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Mian Zahid urges Karachi development projects should be completed as soon as possible

President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum (PBIF), President All Karachi Industrial Alliance (AKIA), Senior Vice Chairman of the Businessmen Panel of FPCCI and former provincial minister, Mian Zahid Hussain on Friday called for early completion of the infrastructure projects in Karachi. Karachi is the largest city of Pakistan feeding 20 million people and its weak infrastructure and fragile services reflects on the national economy, he said.

Mian Zahid Hussain said this while speaking at a meeting of Public Utility Committee in which Provincial Minister Local Governments Syed Nasir Hussain Shah was the chief guest.

The former minister noted that provincial government is serving the city and the efforts of the minister are laudable however, there are issues pertaining to law and order, solid waste disposal, sewerage, public transport, traffic system, electricity. Health, education, and provision of drinking water to masses and industry in the province of Sindh. The provincial government is doing a good job but the pace of work should be expedited so that people of Sindh and those living in the economic hub of Karachi can get relief. He said that different federal and provincial governments and international institutions have funded projects to improve the megacity but the suspension of funds has delayed some projects.

He noted that claims regarding improvement in infrastructure are not materialised as expected. There is no system to disposal of garbage and industrial waste, only nine thousand buses are plying in the city while there is an urgent need for the metro bus system. He said that road carpeting and construction of underpasses, flyovers and bypasses have provided relief to commuters. He called upon stern action to remove settlements and qabza groups.

Mian Zahid Hussain noted that different political parties want to gain control over Karachi which result in friction but problems are not resolved.

He called upon the concerned to stop experiments and move to empower local government so that they can make the city liveable. He said that local bodies should be strengthened, they should be properly funded and merit should be observed so that their bodies can deliver.

The local bodies can also assist federal and provincial governments in anti-polio and dengue eradication campaigns etc. moves against adulteration, profiteering, health and education.

He said that Karachi needs 1200 MGD of water while there is a shortage of 550 MGD of water which can be resolved through completion of K-4 project.

Business community hope that the concerned minister Syed Nasir Hussain shah will try his best to complete K-4 project as soon as possible. He said that projects like people urban forest and sarsabz Sindh will help mitigate the impact of climate change.

Greater sewerage plan is under completion, water can be used after recycling, he said, adding that water should be provided to industrial areas and sewerage system should be modernised so that the economy of Karachi and country can grow.

BankIslami’s branch managers certified by LUMS on Islamic finance

BankIslami Pakistan Limited, in collaboration with the Centre for Islamic Finance of Lahore University of Management Science (LUMS) successfully conducted a certified program on Islamic Finance for its branch managers in Lahore. This capacity building initiative was aimed at equipping branch managers of BankIslami with essential Islamic Banking knowledge providing them the ability to serve the customers better through more personalized and robust services.

Dr. Saad Azmat, (Associate Professor of Finance, Director Office of Research, Chair of Centre for Islamic Finance, at Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS) conducted these trainings. Expressing his views on the occasion he remarked that “This partnership between Centre for Islamic Finance at LUMS and BankIslami would be instrumental in promoting Islamic Finance in Pakistan.”

Mr. Rizwan Ata, Country Head Distribution of BankIslami Pakistan spoke at the inaugural session. He emphasized that as branch managers of one of the leading Islamic Bank of Pakistan, the team members have a responsibility to spread awareness about Sharia-compliant banking among consumers and other stakeholders. Therefore, it is essential for them to develop deeper understanding on prohibition of Riba and strive to build conviction towards the frameworks that serve as foundation for Islamic Finance.

This learning initiative was planned for branch managers as part of Bank’s continuous development and capacity building initiative. The certificate distribution ceremony was presided by Mr. Aasim Salim, General Manager, Central region and also attendedby Ms. Ayesha Ashraf Jangda, Section Head, Training& Organizational Development.

The Centre of Islamic Finance at LUMS was established to meet the growing human resource and knowledge requirements of the Islamic finance industry.

