Wednesday , August 17 2022

Domains around the world: AbdulBasit Makrani in Pakistan

In the first in this new series, I interview AbdulBasit Makrani of Pakistan.

Headshot of AbdulBasit Makrani standing in front of TV screen
AbdulBasit Makrani is a domain investor in Pakistan.

Today, I’m launching a new series profiling domain investing around the world.

It’s easy for many of us, especially those in places like the United States, to think our worldview extends around the globe. But things aren’t the same everywhere, and I think we can learn a lot by listening to people in other places.

DNW will publish a series of short written interviews with people around the globe. Interviewees don’t have to be full-time domain investors but should have obtained some level of success with domain investing. If you have recommendations for any country, please email me at andrew (at) domain name wire.com.

First up is AbdulBasit Makrani, who lives in Pakistan. AbdulBasit was a guest on DNW Podcast #370 in January and blogs about his domain investing experiences at AbdulBasit.com.

DNW: How and when did you get into domain investing?

Makrani: The first time I came across domains was in late 2004, when my father pushed me into this as a business. That’s when I bought my first domain name, Traders.CC, which I still have. But I bought it mainly for development purposes. Fast forward to 2010 is when I started full-time domaining.

DNW: Is .com king in your country, or is another domain (like the country code) dominant?

Makrani: I believe yes. But at the same time, people are using .pk and .com.pk for their businesses. Overall, I see .com is more dominant over the ccTLD.

DNW: What is the domain investing community like in your country?

Makrani: To be frank, there is no proper domain investing community in my country except the WhatsApp group I initiated back in late 2016. So far, we’ve crossed just the 100 members mark. I did organize a few offline and online meetings, but the response wasn’t that fruitful. Many of them are more comfortable in their own space.

DNW: How does your location impact your domain investing?

Makrani: This very much impacts domain investing. There could be numerous reasons.

One of them is the income tax which varies from country to country, and in Pakistan, there is no income tax on domain sales which gives a domain investor an edge over the investors who pay a lot of taxes in their country.

Another thing is a stable and fast internet connection which unfortunately is lacking in Pakistan. The majority of the time, there is a problem with either stability or speed of the internet, which especially affects the buying of GoDaddy closeouts, for which you’ve to be very swift in grabbing the domain when it enters Closeout.

Also, the auction timings. Like, I’ve to be awake between 2AM to 5AM for sniping GoDaddy Closeouts. It’s not possible every day when you’ve to do a lot of work during the day as well.

Another major issue here is the electricity. At times it is cut off for hours every day, and that’s usual in the entire country except in a few areas!

One last thing I would like to add is the cost of living which is less in Pakistan compared to Western countries, so one can save more money and reinvest into domains and grow their portfolio quickly, but there are issues at the same time as well which I discussed which slows down your overall progress.

DNW: If there were to be a domain conference in your country, what city do you think it should be in and why?

Makrani: I think the capital city Islamabad or Karachi, which is the most populated one, are two good options. We can find more tech-related people in these cities and people are more aware about domain names.

Answers have been slightly edited for clarity.

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