1. Entrepreneur Profile: Muhammad Adnan Butt COO – Mvergence Media Director – Walnut Media “Here’s the thing that makes life so interesting. The theory of evolution claims that “Only the strong shall survive!” Maybe so, maybe so, but the theory of competition says “just because they’re the strong doesn’t mean they can’t get their asses kicked” That’s right, see, what every long shot, come from the behind underdog will tell you is this: The other guy may in fact be the favourite; the odds may be stacked against you, fair enough; but what the odds don’t know is, this isn’t a math test. This is a completely different kind of test; one where passion has a funny way of trumping logic. So before you step up to the starting line, before the whistle blows and the clocks start ticking just remember – Out here the results don’t always add up. No matter what the stats may say and the experts may think and the commentators may have predicted; when the race is on, all bets are off. Don’t be surprised if somebody decided to flip the script and take a pass on yelling “Uncle” And then suddenly as the old saying goes – “We’ve got ourselves a game!” - NikeVery few people these days dare to dream; even fewer are brave enough to follow their dreams. This isthe story about a young man who decided to take on the world by following his passion, even when hisdecisions defied logic and reasoning; he knew what he wanted and was determined and brave enoughto fight for it. This is the story of Muhammad Adnan Butt.A Mechanical Engineer by qualification from the esteemed Ghulam Ishaq Khan Institute, Adnan wasalways able to harness his creativity in a manner where he could actually transform the ideas in his headto life; and this very thought was very exciting to him. At this time Adnan interned at one of the mostprestigious multinational companies in the world today – Unilever Pakistan Ltd. During his stint here, herealized his love for marketing – the very idea of being able to touch so many lives and transform hisideas in such a manner that he could connect with millions of people every day - was what pushed himtowards Marketing. And so his melting pot of creativity and cognitive thought took its final form, and heknew it, he knew that is what he wanted to do – Marketing; to connect with people. At the end of hisinternship at Unilever, the company offered him a job for all the hard work he put in. Regardless to say,if you’ve been around in the past century or so, you will know how prestigious an offer that is – to bepart of a company that touches millions of lives every day, the world’s second largest FMCG producer.Adnan was of course very grateful for this offer; however at this point he knew. He knew what hewanted to do – his true calling.Being a mechanical engineer by profession, and a very good one at that, the company had offered him aposition as part of their engineering department. Adnan however requested they hire him for a positionin Brands. The country manager at the time was interviewing Adnan, and asked him if he had any priorexperience in Brands or Marketing for that matter, why would they want to keep him there? And heanswered that Marketing was what he wanted to do, and that he was very passionate about it. Thecompany however refused to budge; ironically so did Adnan. He politely declined the job offer, and tookup a position in Warid Telecom, with a substantial cut in his income level from what it would have been
2. had he taken up the Unilever offer. To a layman his behavior seemed irrational, to himself, he had neverbeen clearer in his head.He spent two years at Warid, working on very diverse projects pertaining to the product development.Closely working on Mobile Games – Research, Launching, Development and Execution; B2CContent/Campaign management, learning how to manage a host of content providers along with amonthly revenue stream worth $ 0.4 million as well as WAP Portal branding and vendor management; ina nutshell – learning the tricks of the trade when it comes to mobile media. He moved on from WaridTelecom to its sister- Wateen, where he learnt content aggregation and syndication – working closelywith local and international television channels and media houses, acquiring content for local operatorsin the TV, Internet and Mobile sectors. Spending another couple of years at Wateen helped Adnanaugment his skill set pertaining to the digital media world and gave him the necessary experience andknow-how of the media world. He harnessed this knowledge and set out to start his ownentrepreneurial venture – Mvergence.In July 2009 Adnan changed gears, and from the corporate world, switched all of his attention towardshis entrepreneurial venture - Mvergence Media. It is one of the most creative agencies operating inPakistan today. He took on the responsibility of looking after all the business processes andtechnological integration of the company. It gave him the opportunity to “conceive, create and launchmultiple products” while still staying true to the original goal. The company is one of the driving forcesbehind taking the local digital content market front to the next level. Adnan very intelligently harnessedall of his years of experience with the digital media sector and channeled them into Mvergence“One of the major parts of business at Mvergence is driven by buying and syndicating the content formobile platforms as Ive been able to successfully aggregate more than 85% of local content (music,entertainment and devotional) and thus making it the strongest content partner for any CP/telco in theregion”Along with Mvergence, Adnan also started off a sister concern by the name of Walnut Media. Workingas Director Walnut Media and overseeing Media Buying (Digital and Mobile), Mobile ContentAggregation (80% of Pakistans Mobile Content Portfolio), Music Production (Walnut Records), VideoProduction, Applications and Portal Development as well as Social Media Marketing.Adnan’s personal goals include introducing regional level socializing tools on online and mobileplatforms as well as providing brands the opportunity to connect with their target audience throughthese mediums. Furthermore integrated a database of content and applications for local users andeventually being able to give back to the local user by providing him/her a more personalized digitalexperience, relevant to their lives. Lastly to take the local market in the direction of local publishing andensuring that the industry is self sustainable and can stand at par with international media giants.Adnan had to face a lot of social pressure for the decisions he took and the direction he chose for hislife, by taking a complete U turn from an already very well established career path; however he knewwhat he wanted and was very passionate about it – and this very passion, led to the successful life hehas today. It took a lot of hard work, perseverance and a bit of luck to get to where he is today.Ironically Unilever is one of Adnan’s entrepreneurial venture’s biggest clients today.