Seventh arena premier cricket league concludes

Arena Multimedia Pakistan hosted the seventh Premier Cricket League recently at the UBL sports complex along with 14 teams of Arena Multimedia Pakistan competed at the event.

The Arena Premier League final battle was played between Shahrah-e-Faisal vs Bahadurabad after tired-less efforts Bahadurabad won the match by seven wickets and title of man of the match was given to Basit Behzad from North Zazimabad centre and Maisam Abbas won the title of bowler of the tournament from Nazimabad Centre.

Arena Multimedia has organize a fabulous ceremony for the announcement of winner of tournament for this they invite SSP Gulberg Azhar Mughal, MPA Adeel Shehzad, Sting MPA Abbas Jafri, Founder of World of Wisdom Muhammad Hassan, First Class Cricketer Ijaz Taj, Inspector of Police Salman Waheed.

Blueex courier partners with Pakistan cables to deliver wires and cables direct to consumer

BlueEx Courier signed a MoU with Pakistan Cables Limited to become the exclusive courier company for Pakistan’s first wires and cables estore, recently launched by Pakistan Cables.

The signing ceremony was presided over by Mr. Fahd K. Chinoy, Chief Executive Officer (Pakistan Cables); and Mr. Imran Baxamoosa, Chief Executive Officer and Mr. Ali Aamer Baxamoosa, Executive Director (Blue-Ex Courier).

Under the partnership, Blue-Ex Courier will deliver products ordered by consumers via the Pakistan Cables estore, covering all major cities of Pakistan. As the pioneer in eCommerce logistics and facilitation in Pakistan, the ordered products will be delivered directly to consumers using Last Mile Delivery.

Mr. Imran Baxamoosa, CEO BlueEx stated that, they are a trend setter of advanced logistics services in Pakistan having pioneered E-Commerce logistics and fulfillment when they launched their online parcel booking system (first of its kind in this country) in 2011 and within a few years established the most advanced and efficient cash-on-delivery network across the country. He further added, this partnership is a testament to the fact that we are committed to providing our clients with tailor made services that suit their needs and a positive sign of the digital progression in Pakistan.

“Pakistan Cables has launched the country’s first wires and cable online store in order to enhance convenience from a customer perspective. “We are investing in this partnership in order to provide our customers with a seamless experience, while at the same time assisting in developing the online marketplace for building materials in Pakistan”, commented Fahd K. Chinoy, CEO, Pakistan Cables Limited.

Mahreen Aziz Khan appointed as K-Electric’s first female CXO

Mahreen Aziz Khan has joined K-Electric (KE) as the first female CxO since the company’s transformation began in 2009. Ms. Khan is part of the KE Leadership as Chief Marketing & Communications Officer (CMCO) and this also makes her the first female CMCO at the company. After studying law from Cambridge University, Ms. Khan qualified as a Barrister and has also studied Public Policy from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government. She has more than 19 years of experience in strategic communications, media, and public policy. As KE continues its mission of powering Karachi, the economic hub of Pakistan, Ms. Khan will lead KE’s strategic communications for the utility which caters to more than 2.8 million consumers.

In 2015, Pakistan committed to various UN Sustainable Development Goals (SGD) of which UN SDG 5 aims to “achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls by 2030”. To date, Pakistan’s Energy Sector remains one of the least gender diverse sectors and women face structural and cultural challenges in professional growth and success. There’s a paucity of female CxOs in the Energy Sector, making Ms. Khan’s appointment at KE a significant one. Having female leadership at KE is a Diversity & Inclusion milestone for the organization as well, resonating the #EachForEqual International Women’s Day (IWD) agenda for 2020 which is about collective individualism to create a more gender equal world and workforce.

Ms. Khan commented, “Harnessing the energy and creativity of women in the workforce is a huge advantage not only for KE, but for Pakistan as a whole. We are committed to creating value and contributing to Pakistan’s economy and growth.”

