Press Releases

Shell Tameer rewards young, bright Pakistani innovators

The finale of the Shell Tameer Awards 2021, a nationwide contest was held at Shell House to recognise the best and brightest young entrepreneurs in Pakistan. The event was attended by prominent business leaders and professionals from the industry and existing and aspiring entrepreneurs. The event was live streamed for audiences across the country.

The grand winners of the Shell Tameer Awards 2021 announced were: Circular Economy – TrashIt – Anusha Fatima – A tech based waste recycling startup enabling communities to reduce their waste footprint while creating opportunities for the informal waste pickers in the supply chain. Clean Energy Solutions – Enent – Osama Shakeel – A clean tech startup focused on designing innovative electrical load management products that can reduce electricity bills and power loss up to 20%. Empowering Women – Civixa – Alveena Sohail– A women led startup providing AI based data management solutions to help organizations achieve their business objectives through a data driven approach. Technology Innovation – Asani.io – Ansab Naqvi – A technology innovator providing water management solutions to households and industries through their smart app and IoT based technology. Transport & Mobility – Elixis – Mohammed Ahmed – A young innovator promoting sustainable mobility through locally built electric bicycles to help reduce environmental impacts of commuting. Bright Idea – BoltayHuroof– Hafiz Sheikh Umer Farooq – A tech-based social enterprise aimed at improving accessibility and digital inclusion for the blind and low-vision community through their braille translation software.

The runners-up are: International Services Pak from Circular Economy, Renew Power Projects from Clean Energy Solutions, Beetee for Empowering Women, CricFlex for Technology Innovation, vCarpool for Transport & Mobility and EcoStabilizer for Bright Idea.

This year, 125 applications were received for the awards program and 20 finalists were shortlisted in six award categories. The finalists presented their pitches to an expert jury of diverse professionals who selected this year’s winners and runners-up in each of the six award categories.

As part of the event, a panel of high-profile leaders engaged in an insightful discussion on ‘The role of Innovation and Entrepreneurship in shaping the future of Pakistan’, covering the benefits of having a youthful population in Pakistan, the government starting structured incubators and introducing three-year tax relief for start-ups, and how the private sector has a key role to play in the start-up ecosystem. Moderated by Sidra Iqbal, the panel of experts comprised; CEO & MD of Shell Pakistan Limited – Haroon Rashid, Chairman & CEO of Unilever Pakistan Limited – Amir Paracha, CEO of Dawood Hercules Group – Inamur Rahman and Chairman NCCPL – Humayun Bashir.

The Chief Executive Officer of Shell Pakistan Limited – Haroon Rashid stated: “It is encouraging to see many young innovators enthusiastic to help solve diverse and important issues that challenge our country. We are proud of the winners today and feel honored to be part of their journey towards sustainable businesses, social change and progress of our nation. We prioritise and invest in Shell Tameer, our flagship program for enterprise development, that aims to strengthen local economies.”

Since the launch of Shell Tameer in 2003, 86 Pakistani entrepreneurs have won Shell Tameer Awards receiving seed capital and mediarecognition.10 Pakistani entrepreneurs won International Trade Grants worth PKR 3.8 million to visit seven countries and expand their market globally. Nine Shell Tameer entrepreneurs won the global Shell ‘Top Ten Innovators Awards worth PKR 10.4 million receiving global and national recognition.

Inauguration of NBP Learning & Development Centre

NBP inaugurated a state-of-art, modern and fully technologically equipped Learning & Development Center at FTC Karachi on Monday, September 20, 2021 to provide latest and industry driven learning and development opportunities to its employees. The center aims to align staff goals and performance with the Banks strategy, objective and needs.

The center was inaugurated by Mr. Arif Usmani, President and CEO National Bank of Pakistan along with Group Chiefs. Speaking at the occasion, Mr. Usmani said that NBP is transforming its human capital to be a competitive resource by equipping them with the desired skill set in line with modern banking environment and future challenges.

Ms. Asma Shaikh, SEVP & Group Chief Human Resource Management Group said that NBP through this L&D Center shall support all endeavors to bring professionalism in the management of people through training and development and shall nurture the learning environment amidst a culture of trust.

