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UBL digital partners with NIFT to provide convenient e-commerce payments solution

UBL Digital recently signed a strategic agreement with NIFT to enable digital payments (mobile/e-commerce) via ‘NIFTePay.’ This partnership will allow UBL Branch and OMNI customers to conduct secure e-commerce transactions directly through their accounts. Going forward, UBL customers will be able to purchase online on UBL and NIFT enabled e-commerce merchants, thereby providing end-user convenience and expanding the reach for safe and secure online transactions.

Furthermore, NIFTePay will also be integrating with UBL Digital’s internet payment gateway, which will enable other Bank customers to pay online at web stores by checking-out through the account direct debit option. Funds will be directly deducted from the customer’s account and transferred to the merchant in an easy and secure way. This partnership will help augment digital acceptance and create an interoperable digital payments ecosystem in the country.

The signing ceremony was attended by Mr. Haider Wahab – CEO, Mr. Fawad Abdul Kader – Head of DFS and Mr. Imran Korai – Head of Business Development from NIFT. UBL was represented by Muhammad Hamayun Sajjad, Head Digital Payments & Branchless Banking, Amin Rahman, Head Digital Channels; Arsalan Arif, Head Digital Payments Acceptance; Adnan Javaid, Head Digital Banking; and Aliya Ahmed, Head of Digital Communications.

Mr. Muhammad Hamayun Sajjad, on occasion, expressed his delight that partnerships like these provide UBL the capability for offering a variety of digital payment options to its customers. Acknowledging the focus & efforts of the Government of Pakistan and SBP on digitization, UBL is also at the forefront of delivering seamless digital payment solutions for its customers.

Mr. Haider Wahab speaking at the occasion said “We are pleased to sign up UBL for NIFTePay services, enabling UBL account holders to make payments and also allowing UBL to offer online collections to its corporate and business relationships through NIFTePay Platform. UBL maintains its niche in the financial services space and is a leader in digitizing payments, we believe that the partnership with NIFT will enable new use cases for the market.”

IBA Karachi and Akhuwat Foundation collaborate to facilitate IBA students

The Institute of Business Administration (IBA), Karachi and the Akhuwat Foundation, have joined hands to support the Institute’s deserving yet meritorious students to pursue their higher education.

The Executive Director, IBA Karachi, Dr. S Akbar Zaidi and Founder, Akhuwat Foundation, Dr. Muhammad Amjad Saqib signed an MoU at the Foundation’s headquarter in Lahore. Through this 5-year agreement, Akhuwat Foundation will provide Qarz-e-Hasna to selected 3rd and 4th year IBA students.  Under the arrangement, selected students will be able to avail interest free loans of up to PKR 125,000.

Dr. Zaidi thanked Dr. Saqib and appreciated Akhuwat’s efforts to support the youth of the country in pursuing education and remove financial impediments in this pursuit. They also discussed mutual avenues of interest and vowed to strengthen the relationship between the two organizations to further the mission of making higher education accessible to the masses.

Every year, the IBA, supports around 30% of its student body through its financial assistance program ensuring that the maximum students benefit from quality education at the IBA.

The Kidney Centre inaugurates its filter clinic in Korangi

On Wednesday, 31st March 2021, an inauguration ceremony was held for the opening of The Kidney Centre’s Filter Clinic in Korangi, donated by a philanthropist. This clinic has been established to provide easy access to the health care facilities in the impoverished neighborhood of Korangi, with an aim to screen patients suffering from Kidney and Bladder Diseases. Through this clinic, patients will be provided with a free consultation, lab tests and ultrasound.

Speaking on the occasion, Dr. Aasim Ahmad – Officiating CEO and Dean thanked the donors who made it possible for The Kidney Centre to start and run a filter OPD in Korangi, he was of the view that such initiatives help inaccessible health care services for all. He also stated that The Kidney Centre is a not-for-profit institution serving for over 30 years, whereas during the last financial year, over Rs472 million was spent on the treatment of 84,626 patients through its welfare department.

The inauguration ceremony was also attended by the Management Team and staff members of the Filter Clinic.

M&P becomes the official distributor of jazz digit 4g smart feature phones

Jazz, Pakistan’s number one 4G operator, and the largest internet and broadband service provider has on boarded Muller & Phipps (M&P) Pakistan as the official distributor of Jazz Digit 4G smart feature phones. Starting at PKR 4,099, these smart feature phones are among the most affordable internet-enabled handsets. With the help of M&P, the variants of Jazz Digit 4G: Elite and Defender will be made available in various mobile markets nationwide.

