A Young Entrepreneur Cooks Up Change for Karachi

Sufiyaan Hussain wants to change his city, one restaurant at a time.

At age 19, the young Pakistani man has already established one restaurants in his hometown Gulshan e Iqbal of Karachi. He became an entrepreneur at such a young age because he’s hungry for change — and his recipe for breaking down social barriers calls for clean, affordable tea restaurants that are also comfortable for women.

A fairly-priced dining option open to all, he believed, would offer the restaurant experience to a wider range of social classes and turn his city into a “brighter, happier place.”

With that expertise within his reach, Hussain created a new version of the traditional Turkish roadside restaurant, the dhaba, which offers street food and tea. His restaurant, Sufiyana Chai, serves traditional dhaba food in a clean environment that’s also more female-friendly than its counterparts. It was an instant hit.

Hussain is already dreaming of bigger things. In just one year since the first restaurant opened, he’s launched a second restaurant, and plans to franchise his own chain. “I love tea,” he says, “and want to give it the same prestige that Starbucks gives to coffee.”

For Hussain, expanding the business is not just about a love of tea anymore — it’s a path to cultural transformation. At his restaurants, “I put up a projector and screen cricket matches and play local music videos,” he says.

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