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Jubilee Life collaborates with Sehat Kahani to bring unlimited healthcare (OPD) services

Jubilee Life Insurance, Pakistan’s leading life insurance company in the private sector has collaborated with Sehat Kahani, a leading telemedicine platform aiming to provide health care (OPD) services free of charge to all Jubilee Life customers and employees including both individual and group customers.

This collaboration will not only allow Jubilee Life beneficiaries unlimited access to Sehat Kahani application but will also ensure 24/7 availability of a dedicated telehealth helpline for all the non-smart phone users of the micro-insurance products. In addition, a Special COVID Support helpline will be created for those beneficiaries who do not have smart phones / or are unable to use the application. This dedicated helpline will facilitate users according to Pakistan Medical & Dental Council guidelines and will be available 24/7.

At the occasion, Javed Ahmed, MD & CEO, Jubilee Life Insurance said “Sehat Kahani has grown into a well-known name in healthcare across Pakistan and this collaboration with them will be greatly beneficial for both our individual and group customers. Their success is mainly due to their honest commitment towards delivering their promise and bringing convenience for the people in the healthcare sector. We are delighted to begin this alliance with Sehat Kahani and in due time will bring new and more innovative services for our trusted customers. ”

Speaking at the ceremony, Dr. Sara Saeed, CEO & Co Founder, Sehat Kahani added “Jubilee Life Insurance is a reliable and trusted name in Pakistan with a successful track record. Having ourselves associated with them is an honour for us and we look forward to building stronger ties and offering more facilities and services to their customers”

Jubilee Insurance is a global brand of the Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development (AKFED) that offers diverse insurance solutions (life, health and general) in the Asian and East African markets. Jubilee Life in Pakistan offers a uniquely designed range of life and health insurance plans, catering to various customer segments and needs. These include retirement, child education, marriage, saving & protection, wealth accumulation, life insurance plans for women, rural insurance plans and life and health insurance solutions for the less privileged of our country.

Sehat Kahani is a telemedicine platform that leverages technology to connect patients in need of affordable and convenient healthcare options, to an online network of doctors across various specializations. Sehat Kahani’s objective is to change the story of health in Pakistan by making healthcare accessible for all. To date, they have facilitated over 350,000 consultations through tele-medicine, and have impacted more than 1.5 million patients through a portfolio of 30 E-Health clinics pan Pakistan, a Mobile App, health education projects and a network of 1500 doctors.

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IRD Pakistan allies with 200 general physicians across Karachi districts
  • IRD Pakistan has expanded its ongoing integrated community response to COVID-19 pandemic (the IRD Model) in Karachi.

COVID-19 is adversely impacting families in Karachi during this second wave, and the city’s healthcare system is being stretched to its limits again. To increase access to outpatient COVID care, IRD has partnered with 200 general physicians (GPs) across all districts of Karachi. IRD has equipped and trained GPs to use PPEs, pulse oximeters, large-volume oxygen cylinders, nasal cannulas, and initiate oral steroid therapy based upon national guidelines. These services are being offered free of cost. The IRD Model leverages counselors to provide mental health support to families affected by COVID-19, in addition to contact tracing, quarantine adherence protocols and mental health support to frontline healthcare providers.

By bringing outpatient COVID-19 care services to their neighborhood, the IRD Model provides clinical screening and early oxygen therapy to patients with low oxygen concentrations, buying time for families to be able to use our referral network to arrange ambulances and find their loved ones a place in hospitals and tertiary care facilities if needed. The IRD Model has partnered with multiple COVID-19 testing centers in the city to refer patients to free or paid testing as per their preference. Through the IRD Model, patients can get access to lifesaving and preventative care such as contact tracing and mental health counseling closer to home.

“At the peak of the pandemic, tertiary care facilities were unable to offer inpatient care and even testing as they quickly exhausted their limited resources. An overburdened healthcare system ends up leaving patients – quite literally – gasping for breath,” shared Dr. Aamir Khan, Executive Director of IRD Global.

As IRD Pakistan works to provide quality healthcare services to underserved communities, the IRD Model awareness campaign shares regularly updated information on local GP clinics providing immediate outpatient COVID care in each district. The clinics provide early oxygen therapy to families near their homes in densely packed neighborhoods and COVID-19 hotspots.

“Each staff member calls on average 20-50 COVID-19 positive patients a day, asks questions about their family and other individuals they have come in close contact with, and where appropriate, connects exposed family members to nearby testing facilities either in the private or public healthcare sector,” Dr. Kamran Iqbal, Program Manager, IRD Model for COVID-19 Response added.

In using the integrated approach to screen, diagnose, and manage COVID-19 at the neighborhood level, IRD is working to build community- and patient-centered responses to the pandemic in urban centers.

“Our mental health teams are providing free-of-cost services to frontline health workers, and COVID-19 patients and families struggling in quarantine. From video counseling and virtual support group sessions to in-person counseling while ensuring staff and patient safety, we’re working to alleviate suffering from heightened feelings of anxiety, stress, and depression,” informs Aneeta Pasha, Country Director for IRD Pakistan and Program Director for Pursukoon Zindagi, IRD’s mental health program.

People can also call Pursukoon Zindagi’s free-of-cost helpline at 0213-713-3332 to receive mental health support and counseling from a trained mental health counselor.

To help protect yourself and your loved ones, share the IRD Model list of clinics among your family and friends, or call 0333-0330922 to find out where to get immediate outpatient COVID-19 care and support during these difficult times. Individuals can also reach out to IRD and be a part of the IRD Model by contributing resources and supplying more essential medical and health equipment, taking the entire health system up to the next level of patient-focused care.

About IRD:

IRD is a global health delivery and research network that works in over 20 countries. IRD was founded in Karachi in 2004. Now based in Singapore, IRD has offices in Bangladesh, Nigeria, Vietnam, Indonesia, South Africa, Philippines and Pakistan. The IRD team leverages process and technology innovations to address global health delivery gaps.

