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Takaful solutions possible through smartchoick.pk

Takaful Pakistan Limited and Smartchoice.pk have inked an agreement to offer innovative and comprehensive Takaful solutions through Smartchoice.pk a financial products’ aggregator platform. Takaful Pakistan Limited strives and aspires to be the trend-setter in the contemporary Takaful industry by providing innovative and comprehensive solutions, based on fundamental Islamic principles. Smartchoice.pk aims to facilitate consumers by providing with an easy and convenient platform which showcases financial products from the leading financial companies.

The agreement was signed between Mr. Kamran M. Hanif, Head of Operations — Takaful Pakistan Limited & Mr. Sibtain Jiwani, CEO – Smartchoice.pk. On this occasion, both parties spoke about their vision and strategy pertaining to convenience and ease with which the service should reach the customers. Takaful Pakistan Limited and Smartchoice.pk aim to maintain the highest level of customer satisfaction backed by efficient partners and technology to enhance the customer journey through innovative techniques and solutions.

PBIF says circular debt becomes a national security concern

President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum and All Karachi Industrial Alliance, and former provincial minister Mian Zahid Hussain on Friday said circular debt has swelled to Rs2.1 trillion becoming a serious national security issue.

Circular debt is increasing by almost Rs550 billion per annum and it can jump to Rs5 trillion over the next four years, he said.

Mian Zahid Hussain warned that the infamous debt has the ability to hit the economy hard and bankrupt the ailing power sector.

Talking to the business community, the veteran business leader said that the policy of a continued increase in power tariff to make up for the losses has backfired which has damaged agriculture, industry, services sector and masses.

It is also hurting some important state-run institutions which are not in the loss despite political interference.

The business leader said that circular debt was increasing by Rs38 billion per month during the former regime while the minister of the incumbent government repeatedly claimed to bring it down to 10 to 12 billion rupees but in fact, it is swelling by Rs45 billion per month.

The current government is entering in its third year of rule and it is now difficult to blame the former government for everything while the consumers have a right to ask that if the power policy of the former government was flayed than why is it still being used.

The reasons behind circular debt are said to be flawed power purchasing agreements, theft, line losses, corruption, nepotism, non-payment of bills and undue political interference.

The government should make short-term and long term plan to address these issues as a country that is being run on borrowed money cannot afford weak policies and princely lifestyle of the elite.

How to compensate angry customers

When our products or services come up short, apologizing is the right thing to do. Many businesses take the extra step of offering monetary compensation or a gift to make up for bad experiences. However, many customer service professionals know all too well that some customers try to take advantage of this generosity. For some, giving things away is unthinkable or not even an option.

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Why they’re angry

Many things can make customers angry. While some of them have nothing to do with us, some have everything to do with us. Broken promises, missed expectations, disregarding the value of their time, and prior bad experiences can leave customers feeling on edge. External factors weigh heavily on customers’ minds, too. A small service failure on our part may have set them back from an important or emotional goal. The best way to approach an angry customer is with empathy, humility, and a genuine desire to help.

Be reasonable

When our shortcomings have caused damage, broken customer trust, or been negligent toward customer needs, it is wholly appropriate for our apology to have a monetary component. Many companies do this already, but we must take great care to fix the root cause underlying the failure. No amount of money in discounts, refunds, and free products can compensate for recurring bad experiences and continuously broken promises. Customers must be able to trust that the problems they report will are for good.

How much is enough

Knowing how much to give in an apology is tricky. We want to be generous while still being profitable overall. We want to go above and beyond, yet remain reasonable and proportionate to the issue. A thorough understanding of the incident, and key metrics like customer lifetime value (CLV), can help keep our response grounded in reality. Unique and meaningful is always better than expensive and routine; keep this in mind when determining how to compensate dissatisfied customers.

Give when you cannot gift

Not all organizations are free to make gifts to customers’ part of their service recovery. This can be a sticking point for government, healthcare, and many other makers of goods and services who want to do right by their customers. Exhibiting genuine care, committing to do better, and a swift correction is often all it takes. Spending a little extra time to help the customer, provide insight or education, make yourself more available, or take an interest in something important to them are inexpensive ways to go above and beyond.

Enabling agents

The longer it takes to resolve a problem, the more expensive the solution will become, economically and emotionally. Nothing adds insult to injury like being given the run-around, forced to relive and restate a complaint at every touch point. It is imperative that the first person a customer speaks with takes ownership of their concern and be empowered to make it right. Service recovery cannot be allowed to fail.

Taking account

If you aren’t tracking what you’re giving away, you could be giving too much. Moreover, you might be overlooking valuable opportunities to identify and resolve the root cause of problems, which is the best gift you can give your customers. While keeping a pulse on recovery expenses is essential, leaders must be careful about broaching the topic with their employees to avoid unintended consequences.

Making customers happy

Gifts are great, but they’re not a solution to every problem. Compensating customers without resolving the reason for their dissatisfaction will only lead to greater frustration. It is also crucial for us to give customers things that provide value to them. Issuing a standard credit isn’t special or sincere, and customers may interpret this as dismissing their problem. When it comes to making things right, it’s not all about the money, but it can be a valuable tool in our recovery kit.

Bankislami wins brand of the year award 2019 for Islamic banking

BankIslami, the country’s leading Islamic bank, has bagged one of the most prestigious national accolades this year by becoming the Brand of the Year 2019. The bank won in the Islamic Banking category in acknowledgment of its achievements in highlighting brand excellence as well as noteworthy performance across the industry.

The Brand of the Year Awards which is an annual event celebrating outstanding services and innovative products by organizations across a diverse range of sectors was attended this year by notable dignitaries and ministers. The jury this year recognized the marketing as well as strategic efforts implemented by BankIslami to promote the image of a technologically advanced, modern Islamic Bank. The brand reputation along with trust ratios for BankIslami has risen among and beyond its target audience leading to award one of the most renowned marketing accolades in Pakistan.

