Pakistan is in abundance of talent, creating opportunities for themselves and giving back to the society. Meet Hamza Bhatti! A simple graduate from Bahria University, banging heads here and there in quest of crafting his niche. He worked and stumbled through different opportunities and reached where he is today. Not that he is stopping, but he is an accomplished and renowned V-logger now.
Hamza very charmingly serves our nation as Pakistan’s digital ambassador and communications expert at European Union, an ethical content creator as well as a digital marketer. A few years into the field of digital content and he went on to become a successful CEO of his own startup;
He believes in sharing his lessons of life and is keen on supporting our youth. This interview discusses our most exasperating issues regarding self-worth, passion and employment in detail.
We began our interview with our favorite question regarding self-identification and how did he initially land in the field of content and marketing.
Hamza’s story resembled with other pioneers of leading fields; co-incidence and a friendly advice. He told us;
“My life took a turn after I went on a trip to Hunza and Skardu.
I was already inspired by captivating YouTube videos and had a passion to do something similar as well, so with that notion in my mind I made a few travel clips of my journey in the hills. After coming back, my friends really loved them and pumped me to create a proper vlog. I took three days to assemble those clips with my basic editing skills and launched first video through my personal social media profile. I was blown away to see thirty thousand views in four days and that’s when I recognized my potential to create something that people would actually like to see.”
After this, we directly jumped onto something we all wanted to know; the permission factor. In our households, it is very daunting to think of a non-traditional career but gladly many of us are getting there.
So when asked about family support he uttered the most satisfying words;
“They let me be me.”
The Bhatti family may not have given him money to experiment with his life but they gave him the freedom to do whatever he wanted in terms of career with the penalty of crafting his venture from his own money.
So that gave us a sigh of relief because permission to follow one’s heart is also quite pricey. Moving on with the subject of support from friends and family he shared with Siffar that;
“I was not highly supported by my friends but I surely wasn’t discouraged as well. Without much intervention, I kept on making videos because my driving force was solely my passion. I used to be so inspired by successful people on YouTube and honestly ponder sometimes that if they can do it, why can’t I? So I was not mentored and I would tell beginners that lack of mentor-ship does not mean that you’re going nowhere. After all, YouTube is our biggest mentor. Definitely mentor-ship could be a plus point but not the utmost necessity.”
Coming onto the topic of how did he get fixed with the idea of his startup called “Bhai Log Digital”. His startup basically manages accounts, client pitches, budgets and also oversees social media and marketing activities. While he was working for a digital agency after his graduation, he realized that he could do all of the marketing stuff for himself and make money rather than only contributing to someone else’s assets.
Hamza further added; “In order to grow and move forward we ignored some disappointing local clients, eventually gained from such experience and we moved to international clients. We realized that’s the part of the learning curve.”
We asked him that after how long of his steps in the field, did he feel accomplished?
He replied in these words; “Last year when I won the European Union’s Faces to Hearts competition for Pakistan that was like graduation. That was like a certificate or degree stamping that I could now compete with the world. It wouldn’t have been without this specific honor that actually made my parents happy which was really everything for me. No other creator from Pakistan had done it before so the recognition from an International platform made me believe that I can continue this.”
The next question was the most significant and central part of our interview because all of us can relate to it. Hamza Bhatti began to talk about his multiple interests and personal ventures, which came out more like a friendly lesson.
In his words; “I was interested in multiple things and kept on doing them practically. Rather than finding an interest and then clinging onto it, I had my hands everywhere. I was working for a corporate organization, creating content, making videos and basically trying to see what will work out. So I believe the initial learning phase is very difficult where we feel overwhelmed and uncertain as well. So the point is to keep doing those things you like to eventually find out the best ones for yourself. When I look back at those years, I see them as a learning period of struggle.”
Bhatti expressed that he was unable to find diverse platforms for networking here in Islamabad, due to which he used to get his head into any meager or major opportunity he could get his hands on. That is how he initially began creating a network of people and then he added onto the point of opportunity. Opportunities are definitely found but in order to reach them it is important to be on a certain path. “You need to start putting yourself out there and then it’s God who sends the opportunities. Let your friends know what you’re capable of through your portfolio and then expect other people to approach you.”
He continued; “Ideas are cheap, execution is expensive.
You have to stick and see for yourself which ideas seem promising and how much capable are you in relevance to that idea. To put it simply, look out for things which come from your heart rather than from your brain and for which you’d be ready to even work for free. I think at the end of the day you will find things that make you happy. On the same side, I recommend that instead of comparing yourself and trying to do everything, pursue the things which drive your heart and give you the sense of accomplishment. You can start off big with ideas but you narrow down your scope to thing which work and matter.” He ended this with a fantastic message for youth; “It is okay to work without being paid for a year or two after graduation because this is a sheer learning time frame. Your attitude should be of just finding an opportunity to work at and be squeezed as much as possible.”
For ending notes, our team elevated the topic of self-learning and get his views regarding its nature of complexities for some people. He responded to us by saying that;
“If it’s difficult for some people to go by themselves it is better to find people of similar interest and then you go together. I know people will say that it’s hard to but that’s the way. You will find four or five people by putting yourself out. Then by working together on a same or somewhat similar niche after some time you will be a team with six different skills. It works when people collaborate for different interests (even at the most basic levels) and then teach each other. It’s not necessary to learn by video tutorials only, people should and can teach each other.”
His words surely reflect a communal school of thought. Where triumph is not in winning a medal for yourself only but for your nation. Our guest won European Union’s “Faces to Hearts” competition in 2019 from all over the world. The way he presented Pakistan and focused on the life of our IDP’s truly won hearts. Though we were shattered to know that he was unable to stomp our green flag at EU headquarters in Brussels because our emergency visa system was ineffective due to employee vacations by the time he was in dire need of it. Anyhow, his passion and urge to make a life was booming which has finally led him where he is. We personally continue to learn from his perspective of life and the team of Siffar is sure that he is one of the best virtual mentor we can have in Pakistan.
Note: This post has been edited for the convenience of reader by Maryam Iftikhar