Huawei partners with Jazz to train individuals on digital technology

In a partnership to strengthen digital skills of Pakistani innovators, a leading ICT training will be led by Huawei and powered by Jazz. Over a six-month period, the 200 trainees will be globally certified in the areas of Big Data, Cloud Computing, and Artificial intelligence. Jazz, as Pakistan’s leading digital company is supporting these lessons to build the #DigitalPakistan narrative. The Huawei Knowledge Factory has globally recognized trainers who will conduct the classes at the National Incubation Center in Islamabad.

The purpose behind the program is to help equip the start-up community and Jazz employees with the latest trends necessary in a fast-paced digital economy.

Talking about collaboration, Jazz CEO Aamir Ibrahim said, “These classes are beneficial to anyone working in the field of technology, and will inculcate the most necessary digital tools. Pakistan will embark on the path of economic growth as more of our workforce understands how digital tools work”

Huawei’s President of Middle East Region Charles Yang, said, “Pakistan has an emerging digital market and lots of potential with 68% youth among its population. Huawei wants to support Pakistan by enabling its youth with technological skills to become entrepreneurs and contribute to the economy.”

The initiative is offered under Jazz’s Digital Sustainability initiative, which empowers youth with technology. The program aims to equip the youth with tech-based knowledge so that they are able to develop innovative digital & financial solutions to tomorrow’s challenges.

Huawei Pakistan’s CEO Mark Meng added, “Huawei, established 40 years ago, believes in technological change and sees this as a social responsibility. Jazz is our first priority as an operator in Pakistan, and together we wish to evolve the digital landscape and empower youth through these ICT trainings.”

With technology being critical to the implementation of United Nations Sustainable Development Goals 2030, the trainings will also play a critical role in the attainment of larger global goals for the government of Pakistan.

Pearls university unveils woman tech quest 2020

In line with the mission to empower women through tech, 10Pearls University is pleased to announce the 4th edition of Women Tech Quest. The event is scheduled to take place on March 28, 2020, and will be held in three major cities of Pakistan – Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad.

Women Tech Quest (WTQ) is a competition for women to exhibit their expertise in either of three categories – software coding, software testing or graphic designing. The participants can be students, professionals or stay-at-home women who wish to restart their careers. It’s an intense, yet fun-filled competition where they compete to achieve their tasks within the specified time. The best in each category are declared the winners of Women Tech Quest, and get exciting prizes in addition to winner shields. Additionally, it’s a great opportunity for everyone to network with likeminded women and enjoy the spotlight!

10Pearls’ Managing Director Zeeshan Aftab explains the purpose behind holding Women Tech Quest: “We want to create an ecosystem that enables women in tech to demonstrate their creativity and expertise, get due recognition, and accelerate their careers. Women Tech Quest is one such initiative by 10Pearls University.”

WTQ is a lot about encouraging women to ace in their careers. Each year, inspirational women join the event as guest speakers and share their journey of triumphs and growth. For this edition of WTQ, Ammara Masood — CEO & President – National Data Consultant (Pvt) Ltd, Dr Sara Saeed (CEO and Co-Founder of Sehat Kahani), Aqsa Kauser (Machine Learning Engineer at Red Buffer) and Asma Khalil, (Country Director Customer Care at Careem) are just some of the leading women who will be speaking at the event.

According to Nadia Nasir, Winner of Coding Competition 2019, “Programs like Women Tech Quest give women an opportunity to enhance their skills, meet amazing women and experience a fast-paced environment. I thoroughly enjoyed participating and winning the competition!”

Over the years, Women Tech Quest has seen remarkable growth since its inception. It was initiated in 2017, where there were around 100 registrations. In 2018, the competition had 400+ registrations. The third edition attracted 600+ registrations and the scope was broadened to include Coding, Testing and Design. This year, the competition has been taken nation-wide and will be taking place in Karachi (NIC Karachi, our strategic partner), Lahore (Plan9 our event partner) and Islamabad (WeCreate).