Speaking at the occasion, President & CEO, BankIslami Syed Amir Ali, stated; “At BankIslami, we believe in enabling our customers as well as all other stakeholders in having access to the most convenient Shariah-compliant financial services in the market. We continue to expand financial inclusion across the country by building credibility as well as an image of an institution that simplifies banking for its customers. Being recognized by a platform like Brand of the Year is certainly a feather in our cap and we hope to keep our momentum going in the times to come.”

BankIslami took numerous steps which included formulation of effective strategies to rebrand a refreshed image of the organization among both existing and potential target markets. The Bank aspires to accelerate towards the right direction to accomplish further accolades like these while delivering quality to its customers.

NIMA organizes webinar to mark world maritime day celebrations

National Institute of Maritime Affairs (NIMA) Karachi organized a webinar to mark the celebrations of World Maritime Day 2020. The World Maritime Day is celebrated every year to signify the contributions of International Maritime Industry in world’s economy and to bring attention on the importance of shipping safety, maritime security and marine environment. The theme for this year’s celebration was “Sustainable Shipping for the sustainable Planet”.

Mr. Naeem Sarfraz, Chairman Maritime Committee FPCCI graced the occasion as the Chief Guest, whereas, eminent international and national speakers gave insight of on this year’s theme. Vice Admiral (Retd) Abdul Aleem HI (M), Director General NIMA welcomed all the worthy speakers and participants in the webinar and highlighted the importance of sustainable shipping for the environment and its impact on the economy as efficiency fuels productivity. Commodore (Retd) Ali Abbas SI (M) set the stage about the prominence of sustainable shipping and its prospects for Pakistan.

While speaking with the audience Mr. Nazery Khalid shared his intellectual insights about sustainable shipping and challenges for developing maritime states.

Mr. Tariq Majeed informed the audience about Pakistan National Shipping Corporation (PNSC) vision and planning on future dynamics of the shipping.

Mr. Moin Ahmed shed light on the issue of satellite navigation for safety, security and protection on marine environment in the Context of IMO and Ms. Aruna Hussain highlighted the emerging global regulations and future of shipping.

At the end of the webinar, the Chief Guest Mr. Naeem Sarfraz applauded the efforts put in by NIMA for bringing together professionals and multiple maritime stakeholders to highlight the importance of shipping as being the backbone of the maritime industry, its impact on economy and global environment and its prospects for Pakistan. He also hoped that NIMA will keep on playing its significant role in advocating for superior guidelines and procedures to enhance the shipping industry’s performance in a sustainable manner by providing policy recommendations to the policy makers in the country. Large number of attendees from academia, foreign policy experts, university students, government departments, and think tanks actively participated in the webinar.

Mian Zahid pushes to take maximum benefits from China BRI initiative

President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum and All Karachi Industrial Alliance, and former provincial minister Mian Zahid Hussain on Wednesday expressed apprehension that coronavirus can kill globalisation.

After the 2008 global financial crisis the US-China trade war has shaken the foundations of globalisation and the pandemic may be the last nail in the coffin of free-market mantra, he said.

Mian Zahid Hussain said that the concept is getting unpopular among people, US is not ready to play its due role due to financial difficulties, other nations are not well-placed while China is ready to go to any extent to safeguard its interests which can shatter globalisation.

Talking to the business community, the veteran business leader said that many countries have lifted or eased lockdown triggering economic activities but the movement of goods, services, immigrants, capital, services and flow of information may never gain pre-pandemic levels contracting global economy.

He said that the US is discouraging overseas investment and migration while it is pressurising companies to shift their manufacturing back to the US so that the maximum number of Americans can get jobs.

EU, Japan and other countries are also following the suit while India is trying to attract almost 1000 US companies which may leave China. Resultantly, China has also cut investment in the US which will be reduced gradually.

The emerging scenario will make goods and services costly in the developed world while efforts of the developing nations to defeat poverty will get a blow.

Nationalism and protectionism will create a gulf between nations hitting efforts to combat global problems. Many countries may allow trade and migration from only those nations where health similar protocols are followed which will be a doomsday situation for free trade.

He said that China will spend four trillion dollars on Belt and Road initiative (BRI) which has been accepted by 138 countries. Pakistan’s government, policymakers and business community should try to get maximum benefit from the opportunities arising from the Chinese move and adjust to the international market.

AlHuda CIBE opens Islamic finance language course in Russia for all CIS countries

Islamic financing is one of the fastest growing segments of the financial services industry worldwide. After the fall of Soviet Union and unification of Central Asian countries with other Muslim countries and Organization, the demand of Islamic banking and finance products increases rapidly. To fulfill that demand, the governments of Muslim majority Central Asian countries, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan start introducing Halal banking and finance.

Now a days the interest of Central Asian countries in Islamic finance is associated with different factors, the foremost of which was the desire to attract foreign direct investment from the Middle East and Southeast Asia and a certain demand for financial products in accordance with Shariah law by local Muslims.

To facilitate and fulfill the growing demand of Islamic Finance products in Central Asian countries, AlHuda Center of Islamic Banking & Finance (CIBE) which provides Advisory & Consulting, Training, Education and Research & Development services in Islamic Finance, started its activities from Uzbekistan in 2013 by providing training to Hamkor bank of Uzbekistan. To facilitate the local markets of central Asian countries, AlHuda CIBE developed a network of its strategic partners by collaborating with all financial association of Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan.

During 2018 AlHuda CIBE with the support of IsDB has designed Islamic microfinance products including accounting system and reporting standards, financing guidelines, monitoring of operations for the Ministry of Education, Govt. of Tajikistan.

