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Meezan bank, ENA in deal to improve uptime and reduce the bank’s carbon footprint

Meezan Bank, Pakistan’s leading Islamic bank has recently signed a supply agreement for green energy & power solution with Energy N Automation (Pvt) Ltd (ENA), a company of Jaffer Business Systems. Under this agreement, ENA will provide power backup to Meezan Bank’s branches countrywide, aiming to reduce Carbon footprint by more than 23,000 tons per year from the environment. The agreement serves as an incentive to reduce both energy consumption as well as Carbon emissions at the branch level, furthering the Bank’s commitment to play a role in combating climate change.

ENA will provide support and services for the most reliable and innovative super capacitor battery module Power Solution to over820 branches of Meezan Bank countrywide, thereby contributing to a greener world by reducing Carbon footprint and fuel consumption.

The agreement was signed by Mr. Riaz Ahmed – Executive Vice President, Meezan Bank and Mr. Veqar Islam, Chief Executive and Director of Jaffer Business Systems.

Speaking at the occasion, Mr. Riaz Ahmed said, “The supply agreement with ENA is a milestone in the conversion of our power supply to more innovative and sustainable sources. We are pleased to have found a trusted technology partner in ENA to cater to our power demand, through which we can also support our customers with uninterrupted services as well as reduce our carbon footprint.”

“At JBS and its companies, we believe in innovation, integrity and excellence to provide our customers with superior services. We continuously strive for significant impact on the lives of people and societies that we serve in. We are serving a large number of customers through our professionally managed country-wide services infrastructure. Meezan Bank is one of our valued customers and we at ENA and JBS will leave no stone unturned to provide the Bank with unmatched service,” Mr. Veqar Islam — CEO, JBS spoke at the occasion.

Mr. Amir Salman — CEO ENA added “With the adoption of super capacitor battery module, Meezan Bank will not only significantly improve its uptime, but will also contribute to a greener world by reducing its Carbon footprint and fuel consumption through lesser reliance on fossil fuels to power its branches. We have introduced an innovative Kilowatts Labs SIRIUS Energy Storage Module which is the world’s first super-capacitor based energy storage system that provides a plug-and-play replacement for chemical batteries. This will allow Meezan Bank to improve the efficiency of its electronics while also enjoy undisrupted power supply.”

About Meezan Bank

Meezan Bank is leading Islamic bank of Pakistan and also one of the largest banks nationwide in terms of branch network as well as deposits. With a network of over 820 branches in more than 248 cities, it has the largest Islamic banking network in Pakistan.

Meezan Bank has consistently been recognized as the Best Islamic Bank in Pakistan by numerous local and international institutions including its recognition as the ‘Best Bank – 2020’ by Pakistan Banking Awards – the most prestigious award in the country’s financial sector and by Islamic Finance News – Malaysia, Global Finance magazine – New York, Asset AAA – Hong Kong, Asiamoney – Hong Kong, The Banker – United Kingdom, South Asian Federation of Accountants, Islamic Finance Forum of South Asian Awards, Employers Federation of Pakistan and CFA Association – Pakistan.

VIS Credit Rating Company Limited (Formerly JCR-VIS Credit Rating Company Limited) has reaffirmed the Bank’s long-term entity rating of AA+ (Double A Plus) and short-term rating at A1+ (A One Plus) with stable outlook. The rating indicates sound performance indicators of the Bank.

About ENA

ENA (Energy N Automation) is a startup (acquired by Jaffer Business System), was founded in 2016 that provides IoT and Power solutions to businesses focusing on the financial sector. ENA’s mission is to connect the world through IoT and contribute to a greener world by reducing carbon footprints and fuel consumption, thus redefining Power and Connectivity.

PACRA assigns credit rating to Martin Dow Marker Limited

Martin Dow Marker Limited Pakistan (the Company) has been assigned a long-term rating of A+ and short-term rating of A1 with a stable outlook by PACRA.

Martin Dow Marker Limited is a notable name in the pharmaceutical segment of Pakistan operating since 1951. The Company operates under the umbrella of Martin Dow Group, one of the largest locally owned pharmaceutical Groups.

Expressing his views after the announcement, Mr. Javed Ghulam Mohammad, Group Managing Director & CEO of Martin Dow said, “With an uninterrupted legacy of over half a century, Martin Dow Group is benchmarked to deliver quality products that continue to contribute to the health of millions of people across the globe. We are proud to have received the long-term credit rating of A+ and short-term rating of A1 by PACRA, reflecting positively on the high standards of our operations.”

The Company has diversified portfolio with large manufacturing footprint in Pakistan. It markets research-based products through strategic alliances with global pharmaceutical groups and selling world-class branded generics which are developed, formulated and manufactured at its state-of-the-art cGMP compliant manufacturing facilities located in Quetta and Karachi. Over the years, the Company has achieved impressive growth profile and has positioned itself among the top 10 leading pharmaceutical companies of the industry. The Company is delivering sustainable business operations and have aggressive growth plan covering introduction of innovative technologies and products and expanding geographical reach through export of pharmaceutical products from Pakistan.