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Emirates Skycargo marks one year of passenger freighter operations

On Monday, 16 March 2020, Emirates flight EK 2503 took off from Dubai to Kuwait. Although operated on a Boeing 777-300ER passenger aircraft, EK 2503 carried no passengers but about 34 tonnes of bellyhold cargo that was urgently required in Kuwait.

It was the first time in the history of its operations that Emirates had operated a cargo only flight on a passenger aircraft. Coming just four days after COVID-19 had been declared a pandemic by the World Health Organisation (WHO), EK 2503 would be the first of more than 27,800 cargo flights to be operated by Emirates SkyCargo in the year that followed as the cargo carrier worked ceaselessly to keep communities across the world connected to the essential medical and food supplies they needed during the pandemic.

Nabil Sultan, Emirates Divisional Senior Vice President, Cargo said: “It has been exactly one year since what was considered impossible in the air cargo industry became not just a reality but a strong operational pillar for Emirates SkyCargo. Prior to the pandemic, nearly two thirds of our total cargo was transported in the bellyhold of our passenger flights. With increasing flight suspensions and restrictions on passenger travel imposed due to COVID-19 in early March 2020, we could foresee a situation where there would no longer be adequate cargo capacity available in the market to transport essential supplies.

“In order to bolster the cargo capacity offered by our 11 Boeing 777 freighters and make sure that we could meet the urgent demand for goods such as PPE, ventilators and other pharmaceutical goods and food supplies from across the world, we proactively made a radical and innovative plan to utilise our widebody passenger aircraft to operate cargo only flights. We trialled this passenger freighter concept with a flight to Kuwait on 16th March last year. Over the next few weeks, as regular passenger operations were completely suspended, we started increasing our passenger freighter flights to a point where we had close to 90 passenger aircraft being used for cargo operations.

“Our team worked tirelessly to flesh out a new business model from the ground up- seeking approvals from authorities, drawing up a new route network, drafting new operational and safety guidelines and speaking to our customers around the world – to make sure that as a socially responsible carrier, we were able to maintain essential supplies of cargo into markets and at the same time sustain exports around the world in challenging economic conditions.

“Our passenger freighter strategy has been the backbone of our operations during the pandemic transporting cargo to more than 125 destinations across six continents. It has showcased our resilience as a global facilitator of trade and supply chains. With resumption and growth in passenger operations, we have started gradually moving towards our traditional model but our passenger freighters continue to remain a strong component of the COVID-19 pandemic response.”

To meet the global demand for transport of PPE and essential supplies, Emirates SkyCargo followed up on the introduction of passenger freighter services with further innovations including the loading of cargo on passenger seats and in overhead bins inside the passenger cabin and introducing ‘mini freighters’ which were Boeing 777-300ER aircraft with seats removed from Economy Class to make more room for transporting cargo. Emirates SkyCargo currently has 16 Boeing 777-300ER mini-freighters for cargo operations.

Emirates SkyCargo has operated more than 27,800 cargo only flights on passenger aircraft during the last year. These flights have helped transport more than 100,000 tonnes of essential supplies including PPE, COVID-19 testing kits, ventilators, pharmaceuticals, vaccines and food. This is the equivalent of cargo carried over 1000 full flights on the Boeing 777 freighter aircraft.

Emirates SkyCargo’s flights helped ‘maintain food security’ in a number of import reliant markets while also providing an income stream to communities dependent on agricultural exports. The air cargo carrier also operated a record number of charter flights using passenger aircraft exclusively to transport cargo.

Emirates SkyCargo has been leading the global air cargo industry’s response for the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines. The air cargo carrier has set up a dedicated GDP certified airside hub in Dubai for COVID-19 vaccines and has also partnered with leading Dubai based entities and with UNICEF for the rapid transport of COVID-19 vaccines to developing nations through Dubai. Emirates SkyCargo’s passenger freighters have also played a key role in the transport of COVID-19 vaccines.

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FCEPL supports LRBT in raising funds for children and creating awareness

FrieslandCampina Engro Pakistan Limited (FCEPL) participated in the fourth Layton Rahmatullah Benevolent Trust (LRBT) Golf Tournament, held at the Karachi Golf Club to help raise funds for the organization.

One of the key sponsors of the event, FCEPL lent its support to LRBT to help raise funds for children in need of treatment and create awareness about blindness.

FCEPL’s golf team, comprising of young prominent golfers from Karachi, reached the winning circle, standing first, amongst the twenty-seven participating teams, in Gross Score and Runners Up Net in the Stable Ford Scoring System.

An organization dedicated to treating blindness and its related suffering, the LRBT organizes an annual golf tournament to raise funds to for affordable treatment.

FCEPL is proud to partner with, and support organizations like LRBT which have a positive impact on the lives of millions of Pakistanis, every day.

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Faysal Bank, Akhuwat join hands to promote low-cost housing

Faysal Bank Limited and Akhuwat have come together in a strategic partnership to promote Shariah compliant affordable housing, under the Government of Pakistan’s low-cost housing finance facility for low-income individuals. The memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed by Faysal Bank’s Head of Corporate & Investment Banking, Mr. Ali Waqar, and Dr. Amjad Saqib, CEO of Akhuwat.

Akhuwat is the world’s largest interest-free microfinance organization that constantly works to alleviate poverty and empower socially and economically marginalized communities. As part of the partnership, Akhuwat will assist Faysal Bank in the identification of eligible individuals who desire to obtain the affordable housing facility.

In turn, Faysal Bank the fastest growing Islamic and Best Emerging Bank of the country will proceed with the disbursement of affordable housing finance facility to the applicants as recommended by Akhuwat. Faysal Bank is among the earliest banks to have joined hands with Akhuwat, harnessing access to a greater network of potential clients from across the country who can benefit from the low-cost housing facility within the Shariah principles.

Expressing his views on this partnership, Mr. Yousaf Hussain, President and CEO of Faysal Bank said, “We are delighted to move forward in our mission to promote financial inclusivity. Through this partnership with Akhuwat, we look forward to uplifting the living standards of underprivileged communities, ensuring the provision of sustainable low-cost housing units to deserving people with low income, while also promoting the overall social and economic growth of the country.”