Learning and Development headed by Ms. Saniha Jafri, EVP / Divisional Head L&D is shifting its focus towards need based learning and inclusive culture by employing latest industry practices coupled with cutting edge technology to encourage professional development.

The event was attended by Ex Com Members, HRMG Team and Logistics Communications & Marketing Team.

Haleeb Foods joined hands with Sundas Foundation to support Thalassemia patients

Haleeb Foods Limited the pioneer dairy and beverages processor in Pakistan arranged a blood donation drive at their Bhai Pheru Plant, in collaboration with Sundas Foundation. This partnership is a testament to HFL’s corporate social responsibility agenda. Sundas Foundation has been doing remarkable work for the treatment of patients suffering from Thalassemia, Haemophilia and Blood Cancer. As part of this campaign, HFL also donated milk and juice supplies for the underprivileged children in Sundas Foundation’s care.

Sharing his view on this collaboration the CEO, Haleeb Foods – Mr. Syed Mazher Iqbal said: “Haleeb Foods has always been at the forefront when it comes to supporting social causes. Through this collaboration we aim to encourage and actively take part in philanthropic activities for the betterment of the underprivileged.”

HFL, being a responsible corporate entity, has always shown strong dedication towards the well-being of the society and continues its support for Sundas Foundation in spreading awareness about thalassemia. The company has been catering to the nutritional needs of Pakistani people for decades and vows to continue to do so by providing quality dairy products.

Faysal Bank wins the ‘best Islamic Bank for Transformation and Innovation 2021’ Award

Faysal Bank, a leading Islamic bank of Pakistan, has won the Best Islamic Bank for Transformation and Innovation 2021 Award at the Global Islamic Finance Awards (GIFA).

The Global Islamic Finance Awards (GIFA) is one of the most coveted and respectable market-led awards in Islamic banking and finance in the world. Faysal Bank was also the recipient of the Best Emerging Islamic Bank Award last year at GIFA.

Mr. Yousaf Hussain, President and Chief Executive Officer Faysal Bank, said, “Alhamdolillah, we at Faysal Bank are honored to be recognized as the Best Islamic Bank for Transformation and Innovation by the Global Islamic Finance Awards 2021. We are glad to see that our conversion model is being recognized for its comprehensiveness based on our success in possibly one of the largest conversions of a conventional bank to an Islamic Bank, on a global basis. Our transformation & execution strategy that encompassed all facets of the Bank has been a journey of belief, commitment, planning and dedication, supported all the way by our Sponsors, Board, State Bank of Pakistan, our employees and customers. This is a proud moment for us, as all our efforts are now being recognized globally by top industry experts. We are thankful to Allah for this historic Islamic Banking transformation and this coveted award.”

Faysal Islami is on track to one of the largest conversions of a conventional bank to an Islamic Bank on a global basis. Currently, the Bank has over 520 Islamic banking branches out of a branch network of 576 branches that spans more than 200 cities across the country.

PTCL partners with dell technologies to bring Microsoft Azure Stack services to Pakistan

Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited (PTCL) is collaborating with Dell Technologies to introduce the industry-first Azure Cloud Computing Services in Pakistan. The latest service will help PTCL enterprise customers to leverage technology for reaching their full business potential.

The agreement was signed by Sayyed Muhammad Imran Ali, EVP, Digital Services, PTCL and Naveed Khan, Director, Data Center Solutions for Asia Emerging Markets, Dell Technologies, during a signing ceremony held at the PTCL Headquarters, Islamabad, in presence of senior executives from both organizations.

The upcoming Azure Stack Hub is an extension of Microsoft Azure that brings the flexibility and innovation of Cloud Computing to the Cloud Services providers in their on-premises infrastructure. When deployed at PTCL, the Azure Stack Hub will be used to provide Azure consistent services, either connected to the internet and Azure or in disconnected environments with no internet connectivity. Azure Stack Hub uses the same underlying technologies as global Azure, which includes the core components of Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), and Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) capabilities.