Martin Dow group is a leading multinational healthcare group in Pakistan with international presence and markets over 100 brands with more than 3000 employees countrywide.

At Martin Dow, we believe that Human Capital plays a pivotal role in our organization’s sustainable growth. We are making this possible with the focus on talent development through various learning, engagement and organizational development initiatives helping us to develop future leaders for Pharma industry and Pakistan at large. Our focus has been at embracing robust performance driven culture and implementing strategies that ensure the well-being of our employees.

Martin Dow has also been contributing to sustainable causes by playing an essential role in building a positive connection with the community. Our philanthropic activities are an intrinsic part of the Company’s DNA and our Corporate Social Responsibility model emanates from our core value of living with and giving back to the community, with prime focus on health, education and the environment.

Expressing his views after the announcement, Mr. Javed Ghulam Mohammad, Group Managing Director & CEO of Martin Dow said, “With an uninterrupted legacy of over half a century, Martin Dow Group is benchmarked to deliver quality products that continue to contribute to the health of millions of people across the globe. We are proud to have received the long-term credit rating of A+ and short-term rating of A1 by PACRA, reflecting positively on the high standards of our operations.”

‘Gandhara: dusting off the past’ opened at Comsats University Islamabad

An Art Exhibition “Gandhara: Dusting off the Past” opened at COMSATS Art Gallery. The exhibition was inaugurated by Worthy Rector COMSATS University Prof. Dr. Tabassum Afzal and showcased art work of students of Department of Architecture of COMSATS University, Islamabad.

Addressing the occasion the Rector COMSATS University, Islamabad, Prof. Dr. Tabassum Afzal praised the students for conducting a thorough research on the subject matter and recognized their efforts for the show. He said that nations that have progressed have preserved their art, culture and history and have made advances in learning based on experience. He said that there was a need to further study the traditional sustainable architecture practices and use this knowledge in practice.

The exhibition comprised of work on strategical analysis of the urban planning of the Gandhara Region and gave a detailed analysis on town planning and restoration of land marks, stupas and monastery. The work entailed documentation of the existing site, the Gandhara Architecture, on ground features, sources available as well as a study of the materials used in the construction process. The exhibits were displayed in the Junaid Zaidi Central Library, CUI-Islamabad Campus for the general public.

State Life Insurance launches Sehat Sahulat Beneficiary App

State Life Insurance Corporation of Pakistan launched the ‘Sehat Sahulat Mobile Application’ for digital access, information and facilitation of families covered by Federal and Provincial health insurance programs. SAPM Mr Abdul Razak Dawood inaugurates the initiatives at State Life Tower, Islamabad.

On this occasion, Chairman State Life has explained that the State Life Insurance Corporation of Pakistan has become the largest micro-health insurance organization in Pakistan, covering more than 100 million individuals in Pakistan.

State Life has a pivotal role in implementing the flagship social health programs launched by the Federal Government, Governments of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) and Punjab. State Life offers health care services in more than 90 districts of Pakistan with its extensive network of more than five hundred hospitals.

The social health programs are milestone towards social welfare reforms with an objective to improve access to good quality medical services in a swift and dignified manner without any financial obligations. It is the first-ever initiative aimed to provide the free of cost indoor healthcare services in both private and public sector hospitals.

State Life is keen to serve its valued clients with the vision to expand social health protection to each and every Pakistan family.

State Life has launched the “Sehat Sahulat Mobile App” to assist the families covered under the flagship health insurance programs of the Government of Pakistan and provincial governments. Sehat Sahulat mobile app provides the details of the health care plan, coverage and network of panel hospital.

The App automatically detects whether the family is covered under the Federal, KPK or Punjab health care program. Furthermore, the users of this App can find the coverage, limits of their health card and detailed features of their health care plan. In addition, the user can download awareness material and access animated videos reflecting the key benefits of the program.

The user can also view the nearest panel hospitals from the list of more than 500 hospitals. In addition, user can also find the respective department in each panel hospital. It also shows the details of previous admissions and how much State Life has spent on treatment on completion of treatment.

The mobile App allows clients to lodge their complaints in case of dissatisfaction with the provided services. The representative of State Life will contact the complainant to resolve the issues.

State Life remains committed to contributing its utmost to ensure the successful implementation of the Universal Health Insurance as per the vision of the Honourable Prime Minister of Pakistan to the service of the people of Pakistan.