Commenting on this development, Asif Aziz, Chief Commercial Officer, Jazz, said, “While we consistently work towards offering quality services, maximizing accessibility to affordable phones remains a priority. Our collaboration with M&P for widespread availability of Jazz Digit 4G smart feature phones would help increase access to mobile internet for low and middle-income consumers and subsequently, foster digital connectivity in all the socio-economic segments.”

Kamran Nishat, Managing Director & CEO of Muller & Phipps Pakistan, added, “As a leading distribution hub, we aim to offer as many solutions as we can to the customer base. Our collaboration with Jazz is unique, as we are to touch multiple consumer points in ensuring that the two variants of Jazz Digit 4G reach the masses.”

Abdul Rehman Mahmood, CEO Digit4G, stated, “Digit is the brand of every Pakistani. Our mission is to digitalize the citizens of Pakistan to enhance the quality of life and benefit from opportunities in the era of globalization. These digit smart feature phones are affordable and quality-focused. Our partnership with Jazz will ensure that the phones have access to the Super 4G network and with M&P to ensure their availability nationwide. Furthermore, this partnership will bring a digital revolution in both urban and rural areas of Pakistan.”

Running on a light operating system called KaiOS, Jazz Digit 4G smart feature phones allow users to access popular apps such as WhatsApp, YouTube, Facebook, Jazz TV, Google Assistant, etc. Through the KaiStore, users can also access an expanding selection of apps and other unique local content. Equipped with a Jazz connection, it also offers unique features, including some of the most attractive tariff rates for voice and data in the industry. Furthermore, these handsets can power over 400 mobile apps with unique characteristics.

BQPS-III first turbine commissioning on fast track

K-Electric’s flagship 900 MW power plant, BQPS-III is progressing on fast track basis. Entire power train of first Unit consist of Gas Turbine, Steam Turbine, Generator and Heat Recovery Boiler have arrived and installed at the power utility’s Bin Qasim Power Complex. All relevant civil structural work is completed and associated auxiliaries and piping are progressing swiftly with the target of ensuring that the first unit is ready to be commissioned by peak summer of 2021. The second unit of 450 MW is expected to be completed by the end of the year.

The RLNG-based power plant will go a long way in meeting Karachi’s power demand and ensuring the city and its industries stay energized to play their due role in the national economy.

The addition of the 900 MW RLNG Power Plant will increase the power utility’s generation capacity, efficiency, and reliability. The National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA) has approved the modification in the generation license of K-Electric, with the addition of the 900 MW RLNG powered BQPS-III to the power utility’s generation capacity. The power plant is being built as per the power utility’s investment plan, approved under the Multi Year Tariff for the control period FY 2017-2023.

Moonis Alvi, CEO K-Electric said the project is a major private sector investment in the country’s power sector. “K-Electric is working actively to bridge the supply-demand gap affecting Karachi in the past years, and BQPS-III is a significant milestone in this regard. The inclusion of high-efficiency generation plants will reduce KE’s carbon footprint and help ensure a more affordable power supply for consumers. We are pleased with the progress on the plant and are confident that we will be able to meet our expected deadlines. We appreciate the support and coordination extended to us by the government and other stakeholders, and we look forward to working with them for the benefit of Karachi.”

In addition to bridging the demand for electricity, this plant will also enable us to gradually phase out some units of the aging and less efficient BQPS I plant, which have been in service for more than 30 years. The BQPS-III would result in lower import costs for the government, affordable power for consumers and a much smaller carbon footprint as compared to furnace oil power plants. I am confident that we will continue to have the support of the government and other stakeholders since there is no doubt that the upcoming 900MW RLNG power plant is very crucial for Karachi.”

While KE is committed to bring the first unit (450 MW) of 900 MW plant online by peak summer of 2021, other commitments also need to be fulfilled in a timely manner for this reality to be realized. Heads of Agreement with Pakistan LNG Limited (PLL) for supply of 150 mmcfd of RLNG supply to Bin Qasim Complex has already been signed, subsequently negotiations on the Gas Sale Agreement (GSA) have reached to the advance stage and any potential hurdles need to be resolved as per past commitments by the Cabinet Committee on Energy (CCoE).