On the occasion, Sayyed Muhammad Imran Ali, EVP, Digital Services, PTCL, said, “PTCL Azure Stack is a leap towards digitization, Cloud readiness and innovation. It has potential of helping SMEs and large enterprises to reinvent their customer experiences and allowing governments and academic institutions to innovate. This partnership will enable us to broaden our enterprise customers’ capabilities and ensure faster growth.”

Also speaking at the event, Naveed Khan, Director, Data Center Solutions for Asia Emerging Markets, Dell Technologies, said, “We are honored to support PTCL to extend their cloud reach in Pakistan to help businesses innovate and adopt hybrid cloud with confidence. With the Dell Technologies Azure Stack, PTCL customers can experience Azure Cloud services without moving their applications and data out of the country.”

The Cloud Computing Services will not only bolster PTCL business customers to realize their full potential but also reinforce the national telecom carrier’s long-term drive for fostering digitization in the country in consistence with the vision of Government of Pakistan for a ‘Digital Pakistan.’

Ufone awarded 4G spectrum license

– Pakistani Telecom Company vows to enhance customer experience

Pakistani Telecom Company, Ufone has been awarded Next Generation Mobile Services (NGMS) spectrum by Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) as a result of recently held spectrum auction. The company won the spectrumin a bid to enhance 4G customer experience across the country.

Federal Minister for IT & Telecom, Syed Aminul Haq along with Secretary IT & Telecom, Dr. Muhammad Sohail Rajput, Chairman PTA, Major General Amir Azeem Bajwa (retd) HI (M), senior officials from the ministry and PTCL Group attended the event. DG Licensing PTA, Brig. Amer Shahzad (retd) and President and Group CEO, PTCL & Ufone, Hatem Bamatraf signed the contract.

The company plans to use the spectrum to introduce new innovative products and services and enhance its customer experience by providing high quality internet as well as to expand its existing network to unserved and underserved regions of the country.

Sharing his thoughts on spectrum acquisition, President and Group CEO, PTCL & Ufone, Hatem Bamatraf said: “It is a historic day for Ufone, as we have acquired additional 4G Spectrum in order to fully optimize our mobile data services. This will enable us to further enhance our users’ experience, expand the existing network to serve the unserved areas. Improved data experience will enable a digital transformation in education, health care, agriculture, banking and ecommerce ecosystems to name a few.”

“We appreciate Government of Pakistan for executing the spectrum auction process in a seamless and transparent manner”, he further added.

The additional spectrum will enable Ufone to not only connect Pakistanis living in far flung areas without cellular services but will also enable people in urban centers and towns to enjoy new sets of innovative products and unmatched experience.

MMBL, NOWPDP enter into strategic partnership to empower persons with disabilities

Pakistan’s largest digital bank, Mobilink Microfinance Bank Limited (MMBL) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Network of Organizations Working for People with Disabilities Pakistan (NOWPDP), an organization working for the enablement of Persons with disabilities (PWDs) through education and economic empowerment since 2008. The two organizations will collaborate for skill enhancement and the creation of economic opportunities for PWDs, in line with the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs).

Through this collaboration, MMBL, under its Humqadam program – the bank’s flagship sustainability initiative for digital and financial training of the differently-abled individuals, will induct and train more than ten promising PWDs, recommended by NOWPDP, to work within its teams at the MMBL Head Office in Islamabad.

The program is designed to provide trainees with a working knowledge of the corporate sector with a focus on enhancing their digital and financial skill sets that can help strengthen their professional repertoire. MMBL and NOWPDP will jointly monitor and evaluate the performance of the Humqadam trainees. Those who post excellent performances and display promising potentials will be offered permanent employment positions at the bank at the end of the program.

Sharing his thoughts regarding the partnership, President & CEO, MMBL, Mr. Ghazanfar Azzam said: “As a socially responsible corporate entity, MMBL is always on the lookout for opportunities to create shared value for the people we serve. We feel the responsibility to work for uplifting marginalized social groups, including women and PWDs, who have all the potential to play a significant role in the economic progress of Pakistan, given the right platform and support. We are delighted to welcome our new PWD members to the MMBL team and look forward to providing them with the opportunities they need to support their professional growth and economic prosperity.”