Signify’s UV-C products for Pakistani market ensures safety and day-to-day business continuity

The world leader in lighting, Signify, is introducing new UV-C disinfection luminaires and equipment in Pakistan. With the scientifically proven impact of Signify’s UV-C lighting on the inactivation of SARS-COV-2, these light sources act as strong air, surface, and object disinfectants that can play an important role in a broad range of applications such as schools, offices, retail outlets, banks, fitness centers, hospitality, the food industry, warehouses and distribution centers and other high-contact areas.

Signify’s UV-C lighting is well-proven and trusted as an effective disinfectant. This was recently validated in a laboratory test by Boston University, showing that Signify’s UV-C light sources inactivate the virus that causes COVID-19 in a matter of seconds.

The products are designed with a range of safeguards, including a timer option to delay operation until after people and animals are no longer in the vicinity and a sensor that automatically switches the luminaires off if a person or an animal is detected. The solutions, currently available in Pakistan’s market are air disinfection solutions which include germicidal, indirect upper-air UV luminaires; surface disinfection solutions which include germicidal, direct UV luminaires; and object disinfection solutions which include UV-C disinfection chambers.

Signify is helping keep people safe where organizations are seeking ways to continue operations and provide services in a safe environment. “Now more than ever before, disinfecting air, surfaces and objects is critical,” said Asad S. Jafar, Chairman and CEO Signify Pakistan. “To support offices, schools, public transportation, retail outlets and many businesses as they strive to realize a virus-free environment, we’ve leveraged our knowledge and experience in water, air and surface treatment through UV-C lighting, making multiple product ranges available for Pakistan market.”

Signify has been at the forefront of UV technology for more than 35 years, and has a proven track record of innovation in UV-C lighting. Its UV-C lighting is designed, installed, and used according to the product-specific safety instructions, and is manufactured using well-controlled industrial processes.

UV-C light should always be used by professionals in accordance with safety requirements and instructions to avoid exposure since it can damage the skin and eyes.

For more information please visit: https://www.lighting.philips.com/main/products/uv-disinfection

IBA Karachi holds a discussion on Federal Budget 2021-22

The IBA Karachi held a discourse on State of the Economy and the Federal Budget 2021-22 by Dr. S Akbar Zaidi, Executive Director, IBA and Dr. Ishrat Husain, Advisor to the Prime Minister on Institutional Reforms and Austerity and Professor Emeritus IBA, at the IBA City Campus. Attendees included the faculty members, students, alumni, academics, economists, and the diplomatic corps.

Commencing the session, Dr. Zaidi, elaborated on the findings presented in a report, titled State of the Economy and the Federal Budget 2021-22. The report is compiled by the Faculty of the Economics Department at the School of Economics and Social Sciences (SESS), IBA and will be launched soon.

Shedding light on Pakistan’s economic situation during the pandemic, Dr. Zaidi said that there has been growth in the economy, but it is improbable that it will be 3.94%. He also said that the ‘Investment-to-GDP’ ratio declined from 15.3% of GDP in 2019-20 to 15.2%. The Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) has decreased, and the Tax/GDP also went down from 12.6% to 9.6%. Moreover, remittances have increased significantly to $29 billion.

Briefing on the unemployment and inflation situation, he said that 21 million Pakistanis were laid off due to Covid-19 in 2020 and 2021, causing the unemployment rate to reach 25%. Food inflation has increased to around 13%-15% for most of the year. Exports’ revenues are also stagnant at $25 billion. Growth target is 4.8% for the next year, while the inflation rate is expected to be 8%. Millions of households have been pushed into poverty as wages have fallen and the current economic and financial environment is precarious. Furthermore, working women have been affected 17% more than men.

Highlighting the aspects of the budget 2021-22, Dr. Zaidi said that the mandate for increased exports, an increase in salaries for government servants and an increase in the minimum wage by PKR 2,500 were fruitful steps towards stabilizing the country’s economy.

Dr. Zaidi made some recommendations to improve the current economic conditions whereby the structural reforms should be made in the power, water and irrigation and SMEs sectors. Self-employment and emerging entrepreneurs and e-commerce should be encouraged and incentivized. He also said that the Government’s BISP/Ehsaas programmes need to be doubled in capacity to assist the masses.

A conversation ensued with Dr. Husain, who exhorted that he would speak as an academician and not as a government official.

Dr. Husain said that the productive capacity of Pakistan is not in alignment with our needs as we do not even produce all our food. Hence, there is a deficit and a high reliance on imports. In the past year Covid-19 exacerbated the internal and external demands in the country.

Dr. Husain while commenting on taxation, said that everyone talks about the FBR but no one talks about provincial taxation. He further opined that the property taxes in urban centres including Karachi are very low in the region and the property taxation in the country is outdated.

Dr. Husain emphasized that the local governments have to be strengthened and given adequate resources. In the past, under the regimes of Mustafa Kamal and Naimatullah Khan, Karachi prospered. Therefore, a similar model needs to be reintroduced for the sovereignty of the city. Unless local governments are empowered, the macroeconomic picture at the provincial level will not make a difference.