Development of the spur pipeline which will be supplying Re-gasified Liquefied Natural Gas (RLNG) is also underway and is 70% complete. Not only will this pipeline supply RLNG to the 900 MW BQPS-III power plant, it will also supplement the fuel requirement of power plants located at the Bin Qasim Power Complex. The Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) approved K-Electric’s application earlier this year, which was a key step in ensuring a consistent and smooth supply of gas at the right pressure to BQPS-III.

KE greatly appreciate the efforts of the Power Division and NTDC on the completion of required rehabilitation and up gradation works on the 220 kV double-circuit Transmission line from Jamshoro to KDA-33 to enable off-take of supply to KE from National Grid to at least 1100 MW for summer 2021, in line with directives of the Cabinet Committee on Energy (CCoE) meeting dated August 27, 2020. In this regard, following the completion of required works, KE has started off-take of additional supply from the National Grid, enabling KE to provide relief to the residents of Karachi and adjoining areas where temperature has already exceeded 40C.

This increased supply is part of additional supply of 1,400 MW approved for Karachi. In follow-up phases for years 2022 and 2023, two new interconnection facilities are to be constructed. NTDC’s support for timely completion of their Interconnection Facilities will be of immense importance. Subsequent to completion of extensive discussions on the draft PP&AA with CPPA and ICA with NTDC, Power Division is to move to the competent forum for necessary approvals to enable execution of contracts.

While, K-Electric is fully committed to its future planned investments, the backlog of receivables from government entities continues to hamper KE’s cashflow position and the ability to enhance the pace of investment, and the company remains in continuous engagement with relevant stakeholders seeking a fair and equitable solution. Further, timely approvals by NEPRA for tariff adjustments and MYT mid-term requests remain critical for KE’s sustainability and for execution of planned investments.

K-Electric is confident that all concerned stakeholders will continue to lend support so that KE achieves its vision of bringing Karachi to a power surplus situation by the year 2022.

Harmonyos: connecting to a simpler life

Huawei Wang Chenglu delivered a keynote speech at TEDxHouHai event Driven by Pressure

Dr. Wang Chenglu, Huawei Consumer BG Software Engineering Dept President and AI and All-scenario Intelligence Business Unit Director, delivered a speech themed Connecting to a Simpler Life at the TEDxHouHai event Driven by Pressure. During this speech, he pointed out that the mobile Internet industry, which is centered on smart phones, has entered a transitional period. He also discussed how the rapid development of IoT will present a historical opportunity for industry transformation. In addition, Dr. Wang called for collaboration between upstream and downstream players in order to build a prosperous new ecosystem and embrace the mobile Internet era together.

Technology changes lives and nurtures dreams

“Technology has the power to change the world. When I was little, my dream was to be able to watch movies at home, and this is now possible everywhere. The rapid development of the mobile Internet has given rise to cashless payments, online shopping, and ride-hailing, all of which have profoundly changed our lives,” said Dr. Wang.

“But it is clear that the mobile Internet industry, which is centered on mobile phones, is under pressure.” Dr. Wang went on to say, “Global smartphone shipments started to decline in 2018, and saw a year-on-year decrease of about 6% in 2020. In addition, the average time that consumers spend on their mobile phones each day has remained at between four and five hours since 2018, indicating that the industry has reached a critical juncture and must be transformed.”

“What are the development opportunities for the next era? Our pursuit of technological innovation never ends. With users possessing more and more intelligent devices, we want to allow these devices to collaborate with each other more efficiently instead of running in isolation, just as humans can communicate with each other. The goal is to make ubiquitous connectivity a reality and transform multiple intelligent devices into ONE smart assistant.”

“For example, after a smart watch detects that a user has fallen asleep, the lights in the room will automatically turn off and the air conditioner will automatically adjust the temperature to create a more comfortable sleeping environment. The experience will be just like having a dedicated helper at home. Exercise equipment connected to a wearable can serve as your personal trainer, providing scientific exercise tips and comprehensive data analyses in real time.”

“However, as different devices run on different operating systems, it is difficult to connect them, let alone achieve intelligence. To realize a connected lifestyle, devices must communicate in one common language.”

HarmonyOS lets devices communicate in one language

As a next-gen OS, HarmonyOS enables various intelligent devices to connect and collaborate in one language. HarmonyOS will allow more devices to connect and collaborate with each other than ever before, delivering a seamless, user-friendly experience across all devices.