Expressing her thoughts on the partnership, Samiha Ali Zahid, Chief Human Resources Officer at MMBL said: “Being a people-focused organization and with Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) firmly anchored in our corporate culture, MMBL is constantly working for opening further opportunities to uplift and enable all segments of society, including women and the differently-abled. We are hopeful that the latest arrangement between MMBL and NOWPDP will help us find and nurture the best talent among PWD professionals and also complement our financial inclusion drive by fostering financial empowerment for all.”

Omair Ahmad, Executive Director NOWPDP said: “We are glad to join hands with MMBL for including persons with disabilities in their workforce. We believe Pakistan can achieve significant socio-economic sustainability and growth with all segments of the society in the loop. That is why we are hopeful that the collaboration between MMBL and NOWPDP will not only open several opportunities for one of the most marginalized segments but send an effective message far and wide for inclusion of every citizen at all levels of society.”

MMBL will also arrange Disability Sensitization Training for its leadership, management, and other relevant staff members, focusing on generating an effective working environment and support system for PWDs at all levels.

Dr. Ishrat Hussain receives lifetime achievement award for meritorious services

Having a number of success stories on his part for Pakistan over his lifelong career including having turned around the country’s financial sector and the Institute of Business Management (IBA), Dr. Ishrat Hussain, who turned 80 on June 17 this year, received the lifetime achievement award in recognition of his outstanding, dedicated and meritorious services for the bright future of the nation.

“If you really want to follow the paths which I personally believe is the future of the country is to make all the best records to invest in human resources, in human capital and particularly in science and technology,” Dr. Hussain said after receiving the lifetime achievement award conferred by Federal Secretary for IT and Telecommunication Dr Muhammad Sohail Rajput on behalf of Total Communications at the 13th International Information Security Conference – Infosec 2021 held in Karachi on Thursday (September 16, 2021).

Dr. Hussain said the knowledge and education hold the key towards meaningful success and criticized parents and teachers for discouraging children for asking questions. He also flayed students for acquiring limited knowledge with the prime objective of passing the examination and emphasized upon them to focus more on science subjects. He suggested North Korea, Japan and China as three role model countries to learn from them as how they developed their respective education systems and the knowledge based-economy as well.

A large number of people in and outside Pakistan know Dr. Hussain as a highly reputed economist, but many may get surprised knowing that “I did my first degree in chemistry,” said Dr. Hussain who also received Jinnah Award in 2005.

The number (ratio) of students enrolled at the departments of sciences at colleges and universities is on decline in the country. He believes science and technology carry path for bright future of the nation, he said.

“A shift from subjects of science and technology, engineering and mathematics to business administration, to commerce and other subjects which are considered…is a fearful situation in the country,” he said.

“I have never missed an opportunity in my life to go and address the younger generation right from schools all the way to universities…because I think our generation has not done such a good job, our elder generations have done and that was the first 40 years of this country,” he said.

He said North Korea, Japan and China are the three successful nations. They sent youngsters to get higher education and experience at western countries including the US and the UK in 1960’s, welcomed them back into their respective countries, facilitated them to apply their knowledge and skills for their respective nations and “in the year 2020 China (the second largest global economy) produced more Ph.D. students than the US. China,” he said.

Dr. Hussain has rendered 57 years of continuous public service including 15 years in the Civil Service, 21 years in the World Bank, six as governor State Bank of Pakistan, two years as chairman NCGR, eight years as dean of IBA and three years as special assistant to Prime Minister (SAPM) on Institutional Reforms and Austerity in the present government till August 31, 2021.

Dr. Hussain’s successor as dean and director of IBA Dr. Farrukh Iqbal said in a video message on the occasion that the credit for reviving IBA – Pakistan’s one of the oldest business school – on modern lines goes to his predecessor. “IBA was well known as an oldest business school, but by the year 2008 (when Dr. Hussain joined as dean and director of IBA), the physical and technological infrastructure had become ancient. In order to rebuild the physical and technological infrastructure he raised Rs5 billion and improved faculties as well.”