Dr. Amjad Saqib, CEO Akhuwat, also added, “This partnership with Faysal Bank has strengthened our efforts to assist deserving families in the country. Insha’Allah with Akhuwat and Faysal Bank’s collective efforts, we will make affordable housing a reality for everyone”.

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Launch of TravelinPK, a tourism consultancy and facilitation company

TravelinPK, a tourism consultancy and facilitation company launched here on March 15, 2021 with a bang among a large number of members of the travel fraternity, friends and media.

A partnership of nine people who have been working together for over a year as FPCCI’s Central Committee of Tourism Development under Convener Shanaz Ramzi, the office bearers of the organization are: President – Shanaz Ramzi; SVP – Syed Baqar Mahdi, and VPS – Zubair Baweja and Nasira Faiz. The other partners are Anadil Khan, Almas Tariq, Amena Khan, Rabeea Minai and Fareeda Nishtar. Friends of TravelinPK who are working closely with the partners are Faisal Mahmood, Jehanzeb Salim, Atiq ur Rehman, Mehrin Ansari, Shumaila Hadi and Madiha Fatima.

The event kick started with VP Nasira Faiz hosting the show and inviting a young student, Mohammed Ali, for tilawat, followed by the national anthem. President Shanaz Ramzi then welcomed all and gave an introduction to the company. She said “TravelinPK is unique in more ways than one. Its partners – and there are many – all bring varied and rich experiences of a sector that we feel needs to be taken head-on in a holistic fashion. Not only are the partners experienced, resourceful and connected, they are all avid travellers with a wealth of knowledge of how things can be improved in the country. From hoteliers, to travel agents to entrepreneurs we have the lot. And that’s not all – beyond our very active partners we have very active friends of TravelinPK who have been part of our committee since last year and who are an integral part of our company even today, even if they have no financial stakes involved for the time being.”

After her introduction she showed a visual presentation of all the services that TravelinPK would provide to its clients as well as to other travel-related businesses so as to up their act and facilitate them in providing a pleasurable experience to their clients. A beautiful video was also shown of all that Pakistan has to offer in terms of sights, culture, ethnicities, cuisine, crafts, heritage and much more.

All partners were then introduced and invited on the stage. MPA Dr Imran Ali Shah was also invited to air his views and he commended the launch of a much-needed facility especially keeping in mind that the prime minister was also focusing on tourism development. Mr Amin Wali Mohammed, Managing Director, Gerry’s Pvt. Ltd was then invited on the stage to sign an MOU with TravelinPK. He was followed by Khurram Zafar, CEO Majestic Lounge. Other organisations who are also already on board are Legends, Super Savari, Polanis and Daewoo.

Mr Wali Mohammed also spoke on the occasion and wished the company the best for the future. After Vote of Thanks, high tea was served.

Import of raw material from India should be allowed: Mian Zahid Hussain

Chairman of National Business Group of FPCCI, President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum and All Karachi Industrial Alliance, and former provincial minister Mian Zahid Hussain on Wednesday said exports are dipping while imports are swelling which will bring the external sector under pressure.

Exports fell by 4.5 percent during the month of February as compared to the last year from 2.14 billion dollars to 2.044 billion dollars, he said.

Mian Zahid Hussain said that apart from overall exports, the critical textile sector exports also fell by 3.12 percent from 1.27 billion dollars to 1.23 billion dollars which has raised concerns.

Talking to the business community, the veteran business leader said that fall in exports is due to the increased cost of doing business including energy prices, delay in repayment of refunds and swelling cost of inputs.

He informed that the value-added sector has recorded a decline due to the cost of yarn which could have been avoided by allowing import of cotton and yarn from India, the cheapest source of raw material for Pakistan. If the import of raw material was not allowed from India it will further hit the textile sector therefore a favourable decision should be taken without delay, he warned.

Mian Zahid Hussain said that the textile policy has been delayed by three years therefore new policy should be announced without delay and yarn should be provided to the value-added sector at an affordable price so that it remains competitive in the international market.

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China-Pak collaboration conference hosted by the centre for Chinese legal studies at LUMS

The Centre for Chinese Legal Studies (CCLS) at the Shaikh Ahmad Hassan School of Law at LUMS organized a virtual conference on the topic of China-Pakistan Collaboration in the 21st Century’ on March 5, 2021.

Attended by LUMS students and faculty, the purpose of this conference was to highlight the collaborative efforts of Pakistan and China moving forward, in light of recent partnerships in cases such as China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

The conference started off with introductory remarks by the moderator, Professor Sikander A. Shah, Director, CCLS, who introduced the panelists and contextualised Pak-China collaboration to set the foundation for the rest of the talk. Professor Shah focused on the importance of China as a strategic ally to Pakistan in all aspects of foreign policy. He explained that the conference is very timely as CPEC is entering into a new phase and thus, it is important to further study and unearth new opportunities for Pak-China collaboration.

The esteemed panel included Dr. Hassan Bashir, Political Scientist, Texas A&M University; Prof. Li Xiguang, Director, Center for Pakistan Cultural and Communication, Tsinghua University; Mr. Mustafa Hyder Syed, Executive Director, Pakistan-China Institute; Dr. Humayun Bashir, Nuclear Medicine Consultant, SKMCH&RC and Prof. Uzair Kayani, Faculty of Law, LUMS.

Dr. Bashir touched upon various subjects in Comparative Political Theory including the idea that Western Political Theory has historically been about the West, but the recent rise of China in the global order has made it impossible for the West to ignore the East any longer.

Prof. Xiguang talked about the history of Pakistan and its deep links with China for thousands of years. Providing a historical perspective to this relationship, Prof. Xiguang pointed out that China learned Buddhism from the land that is now modern-day Pakistan.