HarmonyOS is also driving the intelligent upgrade of hardware manufacturers, and attracting more traffic to intelligent devices other than mobile phones. These actions are driving the intelligent and digital transformation of industries.

Dr. Wang said that Huawei aims to have HarmonyOS run on 300 million devices this year, and looks forward to working with industry partners to create a robust ecosystem around HarmonyOS. This will help more people realize their dreams through technology and bring consumers a simpler and better life.

About HUAWEI AppGallery – One of the Top 3 App Marketplaces Globally

HUAWEI AppGallery’s vision is to make it an open, innovative app distribution platform accessible to consumers, and at the same time, strictly protect users’ privacy and security while providing them with a unique and smart experience. Being one of the top three app marketplaces globally, HUAWEI AppGallery offers a wide variety of global and local Apps across 18 categories, including navigation & transport, news, social media, and more. HUAWEI AppGallery is available in more than 170 countries and regions with over 530 million monthly active users globally. Huawei has partnered with 2.3 million developers across the globe, and the total app distribution from HUAWEI AppGallery has reached 384.4 billion times within 2020.

Mian Zahid lauds govt vaccination initiative

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 decision of the government to register the whole population for vaccination is laudable.

However, the government should consider start registration of the whole population immediately as it is a matter of grave concern, he said.

Mian Zahid Hussain said that so far government has vaccinated 1.1 million people while 14000 have been vaccinated by private concerns, which is unsatisfactory therefore efforts should be redoubled as over five thousand cases and the increasing death toll is unacceptable, he said.

Talking to the business community, the veteran business leader said that the planning minister has said that daily 125,000 people would be vaccinated after Eid but this pace will also take almost seven resulting in heavy social and economic losses.

He said that the third wave of virus is lethal and there is no surety about more waves in future while the global population cannot be left at the mercy of the virus.

Some western and eastern companies are not enough to vaccinate billions of people therefore all the countries should be allowed and financed to make their own vaccine.

The developed nations and global institutions should come forward for the purpose while patent and IPR laws should be relaxed to keep the price of vaccines at the minimum level.

He said that World Trade Organisation should realise that profit of some companies is not important than human lives therefore patient laws for the production of vaccine should be relaxed as many countries can make their own vaccine but cannot pay hefty amounts to multinationals that have developed the drug.

The developers of vaccine should prefer the welfare of the masses over profit and share their information to save millions of lives which will also bring an end to vaccine elitism, he demanded.

Shan Foods selected as ‘successful company 2021-2022’ in Kotler impact upcoming best seller

Shan Foods Private Limited (SFPL), a leading Pakistani food company, has been identified as a ‘Successful Company 2021-2022’ for Pakistan by Kotler Impact Incorporation and World Marketing Summit Group and has been picked up to include its success story in the first edition of “Essentials of Modern Marketing”, an upcoming bestseller on 21st century marketing strategies authored by Kotler and Partners along with 50 local contributors.

Commenting on this recognition, Sikandar Tiwana CEO Shan Foods said, “Shan Foods set out on its remarkable journey in 1981 that began as a dream of one man from a single room operation and within 40 years it became a powerful global brand that now has a presence in over 75 countries around the world. This journey, nonetheless, was and is a tale of success that has only been made possible through our constant dedication to excellence and perseverance. This recognition by Kotler Impact Incorporation will help to highlight this journey as an example of modern marketing and will bridge the gap between the industry and academia.”

Noting the rapidly changing dynamics of marketing in the current times, Kotler Impact Incorporation, founded by Professor Philip Kotler, the father of modern marketing, and WMS Group had sought to compile literature on the modern business, marketing & management concepts, including case studies from corporate and non-corporate sectors for further clarity. Naqeebz, a growth marketing agency based in Pakistan and an exclusive country partner of Kotler Impact Inc. also joined hands to form the country advisory board.

Following detailed evaluation by the international and country advisory board, and further scrutiny by local and international academicians and marketing leaders, Shan Foods was selected for the incorporation of its success story in the upcoming book which will be published and distributed online and offline across all countries and will also be made available to students from top business and management schools.

Master Changan motors signs contract with Orient power system to install a 2.5mw solar power project

Leading automobile company Master Changan Motors Company Limited (MCML) is proud to announce it has signed a contract with Orient Power System for installing a 2.5MW solar power project at its Changan production facility at Port Qasim Karachi. Bank Al Habib has been nominated as the lead banking arranger for this project.