To explore and create clear pathways to Islamic financial and economic solutions in CIS, AlHuda CIBE has organized successfully a ‘CIS Islamic Banking and Finance Forum’ on 2nd May, 2019 in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. During this forum, CEO of AlHuda CIBE Muhammad Zubair said that we are working in CIS countries from last ten years by facilitating its financial industry with Islamic Finance knowledge and are very much optimistic to have a bright future of Islamic Finance there. After this successful event, AlHuda CIBE organized a CIS Islamic Banking & Finance road show in all Central Asian countries.

Hi-Tech Bank launched First Islamic Banking product in Uzbekistan in August, 2019 by the Support of AlHuda CIBE. In March, 2020 AlHuda CIBE has certified ASR Leasing, the first Ijarah Company in Tajikistan. ASR Leasing has introduced first of its kind products in Tajikistan.

In order to enhance the knowledge of people in CIS, AlHuda CIBE also launched its online diploma course in Islamic Finance in Russian language for all CIS countries.

Even during the Pandemic, AlHuda CIBE continues its efforts and organized many free webinars and online trainings to develop and enhance the knowledge of people in Islamic Finance.

In May, 2020 it conducted Shariah Audit of 1st Ijarah Company ‘Taiba Leasing’, which was established by ICD-IDB in Uzbekistan and recently AlHuda CIBE sign an agreement with Apex Insurance Uzbekistan to design first Islamic Window to offer Takaful products in Uzbekistan.

AlHuda CIBE also signs an agreement with Orient Leasing to design Islamic leasing (Ijarah) products for them to fulfill their clients demand in Uzbekistan.

In the current virus crisis situation, forecasts remain a bit muted, but in general, a strong rebound of growth in Islamic banking finance is seen to be on the cards after the coronavirus pandemic will eventually have decreased and AlHuda CIBE will continue its efforts to increase that growth globally.

ITA holds meet and greet session to raise awareness about LSBE

Civil society organization Idara-e-Taleem-o-Aagahi (ITA) hosted a meet and greet session at Faletti’s Hotel, Lahore where bloggers, influencers, bloggers, journalists and other social media celebrities were invited to promote a public discourse on the less discussed topic of Life Skilled Based Education (LSBE).

LSBE has become an important subject for children and youth as schools remained closed for the most part of the year due to Covid-19 pandemic. In these challenging times where cases of child abuse, gender-based violence, exploitation and bullying are on the rise, it has become more important than ever for individuals to have a sound knowledge of self-protection and their rights. ITA’s Utho Bolo project is working to enhance the knowledge of youth about these important subjects.

The meet and greet was held as part of the project’s social media campaign which taps into different media channels to engage and motivate young people to advocate for LSBE. The event saw a small presentation on the importance of LSBE, followed by an open house discussion on the topic. The participants shared their experiences and helped promote the cause through pictures, shout-outs and by posting related content on social media. The participants also agreed for a need for increased awareness about these subjects.

This is especially important when Pakistan is going through a period of demographic dividend and currently has the largest cohort of young population in its history. According to a recent report by UN, Pakistan has 68 per cent of total population under the age of 30 with 27 per cent of the population between 15-29 years of age and around 32 per cent between 10-15 years. Adolescents and youth lack the necessary information, knowledge and understanding about gender equality, self-protection and the importance of LSBE. The meet and greet was thus aimed at engaging youth to build their knowledge, capacity, and leadership skills besides spreading awareness about life skills based education and inclusion of life skills in curriculum and books.

ITA is implementing the Utho Bolo project that takes young people (aged 10-24) on a journey of self-discovery, transforming them into confident individuals. It uses the holistic approach of positive youth development, and contains activities to build young people’s social and emotional competences. The Utho Bolo Alliance is running a media campaign to sustain these efforts post-2020 by engaging key stakeholders, including policy makers, civil society members, social media influencers, media representatives, community influencers, teachers, government officials and young people through different proposed initiatives.

Power consumers facing double-edged sword of tariff hike, overbilling: Mian Zahid Hussain

President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum and All Karachi Industrial Alliance, and former provincial minister Mian Zahid Hussain on Monday said consumers of electricity are braving the double-edged sword of continued tariff hike and secret overbilling.

Consumers are deprived of billions of rupees every month to make for the losses, inefficiency and corruption in the power sector, he said.

Mian Zahid Hussain said that honest consumers are being punished for power theft and reduction in demand due to its high price.

Talking to the business community, the veteran business leader said power sector is losing over a billion rupees per day but power distribution companies are less interested in improving governance, initiate reforms and contain theft as well as losses.

These companies have started distributing losses on unsuspecting consumers through overbilling which is burdening poor masses and contributing to a hike in the price of everything, he added.

The business leader said that the business community can only dream of competitive electricity tariff so that they can compete with regional countries in the international market.

Different governments have poured hundreds of billion in a bid to improve the power sector but to no avail, he said, adding that presently demand is less than supply but no city in the country is immune from load-shedding and fluctuation.

He said that power distribution companies have failed to improve over the last decade while to companies catering for the needs of Multan, Peshawar, Quetta, Tribal areas and Sukkur is among the worst performers.

Last year the concerned ministry claimed to improve recovery by 15.5 percent while consumption jumped by 2.16 percent only.

The consumption was increased by 2.16 percent but the recovery through bills jumped by 13.22 percent which translated into an undue burden of billions of rupees on the honest consumers.

Power consumption jumped by six percent from 2015 to 2017 while it peaked to 12.5 percent in 2017-18 and now it is on the decline due to high tariff excessive billing which is very dangerous for the economy and the power sector, he warned.

CEJ-IBA and Nestlé Pakistan conduct online health reporting workshop

The Centre for Excellence in Journalism at the Institute of Business Administration, Karachi (CEJ-IBA) and Nestlé Pakistan conducted a collaborative two-day online workshop on Basics of Health Reporting: Nutrition as a Source of News. The training was attended by 18 journalists from Faisalabad, Bajaur, Islamabad, Lahore and Karachi.