Women Tech Quest has always been endorsed by top names in technology and other industries. We are proud to have renowned names like [email protected], WomeninTechPK, Women Techmakers Lahore, GDG Islamabad and Uber as our Event Partners for WTQ2020. The event is sponsored by Bonanza Satrangi and Finclude.

Textile exports can earn additional billions: Mian Zahid Hussain

President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum (PBIF), President All Karachi Industrial Alliance (AKIA), Senior Vice Chairman of the Businessmen Panel of FPCCI and former provincial minister, Mian Zahid Hussain on Wednesday said textile exports can fetch extra billions of dollars for the country.

The importance of textile sector has increased manifold in the current global economic scenario which must be realised, he said.

Speaking at a meeting of FPCCI Standing Committee for Textile, Dying and Processing, on video link in which business leaders from Karachi, Lahore and other cities participated, Mian Zahid Hussain said that the issues confronting textile sector should be resolved so that it can play an effective role in national development.

The veteran business leader said that increased taxes, costly energy, the demand for bank guarantees by gas utilities and delayed refunds has increased cost of doing business which should be reduced.

Chairman of the committee, Irfan Saeed said that the textile processing industry is in tatters which should be bailed out. Taxes, energy and exchange rate erosion has taken a toll on this important sector while the cost of raw material has been increased by 30 to 35 percent. This sector is finding it difficult to fulfil commitments dying and printing, therefore, duties on the import of raw material should be reduced, he demanded.

Deputy Convenor of the committee Tahir Mahboob said that extension in GSP Plus for two years is a welcome development. He said that exporters are preferring only six countries in the EU while focussing on the rest of the countries can increase exports substantially.

He said that commercial consular should play their role to improve exports which will reduce the gap between imports and exports and diversification has become imperative as 80 percent Pakistani exports to the EU are textile-based. He noted that water treatment plants should be installed in industries otherwise, the EU can stop buying Pakistani textiles which will result in a loss of four billion euros.

Mian Zahid Hussain said that apart from all other things, the coronavirus has also reduced prices of cotton which will provide relief to our textile sector. He called upon the government to start working immediately so that next cotton crop could be saved from collapse.

He said that President FPCCI Anjum Nisar is busy in serving the business community and forwarding research-based proposals to the government which will go a long way in resolving the issues of industrialists and traders.

Shell Pakistan and visa announce grand prize winner

Ms. Romana Sohail was announced as the grand prize winner of Go Home with Luxury contest by Shell Pakistan Limited (Shell Pakistan) and Visa. A special celebration was held at SPL Defence Service Station, last week. The proud winner of a Mercedes had participated in the contest, which was aimed at encouraging customers to use alternative payment options.

The winner of this contest, Ms. Romana Sohail said, “When I first received the call, I could not believe that I had won the contest and would be owner of such a grand prize. I have been fueling at Shell for as long as I can remember and always encourage my friends and family to do the same. I am thankful to both Shell and Visa for rewarding me and my family.”

Taha Magrabi, General Manager Retail of Shell Pakistan said, “Winning a luxury car is a dream that we want our customers to experience. During this campaign, we received an overwhelming response. We continuously look for opportunities to extend rewards and benefits that are meaningful to our customers and are proud to organize this campaign with Visa. My heartiest congratulations to Ms. Romana Sohail and her family.”

Kamil Khan, Visa’s Country Manager for Pakistan expressed his thoughts saying, “By incentivizing consumers to use their cards, we are exposing them to the benefits of digital payments and helping increase their preference for digital payments over cash – that is why such promotions are important. I want to thank Shell for their partnership in running this promotion. I also want to congratulate our lucky winner, Ms. Romana Sohail, and her family on their brand-new Sedan.”

To participate in this contest, customers were required to spend Rs. 3,000 or more with their Visa card at selected Shell Pakistan stations on fuels, lubricants, Select store or any other purchase to avail this amazing possibility of going home in an all new Mercedes Benz A-Class sedan. This contest ran for 3 months, from November 1st, 2019 to January 31, 2020.

