In the early 1980s, as he carried banners of the Lakson Tobacco Company on his motorbike through the dusty roads of Lahore, Chaudhry Abdul Jabbar must have looked indiscernible from the sea of daily wage workers carrying their logistical loads all over the city.
But this young man had a unique vision and purpose that set him apart from his many peers in the rat race that is urban life. Over the course of the 1980s and 90s, he would come to dominate the world of on-air advertising and become a powerhouse in Pakistan’s media. A man who came to be known by the name thaikaydar.
To those in the media fraternity, Jabbar Thaikaydar was a household name. He was the person that changed how business was done in Pakistani media. To most outside the media business, he was a largely unknown figure, and the news of his passing on the 11th of November this year will not have been noticed beyond a glance.
Yet how did this young man from Sahiwal come to be one of the most powerful people in the media business in Pakistan? Profit looks back at the life of this self-made rural man who turned dust and stones into gold.
The kid from Sahiwal goes to Lahore
It is a story as typical as they come. Right after completing his intermediate exams, Abdul Jabbar left his hometown Sahiwal to earn a better means of income in the city of Lahore. Once in the provincial capital, he found himself involved in the advertising business.