Senior Health Reporter, Zofeen Ibrahim, spoke about challenges reporters face while reporting on health in the country. She shared tips on how reporters can report effectively and said, “Getting in contact with researchers is easy on social media but one should always check the credibility before using them for their story.”

Giving an overview of malnutrition in Pakistan, Public Health Specialist, Dr. Fauzia Waqar said that malnutrition was a serious problem in the country. She remarked, “Almost 66% of the women have Vitamin-D deficiency, 52% have calcium deficiency and almost 44% children under five have iron deficiency.”

Moreover, the session on the economic cost and impact of malnutrition and the role played by the food industry was delivered by Head of Research at Business Recorder, Ali Khizar.

IT and Telecom Manager and Certified Instructor of Mobile Journalism (MoJo), Muhammad Rahamdil Khan, held an introductory session on mobile journalism in which he shared tools and tips on how reporters can use their phones for effective reporting purposes. “MoJo helps make news-gathering easier, and is time and cost effective,” he said, pointing out that individuals can have their own MoJo kits.

Director CEJ-IBA, Kamal Siddiqi, concluded the workshop with a talk on Ethics in Reporting, in which he said that journalists should be mindful of ethics and safety while reporting and/or editing.

This is the first online health reporting workshop CEJ-IBA has held in collaboration with Nestlé Pakistan.

Ambassador of Saudi Arabia in Pakistan calls on federal minister for communications and postal services

The Ambassador of Royal Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to the Islamic Republic of Pakistan Mr. Nawaf Bin Said Al-Maliki called on Federal Minister of Communications and Postal Services Mr. Murad Saeed at Ministry of Communications here today.

The Federal Minister congratulated the Honorable Saudi Ambassador on National Day of Saudi Arabia and conveyed his good wishes to the leadership of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Views were also exchanged on bilateral cooperation in the field of communications. Federal Minister of Communications and Postal Services Mr. Murad Saeed also lauded the decision of the Kingdom to hold limited Hajj in the times of COVID-19. While thanking the Kingdom for hosting the largest diaspora of Pakistanis, the Federal Minister also requested for early return of Pakistan nationals to their works in the Kingdom.

The Ambassador of Royal Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to the Islamic Republic of Pakistan Mr. Nawaf Bin Said Al-Maliki conveyed his special thanks to the Federal Minister of Communications and Postal Services Mr. Murad Saeed and expressed his desire to further strengthen cooperation between the two countries.

Fourth Pakistan digital awards spotlights digital success

Following the successful Pakistan Digital Awards (PDA) held in 2017, 2018 and 2019, PDA has surfaced once again this time to recognize the very best in digital platforms and talent across the country for 2020. Unlike in the past, this time though, PDA was an extremely exclusive event, keeping in mind the SOPS for Covid-19.

The awards were hosted by Sahar Tahir Khan and Abdul Sami Qahar, Muhammad Fakhir Fazil, CEO Hybrid Technology, Zain Ibrahim, COO EFU Life Insurance, Mohib Hasan, executive director, Millennium Software and Asad Bukhari, GM Technology, PIA were among the guest of honours who presented the awards to the lucky winners.

The august Jury of Pakistan Digital Awards included Subul Naqvi, Head of Corporate Communications Telenor Microfinance Bank, EasyPaisa, Ammar Hassan chief marketing officer, Daraz, Aly Mustansar consultant and trainer, Alym Brand Consulting, Adnan Faisal, CEO FHM Pakistan and People Magazine Pakistan, Asghar Ali Khan GM Digital Transformation, Engro, Atyab Tahir, country manager, MasterCards, and Ammar Akhter, Founder and CEO, Finalrentals.com.

PDA also had an advisory panel that comprised Iqbal Yousuf, Country head APTECH, Shakeel Khokhar, CEO Interflow Group, Ali Samir Osman, strategic partnership and deal flow manager Microsoft, Abdul Sami Qahar, CMO Haleeb Foods, Waqar Ikram, Quetzal Pvt Ltd, and Shariq Naseem, Veritas Digital.

The event was co-sponsored by Jubilee Life Insurance, slot sponsors were Hybrid Technology, AA Solutions, Binji and Convex Interactive. Gift Partners were WB BY Hemani, TCS Sentiments and Vouch 365. Partners for the event were KWICK Doctors, FHM Pakistan, Brands Magazine, FM 91, Aptech Pakistan, Chai Wala, Cake by Googgoodies, Vital Tea, Quetzal Pvt Ltd, Bloggers and STARLINKS PR and Events.

The award-winners were:

Category Tech Awards

App and web-enabled market awards– Allied Bank Limited.

Best banking tech of the Year– Habib Bank Limited.

Best consumer mobile service– K-Electric.

Best digital API – Mondelez International.

Best innovated mobile app– Hello Doctor.

Best insurance tech of the year – EFU Life Assurance Limited.

Best (IOT) internet of thing award – Sindh Engro Coal Mining Company .

Platform awards

Best Digital Channel (Blog, Podcast, Video Channel, Magazine) – Nestle Pakistan.

Best online streaming platform – Ideation.

Facebook community of the year – Soul Brothers Pakistan.

Social media influencer communications – Nestle- Yogurt Sweet n’ Tasty (volk active).

Snapchatter of the year – Faryal Makhdoom.

TikToker of the year – Romaisa Khan.

Youtuber of the year award – Junaid Akram and P for Pakao.

Category Campaign Awards

Best animation of the year – Continental Biscuits (Prince Animation Series).

Best content marketing award – Bank Alfalah (Alfa World Cup Campaign).

Best CSR campaign – Jazz (Eva Travel Campaign).

