Season 1     EPISODE 2
October 22, 2021

To bribe or not to bribe? | Ghazanfar Iqbal

Social entrepreneur Ghazanfar Iqbal talks about a time in his life when he had to choose between doing what is easy and doing what is right, and how this decision turned his life upside down.

2 min read

Ghazanfar Iqbal co-founded AutoSahulat, a VC-funded start-up working towards empowering mechanics in Pakistan. He also has more than a decade of experience in the corporate sector. He is currently working as the country head of corporate sales at Careem and is also a founder of the digital media enterprise GuzPro. Ghazanfar is an Acumen Fellow and a mentor at the National Incubation Centre, Islamabad.


“Come July, we received letters from the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan and the Ministry of Interior (MoI) stating that we couldn’t operate in Pakistan because we had failed to get the security clearance. The reasons they gave for this were vague and unclear. Everything came to a halt. I started contacting close friends and people in the local entrepreneurial ecosystem who might be able to help in getting the MoI to change their decision. I even developed a contact within the MoI, but things didn’t work out.

Seeing no way out of this debacle, we closed down our operations, gave a month’s notice to our team, and let them go. Not only this, our organisation lost around USD 60,000 in the process of tech development, company registration, marketing, and salaries. We were devastated that we had to take such drastic steps, but what else could we do?”

Read more

  1. Read Ghazanfar’s story on Failure Files.
  2. Read more failure stories on Failure Files.
  3. Check out some ideas and tools from Fail Forward to help your organisation take risks, learn, adapt, and fail intelligently.
  4. Understand why the social sector must recognise and talk about failure.
  5. Learn why talking about failure is crucial for growth.

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