Elaborating on the significance of NGOs, Dr, Husain said that they play an important role in improving the socio-economic indicators of a country and Bangladesh is a prime example of that.

He also said that out of the 30 million consumers of electricity, 24 million are getting subsidized electricity. Raising the threshold of the lower middle class and providing them subsidy will reduce the circular debt.

Talking about the latest unemployment trends, Dr. Husain urged his fellow economists to conduct primary research and collect empirical data to find out the current scenario and make independent analysis. He also commended the IBA Economics Faculty who are engaged in conducting such research.

A Q&A session followed the discussion.

Metro Pakistan marks world food safety day

As part of the global commemorations, METRO Pakistan celebrated the World Food Safety Day, under this year’s theme, ‘Safe food today for a healthy tomorrow’, at its stores all over the country. The annual theme designated by the United Nations and the Food and Agriculture Organization aimed at drawing attention and inspiring actions contributing to food security, human health, economic prosperity, agriculture, access to markets, tourism and sustainable development.

METRO Pakistan marked the World Food Safety Day by creating awareness throughout the supply chain on the importance of food safety with emphasis on the quality aspects as covered in the global theme. As part of the celebration, METRO Pakistan organized training and awareness sessions to promote food safety and hygiene compliance within organization, amongst its food suppliers, and staff working at the Freshly Shops. Awareness messages on social media were also posted to spread the message regarding the significance of food safety and its importance for the future has been shared with general public.

Speaking at the occasion, Mr. Marek Minkiewicz, Managing Director METRO said, “METRO is committed to provide safe, healthy, and nutritious food to its customers and consumers by assuring food safety and quality compliances throughout the supply chain from farm to fork.” METRO Pakistan has been a pioneer in SME’s development especially in food and near food products. “Our SME’s food suppliers have achieved global certifications through supplier development program and have received global awards, which brought accolades to Pakistan on implementing international food safety and quality standards in SME’s sector”, He further added.

METRO is the only retailer in Pakistan with FSSC 22000 certification of its stores which is globally recognized food safety standard. All 10 stores of METRO Pakistan comply with FSSC 22,000 requirements for Fruits & Vegetables, Fish, Meat, and Bakery departments. Recently, METRO Pakistan received HALAL standard certification for its Meat, Bakery and Café products processed or produced in-stores.

Promoting businesses can trigger economic growth: Mian Zahid Hussain

Chairman of National Business Group Pakistan, President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum, and All Karachi Industrial Alliance, and former provincial minister Mian Zahid Hussain on Wednesday said on one hand government has provided relaxations to the business community while on the other it is creating problems for them.

The finance minister has hinted to reverse power of arrest from the assistant commissioners of FBR and now the decision will rest with a three-member committee headed by the finance minister which will be a hanging sword which is not acceptable as disagreement over amount tax is a routine affair, he said.

Mian Zahid Hussain said that the business community should be allowed to play their role in national development through production and exports with peace of mind.

Talking to the business community, the veteran business leader said that importers are now bound to keep invoice with the imported cargo after recent amendment in the section 156 of the Customs Act otherwise they will face fines and other actions which is not applicable.

He said that unregistered businessmen should be lured to the tax net through incentives and electronic data and that point of sale system is a good move while electricity and gas bills and property transactions can be used to expand the tax net.

He said that investment in the outgoing year slipped a little as compared to the corresponding year but now the situation must be increased. Increasing imports are proving improved economic activity but it is also widening the trade gap which can be controlled through exports for which regionally competitive energy rates are of paramount importance.

He said that oil price is increasing in the international market but the trend can be reversed if sanctions over Iran were lifted which is not impossible.

The business leader said that indirect tax which stokes poverty has been increased by two percent to 68 percent in the budget while the benefit to rich and poor was focused in the budget ignoring mediocre who are finding it increasingly difficult to bring food to the table and pay bills.

A hike in petroleum price to boost levy by Rs 610 billion will trigger inflation therefore this decision should be deferred for some months, he said, adding that the economic survey was silent about poverty and unemployment.

Authorities have claimed that two million people lost jobs during the pandemic and now 1.8 million have found jobs leaving only two hundred thousand jobless which is difficult to believe as independent experts have a very different opinion.

AlHuda CIBE, ADB and BSEC Jointly conducted Sukuk Workshop
  • Specialized training in association with Bangladesh SEC, ADB for 510 participants trained by 18+ experts

AlHuda CIBE arranged a large-scale training on Sukuks on behalf of the Bangladesh Securities of Exchange Commission (BSEC) and Asian Development Bank (ADB) for 500+ participants nominated by BSEC.