Bank of Punjab President Zafar Masud said “Dr. Hussain personality is like an ocean. We cannot capture it in a minute. My association with Dr. Hussain is since 2005 when we set up Dubai Islamic Bank in Pakistan. Dr. Hussain was a visionary governor of SBP at that time. Since then I have been following his footsteps in each and every responsibility I was given at various organizations. He is a great inspiration and mentor. He is master of the knowledge. Anyone can learn a lot from him. He has contributed a lot in diversified fields for the betterment of Pakistan in many ways. He is an asset. We are proud of him. Long live Dr. Hussain. God bless you.”

HABIBMETRO Bank President and CEO Mohsin Ali Nathani said “Dr. Hussain has recognized the importance for the information technology for the banking sector of Pakistan in early 2000 and encouraged the State Bank to give guidelines for deploying technology and implement related security measures. In continuity of this, the SBP has introduced a number of related rules and guidelines since then.”

IBA Karachi organizes CEO forum on ‘Industry-Academia Linkages — Why and How?’

The IBA Karachi organized a discourse on ‘Industry-Academia Linkages – Why and How?’ at the IBA City Campus. This was the second session conducted under the dialogue series ‘CEO Forum’. The discussion was moderated by Dr. S. Akbar Zaidi, Executive Director, IBA Karachi who was in conversation with corporate leaders, including Ms. Jehan Ara, Founder and CEO, Katalyst Labs and Mr. Raza Pirbhai, CEO, KFC Pakistan. Attendees included industrialists, students, faculty, media personnel, academicians and members from the corporate sector.

Commencing the session, Dr. Zaidi inquired the speakers about how to bridge the gap between the academia and the industry. And how the academia can provide solutions to the industry and the challenges associated with it.

Sharing her expertise, Ms. Jehan opined that a good foundation of education must be laid at university level. But the main skillset is developed once an individual is employed and, on the job, learning and training takes place. She also said that the IT industry needs trained personnel and currently there is a lack of such human resources.

Reflecting on his vast industry experience, Mr. Pirbhai stated that universities cannot keep up with rapid industrial changes and requirements. He said that the era of only obtaining a degree from renowned universities had passed and in today’s world, one needs eagerness to learn and adaptability to change. “Leading universities produce good quality talent, but external elements including technology are changing rapidly and therefore universities are facing a challenge of keeping up with the industry’s requirements”, said Mr. Pirbhai.

Ms. Jehan Ara stated that technology is just a tool and that currently, platforms including MIT and Coursera offer free courses and students should utilize this opportunity to strengthen their skillset. “Universities have to teach their students to update themselves and be ready to learn new things and be equipped to meet the ever-evolving work environment”, she said. And further emphasized that IBA has a good faculty from the industry but that is not enough as students and universities need to work together to update students.

Mr. Pirbhai spoke about the role of internships and how a structured internship program helps mentor students to adapt to today’s work environment.

Dr. Zaidi opined that universities have the capacity to adapt as compared to school curricula. He stated that universities update their teaching modules periodically to keep up with the evolving trends and practices.

Dr. Zaidi also inquired the speakers about how they found the role of women in their respective industries.

Ms. Jehan Ara said, “The performance and the curiosity to learn is much higher among women. Out of 9 employees in my team, 7 are women and they were selected on merit. Many companies now want to hire women and are also offering day care facilities and flexible hours to accommodate them”. She said the IT industry wants more female employees.

Mr. Pirbhai agreed that women demonstrate exceptional commitment and that KFC is playing its role in making the work environment conducive for women, and even has an only women-run restaurant in Lahore.

Dr. Zaidi asked the speakers what academia needs to change to be more relevant to the industry’s requirements.

Mr. Pirbhai stated that a structured platform needs to be established where the academia and industry can jointly decide the best practices and teaching methodologies to teach and train the students for the ever-evolving work environment.

Ms. Jehan Ara said that we need to make the environment safe for women to work and universities have a role to play here as students taught respect towards the opposite gender will carry it forward to their workplaces.

The conversation culminated with an emphasis on the academia and industry to collaborate to overcome the divide between the two.

