of things for them. Now, digital marketing is not something you need to educate people about. Everyone knows its role and importance.
AN: A large number of digital agencies have come up in a very short time, would this growth be sustainable?
AM: There are a lot of digital agencies that have popped up in the recent past. This has created a lot of competition in the industry. Agency tariffs have decreased significantly due to the cut-throat competition. To win a client you have to offer cheaper rates. In such a situation, I think it would be hard to say whether this growth would be sustainable or not. I think time will tell.
AN: What is the secret behind your success as an entrepreneur?
AM: I don’t consider myself a successful person, and I don’t think I would ever be in a position to call myself successful. The thing is that even if you achieve something, you keep looking ahead and set greater goals. You never feel successful enough to stop pursuing bigger targets. It is this urge that led man to achieve milestones in every field. I think one should be happy and satisfied with what one has but the thirst to go one step ahead should always be there.
AN: Thank you Abdullah Mehmood, Founder & CEO Rex Media Group for talking to us.