The project will initiate a Green Automotive Manufacturing Revolution at Master Changan Motors by helping the sustainability of its energy mix and, at the same time, reducing its carbon footprint and the burden on the national grid.

Samir Malik, COO of MCML, said: “In recent years, Pakistan has been one of the most adversely impacted countries by global warming, severely affecting the weather patterns resulting in flooding, heat waves, a water crisis and much more. Pakistan has also faced an energy deficit of huge proportions, which has crippled the manufacturing industry, hindered growth rates, and impacted the lives and livelihood of people.

At Master Changan Motors we deeply care about the well-being of our community, environment and future generations. It is our vision to be Pakistan’s first Green Automotive Manufacturer by becoming a carbon neutral company by 2025.

This 2.5MW solar power project is one of the largest adoption of renewable energy among the automotive manufacturers in Pakistan. It is being installed for self-consumption, producing approximately 3.5 million units of clean and renewable electricity every year, which will result in a significant drop in MCML’s carbon footprint. Making Changan vehicles one of the most sustainably produced vehicles in Pakistan.”

Master Changan Motors Company Limited is an ISO-certified automobile assembling manufacturing company formed in 2018 and is part of the Master Group of Industries. Master Group of Industries is one of the oldest, most trusted and loved brands of Pakistan since 1963. It caters to a variety of sectors: mattress, and sleep industry – Master MoltyFoam & Master Celeste, office furniture and services – MasterOffisys, textile – Master Textiles, power generation – MasterWind Energy, chemicals – Master Thermoshield, and automotive – Master Motor and Procon Engineering.

Master Motor has seen major success in the automotive industry since 2002 and has successfully introduced the renowned brands such as Foton, Mitsubishi Fuso, and Yutong Master. The company has since continued to satisfy customer demands across various segments of light, medium and heavy duty trucks, and busses. Master Changan Motors Limited acquired Greenfield Status under the Auto Policy 2016-2021, a joint venture between Master Motor and Changan automobile with an initial investment of $100 million — the largest investment of its kind by an OEM in Pakistan’s history. The JV further invested $36 million to introduce the Alsvin in Pakistan and aims to bring in more exciting models by June 2021.

Changan is China’s No.1 domestic automotive brand consecutively for the last 10 years. The company invests 5% of its annual revenues in R&D giving it the best capability in automotive technology this has allowed them to introduce Level 3 Autonomous Driving in China. Changan has a wide range of beautifully designed and high-quality sedans, SUVs, MVPs, LCVs and is well on its way to electrifying all its models by 2022. In their next phase, Master Changan Motors plans to introduce these electric vehicles in Pakistan as well.

Online innovation summit Sialkot 2021 successfully held

Online Innovation Summit Sialkot 2021 was successfully organized by IRP in collaboration with USKT, BUKC, RIPP, and many other public and private institutions. It’s a two-day event to share, support, promote, and commercialize technologies specifically related to District Sialkot. The Summit will support the 10X Growth Program by Center of Innovation & Competitiveness Studies (CICS-USKT) to boost the export from around 02 billion currently to 20 billion USD. The District Sialkot should apply innovative technologies to create new exports.

Dr. Rashid Aftab (Director, Riphah Institute of Public Policy), Prof. Dr. Muhammad Aslam Darr (Chairman, Industrial Advisory Board, USKT), Dr. Mirza Ikhtiar Baig (Chairman, Baig Group), Prof. Abid H.K Sherwani (Chairman IRP, DG UMT), Mr. Nadeem Hussain, (CEO, Tameer Micro Finance Bank/Tech Entrepreneur), Mr. Faisal Mehboob Sheikh (Chairman, Pakistan Hosiery Manufacturers and Exporters Association), Muhammad Rehan Younas (Executive Director, USKT), Dr. Amjad Saqib (Founder and Chairman, Akhuwat), Prof. EmanuelaTodeva (Professor, International Business Strategy and Innovation; Director BCNED UK), Dr. Adam Saud (Dean School of Humanities & Social Sciences, Bahria University) were the guest of honors in the inauguration and closing ceremonies.

National foods activates ‘madeeasy.com.pk’
  • An e-commerce platform with home delivery solution for consumers

National Foods Limited (NFL) is a company driven by the Founders’ Philosophy of giving back to Pakistan, the management’s vision is derived on the same perspective which is translated across all stakeholders. NFL has achieved market leadership in the food sector by remaining connected to the changing needs of the consumers with the changing dynamics of the environment. They bridge these gaps by bringing customer centric innovative solutions and creating partnerships to bring food safety to the consumers through their flagship brands.