Best digital marketing communication (videos) – Dawlance (Dawlance SYNC App Campaign.

Best high impact campaign –Bank Alfalah.

Best integrated media strategy – Mondelez International.

Best short form web video – Suzuki Pakistan.

Best social media campaign (Instagram)– Continental Biscuits and Nestle Pakistan.

Category Digital Awards others

Best digital innovation – Allied Bank Limited.

Best digital videos creator – Q Links.

Best discount deals application – Entertainer Asia.

Best mobile bank application – Allied Bank Limited.

Best use of creativity/innovation – Canbebe.

Outstanding contribution in digital industry – Hello Doctor.

Main awards

Best Digital Campaign – Fatima Fertilizer and Habib Bank Limited.

Best digital campaign of the year (small budget) – ROCHE – AccuChek.

Best social media campaign (Facebook) – Jubilee Life Insurance and Nestle Corporate volk active.

Jury award for the best campaign – Food Panda.

Best Digital Agency of the year – Starcom Pakistan.

 

Mian Zahid lauds govt, SBP for supporting manufacturing sector

President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum and All Karachi Industrial Alliance, and former provincial minister Mian Zahid Hussain on Friday lauded the government and SBP for supporting the manufacturing sector and asked to take more steps to strengthen this sector.

This sector is providing jobs to ten million people but its share in the GDP has contracted to 14 percent which must be noticed, he said.

Mian Zahid Hussain said that manufacturing is on the decline while the undocumented economy is expanding creating problems and dragging down the quality of products.

Talking to the business community, the veteran business leader said that this critical sector is overtaxed while it is also facing the increased cost of doing business, unnecessary interference by different agencies and dumping from different countries which is a result of flawed trade deals.

He said that textile is the largest subsector of manufacturing which absorbs almost 53 percent of the undocumented labour that are getting lesser pays than those working in the formal sector.

The people working in the informal sector have to rely on meagre salary and they have no protection, decent working conditions, social security, medical and insurance cover and pension etc.

These working conditions keep workers uncertain and concerned about their future which in turn hurt their production that is reflected in the quality and quantity products they produce, he said.

The veteran business leader said that majority of the investor cannot appreciate the benefits of well-paid labour while the situation in rival countries is different therefore India, China, Bangladesh, Vietnam and other countries are successfully grabbing Pakistan’s share in the international market.

Government should reduce the burden of tax on the manufacturing sector and improve working conditions in formal and informal sectors so that they can work with peace of mind and push the country towards progress.

Pakistani professional accountant mum wins gold in Australia

Madeeha Usman FCCA, an ACCA qualified professional accountant from Pakistan, who’s currently running a business ‘The Kalculators’ in Australia has won four awards at a recently held AusMumpreneur awards.

The AusMumpreneur Awards are presented by ‘The Women’s Business School’ and were created to inspire, celebrate and provide a community for Australian entrepreneurs, like Madeeha.

After receiving this news, Madeeha said she was excited to win in all the four categories in the 2020 AusMumpreneur Awards in such a challenging time. She was declared winner in following four categories:

1. People Choice Customer Service Award

2. Rising Star Award

3. Business Excellence Award, WA and SA

4. Multicultural Business Award

Madeeha says: “Special thanks to AusMumpreneur for recognising and honouring women in business. Keeping our accounting firm offices open during the COVID outbreak was challenging as it posed such a high risk of bringing an infection at my home with my two little children. However, when you step into the world of business with big dreams, you have to take a leap of faith and continue to do what you are doing.”

Recognising the role ACCA played in her career, she adds: “Choosing ACCA was truly a life-changing decision for me. My ACCA credentials helped me greatly in reaching where I’m today — from landing my first job immediately in Australia after emigrating from Pakistan to founding my own business, my qualification has given me the international recognition and global support that’s simply amazing.”

Congratulating Madeeha, ACCA’s head of Pakistan, Sajjeed Aslam, said: “ACCA is extremely proud of its Pakistan students and members. Sharing their experiences, challenges and triumphs continues to inspire others towards even greater achievement. ACCA’s women in finance are true role models for the young girls in the country and their career stories prove that anyone with ability and ambition can succeed under all circumstances if they’re provided with quality education and necessary support by the professional community.”

The Women’s Business School co-founder Katy Garner adds: “The awards show the passion of women who want to fulfil their entrepreneurial dreams as well as be great mums. We are delighted that Madeeha Usman FCCA won this award, she has created an outstanding business and is an inspirational role model and ambassador for mums in business everywhere.”

Standard Chartered holds conduct week across Pakistan

To reinforce the importance of the code of conduct, Standard Chartered organised Conduct Week for its staff across Pakistan. The aim for this week was to let staff understand and demonstrate what is expected of them in delivering the right conduct outcomes for our stakeholders.

The main idea of this week was to engage staff through learning by refreshing knowledge on the Bank’s Policies & Standards, sharing lessons learned/case studies, conducting quizzes, and recognising exemplary conduct behaviours. During the week various Panel discussions and interactive sessions were held. These discussions were led by senior Group and Regional leaders who shared their insights and experiences with an aim to helping drive ownership, effective performance and the right culture.

The Bank invited Dr. Inayat Hussain, Executive Director, Banking Supervision Group (State Bank of Pakistan), at the closing ceremony of the Conduct Week. Dr. Hussain shared his views on the importance of Conduct to the regulator and how Standard Chartered was playing an important role in embedding good conduct in the franchise.

Standard Chartered’s Conduct Vision is to “maintain the integrity of our brand promise, the standards in our code and outcomes of our Group Conduct Management Framework, by continually proving we are Here for good through the way we do business.”

