The Networker is the title of an article in the New Yorker describing the talents and entrepreneurial spirit of Saad Mohensi. Saad Mohseni is an Afghan-Australian that set up a media company under the name ‘MOBY group’ with his siblings. This media company is an umbrella for many ventures, such as television, radio, and print, with the most famous and ambitious being considered Tolo TV and Arman FM. The article suggests that Tolo TV accounts for more than half of all television viewing in Afghanistan, and Arman FM accounts for 37% of all viewing.
The article considers the success of the company is due to the networking skills of Saad Mohensi, who is anecdotally described as having contacted several influential people in the course of one interview to ensure that he got the facts straight. This ability to immediately retrieve information from such people as the Vice-President of Afghanistan is one of the major contributing factors in Mohensi being considered a brilliant networker and amazing entrepreneur.
The article covers in detail the story of Mohensi’s childhood, which mainly consisted of moving around between major Western cities such as Tokyo, London, and Sydney, which is where he got many of his ideas. It then goes onto state how important and influential the MOBY group is, particularly in a country like Afghanistan which is known for being particularly illiterate and religious. 40% of employees at the MOBY group are female, which is unusual and radical in Afghanistan, a largely Muslim country. Tolo TV, in particular, has been slated and abused for not only allowing females to appear on shows but allowing them to converse with men freely on these shows. Some of the soap operas that are shown on Tolo TV are from India, which means that the women featured are not veiled and sometimes show their waists as is traditional in Hindu culture. It has been noted that a lot of younger female residents in Afghanistan are now refusing to wear the burkha and agree to the arranged marriage, and a lot of this has been attributed to the liberalism of Mohensi’s venture.
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