The dialogue concluded with a Q&A session between the speakers and the audience.

ACCA, CXO (CFO CLUB) enter MOU to support finance professionals with future-readiness

ACCA (Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) and CXO Private Limited (CFO Club) have entered a partnership to create world-class learning opportunities for the accounting and finance professionals in the county to support them with their global-relevance and future-readiness.

The partnership was announced at a high-level MOU signing ceremony held at ACCA’s office in Karachi. Leadership of both the organisations was present at the event who discussed how this partnership will strengthen the finance profession in the country and offer professionals with world-class learning resources to supercharge their careers and enable them to support their employers with keeping ahead in an ever-changing business environment.

Sajjeed Aslam, head of ACCA Pakistan, said: “Finance functions have responded well to the challenges of the pandemic, but to stay relevant in a post- pandemic era, finance professionals must concentrate on investing in their own capabilities in data, technology, innovation, collaboration, and strategy. Our partnership with CXO will allow us to offer ACCA’s world-class learning and development resources to the wider business community in the country and will help our members build new connections and move businesses forward.”

Shehzad Dhedhi, Founder CXO Private Limited (CFO Club) said: “CFO Club was formed with an objective to bring industry, academia and regulators together. Our collaboration with ACCA is a milestone for our objective to make meaningful contributions for both businesses and regulators academically and to promote finance professionals in diversified sectors of the economy. Last but not the least, we want to collaborate on technology related areas of finance in order to promote tech literacy among finance professionals.”

Present at the ceremony were Shehzad Dhedhi, Founder – CXO Private Limited, Dawood Khan, Managing Partner – Dawood Saif & Co. Chartered Accountants, Kausar Parveen, CFO – Pak Iran Investment Company Limited, Noman A. Majeed, CEO –Wixeman Global, Ahmar Azam, Founder & CEO – TriFit Limited, Syed Ahsan, Head of Corporate Affairs – KASBIT, Sajjeed Aslam, Head of ACCA Pakistan, Taimur Beiram Khan, Head of Business Development South – ACCA Pakistan and Ali Shan Ul Haque, Business Development Manager South – ACCA Pakistan.

PSDF and Zong lead the way to train 10,000 youth in digital freelancing skills

In an ongoing effort to promote youth education and employment, Punjab Skills Development Fund (PSDF), the country’s largest skills development fund has joined hands with Pakistan’s cellular and digital services frontrunner, Zong 4G, to launch an online course called ‘How to E-lance’.

The course will equip 10,000 youth with the knowledge to become professional freelancers, teaching these young learners to launch online careers on the world’s top two freelancing platforms: Fiverr and Upwork. Through the course, students will gain critical knowledge on the best ways to set up their online profiles to gain customers and create a network of clients.

The partnership is part of Zongs’s #LetsGetDigital campaign, aims to support youth in achieving the national digital agenda. Mobile users that are Zong customers will be provided free internet data to complete the course online. Learners will be rigorously trained for three weeks to develop the skillset required to become successful freelance service providers.

This initiative is part of PSDF | e-Tayyar, the programme area dedicated to preparing youth in valuable digital skills, for readiness in employability and income-generating opportunities in the emerging digital world. As Pakistan becomes the world’s top destination for hiring freelancing professionals, a skilling strategy to help the upcoming work force is imperative to maximize its rise in the international market.

“Leading Pakistan’s ICT-led digital transformation, we take it upon ourselves to upskill the Pakistani youth to make them job-ready in today’s increasingly digital world, shared Mr. Wang Hua, Chairman and CEO Zong 4G. “We’re pleased to have collaborated with PSDF to design the ‘How to E-lance’ course to make our youth future-proof when it comes to employability in a hyper-digitalized marketplace,” he added.

Jawad Khan, CEO PSDF, reiterated, “This is the ideal time to take robust action and direct our youth towards earning opportunities available in the global freelance market. Our partnership with Zong actively supports them by providing the necessary resources and technical knowledge they need to successfully initiate their journey”.

PSDF is also collaborating with Huawei to provide 300 smart tablets to top PSDF trainees, encouraging them to participate in this course and secure their future. These steps will expand the digital learning outreach and support even more young people, especially women, who often face mobility challenges to also get digitally connected and establish online careers.

