April 01, 2011
New Job! New Beginning
By: Ahmar AbbasI am excited to report that I will be resting my cloud guru hat for a while and taking on a new and challenging position.
I will be joining one of the leading effigy manufacturers in Pakistan as head of their new initiatives/new markets group. Initially I will work remotely and then all of us may relocate over the summer to Hub, Baluchistan (just outside Karachi).
Sometimes called the world’s second oldest profession, effigy burning has seen a tremendous rebirth in recent times. As a direct result, profits at effigy manufacturers across Pakistan have been exploding. The industry today directly employs over 15,000 people in Pakistan with the supplier ecosystem constituting another 100,000 well paying jobs. My future employer EffigyOne has about 1500 direct employees and about 15% market share in Pakistan.
While business is booming the “infidel” effigy category though remains the cash cow for the industry and my future employer. Most of our customers are established Islamist parties – and have reliably kept our factory humming as they fan and fume hate filled rallies across Pakistan. A focus of mine will be to establish completely brand new categories within the effigy burning arena – just like Steve Jobs has single handedly created a tablet category with the IPAD. The recent post-post colonialist dust up in the Arab world also provides ample opportunities. Imagine made to order effigies of the 6000+ Arab Kings, Princes, Dictators in dish-dashes going up in flames all across the region!
Another thing I’ll be focused on is to re-ignite the effigy burning business in the West – specifically in the US. The company did a lot of business in the US in 60’s but pretty much moved out of the market in mid 70’s. While the US Constitution guarantees the right to free assembly- local, state laws and fire marshal and fire codes make it virtually impossible for citizens to burn effigies in rallies and other public gatherings. We are experimenting with specific flammable material that exhibits a low intensity but bright flame. If tests are successful – this innovation could single handedly make us a player in the hate and mayhem business in the US. Competition will be tough – Lipton and Tetley have cornered the Tea Party crowd – but once the Tea Partiers see our new product line of Obama, Pelosi & Soros effigies they’ll dump the tea bags into the river and buy our product. Fingers crossed.
Wish me luck and here to is reigning global instability! And stay tuned for a cool effigy burning Facebook app coming out soon!
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