Farhan Lalani

Forty Under 40 Winner 2015: Founder and CEO, Market One Media Group, 37

If Wall Street or Boiler Room is playing on a TV anywhere near Farhan Lalani, it’s going to be tough to drag him away from the screen.

Growing up in a family where the capital markets were frequent fodder for dinner-table discussions, the 37-year-old said it wasn’t long before he was addicted to any movie featuring brokers.

“That’s where my passion was,” said Lalani, the founder and CEO of Market One Media Group.

His parents, who arrived in Canada as refugees from Uganda in the 1970s, paid for private schooling when he was young and kept him inspired to pursue his passions later on in life.

He eventually turned that passion for broker films into a career in the markets during his 20s, first as an analyst and then as an investment adviser.

But as the economy slowed in the late 2000s and early 2010s, Lalani’s passions drifted from the markets and toward marketing.

“The companies are having a tougher time and there’s just less business being done,” he said. “It just became a difficult climate.”

Lalani began helping companies struggling to find capital by getting them media attention through sponsored print pieces in newspapers like the Province.

“Basically the floodgates opened. All these public companies said, ‘Hey, this guy’s in the paper. That guy’s in the paper. How do I get in the paper?’” he recalled.

Lalani soon realized he could expand those opportunities for both Market One Media Group and its clients by focusing on national and digital sponsored content pieces running across different Postmedia publications and platforms.

“It’s almost a pet project now to me to revolutionize how companies get their message out,” he said. “I always find if you’re passionate about what you do, you’re going to be successful.”

Birthplace: Toronto

Where you live now: Vancouver

Highest level of education: Bachelor of arts – double major in economics and psychology

Currently reading: The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz

Currently listening to: Human Nature – Michael Jackson

When you were a kid, what you wanted to be when you grew up: No. 23 starting guard for the Chicago Bulls

Profession you would most like to try: Hotelier

Toughest business or professional decision: Leaving a successful job as a stock broker to venture out on my own and execute on my vision of where I saw the future of digital media

Advice you would give the younger you: Be passionate about whatever it is you are going to do with your life and reverse engineer both your personal and professional success. Determine what it’s going to take to be the best in your field in a two-year time frame and get there in 18 months

What’s left to do: Teach my newborn son everything I know


Join us to celebrate the 2015 Forty under under 40 Awards January 27, 2016 at the Fairmont Waterfront Hotel. For tickets and event info visit www.biv.com/events/40under40.