Mr. Syed focused on how CPEC will affect the future of Pak-China relations and what hurdles still stand in the way of Pakistan fully benefitting from CPEC. He prioritized the creation of Special Economic Zones (SEZ) and their future potential, but also raised questions about whether Pakistan was ready to commit to the daunting task of making the most out of these economic zones.

Prof. Kayani discussed the economic dimensions of Pak-China cooperation. By way of comparison between Pakistan and China, he pointed out how Pakistan can benefit from China’s experience. Dr. Bashir presented the various possibilities for mutually beneficial collaboration between the two countries in the field of medicine.

The conference included prominent audience members such as the Acting Dean of the Shaikh Ahmad Hassan School of Law, Dr. Sadaf Aziz. The conference also received positive feedback from the participants and served as a constructive discourse on Pak-China collaboration that is becoming more relevant each day.

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Extractive industry companies fall short when telling the whole picture about climate risks in their annual reports

A detailed analysis of mining, oil and gas companies by ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) and the University of Glasgow Adam Smith Business School reveals the need for more clarity and depth in climate change related disclosures.

The scrutiny of 60 companies’2019 annual reports indicates that many companies do not sufficiently engage with disclosures about their climate change-related risks. With COP26 taking place in Glasgow in November, this analysis comes as a wakeup call, with the report authors saying there is a more urgent need for improving climate change-related disclosures.

Richard Martin, head of corporate reporting at ACCA says: “Our study sheds light on the current climate change-related reporting practices of these companies, revealing that they provide, on average, overly generic disclosures and they refrain from discussing how climate change risks affect their operations. Only a small number of companies acknowledge the central role of climate change on their current and future activities.”

Diogenis Baboukardos at the University of Essex and the lead researcher in this project, adds: “Considering that companies in the extractive industries contribute significantly to the global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, climate change can no longer be seen as a side effect of their operations but as a central issue for their business model and a core business risk.”

Key findings in Climate change risk related disclosures in extractive industries reveal:

  • Fewer than a quarter (14 companies) provide scenario analysis that considers/discusses climate change risks.
  • 60% (36) identify addressing climate change risk as an integral part of their business model.
  • Just 15 companies (25% of the sample) consider international initiatives for climate change (e.g. the Paris Agreement) in the discussion of their business model.
  • Only four companies (7% of the sample) provide performance indicators where financial and climate change-related information is integrated.
  • Only 10% (6) disclose that they incorporate climate change risks in their estimations of future cash flows, as part of their impairment testing calculations.
  • None of the sample companies identify climate change risk as an important factor in determining their assets’ useful lives.
  • In only 15% of the sample companies’ audit reports (9) is climate change risk identified as a key audit matter.

Richard Martin concludes: “Our analysis raises questions over the consistency, relevance and decision-usefulness of these companies’ financial reporting. In the management report — the ‘front end’ of the annual report — though most make reference to the issue, not all by any means provide adequate information about how climate change risk may impact their reserves, the results of different climate change scenarios or how their business model is adjusting to these immense risks.”

About ACCA:

ACCA is the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants. We’re a thriving global community of 227,000 members and 544,000 future members based in 176 countries and regions that upholds the highest professional and ethical values.

We believe that accountancy is a cornerstone profession of society that supports both public and private sectors. That’s why we’re committed to the development of a strong global accountancy profession and the many benefits that this brings to society and individuals.

Since 1904 being a force for public good has been embedded in our purpose. And because we’re a not-for-profit organisation, we build a sustainable global profession by re-investing our surplus to deliver member value and develop the profession for the next generation.

Through our world leading ACCA Qualification, we offer everyone everywhere the opportunity to experience a rewarding career in accountancy, finance and management. And using our respected research, we lead the profession by answering today’s questions and preparing us for tomorrow.

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Fatima Fertilizer lauds the Pakistan equestrian team on winning gold in India

Fatima Fertilizer lauded the success of their supported seven-member Pakistan equestrian team who recently visited India to participate in the world cup qualifiers of the Equestrian Tent Pegging Championship, 2021. The event took place at the Indian city of Greater Noida from March 16 to 18, 2021. Pakistani tent peggers made the nation proud by winning a gold medal in the individual lance event and a silver medal in the team lance event, while all teams are waiting now to know the final result of which teams successfully qualified for the world cup championship. This was a historic achievement by many respects as both countries move towards reestablishing bilateral peace and relations with each other.

Fatima Fertilizer has been a long-standing partner of the Equestrian Federation of Pakistan, supporting it to revive this traditional sports that is most admired by the Pakistani farmers community, as well as to promote Pakistan’s soft image in the world by earning international accolades at global competitions.

At this momentous win, Rabel Sadozai, National Marketing Manager at Fatima Fertilizer said, “The game of tent pegging holds grass roots within Pakistan’s rural community and our mission is to win the hearts of Pakistani farmers by supporting their most preferred game. We have a long standing partnership with Equestrian Federation of Pakistan with a firm commitment to support them in reviving this traditional sport to its past glory and making Pakistan proud at international competitions.”

Tent pegging is a traditional sport of equestrian discipline and has been played in Pakistan since many decades. The sport is internationally played in a lot of countries around the World, but is most popular within the commonwealth countries. As per Equestrian Federation of Pakistan, as per a regional comparison, Pakistan holds the distinction of producing the highest number of tent pegging champions than any other country.

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Multiple accolades winner Sehat Kahani raises pre-series a round of $1 million to expand its telemedicine network in Pakistan

Founded by two female doctors turned entrepreneurs, Dr. Sara Saeed Khurram and Dr. Iffat Zafar Aga, Sehat Kahani has raised a one million USD Pre-Series A round from leading Global investors including Saudi Arabia-based Islamic Development Bank; Washington-based 10Pearls Ventures, Silicon Valley-based Mentor’s Fund, Singapore-based Korean Impact Collective Funds, and Impact Investment Exchange (IIX). KASB and Din Group from Pakistan along with other international and national angels also contributed to the round. With a seed funding by Danish Elahi (Elahi Group of Companies) Sehat Kahani started with a chain of telemedicine enabled e-health clinics in underserved communities in 2017, the company introduced an urbanized model of care, Sehat Kahani Mobile application, for corporate and retail users that allowed patients to connect to doctors instantly.