The training program was organized virtually and 18+ speakers from around the globe were present. They shared their expertise and valuable insights of the Sukuk Industry. The participants nominated by Bangladesh SEC included professionals from various key organizations and industries which include Central Bank, Stock Market, Investment Companies, Rating Agencies, Brokers, and Capital Market, etc. The event was divided into an Opening Ceremony, 6 training sessions with tem batches and a Grand Closing Ceremony.

Notable personalities from around the globe addressed the event. Mr. Ayman Sejiny the Chief Executive Officer, Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD), was the Chief Guest of the closing ceremony. He shared his wisdom, stating that he expects to see rising curiosity and interest in local currency Sukuks. He commended AlHuda CIBE for all the effort that the organization has put in. He further mentioned that the Islamic Finance market needs support from political leaders to properly adopt and practice Shariah-compliant products.

Mr. Omar Mustafa Ansari the Secretary-General for Accounting and Auditing Organization for Islamic Financial Institutions (AAOIFI) shared his insight that AAOIFI is issuing various standards to facilitate and encourage Islamic Capital Market as we believe that Sukuk is an emerging component in Islamic Finance industry.

Mr. Zubair Mughal the Chief Executive Officer, AlHuda CIBE also addressed the occasion, stating that Sukuk have a pivotal role in Islamic Finance Industry which has a size of about $2.9 Trillion, with 14% market share grasped by Sukuk. Sukuks are emerging not only in Muslim world but also in other countries and AlHuda CIBE is partaking in structuring and designing innovative Sukuk products.

Mr. Muhammad Saifur Rehman, Executive Director and Project Director Bangladesh for BSEC, commended the relentless support that AlHuda CIBE has given to the Islamic Finance Industry. He stated that BSEC is trying to diversify the equity-based market by introducing new products. He expressed his gratification for successful completion of this training where Bangladeshi professionals learnt the standards and essentials of Sukuk from global players and learned individuals. Mr. Ihsan Ovut, Secretary General, the Standards and Metrology Institute for Islamic Countries (SMIIC), presented his views to the trainees as well, stating that it was a pleasure to observe so many individuals keenly taking part in upgrading their skillset and SMIIC opens its arms to everyone wishing to make valuable contribution to the industry.

The event featured highly skilled and notable speakers from across the globe. These speakers included Mr. Muhammad Zubair, Mr. Hamad Rasool Bulhar, Mr. Khalil Ul Rehman, Dr. Awais Ur Rehman, Dr. Talat Hussain, Mr. Raheel Bhagar, Mr. Faizan Ahmad, Muhammad Mujeeb Baig, Syed Talha Saleem Kapadia, Dr. Syed Muhammad Abdul Rehman Shah, Dr. Jubril Abdullahi Salaudeen, Mr. Ahcene Lahsasna, Mr. Imran Hussain Minhas and Mr. Mohammad Issa Hemed Mfyomi.

Khushhali Microfinance Bank strengthening digital stack by their newly deployed APIgateway

Khushhali Microfinance Bank is pleased to announce its recently deployed API Manager/Gateway as part of its strategy to implement a Digital Stack. The API Gateway provides an open API standard-based interfacing mechanism for seamless integration with Fintechs and other partners.

The API Gateway is primarily designed to deliver agility, security, monetization, analytics, and overall lifecycle management of APIs using a structured and easy-to-use mechanism. Moreover, through a Developer Portal and Sandbox (which is an integral part of the gateway), Fintechs and 3rd party partners can sign up, subscribe, consume and test Khushhali Microfinance Bank’s APIs without any human intervention from Khushhali Microfinance Bank’s side. The Sandbox is available on the Internet. For Fintechs and 3rd party partners, this provides an opportunity to test APIs offered by KMBL with their applications without the hassle of going through a manual process.

With the deployment of the API Gateway, Khushhali Microfinance Bank aims to cut down on the time and effort required to integrate third parties and Fintechs resulting in quicker time to market for new products and features for its customers.

While validating this newly introduced API gateway, Khushhali Microfinance Bank’s CEO& President Mr. Ghalib Nishtar said, “Khushhali Microfinance Bank has always followed a structured plan for the implementation of its digital strategy and roadmap and the deployment of an API Gateway is in line with that approach. It enables the Bank to offer new and innovative products and features to our customers via our digital channels thus fulfilling their financial as well as non-financial needs while at the same time, enabling us to easily and smoothly build partnerships with innovative Fintechs from around the world.”

Budget as per the claims of govt, aspirations of the business community, says Mian Zahid

Chairman of National Business Group Pakistan, President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum, and All Karachi Industrial Alliance, and former provincial minister Mian Zahid Hussain on Saturday said the budget is in line with government announcements and expectations of the business community.

The budget document has revealed that government has wanted growth at any cost and it is ready to pay for it, he said.

Mian Zahid Hussain said that government has announced Rs8478 budget in which tax collections target is Rs5829 billion which is twenty percent about the last year’s target, therefore, it will be a challenge.