K-Electric announces financial results for FY 2021

The Board of Directors of K-Electric Limited in its meeting held on September 10, 2021a t KE Head Office, approved the financial results for the year ended on 30 June 2021. During the period, driven by investments of around PKR 81 billion across the power value chain supplemented by improved economic conditions and revival of economic activity post the COVID-19 lockdown, as well as favorable government policies, the Company showed strong operational performance including T&D loss reduction from 19.7% in FY 2020 to 17.5% in FY 2021 and improvement in recovery ratio from 92.1% in FY 2020 to 94.9% in FY 2021.

In its financial results issued to the PSX, KE declared profits of PKR 11,998 million as compared to a loss of

PKR 2,959 million during FY 2020 resulting in earnings per share (EPS) of 0.43 rupees per share in FY21 as compared to loss per share of 0.11 rupees in FY20. Increase in total assets has also been observed from 703,414 million in FY20 to 835,677 million in FY21.

According to Moonis Alvi, CEO, K-Electric, “KE’s financial results have shown a satisfactory improvement after the last year’s drop in profitability due to COVID-19. We are proud that KE’s transformation continues to be recognized as a success story of privatization and strengthens our position as a progressive power utility. The reduction in T&D losses and improvement in recovery ratio is yet another reflection of our strong performance, sustained investments in our systems and infrastructure to enhance efficiency and services to our customers. We are engaged with Government of Pakistan and other relevant stakeholders for sustainable resolution of circular debt and to receive required regulatory approvals, which will enable us to continue to strengthen infrastructure for enhancing our ability to serve our customers and continue our improvement trajectory.”

It is pertinent to note that the utility company has undertaken various initiatives to increase system reliability and meet the city’s growing power demand. On the self-generation front, construction works on the 900 MW RLNG fired project, Bin Qasim Power Station-III (BQPS-III) is progressing on the fast-track basis. Upon completion, the power plant, equipped with state-of-the-art technology and at an estimated cost of around USD 650 million, will be among the top 5 most efficient plants in the country. Work on the first unit of 450MW is 90 percent complete while the second phase of 450MW is also proceeding swiftly. In August 2021, KE entered into a Gas Supply Agreement (GSA) with Pakistan LNG Limited (PLL) for the provision of 150 MMCFD RLNG to KE’s Bin Qasim Complex.

Pursuant to successful additional power withdrawal of 450-600 MW from National Grid through existing interconnections starting from April 2021, the company has also initiated the process for setting up new grids and interconnections for off-take of further additional power from the National Grid, which will take the total supply from National Grid to 2,050 MW.

During the year, KE enhanced its transmission capacity through the addition of 5 new power transformers along with a 132kV Mehmoodabad Grid Station, which will help in catering to the rapid demand growth from the residential segment in the area. Further, the addition/replacement of power transformers resulted in the net addition of 184 MVAs during the year, taking the total transformation capacity to 6,536 MVAs which is sufficient to meet the peak demand in KE’s serviced area.

On the Distribution front, KE is scaling up its efforts to combat power theft, by installing theft-resistant Aerial Bundled Cables (ABCs). So far around 11,000 PMTs have been converted to ABCs across KE network with full determination to convert the remaining high loss PMTs swiftly and sustainably. During FY2021, the company launched the second phase of Project Sarbulandi; a transformational project of approximately PKR 10 billion that focuses on improving network health, minimizing commercial losses through ABC conversion, improving recovery levels, and uplifting areas through community engagement activities. Further, to mitigate power theft and promote a culture of timely bill payments via the provision of easy installment plans, the ‘Azaadi’ rebate scheme was initiated which played a key role in improving the recovery ratio as mentioned earlier.

K-Electric also launched the first edition of the KHI Awards in FY2021, whereby the company has supported over 30 organizations across various categories which are working for the betterment of the city. The recipients included recognized names such as the Indus Hospital, Hunar Foundation, and others, with the total asset base of the winners standing at PKR 54 billion.

