Aurora Magazine

Promoting excellence in advertising

Published in Nov-Dec 2015

Mentor, friend and a big name in media

Paying tribute to Ziauddin T. Kisat [1923 – 2015].
Photo provided by Zain Kisat.
Photo provided by Zain Kisat.

Ziauddin T. Kisat, fondly called Ziauddin sahib, passed away in November this year. Having spent almost 60 years in the media he finally retired a few years ago. Most of those 60 years were spent in Dawn and the last 15 years or so with Jang. I met Ziauddin sahib for the first time in early 1982 when I was working on a supplement on the inauguration of ICI’s polyester fibre staple plant in Lahore. I had just begun my career at MNJ and was a total novice in advertising.

Ziauddin sahib was a big name in media circles and he carried with him the aura of Dawn and I was scared to go and see him at the Dawn office. However, as soon as I got there he put me at ease and helped sort out the issues we had. In the years that followed I became a good friend of his son Zain and his colleagues Masood Hamid and Tauqeer Muhajir. I interacted with him more when I joined IAL in 1987. A few years later, his nephew Sohail became a colleague at IAL and the relationship with the Kisat family transcended from a purely professional one into a professional cum family one. Over the years I came to know Ziauddin sahib very well and grew very fond of him. Then towards the end of 1993 we became colleagues at the Jang Group when he joined as Executive Director Marketing for Jang and I as Executive Director of The News.

This relationship was to last for the next 17 years or so. During those years he became my mentor and friend. Guiding me through difficult times and helping me to find my moorings in a career I had just joined. Today I can say without hesitation that I learnt the basics of how to sell print from Ziauddin sahib.

After he moved to head the Recovery function in 1997 our bond grew stronger. He was a professional to the core. Yet he was always there to help whenever you had a problem. You could go to him and discuss any issue and come back satisfied. His smile was enough to do the trick.

He joined the Jang Group in his 70s but even at that age he was full of energy. At times when there was a power failure and the lifts were not working he used to climb all eight flights of stairs; something I couldn’t do even then. He was active at work until a few years ago, coming to office at 10:00 a.m. and staying till 6:00 p.m. in the evening. That was Ziauddin Kisat.

RIP, sir.

Sarmad Ali is Managing Director, Jang Media Group. sarmad.ali@janggroup.com.pk