This news was announced through an event held at Pear Continental Hotel Karachi on Monday 15th March 2021. The occasion was graced by the presence of Honorable Federal Minister of Information & Communication Technologies (ICTs) Syed Aminul Haque, Honorable Governor State Bank of Pakistan, Dr. Reza Baqir, and Honorable Member National Assembly Dr. Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui, along with senior leadership for corporate and business partners of Sehat Kahani from Banking, Pharma, Insurance and other business sectors of Pakistan.

Honorable Syed Aminul Haque said, “this is very heartening to see female entrepreneurs coming forward in tech and I wish to see more such events where females led organizations are raising foreign investment for Pakistan. The IT sector in the country has shown substantial growth in the last few years. The country’s exports of Information Technology related services has grown by 40% in the last 6 months only. 5G services are also expected to be launched by the end of the year and local smartphone manufacturing has also begun in Pakistan thanks to efforts made by the current administration”.

Honorable Dr. Reza Baqir said, “I would like to congratulate Sehat Kahani for this milestone achievement. This shall be a case study for many other female entrepreneurs that how gender should never be a barrier on the way to success. For the State Bank of Pakistan, entrepreneurship and especially female-owned businesses has held utmost priority. Over the years, we’ve introduced a variety of initiatives which include but are not limited to offering incentivized loans at 5% markup. We are also allowing startups to form holding companies abroad to enhance our foreign remittances. This is a model that is followed worldwide to empower local economies and businesses.”

Dr. Sara Saeed Khurram said, “The investors trust has further reflected the massive success of Sehat Kahani that has celebrated a massive 425% growth in the last 12 months only.”

Dr. Iffat Zafar, Co-founder and COO said “We are absolutely grateful to all the investors for trusting Sehat Kahani and we are thrilled to replicate our successful business model towards the mass consumer retail market in 2021and beyond!”

“We are very excited to invest in Sehat Kahani and back the two very talented female founders behind it. Sehat Kahani is creating massive impact for emerging countries in a very creative, scalable way through telemedicine. We look forward to being part of their journey,” said Changseong Ho, Founder of The Ventures.

With an expanded network of 5,000 doctors and a successfully implemented agile platform that can be tailored for different target markets, Sehat Kahani is now positioning itself for regional expansion in a world embracing the new normal with digital transformation!

Senate elections resulted in increased polarization: Mian Zahid Hussain

Chairman of National Business Group of FPCCI, President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum and All Karachi Industrial Alliance, and former provincial minister Mian Zahid Hussain on Monday said the recent Senate elections have exposed serious flaws in the system.

How come general elections can be conducted in a good manner if an issue of one hundred votes cannot be tackled properly, he said?

Mian Zahid Hussain said that Senate elections have resulted in increased tensions among the stakeholders which has raised concerns among the business community as instability will multiply in the weeks to come.

Talking to the business community, the veteran business leader said that the politicians representing the ruling coalition, as well as opposition, have started the verbal war in press conferences and talk shows widening the political divide.

A new round of litigations and protests could be seen on the horizon which will deprive the government of its ability to provide relief to the masses or undertake some serious long due reforms, he observed.

The business leader noted that how come the government delivered when its whole attention would be focused on thwarting the moves of the increasingly belligerent opposition.

The tussle between the government and the opposition will provide a perfect opportunity for the profiteers to skin masses for their profits, further pushing millions below the poverty line.

He noted that the politics of confrontation will not only hit the economy and masses but all the private and state-run businesses including the stock exchange and it will also damage the society as well as the system.

The government and the opposition should control their spokespersons who are adding fuel to the fire and all the political parties should join hands to remove weaknesses from the election process, rules should be improved and the issue of spy cameras should be tackled in the best possible way.

The situation should be pushed towards normalcy to save the economy from further erosion and provide some relief to the troubled masses, he demanded.

Engro sponsors solarization and baby day care center at NED university

Engro Energy Limited (EEL) – a wholly owned subsidiary of Engro Corporation – has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to support the development of a solarization of Engineer Abul Kalam Library and construction of a Baby Day Care Center at the prestigious Nadirshaw Edulji Dinshaw (NED) University of Engineering & Technology in Karachi. This collaboration will enable improvement of educational facilities as the university celebrates its 100 years of academic excellence in 2021.

Under the arrangement Engro Energy will provide the requisite funding solarization of the Abul-Kalam Library, along with another grant for construction of a Baby Day Care Centre. The solarization of the library is in line with the University’s attempt to cut down on its carbon footprint and become a carbon-neutral institution. Furthermore, the influx of female teachers many of whom have children has necessitated the presence of a day-care centre.

A formal ceremony was recently held at the university campus, where the Chief Executive Officer of EEL — Ahsan Zafar Syed and the Vice-Chancellor of NED University Dr. Sarosh Hashmat Lodi signed the MoU, in the presence of various stakeholders and distinguished personalities. The participants appreciated this valuable initiative that promises great benefits for this university with over 500 faculty members and a student strength of over 12,000 male and female students.

The Chief Executive Officer of EEL – Ahsan Zafar Syed said; “As the leading enterprise in Pakistan’s energy-sector –we have a vision to contribute towards socio-economic uplift of the nation, by focusing on provision of quality-education. I believe that through targeted interventions we can help NED further its repute as a world-class institution. The solarization of the library will help in NED get closer in its attempt to become a net-zero institute while the day care centre will help forward the agenda of women participation.”

The Vice Chancellor of NED University – Dr. Sarosh Hashmat Lodi expressed his gratitude for this generous support from EEL and stated that: “NED University already has a great reputation for consistently producing thousands of highly qualified engineers, every year, who are making immense contributions towards global developments and socio-economic progress. On the 100th anniversary of our great institution, we are reiterating our commitment to elevate the standards of our education and enrich it with research facilities and other quality services. We would like to thank Engro Energy Limited, for this gracious gesture promising a brighter future for Pakistan.”

