Pakistani Abdul Qadeer gave up trying to build a block of flats in Karachi four years ago, when gangsters demanding $20,000 in protection money shot him in the legs because he refused to pay.
Now he is back, putting the finishing touches to one of several apartment complexes he is constructing, part of a property boom which he attributes to the security crackdown on Islamist insurgents and criminals launched in the city in 2013.
"The terror in people has been eliminated. Business is good," he told Reuters, pointing to six scars left by the gunshot wounds.
Qadeer's experience was not uncommon for those trying to do business in Karachi, home to more than 20 million people and with a reputation as one of the world's most dangerous cities.