Iflix prepares for Pakistan launch with hire of GM Farees Shah from Rocket Internet

FareesOnline streaming firm Iflix is poised to launch in Pakistan and has recruited a general manager to head the operation.

Farees Shah, who has taken the Pakistan general manager role, joins Iflix from German online fashion retailer Rocket Internet where he founded its Pakistan business, in 2012.

Pakistan will become Iflix’s fifth market after Malaysia, Thailand, Philippines and Indonesia, the latter of which will be led by former Emtek Group executive Cam Walker who Mumbrella revealed was appointed earlier this month.

The launch in Pakistan is in line with Iflix’s strategy to expand into developing countries, with Costa Rica, Myanmar and Kenya expected to follow later this year.

In an interview in 2014 while at Rocket Internet, Shah said the risks of launching in Pakistan, such as security, are often “overstated” and stressed its population was “in tune with international trends”.

“That is not very well understood,” he said. “Buying online was not an alien concept for people.”

He added there is plenty of “young, sharp talent” in Pakistan.

While at Daraz, Shah said he successfully raised two rounds of funding worth more than US$60m – something that will have impressed Iflix as it looks for investors – and grew the business from scratch to a monthly turnover of US$1m in three years.

Prior to turning his hand to e-commerce, Shah worked for Karachi Electric Supply Company, Pakistan Mercantile Exchange Limited and had a three month stint in London with Deutsche Bank.

He also hosts a nationwide radio sports show in Pakistan on CityFM 89.

Earlier this month, British pay-TV giant Sky took a £32m (S$62m) stake in Iflix, which also lists MGM as one of its investors.

“Iflix has quickly established itself as southeast Asia’s most exciting and fastest-growing streaming TV service,” Sky group chief financial officer Andrew Griffith said.

“There are lots of opportunities for Sky and iflix to work together and share expertise as both companies continue to expand.”


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