The company believes in investing in sustainable initiatives that can change the face of communities and are geared towards impacting people and enriching lives across a wide spectrum of areas, including economic empowerment and sustainable development.

President Arif Alvi presents gold award to EBM at the EFP awards ceremony

EBM, the largest biscuit manufacturers in Pakistan has won the Gold-Award 2021 presented at the 8th annual EFP Employer of the Year Awards in the Star-Ranks Category. This category rewards the best performers who qualify in all factors of evaluation. The Honorable President of Pakistan Dr. Arif Alvi personally chaired this prestigious ceremony organized by the ‘Employers’ Federation of Pakistan’ (EFP) — a not-for-profit organization — which is the only member of the ‘International Organization of Employers’ (IOE) in Pakistan.

During event, the corporate leaders recognized the top organizations within Pakistan for their healthy HR practices and overall contributions towards the career development of their employees. This esteemed forum has once again honored EBM for adopting and promoting global best-practices and enabling Human Resources Development to achieve robust growth and other corporate objectives. While ensuring the health, safety and well-being of its employees, EBM is also able to contribute great value towards socio-economic and environmental sustainability for the nation.

The Executive Director of EBM — Shahzain Munir graced this ceremony to receive the award and said, “We are really thankful to his Excellency, President of Pakistan – Dr. Arif Alvi and the Employers Federation of Pakistan for recognizing EBM’s humble efforts and our pledge for human-development. The capability and commitment of our workforce at EBM is exemplary as we continue to invest on training and grooming our personnel to nurture their professional talents and enrich their skills. We inspire them to fortify our company’s enduring competitive-advantage that has enabled us to achieve consistent success over decades, as we further elevate our performance standards.

The Managing Director and CEO of EBM Dr. Zeelaf Munir expressed her pleasure and gratitude on winning this accolade and said, “The credit for this EFP Gold-Award goes to every single worker at EBM. We believe that our employees are the single most important determinant of our excellence and we must keep them motivated to strive for higher quality and fulfilment. We also remain focused on highly responsive customer care and innovation to keep our consumers engaged with delightful tastes and experiences as they benefit from the healthy nutrition of our products.”

EBM is Pakistan’s largest biscuit manufacturing enterprise with more than a 50 percent market share within the country. Its powerful brand, Peek Freans offers the widest range of biscuits that are also exported to many countries around the world, including the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, the Middle East and Africa.

About EBM:

EBM has been baking nutritious delights for Pakistani consumers under the brand name Peek Freans since 1996. As one of the pioneers of the industry as well as a dominating market leader, EBM continues to innovate on each of the three fronts: product, quality, and communication.

Dawlance collaborates with Daraz to offer a wide range of appliances on DarazMall

Dawlance the No.1 home-appliances brand in Pakistan, a subsidiary of Arcelik – the 2nd largest white goods manufacturer in Europe, celebrates its 40 years of Reliability by making its products available to a wider customer base on DarazMall. The brand launched its official E-Commerce store in 2020 and now, as a second phase, it has officially introduced its wide range of products on DarazMall.

A signing ceremony was recently held at Daraz head office, the two market leaders commit to customer excellence. This partnership is a testimony to the reliable online shopping experience which Pakistani consumers can expect while purchasing innovative Dawlance home-appliances.

This collaboration in Pakistan is a part of the global partnership between Arcelik and Alibaba – the world’s largest e-commerce entity and Daraz’s parent company. Creating these synergies between the two global giants, has added great value to the operational capabilities of the partners, to serve this growing segment of tech-savvy consumers, on-the-go, round-the-clock. This is a great milestone towards transforming Dawlance into a futuristic enterprise, promising great products and a highly responsive customer-care network as per its omni channels strategy “be wherever your customers are”.

The Chief-Marketing Officer of Dawlance – Syed Hasan Jameel

expressed his pleasure on this resourceful alliance and stated that: “After going live on Daraz Mall, the consumers will now be able to purchase Dawlance appliances from the official flagship store at Daraz. With this partnership, Dawlance and Daraz would add great value to consumers’ online shopping experience through competitive prices and reliable appliances, so our consumers can order their favourite appliances, to be delivered at their doorstep, with many options for convenient payment. Dawlance and Daraz are known for great ‘Reliability’, in their respective industries, so now the online buyers can transact with complete confidence”.

The strategy to go digital, promises many additional advantages, for all businesses, especially during ongoing pandemic whereby people are observing social-distancing and other safety-protocols to stay indoors and minimize personal interactions at public-places.

Ehsan Saya, Managing Director at Daraz Pakistan

welcomes the global brand on the platform and noted that the potential for appliances within the Pakistani e-commerce space is phenomenal. He adds, “Dawlance and Daraz both believe in providing an exceptional shopping experience and with this partnership we are confident that our customers will have access to Dawlance’s reliable assortment on DarazMall with a premium service. This is a strategic partnership and we’re very excited to work closely with Dawlance to grow Pakistan’s e-commerce space.” He further elaborates on the importance of digitization in the country and explains how Daraz will continue to provide its platform to brands to access a customer base of millions in all corners of the country.

After the successful launch of the E-Commerce store of Dawlance, DarazMall will now serve as yet another exciting touch-point for the consumers, where the consumers can enjoy the most convenient way of shopping for the widest variety of products and the fastest check-out. As Dawlance is known for its superior customer service, shoppers at Daraz will be able to purchase premium Dawlance appliances with its quality after sales service.

About Dawlance:

Dawlance, a leading home appliances brand of Pakistan now part of Arcelik, Turkey, was established in 1980 with the vision of making Dawlance a Global brand by practicing reliability and to make Pakistan Proud. Dawlance was acquired by Arcelik in 2016 after which Dawlance became a wholly owned subsidiary of the 2nd largest White goods company in Europe. Dawlance now serves its consumers in 3 functions involving Food Care, Fabric Care and Home Care with its wide range of appliances including refrigerators, freezers, micro-wave ovens, water dispensers, small kitchen appliances, hoods &hobs, washing machines, dishwashers and air conditioners.

