On 15th November 2018, a digital media services company “Brando Marketing” announced on its social media pages that the company will be “powering government initiatives probono!”. The virtually unknown company has now been signed as the “Official Digital Media Partner of the Government of Pakistan”.
Upon investigation it was found that there was no official tender for “Official Digital Media Partner” posted by the NITB (National Information Technology Board) nor was any due process conducted before the company signed an MoU with the NITB. However, Brando Marketing tweeted that they will be working pro bono, and will provide their services “free as part of national responsibility”. They also expressed that they desire to train government employees and prepare them for modern digital systems of the future.
NITB also released a statement on this matter in which they stated that Brando Marketing is among other companies that the NITB signed MoU’s with, therefore this is no monopoly.
The primary prevailing concern is the misuse of the power associated with the position the relatively inexperienced company now holds and the connections of the Company with other companies and organizations such as the Association of Overseas Pakistanis (aop.org.pk) and Grana.com. It is speculated that the CEO, Mr Farhan Javed has close ties to the Prime Minister’s Special Assistant on Overseas Pakistanis, Mr Zulfi Bukhari. This has put the whole scenario under close scrutiny.
Addressing this, the CEO Mr. Farhan Javed stated that Brando Marketing is providing its services for free. He also acknowledged and addressed the issue of data leaks, and said that the company is willing for an independent audit anytime, anywhere in case suspicions arise. Which brings the matter to a conclusion with hopes that there will be no foul play and that the company and its benefactors are truly working for the betterment of the country and not for their own profits.