GOOD

Kriston Capps

GOOD recently attended President Obama's Summit on Entrepreneurship, an event designed to spur business collaboration between Muslim-majority countries and the United States. We met some interesting new people there. We conclude our coverage with these two profiles.

WHO HE IS: Pakistan's Donald Trump?
WHAT HE DOES: Heads a financial products distribution company
WHAT HE ALSO DOES: Transform Pakistani financial media
WHAT HE NEEDS: An hour slot and a cricket bat

Junaid Iqbal was working at an energy trader in the United States when, on a visit home to Pakistan, some investors approached him with an offer to transform Pakistan's financial world by launching the first-ever Pakistani markets television show. He left his job in the States and took to watching a lot of Bloomberg and CNBC—but he had a problem from the get-go.

“We could not use any English terms. So we had to literally invent almost a whole set of vocabulary terms,” says Iqbal, who worked to develop a financial lingo that didn't exist in Pakistan. “In a country that is not massively educated, and especially not financially savvy, when you're talking about stocks and bonds and markets, people really don't understand what's all about.”

Iqbal says that he came up with words to signify bullish and bearish markets. “We're just trying to explain to people in a simple language,” he says. “What a share is. What a stock is. Coming up with a translation for an IPO.”

At first, he didn't even know if the show was resonating with Pakistanis. “At that time, we could not do live TV out of Pakistan, so we had to do this show out of Dubai,” he explains. “Media laws were still opening up then—this was in 2004—and now we have one of the most free medias in the world, I'd say.”

Three months after the launch, he got the “street feedback” he was looking for. A day after he returned to Pakistan from Dubai, a broker invited him out for lunch at the Karachi exchange. Iqbal was greeted by more than a hundred market players, who applauded him upon his entrance.

Iqbal went on to work on Pakistan's version of Power Lunch for CNBC Asia. He says that show had a massive impact on financial journalism in Pakistan—and a significant place in Pakistani society.

“In countries where the judicial system is still in the stages of development,” says Iqbal, “economic justice really doesn't exist in full force. In the end, the enterprise is the one that will suffer. What financial journalism does is allow us to red flag [abuses].”

Iqbal now serves as the CEO of BMA Financial, a financial products distribution company, but he's not quite out of the media game entirely. The producers behind Afghan Idol and Afghan Apprentice recently approached him about hosting a Pakistani Apprentice. He also prepared a pilot for a Pakistani version of Mad Money.

“I would have been the Jim Kramer of Pakistan,” he says. Smashing stuff with a cricket bat? “Absolutely.”

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