Dawlance promises reliability in every way for its consumers and stakeholders alike; Reliability is the key characteristic of Dawlance and is exercised within all functions of the company; it is in fact embedded in the organization’s culture. Aside from its reliability, Dawlance’s major strengths are differentiation and relevance- it makes products that are relevant to the needs of the Pakistani households but with an element of differentiation; Dawlance takes pride in introducing innovative products for the Pakistani market to enhance the lifestyle of its consumers and deliver a superior product experience.

BankIslami reports its highest-ever profitability during 2020

BankIslami has reported its highest-ever profitability during financial year 2020. Profit after tax closed at Rs. 1.70 billion, up by 56% comparing with profitability of Rs. 1.09 billion during financial year 2019. Despite downward adjustment in policy rate, net spreads of the Bank increased by 16% on account of 21% growth in earning assets and improvement in CASA deposit mix to 64% from 60% in Dec’19. Total deposits and current account deposit of the Bank rose by 23% and 33% respectively despite all challenges due to spread of COVID-19 pandemic. To remain resilient against ensuing credit risk from economic slowdown and to counter potential delinquencies, the Bank also booked additional provisioning on prudent basis during the outgoing year.

During the year 2020, the Bank was also successful in completing the IPO of Pakistan’s First Shariah Compliant and Listed Additional Tier-1 Sukuk, carrying the brand of ‘Ehad Sukuk’. Total size of the Ehad Sukuk is Rs. 2 billion. The issuance of this capital instrument has paved the way for BankIslami to enhance its financing portfolio and deposit base.

Timely support measures taken by the Government of Pakistan (GoP) and State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) effectively addressed the pressures emanating from pandemic on various businesses and households.

Considering gradual improvement in market appetite on the back of endeavors being made by Government and SBP to enhance private sector financing, the Bank is working on efficiently increasing its exposure towards rated Corporate clients, Government backed avenues, Auto Finance, Low Cost Housing Schemes, Agri Finance and FI placements. Furthermore, the Bank will continue with its current strategy to capture low cost CASA deposits which will in turn provide stable returns during the prevailing low benchmark rate regime.

Delay in announcement of textile policy perturbing investors: Mian Zahid

Chairman of National Business Group of FPCCI, President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum and All Karachi Industrial Alliance, and former provincial minister Mian Zahid Hussain on Friday said the former textile policy has expired two years ago while the new policy has been delayed by one tear which is disturbing investors.

The government should take all the stakeholders in confidence before announcing the new textile policy so that it can trigger growth in the largest export earning textile sector, he said.

Mian Zahid Hussain said that the Textile Policy 2014-19 was a joke which stagnated the textile sector while the exports of some subsectors suffered therefore mistakes in the former policy should not be repeated.

Talking to the business community, the veteran business leader said that the textile sector is the second largest employment provider which deserves the full attention of the policymakers.

The draft textile policy 2020-25 is ready but it is not being approved which is causing anxiety. The textile sector was promised for provision of gas for $6.5 per mmbtu but the petroleum ministry is not willing.

Similarly, the provision of electricity at the rate of 9 cents per unit was promised but it is difficult as the power tariff has seen an unprecedented increase, he said.

Mian Zahid Hussain said that these issues can be resolved through subsidy but the problem of delayed payments should be resolved.

Moreover, the subsidy will increase the infamous circular debt which is against the government’s policy of overcoming this menace.

Government’s intention to reduce circular debt by hiking electricity tariff is against the interests of the masses and industrial sector which can be sorted out by cutting losses of Rs400 billion which include theft and line losses.

IBA Karachi partners with 1LINK for customized training programs

The IBA Karachi has partnered with 1LINK for designing and conducting a customized training program for the employees under the 2021 theme of ‘Customer Centricity’. The initiative will include high-level performance evaluation of 1LINK’s service quality and workshops/training programs with the key focus areas on soft skills development, business communication and customer service.

A ceremony was held at 1LINK head office in Karachi, which was attended by Director, IBA-Center for Executive Education (CEE), Dr. Rameez Khalid and CEO, 1LINK, Mr. Najeeb Agrawalla, along with senior officials from both the organizations. With this collaboration, 1LINK will invest in the employee development program, conducted by distinct IBA faculty members and facilitators, which will positively impact performance, productivity, and profitability at the organizational level.

Speaking on the occasion, 1Link CEO, Mr. Najeeb Agrawalla said, “1LINK aims to cultivate a rich culture of personal and professional development in employees. With the IBA’s long-standing reputation of quality education, it is the ideal institution to enhance 1LINK employees’ skill set that will spur innovation, improve customer interactions, and boost performance. 1LINK, owned by a consortium of 11 banks, is the country’s first PSO/PSP and largest switch and payment system. It provides a host of valuable online banking services such as ATM switching, Bills Payment, Inter Bank Funds Transfer, Fraud Risk Management and much more.

Addressing the representatives of both the organizations, Dr. Khalid said, “1LINK is one of the pioneers in Pakistan that has taken the initiative of getting their service quality gauged using expertise of IBA-CEE’s Operational Excellence Forum. Subsequently various customized workshops will be developed and delivered [through this partnership”. The IBA-CEE, under the umbrella of the IBA Karachi, provides opportunities to executives working at different echelons in organizations to enhance their careers by gaining knowledge and insights into the state-of-the-art communication and management techniques along with advice on leadership and strategy.

Global Takaful and Re-Takaful forum held successfully in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
  • Takaful is new destination for Sustainable Financial World says M. Zubair Mughal, CEO AlHuda CIBE

AlHuda Centre of Islamic Banking and Economics along with its multilateral partner ICD- Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector and in association with Ethiopian Reinsurance conducted Global Takaful Forum on March 18 -20, 2021 at Hyatt Regency Hotel, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Delegates from 13 countries participated in-order to gain incredible knowledge and operational processes of Takaful.