Talking to the business community, the veteran business leader said that it is estimated that mobile phones worth Rs270 billion will be imported in the next fiscal and Rs16 billion will be collected in this head which should be reconsidered at pandemic has increased importance and usage of mobile phones.

He said that taxes on telecommunication equipment and services must be reduced while the PM has rejected more taxes on calls, SMS, and internet packages which is a welcome move.

Online shopping will also attract taxes worth eleven billion rupees and locally manufactured cars up to 850 cc will attract 12.5 percent sales tax while FED has been abolished.

He said that local manufacturing of electric cars has been encouraged by reducing sales tax from 17 percent to 1 percent which may lure investors.

The business leader noted that Customs duty has been enhanced on imported luxuries like makeup, shampoo, food items, and perfume, etc. which will help the government generate Rs11 billion and it may become an incentive for smuggling.

He criticized the imposition of Rs1 tax on every kilogram of sugar produced in the country while the decision to increase the price of batteries amid load shedding should be reversed.

Duty on some raw material has been slashed which reversed totally on other items which will reduce the cost of doing business, reversing FBR discretionary powers is laudable and a move regarding point of sales is positive which will improve confidence, revenue and documentation.

The government aims to earn Rs600 billion through PDL which can result in a hike of Rs25-30 per liter for petroleum products which can result in another wave of inflation.

He said that the government has asked IMF for some time to reach to some agreement on power tariff.

UBER appoints new country head for Pakistan, GM for MENA and Pakistan

Uber, the global ride-hailing platform that seamlessly connects drivers with riders, has announced the appointment of Shahid Khan as the new Country Head for Uber in Pakistan. He has replaced Saad Naveed Pall, who has been promoted to the position of General Manager across the Middle East, North Africa, and Pakistan (MENAP) region.

Based in the Dubai headquarters, Saad will now be leading the next phase of growth for Uber’s ride-sharing business across the region, and will focus on working closely with in-market teams to help identify areas of growth, lay down regional priorities, and drive operational excellence to fuel the Uber business.

“I’m proud of what we have accomplished in Pakistan, tapping into the local transport infrastructure to launch products specific to the market, as well as providing tens of thousands of economic opportunities across the country. I am now excited to continue advancing Uber’s business across the Middle East, North Africa and Pakistan, to ensure that the people in this region have better access to affordable and safe travel, and benefit from Uber’s technology & products,” Saad said in a comment about his promotion.

Shahid Khan has been previously affiliated with the company as the Head of Operations in Pakistan. With this promotion, Shahid will be heading Uber in the country, and will be looking after the overall Uber operations, rider recovery, driver engagement, community partnerships, with a strong focus on innovation and advanced technologies to bring enhanced user experience on the app.

Commenting on his new appointment, Shahid Khan commented, “I’m honored to have been given this chance to lead Uber in Pakistan, a region that continues to grow and prosper in ride-hailing prospects. I look forward to advancing Uber’s business across the country, providing improved user experience, affordable and safe travel options for all at the push of a button, and also to expand our newly launched delivery feature. With the technology and innovation that Uber offers, we seek to achieve not just recovery, but positive growth in a post-Covid era.”

Shahid Khan holds a Master’s degree from INSEAD and brings more than 18 years of experience across different functions from various corporations, including Maersk Line, K-Electric and Careem.

Parwaaz launches four new skilling programs
  • Information &Communication Technology, Financial Services and Agriculture& Foods business giants to upskill national workforce

Parwaaz has rapidly built partnerships with the country’s leading businesses to identify their workforce demands and train workers in industry required skills. Most recently, it collaborated with HBL, Systems Limited, Engro Corporation, and Pakistan Agriculture Coalition to upgrade the roles of Farm Managers, Crop Advisors, Cybersecurity Specialists, and Full Stack Developers, under its Agriculture & Foods, Financial Services, and ICT sectors skills incubators.

Parwaaz signed four skilling programs in May with business leaders from companies that are part of Parwaaz’s Future Ready skills incubators, where existing gaps in skills and future job roles are identified. The programs are developed by subject matter experts to train workers in emerging skills needed to improve both the professional growth of workers and increase their work productivity for industry progress. The skilling programs are innovative as they are backed by their relevant industry and provide confirmed jobs to successful program graduates. The goal of Parwaaz skilling programs is to train workers by upgrading existing and new roles with digital skills, enhancing worker’s technical and entrepreneurial skills.

Jawad Khan, Country Head Parwaaz explains “We are focused on giving the exact knowledge and skills young people need today to get hired and succeed in their careers. We are working directly with employers to identify their skill needs, supporting them in selecting and training workers in the skillset that is needed to prevent the mismatch of skills that has left many graduates jobless. We are not only closing the skills gap but bridging the very disconnect that has existed between employers and employees”.Parwaaz is Pakistan’s national accelerator on closing the skills gap, launched in collaboration with World Economic Forum (WEF). It is led by the most influential business leaders from Pakistan’s private sector with powerful public sector patronage through active engagement of Ministers of Education and Human Resource Development.