In line with the same vision, the company has launched a new route to market by activating MadeEasy.com.pk as an e-commerce platform to serve consumers better and providing them the convenience of buying National Foods products with a click of a button while offering quick and hassle-free delivery.

MadeEasy.com.pk complete food solution, designed to inspire every cook in any kitchen by thoughtfully curated recipes and products to purchase. All National Foods products will be offered at the online E-commerce site, linked with attractive promotional offers. Along with product promotions, consumers will also have access to recipes, kitchen-hacks, nutritional-advice and ‘shoppable’ ideas round-the-clock with on-the-go accessibility at their fingertips.

On 29th March 2021, an exclusive partnership signing ceremony observing all COVID-19 protocols was held at the company’s head office in Karachi, chaired by Mr. Abrar Hasan, Chief Executive Officer, National Foods Limited along with Mr. Raza Matin, CEO Brandverse and Mr. Imran Baxamoosa, CEO Blue-Ex. At this ceremony, NFL signed an agreement to launch the activation of “Made Easy.com.pk” an E-Commerce platform.

At the partnership signing ceremony Mr. Abrar Hasan, Chief Executive Officer National Foods Limited stated, “National Foods is a consumer-centric organisation and as market leaders we keep connected to the revolving needs, for pioneering innovative solutions and creating alliances to address consumer needs. Across our business operations, we deploy the latest technologies to bring convenience, food safety and international product-quality for our consumers. We are proud that our e-commerce solution ‘MadeEasy.com.pk’ is another milestone achieved by the company, which will revolutionize the retail-experience. We have established a more comprehensive digital retail framework which goes beyond just offering our products, it facilitates consumers by offering an experience with a new level of convenience and reliability. We believe MadeEasy.com.pk will inspire industrial trends, which will contribute to setting higher standards for consumer convenience”.

Mr. Raza Matin, Chief Executive Officer Brandverse commented, “The strategic partnership between our two companies today puts NFL at the forefront of e-commerce innovation leadership by bringing online product merchandising to the forefront. At Brandverse, this is a pivotal moment for our young company, as with this signing we officially launch our first and only, two-sided content marketplace in Pakistan and the region.”

The CEO of Blue-Ex Mr. Imran Baxamoosa shared “We are trendsetter of advanced logistics services in Pakistan having pioneered e-commerce logistics and fulfillment services. In 2011, we launched online parcel booking system (first of its kind in Pakistan) and within a few years, the Company established the most advanced and efficient cash-on-delivery network across the country. This partnership is a testament to the fact that we are committed to providing our clients with the most innovative e-logistics solutions & services that suit their ever-increasing demands, thus contributing towards the digital progression of Pakistan.”

Blue-Ex will be the designated partners of National Foods for providing consumers home delivery solutions. They are well established for their outreach across the country and the quantum of business handled for many corporate customers. The other key partner in this arrangement is Brandverse specializing in strengthening the digital platforms that will augment e-commerce business solutions. Their primary commercial activity is to collect, create, curate and distribute best-in-class product content and data services at e-commerce platforms based on product principals, to enable consumers to make better purchase decisions. Brandverse today powers the digital commerce experiences and leading hybrid platforms for many corporate customers.

National Foods has been on an upward growth trajectory, they have clearly established themselves as thought leaders that go beyond to uplift the industry trends by offering innovative solutions to bring consumer convenience.

This e-commerce platform is also enriched with a hotline number: 111-111-635(NFL), where the consumers can call for assistance about their online orders. Currently this e-commerce solution will cater to Karachi, followed by an expansion to all major cities of Pakistan.

Benefit of strengthened rupee should be transferred to masses, says: 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 welcomed improvement in the value of rupee against the US dollar and demanded that its benefit should be transferred to the masses.

He said that strengthened rupee has added to the problems of exporters which should be tackled.

Mian Zahid Hussain said that increasing remittances have played a major role in firming up the local currency which has also reduced the current account deficit to satisfactory levels.

Talking to the business community, the veteran business leader said that government should try to keep the momentum in remittances in the remaining months of the current fiscal and the incoming year.

He said that dollar is now fourteen rupees cheaper, last year dollar was traded for Rs166.70 in the interbank which now it is being traded for Rs152.76.