Commenting on this week, Rehan Shaikh, Chief Executive Officer, Standard Chartered Pakistan said, “Our Group Code of Conduct (the Code) reflects our shared commitment to the highest standards of conduct and helps us to live our promise to be Here for good. “Our sustained focus on doing the right thing is a competitive advantage, and our commitment to the Code says: “This is what I stand for. I’m Here for good. I stand for good. I work for Standard Chartered. By doing things the right way, we can support our customer and clients while holding true to our values.”

JazzCash crosses 9 million monthly active users!

JazzCash, Pakistan’s number 1 mobile account, is now serving more than nine million monthly active users. This is the fastest one million monthly active customers addition that JazzCash has witnessed so far.

JazzCash is now processing over PKR 7 billion worth of transactions on a daily basis experiencing YTD growth of 50% in the number of transactions and 60% growth in value as compared to same period last year. We thank our customers for their trust in using JazzCash mobile account which has resulted in this growth during a year affected by a global pandemic. JazzCash has become the preferred platform for digital financial services, spearheading our journey to increase nationwide financial inclusion in Pakistan.

With more than 8 million downloads, JazzCash smartphone application users have grown by 88% in the last 9 months. This growth has been resulted due to stronger engagement with the customers and providing seamless user experience of digital financial services. JazzCash has continued focus on innovation and creating solutions for untapped potential segments, with the launch of remittance services for freelancers, we have onboarded more than 100,000 freelancers, who have processed payments worth over PKR. 2 billion so far. JazzCash has played a vital role in digitizing government collections for many services. In just 5 month of integration with ePay Punjab, JazzCash has processed more than 700,000 transactions worth more than PKR. 800 Million in value, making it the largest digital tax collection platform for Government of Punjab.

JazzCash is aggressively working to increase digital payments acceptance in Pakistan and has extended its services to over 45,000 merchants operating throughout the country, including both retail merchants who can accept payments through JazzCash QR, and online merchants who can opt for payment gateway solution to accept payments from their customers. Our utmost priority is to cater the financial needs of our customers by offering host of services from traffic challan payments, tickets, school fee payments, utility bills, digital loans etc.

“At a time when cashless payments are vital for individuals, businesses, and society at large, over nine million people in Pakistan now rely on JazzCash every month. We are looking to sustain and even accelerate this growth momentum by onboarding more partners, from corporations to small merchants, addition of new use cases like instant loans, more payments options and constant improvement to the existing products. Our aim is to empower our customers and deliver a more convenient and efficient cashless experience for the people of Pakistan ” said JazzCash CEO Erwan Gelebart.

IBA Karachi reopens for fall-2020 Semester

The IBA Karachi reopened for the Fall-2020 academic session under strict compliance of the COVID-19 government guidelines. After being away from campus for more than six months, the staff and faculty members, finally welcomed the students to Main and City campus. The Executive Director, Dr. S. Akbar Zaidi and the Registrar, Dr. Mohammad Asad Ilyas, were present at each campus to warmly welcome the students.

Special measures, developed especially for the ongoing pandemic, were enforced for staff, faculty, students, and visitors at both campuses. Classes were held as per government guidelines to maintain social distancing protocol with seminar rooms, lecture theatres and auditoriums being used for large class sizes, while class sizes were split for the regular classrooms.

Both campuses had appropriate signage displayed all over to remind staff, students, and faculty to follow Covid-19 standard operating procedures. Students were strongly encouraged to adhere to the guidelines shared by the institute while frequenting crowded areas.

Speaking on the occasion, the Executive Director, Dr. S. Akbar Zaidi, remarked, “The IBA Karachi places a special emphasis on continuing with the cause of education together with staying healthy and safe. We value the health and safety of our students, staff and faculty members and have taken the necessary measures to ensure that our campuses are safe, and education is imparted as planned.”

The Boys and Girls hostels have been open since September 1, accommodating hundreds of students from all across Pakistan.

Creativity is key to success in emerging scenario, says Mian Zahid Hussain

President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum and All Karachi Industrial Alliance, and former provincial minister Mian Zahid Hussain on Monday said coronavirus has changed the world forever.

Only those nations and businesses will survive amid new challenges which can adapt to the new realities, he said.

Mian Zahid Hussain said this while speaking at Global Online Innovation Summit 2020 organized by Institute of Research Promotion.

Mian Zahid Hussain said that the importance of online businesses as well as innovation is multiplying at a rapid pace and the world is seeking new ideas in every field.

He said that pandemic has left many businesses bankrupt while many new businesses have appeared on the horizon and the change will continue for decades.

People move from homes to factories in eighteenth century and now many have moved from factories and offices to homes.

He noted that volume of global economy will be doubled in the next thirty years, automation will finish almost 70 million jobs but create 13 million new jobs.

The importance of digital technology cannot be over emphasized in the current scenario which will not only leave many semi-skilled workers jobless but also empower institutions to tackle poverty, hunger, health and education issues in a better way.

Pakistani businesses need to innovate, introduce their products online and promote creativity within the organizations.

So that they can create effective processes, products, and ideas. It could mean implementing new ideas, improving services or creating dynamic products. It can act as a catalyst that can businesses grow at a faster pace to stand out among others in the marketplace.

Our government should also redesign curriculum to promote creative thinking among students from the very beginning and inform teachers and parents to avoid discouraging creative thinking, he demanded.

Commander southern command lt. Gen Muhammad Waseem Ashraf inaugurates BankIslami branch in Quetta

BankIslami has inaugurated a new branch in Quetta Cantt. Lt. Gen Muhammad Waseem Ashraf, HI (M) Commander Southern Command grace the ceremony with his valuable presence. He was accompanied by President & CEO BankIslami, Syed Amir Ali and General Manager South West Burhan Hafeez Khan along with other representatives from Bank Islami. The new location is another addition to a network of 330+ branches that the financial institution operates throughout the country.

