When did you first decide to become an Entrepreneur? And what study or skills you gained to become one?
I studied Bachelor of Computer Sciences from Lahore and was doing web designing at the time. One day, I observed my father doing 3D animation and changed my field towards broadcasting. From 2005 till 2011, I worked in channels like Indus Vision, Geo, Dawn English and Express and then took a ticket express to Australia!
I came to Australia as an international student to do Certificate IV in Screen and Media from Melbourne Polytechnic. During the course, I realised it was very difficult to obtain work in the Australian media, especially as migrant. There were only two international students in the class, and we were the only people of colour in a white dominant group. To survive, I did odd jobs such as cleaning and trolling pushing and
struggled to obtain work and pay my course fees. But I was resilient and continued searching for jobs and eventually I met an Australian man who was looking for a videographer and an editor for an event coverage and that was my first job as a freelancer. Eventually a production company in Melbourne saw my work and I got the job with them as a video editor.
In 2017, I founded C61 Media, a digital channel for Multicultural Communities in Victoria and wider Australia. I wanted to share the work of Multicultural Australians like myself and highlight the positive work of migrants and refugees, not always covered by the mainstream Australian media.
What kind of services/products your business provides?
C61 Media delivers the following;
- Videographing multicultural or cultural events.
- Vox pop related to multicultural community projects.
- Multicultural Stories especially voicing out minority within the minority.
- Animation videos presenting data and statistics relevant to multicultural and cultural communities.
- Individual interviews of MPs, Councillors or Community Leaders to help with their election campaigns and personal branding.
What was the most difficult challenge of being an Entrepreneur?
In Pakistan, I first started as a volunteer and freelancer, and I did independent projects but sometimes people will not pay me. But this was a learning experience. So, I resolved this issue by joining a production house and worked in local Pakistani television channels. It is not fair to not get paid despite delivering the product and service in due time but as an entrepreneur, you must have faith in your skills.
As for Australia, starting C61 Media was easy but sustaining a media enterprise and finding a committed team of people was a struggle. For example, some of my peers showed enthusiasm at the start but later left as their priorities changed. People expect money to fall within 6 months, but the reality is that it takes time to build a client base whilst maintaining client-trust and delivering quality product in due time.
What are the 3 successful highlights of your career and business? Is there any philanthropic work you are part of in Pakistan?
In Pakistan, there was no recognition, nor any awards given to cameraman, editor, lighting or sound person or other similar persons part of the production team. However, there is nothing more satisfying then when I see my name in the end credits of various productions.
Secondly, in 2019, C61 Media gave coverage to a multicultural women empowerment project under Wellsprings for Women called “Creative Enterprising Women” and its participant Chithrika Senanayake won in the Pre-Accredited Pathway Program Award and the Ro Allen Award 2019. Furthermore, Australian print media gave coverage to this success.
We have given free coverage to certain community projects that improve multicultural harmony in Australia such as the multicultural youth-led projects at the Monash City Council and Ethnic Communities Councils of Australia. My favorite video was “Land of Welcome”.
What message would you like to give to Pakistani youth and other aspiring Entrepreneurs?
Never give up. No matter what circumstances, no matter how many opinions you get from ten different people or how much discouragement you get. Never ever give up. As for entrepreneurs, to expand business in Australia o
r other Western countries, you must be patient as dollars will not fall in one day. We have the power and responsibility to ensure that the image of Pakistan and that of the Muslims in today’s world is respected and we have the opportunity to prove our worth through the quality of our work and the content of our enterprise. Persistence, patience, and strong work ethic led me to obtain quality projects whilst creating better future for my son Azib.
Author: Rida Aleem Khan
About the Author: Rida Aleem Khan is an Australia-based Multicultural & Youth Advocate. She believes that sharing success stories of Overseas Pakistani entrepreneurs will encourage and inspire other Pakistani youth and guide them towards global enterprising trends.