Macro-economic challenges impact Shell Pakistan’s results

The Board of Directors of Shell Pakistan Limited (SPL) announced financial results for the year ended December 31st, 2019. The company posted a loss after tax of PKR 1,485 million for 2019 compared to the loss of PKR 1,102 million in 2018.

The oil industry felt the impact of some of the continued macro-economic challenges faced by the country, primarily owing to the unprecedented devaluation of the rupee; declining fuels market; volatility in the international oil prices and increased minimum tax rates applicable, which has had a significant impact on SPLs financial results.

In 2019, the Pak Rupee further devalued against the US dollar by 11%. Although the Pak Rupee remained reasonably stable in the last six months, its effects were felt in the overall results of the company. Being part of an import dependent industry where a large percentage of SPLs costs are denominated in foreign currency, this devaluation had an impact on its cost base and, in turn, on financial performance.

Shell Pakistan Limited continues its focus on driving competitive business plans to deliver top quartile business performance and play a key role in developing Pakistan’s energy future.

Toyota Indus Motor bags map’s corporate excellence award 2020

Indus Motor Company (IMC) has won the Best Corporate Excellence Award in the category of Automobile Assembler, as adjudged by the Management Association of Pakistan (MAP), while recognizing and honoring companies that exhibit outstanding performance and demonstrating progressive management practices during the year 2019. The award was received by Mr. Mohammad Ibadullah, Chief Financial Officer, IMC, in a ceremony held by MAP at Karachi. The Chief Guest on the occasion was Asad Umar, Federal Minister for Planning, Development, Reforms and Special Initiatives.

IMC is one of the largest car manufacturers in Pakistan and one of the biggest tax contributors. This is the 5th time IMC has won this Best in Sector Corporate Excellence Award since 2010, whereas IMC has already won the Overall Industrial Corporate Excellence Awards four times.

The evaluation for the Awards comprised of four phases i.e. (a) shortlisting on the basis of dividend payouts during the last three years, (b) detailed financial assessment, (c) review of management practices, and (d) management interviews. The evaluation of awards was carried out and the results were compiled by a neutral third party consultant hired by MAP.

Mr. Ali Asghar Jamali, CEO IMC said, “We are thrilled to receive the award. Though quite diverse, these awards are all linked to one inseparable outcome: that is to make Indus Motor more successful and better than what we are today.” He further added, “Excellence is more than a set of year-end results. So it’s more than a destination, it’s a journey.”

Khushhali microfinance bank launches internet banking for faster banking experience

Khushhali Microfinance Bank Limited (KMBL) enters the digital world in 2020 with the launch of its Internet Banking website. Customers will now be able to conduct financial and non-financial transactions on the go as per banking industry practices.

Khushhali’s Internet Banking website will now allow customers to access services like secure intrabank funds transfer, hassle free bill payment (utility bills, mobile bills, insurance payments, top-ups, etc.), interbank funds transfer, mini statements, balance enquiry, and many other non-financial services from any place they like at any time of the day. The internet banking site can be accessed on https://login.khushhalibank.com.pk where users can avail the new digital banking experience from the comfort of their homes.

The online service will also empower micro-entrepreneurs by providing them greater control and transparency over their daily financial transactions. Users will no longer have to interrupt their schedules to visit the KMBL branch or stand in queues to avail any services.

The transition to digital banking is crucial in today’s age as it bridges the financial inclusion gap in rural and developing areas. In the South Asian region, the benefits of online banking have been especially exemplary in the last few years, as banking through internet/digital devices has connected an entire segment of unbanked population by bypassing the obstacles of traditional banking.

According to McKinsey Report, Singapore is leading the race with 94% accessing their accounts over the Internet while digital banking penetration in Indonesia and Vietnam reached about 40%. With Pakistan also being significantly under-banked, KMBL is aiming to encourage the greater engagement with technology through its online banking.

President KMBL, Ghalib Nishtar rejoiced at the launch of online banking, “KMBL is committed to providing its customers a smooth user experience while also imparting financial literacy skills to help improve lives. The internet banking is a step in that direction as it will also encourage micro-entrepreneurs to become more digitally-literate by using the latest technologies.”