BankIslami is the country’s first scheduled Islamic Bank which offers a diverse range of solutions for deposit and credit related to the needs of customers. The opening of a new branch in Quetta Cantt makes Islamic financial services more accessible and convenient to residents of the city. BankIslami is working towards the goal of creating a robust banking network which can aid in improving the financial inclusion ratios across Pakistan.

Speaking at the occasion, President & CEO BankIslami, Syed Amir Ali emphasized;”Quetta is the provincial capital of Balochistan, a province which is rapidly gaining importance as an integral part in handling a bulk of investment that Pakistan is receiving from external as well as internal investors. BankIslami’s presence in the city is in line with our objective to bring modernized and technologically advanced Islamic banking closer to customers as well as a host of other stakeholders who are driving the country’s economy forward.”

The new branch in Quetta Cantt is a value-added venture to the existing branches in the city. BankIslami also has opened a new branch in Sanjavi this year which caters to another area of Balochistan. Alongside the newly inaugurated one, these branches will enable greater flexibility to the customers when it comes to financial transactions as well as availing a variety of other services with the Bank.

Pakistanis believe they have the skills to thrive despite covid-19 slump: Standard Chartered survey

– People in emerging markets, and the young, more confident in their digital skills and willing to adapt their approach to work post-pandemic, reveals new global survey’

A Standard Chartered survey finds that COVID-19 has already had a significant impact on incomes globally – with one-third (35% in Pakistan) already earning less. Yet over three-quarters are confident they have the skills needed to thrive in an increasingly digital world (83% in Pakistan). This is driven by young people (18-34) and those in emerging markets, who are the most confident, and prepared to work hardest to realise opportunities post-COVID-19.

The study of 12,000 adults across twelve markets – Hong Kong, Taiwan, Mainland China, Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, India, UAE, Kenya, Pakistan, the UK and the US – offers insights into their financial wellbeing and employment outlook in these challenging times, and how banks can play a role in helping them manage their money.

An infographic of the Global survey and the Pakistan outcomes is attached for your understanding.

Ben Hung, CEO of Retail Banking, and Wealth Management and Regional CEO for Greater China & North Asia at Standard Chartered, said: “Young people around the world have been hit particularly hard by the economic impact of the pandemic. Many are in insecure employment or graduating into a tough job market. Yet their confidence, adaptability and willingness to work hard, especially in fast-growing markets, provides hope for the recovery.” “Many are considering starting a new business in the wake of the pandemic but want to learn how to manage their finances better. They must be supported. Banks have a role to play both by helping them manage their money and providing tools that make banking easier so they can focus on leading the way to recovery.”

Ms. Khadija Hashimi, Head of Corporate Affairs and Brand & Marketing, at Standard Chartered Pakistan said: “Pakistan is a country with a young and vibrant population, and it needs to make space for them to play an active part in the future development of the country. With 70 percent of the population younger than 29, Pakistan’s vibrant youth are eager to engage with a dynamic, open mind to resolve problems. The current pandemic has enabled us to understand that adopting digital technology will be a game changer for the country. Digital transformation coupled with building an active entrepreneurial ecosystem, will provide opportunities for creating new jobs and helping exploit the untapped potential of the society. Financial institutions and especially banks need to step forward and provide guidance and support to make people understand how to make better and more productive use of their money.”

Uber partners with Unilever to provide hygiene kits, in-car separators to drivers

Uber and Unilever are partnering for greater rider and driver safety by distributing over 20,000 hygiene products to partner drivers in Pakistan as the country continues to move out of lockdown. The hygiene kits, which include Lifebuoy hand hygiene gel and other Unilever leading products, will enable drivers and riders to clean their hands and wipe down car surfaces after every trip. Riders are encouraged to ask for wipes and hand hygiene gel ahead of their rides. Free masks are also included in the hygiene kit. This is in addition to over 300,000 masks Uber has distributed across the region so far, with plans to continue as needed.

Drivers can pick up hygiene kits at Uber driver centers across Islamabad, Lahore and Karachi.

As part of the partnership, Uber and Unilever will be installing in-car safety shields for vehicles which are highly active on Uber’s platform.

This is part of Uber’s $50 million global commitment to help provide equipment for clean and hygienic rides, at no additional cost to drivers.

Uber and Unilever first announced the collaboration in May with a pilot rolled out in the UK, with the intention of bringing the partnership to other markets in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

Saad Pall, Uber’s General Manager for Pakistan, said: “As communities get moving again, we all have a role to play in helping to keep each other safe. At Uber, the safety of drivers and riders is our most important priority, so we’re proud to partner with Unilever to ensure drivers have access to the cleaning and sanitising products they need, at no additional cost to them.”

Amir Paracha, Chairman & CEO, Unilever Pakistan, said: “As a nation, we must do everything within our means to avoid a second wave of COVID-19 infections, whilst simultaneously ensuring our economic recovery. Safe transport plays a significant role in getting Pakistan back to work. Unilever’s trusted products are designed to make the world a safer, healthier, and cleaner place and we’re delighted to work with Uber at a time when protecting people has never been so important.”

The partnership with Unilever complements a number of enhanced safety features that Uber has rolled out to help everyone using the app stay safe and healthy. This includes mandating masks for both riders and drivers, and offering them the flexibility to cancel a ride without incurring a penalty, if they’re not wearing a mask. Drivers are also asked to undertake additional safety measures such as regularly sanitizing their car and making hand hygiene gel available for riders. Similarly, riders are required to wash their hands before getting in the car, sit in the backseat and not exceed the maximum number of people allowed in a vehicle at a time.

This is in addition to the core safety features on the app, including GPS tracking, two-way accountability, driver screenings, real-time ID check, trusted contacts, caller anonymization, and emergency integration that have been introduced as Uber continues to put safety at the heart of everything it does.