During the year, KE also launched K-Solar, a subsidiary that provides solar energy solutions to industrial, commercial, and residential customer segments with improved access and latest technologies. Moreover, furthering its customer centricity initiatives, in addition to customer facilitation and interaction platforms, KE also launched complete services for its senior citizens and especially abled customers via 118 call center.

The power utility remains fully committed to its mission statement of ‘brightening lives by building the capacity to deliver uninterrupted, safe, and affordable power’ while serving its growing customer base of 3.2 million and more. However a key concern for KE remains the prevailing circular debt situation affecting the sustainability of the sector. Delay in the release of tariff determination of DISCOs including K-Electric, continues to cause accumulation of receivables and adversely impacting the liquidity.

Standard Chartered Bank donates PKR 23.29 million to Mayo Hospital Lahore

Standard Chartered Bank has donated PKR 23.29 million to Mayo Hospital Lahore through Sightsavers International. Through this amount, Mayo hospital will purchase 24 cardiac monitors and 25 high-flow nasal cannulas. As most of the patients being admitted during the fourth wave are at critical stages, there is a need for this equipment which will help Mayo hospital manage critical COVID-19 patients being admitted in ICUs and High Dependency Units (HDU).

Right from the onset of COVID-19, Standard Chartered Pakistan has played a critical role in raising awareness and supporting communities in need through this challenging period. Supporting communities – in good times and bad – is a core part of Standard Chartered and brings to life the Bank’s brand promise of being Here for good.

In Pakistan, Standard Chartered has contributed USD1 million to Red Cross and UNICEF programmes that are providing emergency relief to communities impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. In total, the Bank contributed USD300,000 to the Red Cross for the provision of urgent medical support and USD700,000 to UNICEF for the immediate protection and education of vulnerable children in Pakistan.

The Bank also provided PKR19.7Mn to support communities in need in Pakistan. The Bank enabled the set-up of modular HDU units and free testing as well as provided rations to underserved communities and PPEs to our doctors and nurses.

Commenting on the ceremony, Farah Asim, Head of Communications, Standard Chartered Bank said “Standard Chartered is proud to reach the most vulnerable people in our communities through the work being done by Mayo Hospital, whereby we are able to support the delivery of relief that aims to address some of the key challenges created by the COVID-19 pandemic. We have donated at a time when the third wave of Covid 19 is at its peak and I am sure this equipment will help patients at the time of need.”

Dr. Asad Aslam, National Coordinator for the Prevention and control of Blindness Program under Federal Ministry of Health said, “Standard chartered has played an instrumental role for prevention and control of blindness in Pakistan through their “Seeing is Believing” program in last two decades. They have invested more than 5 million USD in different areas of eye health including training of eye health professionals at various levels and supporting service delivery and infrastructure development of numerous eye health institutions nationwide. Last year they supported government of Punjab, Baluchistan, AJK, and KPK for provision of PPE kits for frontline health staff by donating around PKR 6 million. Once again, they are now supporting Punjab government for support of equipment for the critically ill covid patients in high dependency units of Mayo hospital Lahore. We have been receiving this support through our credible partner Sightsavers who are playing the role of a catalyst and connector for getting this generous support from Standard Chartered.”

Metro Pakistan adds ‘consumer choice award’ to its name

Continuing the tradition, METRO Pakistan was the recipient of the “Consumer Choice Award” in the Wholesale Super Store category, at the ceremony held in Karachi recently organized by the Consumer Association of Pakistan (CAP). Mr. Amin ul Haque, Federal Minister for Information Technology & Telecommunication was the chief guest for the occasion and presented the award and certificate to Mr. M. Thiru, Sr. Head of Operations METRO Pakistan.

The Consumer Choice Award, in its 15th year of recognition, is adjudicated by a renowned jury, comprised of leading professionals from all walks of life. The objective is to promote consumerism in Pakistan by creating awareness among consumers to protect their legitimate rights whereas on the other hand promoting healthy competition among business leaders/manufacturers for making quality consumers goods and providing best services to Pakistani consumers.

The simple but impressive ceremony was attended by a large number of corporate organizations, diplomats, media persons and other notables.

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