The introduction of Roshan Digital Account by SBP is also a good move as it has opened new avenues for investment by expatriates and so far they have invested 806 million dollars, which is an achievement by the governor of central bank Dr. Raza Baqir.

The business leader noted that dollar will slide to Rs150 if the momentum of remittances and investment in the Roshan Account continued as Pakistan received remittances worth $18.743 billion from July 2020 to February 2021 which were 24.1 percent more than the corresponding period.

He said that 500 million dollars loan from IMF and $2.5 billion Euro bond auction will not only increase debt burden and create an issue of balance of payments but also strengthen the rupee.

Some experts are of the opinion that remittances may not support the rupee for long therefore the government should tackle issue of reduced exports of goods and services and increasing imports, he said.

Jubilee life partners with ubl to bring ‘jubilee-you protect plan’

Jubilee Life Insurance, Pakistan’s leading life insurance company in the private sector has partnered with UBL to offer a new bancassurance proposition ‘Jubilee – You Protect Plan’ – a comprehensive health and life insurance plan.

Under this partnership, the policyholders are provided with a simple and affordable way to protect themselves and eliminate their financial worries in case of death or hospitalisation expenses. The uniqueness that this plan offers is that in case of death the nominated beneficiary will receive a sum of up to PKR 500,000 and in case of hospitalisation, a daily benefit of up to PKR 10,000 till a period of up to 180 days.

Speaking about the partnership, Mr. Javed Ahmed, MD & CEO, Jubilee Life Insurance commented “Our customers are our top priority. The Jubilee – You Protect Plan is specially curated keeping our customers’ needs and requirements in mind and to offer them with an opportunity to make them feel safe and secured. UBL is known for its customer care and we are glad to partner with a bank that holds the same vision as ours.”

Mr. Zia Ijaz, GE, Branch Banking & International, UBL said “Our customers are precious to us and we wish to offer them nothing but the best. We are keen to on-board the Jubilee Life You Protect Plan in current times, when it is imperative that one holds a reliable protection plan for themselves and their loved ones.”

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.

Careem introduces ‘covid19 vaccination’ transport service, joins govt efforts
  • Updated mapped locations, phone numbers and operating hours of each site are now available on Super App
  • Careem has built this information into the new tool/widget within the Super App

Careem has recently released a new feature in its Super App which enables users to book a ride to any Covid19 vaccination centre in Pakistan with just two taps. The new ‘Get vaccinated’ tool includes detailed information from official government sources on the vaccines being offered in the country, its eligibility, and the timings and locations of all centers across the country. Through the tool, customers can simply call the nearest vaccination center through the app and book a hassle-free ride, avoiding all traffic and parking issues.

The company said it observed a surge in the number of customers booking rides to vaccination centres as soon as the vaccination process started by the government earlier this month. Thus far, more than 10,000 customers have booked a Careem ride to be vaccinated. More than 350,000 vaccines have been administered across Pakistan according to data by Reuters COVID-19 Tracker.

“We are grateful to the local and federal government that has put in tremendous efforts to provide easy accessibility for citizens to get vaccinated. We wanted to play our role to encourage people of Pakistan who want to get vaccinated by making that process easier”, said Zeeshan Baig, CEO and Country General Manager, Careem Pakistan.

Customers in all 10 cities where Careem operates, can access the new tool directly on the home screen of the app, underneath thumbnails of other rides, food, and delivery services. The app allows users to locate and book an appointment at the nearest vaccination centre as well.

To improve the customer experience and support the national vaccination efforts, Careem quickly created a special dedicated squad including product managers, designers, and engineers to build the world’s first vaccination transport feature in an app. Due to most of the vaccination sites being newly established and not yet appearing on maps, Careem set out to pinpoint the location, phone number and operating hours of each site and built that information into the new tool.

Retailo signs strategic partnership with Maersk for warehousing solutions in Pakistan

Retailo, the fastest growing B2B e-commerce platform in the MENAP region, partners with Maersk, a global integrator of container logistics, for warehousing services in Pakistan. Through this regional partnership, Retailo will be able to rely on Maersk for its ever-expanding business needs by getting access to purpose-built warehouses and expand the scale of its business.

Inefficiencies within the retail sector have long since hindered the retailer’s business and profits. Procurement, and supply chain channels within the region are entirely informal and pose significant challenges. Retailo’s unique business model, the systematic logistics, and beautifully uncomplicated technology are revolutionizing the retail industry and to serve the demand, Retailo now uses several vast warehouses in the region already.