The sector panels of Parwaaz represent Pakistan’s six priority sectors which are guided by Presidents and CEOs of leading companies. This includes the Financial Services, ICT, Agriculture & Foods, Manufacturing & Light Engineering, Textiles, Hospitality and Retail Services sectors. Each sector panel is supported by a skills incubator that works directly under the strategic guidance of business leaders in developing reskilling, upskilling and new skilling (RUN) programs to train the existing and future workforce of Pakistan.

Multinational companies planning to cut suppliers by 2025 for failing to curb carbon emissions

A new study by Standard Chartered reveals that 78 per cent of multinationals (MNCs) will remove suppliers that endanger their carbon transition plan by 2025.

According to Carbon Dated, which looks at the risks and opportunities for suppliers in emerging and fast-growing markets as large corporates transition to net zero, MNCs expect to exclude35 per cent of their current suppliers as they transition away from carbon.

The study also found that:

  • Supply chain emissions account for an average of 73 per cent of MNCs’ total emissions.
  • More than two thirds (67 per cent) of MNCs say tackling supply chains emissions is the first step in their net-zero transition, rather than focusing on their own carbon output.
  • Suppliers in 12 key emerging and fast-growing markets can share in USD1.6tn worth of business if they can remain part of MNC supply chains.

The net-zero supply chain revolution

Racing against the clock to hit their net-zero carbon goals, MNCs are increasing the pressure on their suppliers to become more sustainable, with companies based in emerging and fast-moving markets facing the biggest challenge.

Some 64 per cent of MNCs believe emerging market suppliers will struggle more than developed market suppliers to meet their emission reduction targets, with a further 57 per cent prepared to replace emerging market suppliers with developed market suppliers to aid their transition.

MNCs are concerned that emerging market suppliers are failing to keep pace with for two key reasons; insufficient knowledge and inadequate data. Some 56 per cent of MNCs believe that the lack of knowledge among emerging market suppliers (41 per cent for developed market suppliers) is a barrier to decarbonisation.

With MNCs struggling with the quality of data, two-thirds are using secondary sources of data to plug the gap left by supplier emissions surveys. A further 46 per cent say that unreliable data from suppliers is a barrier to reducing emissions.

Risks and rewards

The study also reveals that the current approach taken by MNCs could create a USD1.6tn opportunity for the net-zero club: those businesses reducing emissions in line with MNC net-zero plans.

This represents a major opportunity for net-zero-focused suppliers across the 12 markets in this study, but also quantifies the potential losses to companies not embracing net-zero transition.

MNCs are also willing to spend more on net-zero products and services. Some 45 per cent said they would pay a premium, of 7 per cent on average, for a product or service from a net-zero supplier.

Carbon, collaboration and compromise

MNCs are exploring other ways to help their suppliers’ transition to net zero. Some 47 per cent are offering preferred supplier status – a sales advantage – to sustainable suppliers, and 30 per cent are offering preferential pricing.

Some MNCs are going further, offering grants or loans to their suppliers to invest in reducing emissions (18 per cent) or data collection (13 per cent).

Bill Winters, Group Chief Executive of Standard Chartered says: “It’s no surprise that as multinational companies transition to net zero, they will have to ask to their suppliers to evidence their own transitions. However, suppliers – especially those in emerging and fast-growing markets — cannot go it alone. MNCs need to incentivise their suppliers to help them kick start their transition journey, but governments and the financial sector have a role to play too by creating the right infrastructure and offering the necessary funding. Decarbonisation is vital for the survival of the planet, but a vibrant trade ecosystem is essential for maintaining an interconnected global economy. We must work together to ensure the supply chain is decarbonised in a way that delivers shared prosperity across the world.”

Carbon Dated surveyed 400 sustainability and supply chain experts at MNCs across the globe.

www.sc.com/carbon-dated

PH.D. Scholar to defend his dissertation

Ph.D. Scholar Department of Business Administration, Iqra University,H-9 Islamabad Campus, Mr. Malik Jawad Saboor registration No. 17700 will defend his Ph.D. dissertation titled “Linking Intrapreneurial Characteristics with Intrapreneur’s Performance” on Monday21stJune, 2021at 03:00 pm. Mr. Malik Jawad Saboor has completed his Ph.D. dissertation under supervision of Dr. Robina Yasmin.

Way paved for NHA employees to build homes

By Gohar Zaman Babar.