NBP pledges to empower more women for a stronger nation

An increase in participation of female work force in a holistic environment in which women can translate their ideas will contribute to higher economic growth,’ said Asma Shaikh, SEVP/Group Chief, HRMG, while addressing a large gathering of female employees at the Women’s Day Celebration at the NBP Head Office.

At the onset of the celebration, Ms. Asma Shaikh conducted an interactive session in which she asked the participants to speak up about their challenges and share their success stories with others. She encouraged all the females to learn to express, write and think no matter in whatever stage they are in their careers. Working women in Pakistan feel they face a number of challenges to make their voice heard in business environments. The two key challenges often identified by women in the workplace are sustaining a belief in their own ability and potential, and having the confidence to put themselves forward for senior positions.

Sadaffe Abid, NBP BoD, CEO, Circle Women Association, graced the occasion as the Chief Guest, she encouraged the participants with her motivational speech and urged them not to underestimate themselves, women need to be more courageous and stay in the game. She further said that when women are given the rights, the skills and the opportunities to succeed, it creates a powerful ripple effect. It is also very important that women raise their voice, think through the bottlenecks, and develop the confidence to talk about their issues. Like on social media, if you raise your voice, companies will pay attention. We have to build allies; networking is critical. Speak up, talk to people, say yes to opportunities, have faith in yourself. Men have lots of confidence, women need to do that too.

Sadaffe Abid wears many hats she is also an advocate of digital inclusion for women, and a businesswoman inspiring many to follow in her footsteps.

Pantera energy, Shahkam industries sign mou for3.32 mw rooftop solar power plant

In a landmark development, Pantera Energy, a leading solar energy equipment and solution provider signed a memorandum of understanding with Shahkam Industries to provide 3.32 MW rooftop Solar Power plant. The power plant will be installed and made operational during the upcoming summers according to the terms of the contract. When completed, the unit will be one of the largest roof top solar power plants in Pakistan. This solar power plant, being installed on self-consumption basis, will produce around five million units of clean and renewable electricity every year. This will result in a significant drop in the carbon footprint of Shahkam Industries, a major textile industry in Pakistan. This development will also significantly reduce electricity costs for the textile giant and shield them against ever rising electricity prices in Pakistan. The MoU was signed in a lit ceremony hosted at a hotel in Lahore. Speaking on the occasion, Muhammad Shoaib, CEO of Pantera Energy told the attendees that being one of the oldest companies working in this relatively new market, Pantera Energy has always been at the forefront of Solar revolution in Pakistan. He said, “I hope this new endeavor marks a new wave in the country’s renewable energy revolution. Widespread use of renewable energy is critical for reducing environmental challenges and trade deficits that have crippled our economy. Our company is rapidly expanding its commercial and industrial customer footprint across the country and we are investing in providing high-quality products with exceptional customer service. More and more industries are keen to learn about Pantera Energy and are inclined towards adopting renewable energy sources.”

Mr. Furqan Ali, Director Commercial at Pantera Energy also addressed the ceremony. He briefed that “This will be the biggest consolidated solar energy system on a textile unit rooftop in Lahore. It is also one of the largest rooftop solar power plant installed at a single site in Pakistan. Pantera is one of the most known and reputable solar companies in Pakistan with more than100 Megawatts installed in Pakistan in residential, commercial, industrial and agricultural sectors. Providing top of the line quality products and services by consistently applying advancement in technology. At Pantera, our primary focus is on reliability, safety and longevity of our solar solutions. This power plant provides us an opportunity to showcase our skills and our commitment to set quality benchmarks for solar installations in Pakistan”. The event was attended by representatives of both companies and corporate executives from the industry. Mr. Shahid Butt, CEO of Shahkam Industries expressed his hope that teams of both the companies will collaborate to make this project a successful endeavor and result in a good return on investment for his company to set a great example for the rest of the industry to follow.

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