Habibmetro bank and Adamjee Life Assurance enter into strategic partnership

Habib Metropolitan Bank Limited and Adamjee Life Assurance Company Limited have entered into a strategic alliance for the promotion of Bancassurance products. This alliance aims to enhance HABIBMETRO Bank’s bancassurance product offering in its efforts to deliver an unparalleled level of customer service. Mian Mohammad Mansha, Chairman Nishat Group and Mr. Mohsin Ali Nathani, President and CEO, HABIBMETRO Bank along with other senior representatives of the two organizations attended the signing ceremony.

This strategic alliance is expected to play a vital role in enhancing the availability of customer-centric financial solutions to the Bank’s clientele. Through this alliance, the Bank’s customers will benefit from integrated banking and protection solutions for a best-in-industry customer experience.

Speaking at the occasion, Mian Mohammad Mansha, Chairman Nishat Group said, “Adamjee Life has always been active in developing new & improved methods of business through constant research & development; processes that help us create customer convenience and accessibility. Bancassurance has always been an excellent catalyst for making a variety of insurance products easily accessible to a vast customer base. I am confident that our partnership with HABIBMETRO Bank will further strengthen our distribution channels and allow us to provide customers with the best insurance solutions for their needs.”

Also commenting at the event, President and CEO of HABIBMETRO Bank Mr. Mohsin Ali Nathani emphasized on the role that this strategic alliance will play in broadening the range of financial solutions that the Bank offers its customers for a financially secure future. He also said, “We are pleased to partner with Adamjee Life — one of the leading life insurance companies in Pakistan. This is another step towards expanding our product portfolio to better cater the broader financial needs of HABIBMETRO Bank’s customers. With continued support of our business partners, we hope to add maximum value to our customers’ wealth management solutions.”

SSGC serves final notice to defaulting government hospitals

After serving numerous notices that were not complied, Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC) has finally decided to disconnect the gas supplies to different government sector hospitals if they fail to settle their gas bills on or before September 15, 2020. These hospitals have been constantly defaulting as a result of which their outstanding dues have been accumulating over the period of time.

The defaulting healthcare institutions in Karachi having higher outstanding amounts include; National Institute of Child Health (Rs. 5,261,037), Lyari General Hospital (Rs. 2,202,386), Abdul Majeed Sehbehani Hospital (Rs. 2,653,551), ICU Trauma Center and Cardiac Emergency Centre (Rs. 3,311,609), Trauma Center, Karachi Dr. Ruth Pfau Civil Hospital (Rs. 27,828,664), Sindh Government Hospital (Rs. 2,632,370) and Civil Surgeon Hospital (Rs. 3,398,122).

The above defaulting institutes were repeatedly served notices by SSGC to settle their dues, yet they failed to comply to these notices. A final notice with due date being September 15, 2020 has now been served to them. Failure to settle their dues with SSGC on or before this date would mean gas disconnection for these hospitals.

Virgin Atlantic flights from Pakistan on sale now

Virgin Atlantic is delighted to announce that flights from Pakistan to London Heathrow and Manchester are on sale now with return Economy fares starting from PKR 103,600/- per person, Premium from PKR 154,500/-and Upper Class from PKR 353,100/-.

Flying three new routes from Lahore to London Heathrow, Islamabad to London Heathrow, as well as from Islamabad to Manchester, subject to applicable regulatory approvals; these new services will operate on one of Virgin Atlantic’s newest, most fuel efficient aircraft, the 787-9 boasting 31 Upper Class suites, 35 Premium and 192 Economy seats.

These new services will open up over 290,000 seats between Pakistan and the UK annually whilst also offering seamless, speedy connections and a consistent long-haul onboard experience for customers travelling from Pakistan to onwards destinations throughout North America, including New York JFK, Los Angeles, Washington, Boston and San Francisco via London Heathrow. Connections to European destinations will also be available through codeshare and interline partners.

Alex McEwan, Commercial Manager – Pakistan, Virgin Atlantic commented, ‘’We are excited to open bookings for our first ever flights to Pakistan. This is a great opportunity to offer travelers from Pakistan with even more choice when they travel to UK and connect to USA, experiencing our award winning service on one of our newest aircraft –787 Dreamliner. Pakistan has one of the largest foreign-born populations within the UK and our flights will offer the opportunity to visit and reunite with friends and relatives. Alongside our Lahore and Islamabad services to London, the Manchester to Islamabad service is very exciting as it is our first route in Asia from Manchester.’’

Virgin Atlantic will also offer a fast, efficient cargo service presenting new opportunities for companies looking to export and import goods such as fresh produce and textiles between prime markets in the UK, USA and Pakistan.

Flights from Pakistan are on sale now. For further information or to book visit www.virginatlantic.com.

Islamabad to Manchester

Frequency: Four times a week (Mon, Wed, Fri, Sat) starting on 11th December 2020

Timings: ISB – MAN – VS363 – 03:30 / 07:00

MAN – ISB – VS362 – 12:35 / 01:00

Fare: Return Economy fares start from PKR 103,600/- per person, Premium from PKR 154,500/-, and Upper Class from PKR 353,100/-

Lahore to London Heathrow

Frequency: Four times a week (Mon, Wed, Fri, Sat) starting on 14th December 2020

Timings: LHE – LHR – VS365 – 13:25 / 17:00

LHR – LHE – VS364 – 21:50 / 10:20

Fare: Return Economy fares start from PKR 115,100/-per person, Premium from PKR 184,100/- and Upper Class from PKR 364,600/-

Islamabad to London Heathrow

Frequency: Three times a week (Tue, Thu, Sun) starting on 13th December 2020

Timings: ISB – LHR – VS379 – 03:30 / 07:00

LHR – ISB – VS378 – 12:30 / 01:00

Fare: Return Economy fares start from PKR 115,400/- per person, Premium from PKR 184,800and Upper Class from PKR 364,900/-

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