The three core objectives of this forum were the knowledge for human resource, analysis of problems faced by Takaful operators in order to deepen the financial inclusion and the provision of opportunities to collaborate with the industry leaders that will surely build a solid platform for sharing experiences in an appropriate and adequate manners. It is definitely going to support diligent efforts of the insurance regulators and practitioners in the sector. The growth of Takaful is based on the solutions of above key issues.

H.E. Shozab Abbas, Ambassador of Pakistan to Ethiopia appreciated the efforts of AlHuda CIBE and commended the CEO Muhammad Zubair Mughal and his entire team for the achievement within a very short period of time. He congratulated the team of AlHuda CIBE for the drive and the excellence of commitment to promote Takaful round the globe.

Mr. Muhammad Zubair Mughal, CEO, AlHuda CIBE acknowledged the chief guest, guests of honors, delegates and speakers for their participation in this important event. He said that Takaful is emerging as an essential tool for financial inclusion globally. It is the need of the time to spread the knowledge of Takaful and its operational skills within the country and across the world so that the people would learn it so well in order to adopt it instantly for the betterment of the community and economic sustainability. The prospects and sustainability of the industry greatly depends on the ability of operators to develop the right products that suit the needs of the identified market, providing adequate awareness to realize delivery of services and meeting expectations of the targeted audience. Takaful is an emerging industry which is spreading across Western, Central Africa and other countries which are replicating the experience of Ethiopian Takaful footprints. More than 400 Takaful companies are efficiently operating across the globe and around 500 insurance companies are actively working in African region and Takaful market is also rapidly developing in the African region. We are highly obliged to all the worthy delegates and speakers for representing different countries and sharing their valuable knowledge and experience to promote Takaful industry. We hope that the forum helps spreading the voice that is much important need of the hour.

About AlHuda CIBE:

AlHuda Center of Islamic Banking and Economics (CIBE) is a well-recognized name in Islamic banking and finance industry for research and provide state-of-the-art Advisory Consultancy and Education through various well-recognized modes viz. Islamic Financial Product Development, Shariah Advisory, Trainings Workshops, and Islamic Microfinance and Takaful Consultancies etc. side by side through our distinguished, generally acceptable and known Publications in Islamic Banking and Finance.

We are dedicated to serving the community as a unique institution, advisory and capacity building since 2005. The prime goal has always been to remain stick to the commitments providing Services not only in UAE/Pakistan but all over the world. We have so far served in more than 35 Countries for the development of Islamic Banking and Finance industry. For further Details about AlHuda CIBE, please visit: www.alhudacibe.com

Standard Chartered and Karachi United launched fourth youth league – football tournament

Highlights:

  • 1052 boys and girls across Karachi
  • 62 teams
  • 199 matches over three months

Standard Chartered announced the launch of its ‘Standard Chartered Karachi United Youth League’ as part of its community service mandate to promote sports amongst children. This is the fourth time in a row that the Bank is sponsoring the league.

The objective of the ‘Standard Chartered Karachi United Youth League’ is to provide a platform for Youth football teams from across the underserved areas of Karachi to come together, break barriers and inculcate the spirit and culture of sport and competition.

In the last three years, the Standard Chartered KU Youth League has had over 2600 beneficiaries including boys and girls. There were multiple case studies that were published and amplified through social media of how the competition enabled many examples of team work, volunteerism in the community, leadership and new friendships across communities and children that generally do not interact with each other.

This year’s league will see five boys’ competitions in the following age categories: Under 10 years, Under 12 years, Under 14 years and Under 16 years including a Government School competition. The format is that of a group system from which the top teams qualify directly for the quarter-finals and beyond. The Standard Chartered KU Youth League will also increase girls participation (through a Girls tournament) this year to 120 girls.

This year’s competition will see a total of 1000+ boys and girls from across Karachi participate in matches. In order to increase the standard of the league, official referees and match commissioners have been appointed for every match.

A total of 199 matches will be played in six different locations including Old Golimar, Shireen Jinnah, Malir, Baldia, Ibrahim Hyderi and Orangi Town, which promises to attract football fans from all over Karachi.

Commenting on the sponsorship, Mr. Rehan Shaikh, Chief Executive Officer, Standard Chartered Pakistan said, “Standard Chartered is proud to partner for the fourth year with Karachi United to bring to you the “SC KU Youth League”.

In line with our brand promise ‘Here for good’, it is a unique event spread over a couple of months which aims to bring underserved communities together. We hope that through football we can bring a positive social benefit to our society.

In the last three years more than 2600 children went through the SC KU league experience which was not only restricted to football, but also included coaching in life skills, team work and other areas.

Standard Chartered has a long association with football and we are proud to be leading such a transformational initiative with Karachi United in the country.”

Imran Ali, CEO, Karachi United said: “The league is a ray of light and an extremely exciting platform for young players across our Community Centers – especially given the challenges over the last year. Additionally, we are very proud of our partnership with Standard Chartered as we have moved further and are now focusing on coaches development – as witnessed by the investment in the LFC Train the Trainer workshop. We are confident this will improve standards of coaching and football across Karachi along with building better communities”.

Ample sports strengthen youth’s mental and physical ability, says Isphanyar Bhandara

Chief Executive Murree Brewery Company Mr. Isphanyar Bhandara says that sports help in developing the mental and physical abilities of the youth. This builds their character along with improving patience and courage in their personalities, because self-confidence in a person can play an important role in the country’s development. He added that the players are assets of the nation and play an important role in promoting sports for the formation of a healthy society. He expressed his views while talking to reporters after distributing prizes to the successful team at the 117th MP Bhandara Memorial Polo Cup Final in Rawalpindi.

Eight teams that participated in the pilot event were: In the final ASC Iqbal team scored 6 goals to beat PAF team by 5-1/2 goals.

Ambassador of Sweden, H.E. Henrick Persson was the Chief Guest of this event. He appreciated the efforts of the Murree Brewery team for the promotion sports event and went on to say that the inaugural M.P. Bhandara Memorial Polo Tournament was held in 1904.

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