Government officials hailing from any department naturally desire to have their own home on completion of long span of services. Such desire is based on sense of security for their family members. Housing policy of Prime Minister of Pakistan Mr. Imran Khan also reflects to realize this dream of government servants. In order to implement this constructive and developmental vision of the government, the concerned departments are engaged to achieve this objective. In such a state of affairs, the employees of National Highway Authority, have also received an opportunity for having a sigh of relief as Secretary National Highway Foundation Mr. Arbab Ali announced to start development work on its housing scheme for employees of Ministry of Communications, National Highway Authority and National Highways & Motorway Police.

It is to recall that this long awaited development work was delayed due to lack of funds and fulfilling of official formalities. Now this is undoubtedly a great good news for about 2000 employees of Ministry of Communications, National Highway Authority and National Highways & Motorway Police.

To this effect, Annual General Body meeting of National Highway Foundation was held in the chair of Mr. Arbab Ali, attended by Members of Board of Directors and plot holders at large. The participants of the meeting was told that NHF started working on housing scheme in 2003. However, 2550 kanal land was acquired in 2005, that was transferred in the name of NHF in 2013 through Deputy commissioners of twin cities. On completion of requirements, approval for Lay Out plan of Housing Scheme was obtained from Capital Development Authority. The CDA also sought observations, if any, from the masses through advertisement in the press. However no observation was received from any quarter. It needs to be clarified that the membership fee was utilized for purchase of land. And required funds for development work could not be arranged then, which caused delay to realization of the housing project.

Further, In 2018, The NHF invited proposals for development work on Public Private Partnership basis, but no encouraging development was made. But now, the NHF has awarded contract for undertaking development work of this housing scheme to a renowned developer, which has paved the way for plot holders to build their own homes.

This is an accepted fact that a number of difficulties arise during implementation of such projects. The NHF has also pass through such complications during the long processes of Housing Projects which took months time period.

Availability of a home, small or big, seems basic right of every citizen. The recent practical advancement of the NHF is a great achievement for welfare of the NHA employees, for which Secretary NHF Mr. Arbab Ali and all members of Board of Directors deserve congratulations. This attempt will surely enable employees of grade 1 to 20 of MOC, NHA and NH&MP to have their own homes.

Mobilink Microfinance Bank, Care International in Pakistan sign MoU to strengthen entrepreneurial and financial ecosystem

Pakistan’s largest digital bank, Mobilink Microfinance Bank (MMBL) has joined forces with leading global humanitarian and development non-governmental organization, CARE International in Pakistan (CIP), through a recent Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), to foster financial inclusion for small and medium businesses, especially those led by women to support their sustainable development.

President and CEO MMBL, Ghazanfar Azzam, and Adil Sheraz, Country Director, CIP signed the MoU in Islamabad, in presence of senior officials from both organizations. The partnership will facilitate financial inclusion, and business development skills and linkages for Pakistani entrepreneurs especially women, to positively strengthen Pakistan’s economy, in line with the Government of Pakistan’s national development objectives and the National Financial Inclusion Strategy (NFIS).

Under the collaboration, MMBL and CIP will benefit from shared expertise and experiences to enhance access to finance for entrepreneurs, foster entrepreneurship development, promote mentorship initiatives, adoption of digital wallets and digital business mechanisms whilst enabling entrepreneurs to access information more efficiently, create linkages and grow their businesses.

The two partners aim to leverage the power of digital banking solutions to facilitate access to finance for micro-entrepreneurs and organize joint sessions for the capacity uplifting of women entrepreneurs as well as borrowers. The arrangement will also facilitate information dissemination on digital financial services and mobile wallet account opening for target micro-entrepreneurs. In addition, MMBL women borrowers can participate in any training such as business management, entrepreneurship, and financial literacy organized by CARE in their outreach areas.

Speaking at the occasion, President & CEO MMBL, Ghazanfar Azzam said: “Promoting financial inclusion and contributing towards the socio-economic uplift of financially underserved segments, particularly SMEs and women-led businesses and enterprises, is a key priority for MMBL. Through our collaboration with CARE International in Pakistan, we want to build upon each others’ strengths, amplify our joint efforts and benefit the maximum number of SMEs and women entrepreneurs across the country through our combined outreach.”

The Country Director of CIP, Adil Sheraz said, “Our primary focus has always been to promote women’s economic empowerment through accessible financial resources and increased business skills. CIP has implemented several projects which address challenges around equal access and control of economic assets. CIP’s economic empowerment projects in Pakistan strive towards unleashing the power of growth-oriented entrepreneurs which in turn will contribute to a resilient and inclusive economy. The partnership with MMBL is pivotal for women empowerment as it will serve as a bridge to open up financial and technological access for women entrepreneurs, thus benefitting them in terms of business capacity and skills enhancement.”

Through this latest arrangement with CARE International in Pakistan, MMBL will continue to expand its groundbreaking digital and financial solutions to enable and empower underserved segments in remote and hard to access areas.

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