Changing of The Guard at Patari

Changing of The Guard at Patari

The doodh jalebi fails the smell test, but maybe it still tastes good?

Let’s talk about Patari, the Pakistani music streaming app. And the only Pakistani startup product with a personality.

Back in 2015, when Patari first launched, it was the only game in town. As in, it had a solid team, beautifully crafted product, and a viral launch a startup can only dream of. Not to mention, a grand mission to empower artists and delight users.

Everything about Patari was doodh jalebi awesome. But the glory days came to a screeching halt in April of 2018.

Khalid Bajwa, Co-founder and CEO at the time, was ousted after allegations of sexual misconduct. Soon after, his replacement Ahmer Naqvi resigned amid old guard vs. new guard scuffle. That paved the way for Rabeel Warraich, CEO of Sarmayacar and one of the investors, to step up and become the interim-CEO until a more suitable candidate could take the realm.

Patari found that suitable candidate last month, but not without controversy.

It appointed board member Zarlasht Faisal as the new CEO. She is the daughter of Faisal Sherjan, one of the co-founders and investors in Patari.

I know what you are thinking. I had the same thought.

The decision reeks of nepotism, and it makes no sense due to her background, or lack thereof.

The story is that she applied for the job, her application was reviewed, and a decision was made to hire her. It’s true, this was confirmed to me by someone at Patari.

So what if she was already on the board and had influence, so what if she is the investor and co-founder’s daughter, so what if she has never run a venture capital-backed startup before. As long as you have a “ personal goal “ to become a CEO, the world is your oyster.

Sarcasm aside, Zarlasht has to transition from running a Shopify store to figuring out how to monetize at scale and bring back the glory days. This is a monumental task. All the best Zarlasht, you will need it.

The doodh jalebi fails the smell test, but maybe it still tastes good?

For what’s it worth, I was told by someone a lot smarter and wiser than me, “ Patari remains a private company. I genuinely don’t understand the backlash it’s getting. It is quite literally no one’s business who does what in a private company.”

Agreed. However, I think I can have an opinion on the leadership of a product I am a big fan of and currently use.

Social proof of me cheerleading in 2015:

Now that I think of it. Everything I said 5 years ago is still on point.

Lastly, it will be criminal negligence if, after all this talk about Patari, I don’t share my current favorite song with you. It’s by Bilal Saeed featuring Roach Killa & Izzat Fatima.

You’re welcome.

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