An illuminating discussion with Dr. Irfan Ahmed

February 9, 2009 at 5:04 pm 15 comments

In the Line of Wire was fortunate enough to catch hold of Dr. Irfan Ahmed, who heads up Advertising Sales for Yahoo in the Middle East & Pakistan and is based in Dubai, on his recent visit to Karachi. In this 3-part episode, I spoke with Irfan regarding the web traffic from Pakistan, how we could increase the number of internet users, what kind of content is available, what is needed and how we can all do our bit to increase the numbers and the diversity of content that is out there. This is the first of the 3-part episode. The other two will also be aired this week.  Watch out for them!

Entry filed under: Posts.

A special session of Startup Insiders at LUMS The conversation with Dr. Irfan Ahmed continues

15 Comments Add your own

  • An illuminating discussion with Dr. Irfan Ahmed…

    In the Line of Wire was fortunate enough to catch hold of Dr. …

  • 2. Ahmed Bilal  |  February 9, 2009 at 6:13 pm

    Here is a comparison of traffic for some of the local websites that Dr. Irfan mentioned from Google Trends:

    And Jehan Ara is under 30???? 🙂

  • […] This cup of tea was served by: In the Line of Wire […]

  • 4. Anthony Mitchell  |  February 9, 2009 at 6:26 pm

    Yahoo is an excellent ad feed provider and is getting better all the time. They offer the best revenue share but the lack of advertisers means that sometimes there is a lack of relevant ads, especially on targeted sites that would otherwise be earning high revenues for ads, such as financial services websites.

    Responsibility is not just Yahoo’s—but for everyone engaged in online content publishing to keep making the case to advertisers that online advertising can give better results at cheaper prices. Unlike other forms of advertising, online ads are easy to measure and they give immediate results.

    Advertisers are not living in a cave in some isolated place. They are using the same websites that we do. This makes them accessible.

    If Yahoo asked site operators who receive their ad feeds for 10% free ad space to promote Yahoo advertising and other Yahoo products, it would be in the interest of the site operator to cooperate in helping Yahoo attract new business.

    One type of ad that Yahoo could run on third party sites would be one that asks viewers if they would like to advertise on that exact website. Make it easy for advertisers to precisely target their advertising, especially at first, and then the ad market will grow.

    One issue that Yahoo faces, perhaps more so than any other online ad purveyor, is the issue of how to handle fraudulent click throughs in developing markets such as Pakistan. It appears that in some cases, Yahoo’s practice is to err on the side of shutting down the entire account of the publisher, rather than simply dropping fraudulent clicks or, in more extreme cases, not charging (or paying) for clicks from a website where clickthrough fraud is prevalent.

    More trust building and pro-active communication will help too. At the end of the day, advertising requires cooperation from all parties to be successful.

    Giving site operators better tools and a bigger role in improving the quality of clickthroughs will help everyone.

    For additional information on ‘search advertising campaign management’ search for that term on any of the search engines see the number one result that appears.

  • 5. Obaid Ahmed  |  February 9, 2009 at 8:01 pm

    Interesting conversation, I look forward to the next two parts. 🙂

  • […] those of you who haven’t seen it, please do check out the latest videocast by Jehan Ara. What they talked about in the first part of the interview is exactly what Mazaydar is […]

  • 7. Kamran  |  February 10, 2009 at 11:13 am

    Awesome!! Brilliant feedback from Dr. Sb. and i really look forward to more of the Dr. on our local industry.

  • 8. sadi ali  |  February 10, 2009 at 4:19 pm

    Free Bio Nano Comp Lectures at LUMS bt MIT/IBM/Illinois/Gatech Alumni Professors (Organizer: Sabieh Anwar SSE LUMS)

  • 9. Rehan Allahwala  |  February 11, 2009 at 9:30 am

    Great interview, and great initiative, and great ending line

    Rabia this is great, is there a formal web site for these web episodes? like maybe?

    2. I hope you will start the how to webpisodes also soon, as they are extremely needed.



  • 10. Jehan  |  February 11, 2009 at 9:57 am

    @Rehan, nothing good to say about the anchor 😉

    This and other shows from Webstudio are available at

    We are starting a ‘How to” series with Zahid Jamil this weekend which will talk about how to set up a company, SECP registration, domain names etc.. Give us some other How to topics and we will do them with different experts. This initiative of CIO will help to build a lot of resource which can then be shared.

  • 11. Bushra Alvi  |  February 11, 2009 at 1:24 pm

    Heyy Irfan, you’re such a source of inspiration and you’re absolutely right too. With so many people (including me) losing jobs, its time to rethink. Entrepreneurship is the need of the hour. If you want a job, employ yourself. That way you will own your art and your ‘SOUL’ too!

    The ‘chaabi’ to the source of your joy cannot be in someone else’s hand. That is a sure formula for disaster!

    I would definitely like to consult you on how to start my own website. May I?

    Thanking you in anticipation.

    btw Jehanara, the dicussion was interesting, informative n illuminating. It was summed up beautifully too. Way to go!


    Bushra Alvi

  • 12. Faisal  |  February 11, 2009 at 11:55 pm

    Probably one such local site with more of local content and knowledge sharing is

    An excellent local resource for telco people managed and run by a Paki.

  • 13. Jehan  |  February 12, 2009 at 12:08 am

    @Faisal definitely Zumbeel fits into that category. Note to myself – must interview the team.

  • 14. Awais Naseer Keyani  |  February 14, 2009 at 5:12 pm

    I don’t have the words 2 appreciate u Jehan!!

  • 15. earphones  |  August 4, 2013 at 4:43 am

    Useful information. Fortunate me I found your web site unintentionally, and
    I’m stunned why this twist of fate did not happened earlier! I bookmarked it.


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