Maersk, as a part of its integrated logistics solutions, has been offering its customers with services that cover their entire supply chain needs including landside transportation, warehousing, customs clearances, ocean shipping, technology and other customised offerings at origin and destination. Expanding its footprint to serve customers better specifically in the warehousing landscape, Maersk is creating a dedicated warehouse solution for Retailo in Karachi. The partnership with Maersk will help Retailo manage their large inventories as per specific requirements.

Retailo co-founder Wahaj Ahmed commented on the exciting developments, “As Retailo’s business and reach grows, the storage, inbound and outbound operations will grow exponentially. With Retailo’s vision of reaching and impacting 10 million retailers across the MENAP region in the future, a strategic partnership with a reliable warehouse services provider, like Maersk, will prove to be a huge contributor in realizing Retailo’s vision effectively.”

Maersk Pakistan’s Managing Director Aruna Hussain commented on the partnership, “At Maersk, our ambition is to connect and simplify our customers’ supply chains. Our partnership with Retailo strengthens our commitment towards this ambition. With our experience in warehousing and distribution business and our strength in the end-to-end logistics sector, we are confident of creating a reliable solution for Retailo and support their expansion vision.”

Retailo will commence operations with Maersk Pakistan from April 1, 2021 and the two companies will explore opportunities to grow and expand in other geographies across MENAP.

Shan foods signs accord with unap to strengthen their csr program
  • Already a CSR award winner, Shan Foods further cooperates with United Nations Association of Pakistan for global prosperity

Shan Foods Private Limited (SFPL), a global food brand, signed an MoU with the United Nations Association of Pakistan (UNAP), for Shan Foods CSR SDG Alignment Program.

Shan Foods, which is an advocate of empowerment and sustainability, signed the MoU with the agenda of aligning its corporate and CSR activities with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) with the facilitation of UNAP, which is dedicated to promoting the United Nations development agenda outlined in the 17 Sustainable Development Goals presented by the UN. Shan Foods is primarily focused on the Goal 1: Zero Hunger, which it plans to accomplish through its campaign by beginning with a Malnutrition Awareness Program across Pakistan, with the support of UNAP.

“Shan has always been committed to making positive contributions towards society and the environment and dutifully fulfilling its corporate social responsibilities. This time we have decided to take our vision one step further and collaborate with UNAP to play our part in the execution of SDGs globally. Through this partnership, we hope that we will be able to create a global impact mainly towards the accessibility and quality of food and education worldwide,” said Maria Rashdi, Marketing Manager Communication and E-Commerce – Shan Foods, at the signing event.

Ms. Kulsoom Siddiqui, Manager Partnerships & External Affairs at UNAP expressed her satisfaction at forging a successful alliance and said, “Carrying the United Nations goal of global peace and stability forward, UNAP has been promoting and working on the seventeen Sustainable Development Goals across Pakistan. Through this partnership we aim to assist Shan Foods in achieving their CSR goals and support each other to ensure sustainability and long-term effectiveness of our joint efforts towards a productive future.”

HBL launches Pakistan’s first comprehensive personal finance management tool powered by Hysab Kytab

HBL has joined forces with Hysab Kytab to launch the first comprehensive Personal Finance Manager (PFM) solution, offered for the first time by any bank in Pakistan. Hysab Kytab’s PFM (budgeting) tool is integrated into HBL Mobile and will enable all app users to take control of their financial well-being.

Veqar Ul Islam, Founder of Hysab Kytab and Director of Jaffer Group of Companies stated “Going live with HBL is a major milestone. Hysab Kytab is a PFM born in Pakistan, and I thank HBL for trusting and selecting it for their own digital platform. This is the kind of support that our local banks can offer to help Pakistan’s FinTech industry to grow and provide solutions for the local requirements.”

Commenting on this partnership Abrar Mir, Chief Digital, Innovation & Financial Inclusion Officer at HBL said ‘’ This partnership with Hysab Kytab is a pivotal step in providing our mobile banking users with a holistic view of their finances, and will empower them to make sound financial decisions. HBL continues to deliver innovative banking solutions, and this PFM will act as a key differentiator in the internet and mobile banking services.”

In the first phase of the launch, HBL mobile app users will be able to record and track expenses, create budgets in various categories, plan and track saving goals, and view all accounts in one place, amongst other features. The next phase includes auto-categorization and data integration that will further enhance the customer experience.

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