Press Releases

NDURE opens 200th store in Pakistan

NDURE, the everyday fashion brand, has exponentially grown to fulfil its commitment to making everyday fashion accessible for shoppers across Pakistan.

NDURE just opened doors to its 200th Store in Pakistan, earning itself a milestone of becoming the country’s 2nd largest retail network. NDURE has always ensured that its stores are present in all major cities across Pakistan so that fashionable footwear becomes more accessible for the audience of Pakistan.

The brand’s extensive network is spread across Pakistan and covers cities from Karachi to Gilgit. This milestone has been made possible because NDURE has swiftly adapted to global fashion trends and changing customer needs with the help of its state-of-the-art production facilities.

NBP signs MOU with Pakistan microfinance network

A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) has been signed between National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) and Pakistan Microfinance Network (PMN) for collaboration between the two organisations to facilitate growth of the microfinance industry in Pakistan.

NBP is the largest commercial bank as far as lending to the microfinance sector is concerned and this MOU will enable it to further strengthen its linkage with this sector as well as lead to discovery of new business opportunities. NBP will be facilitating PMN members for its account related services as well as provision of credit facilities. On the other hand, PMN will facilitate linkage between NBP and its members to promote financial services as well as sharing of data & research, client awareness & financial literacy and information of mutual interest.

PMN is a national association for retail players in the microfinance industry and was established by industry practitioners in 1997. Over the years the nature and level of activities grew and currently the network strength stands at 44 microfinance providers including Microfinance Banks (regulated by SBP) and Non-Bank Microfinance Companies (regulated by SECP).

NBP is Pakistan’s largest public sector commercial bank and provides a diverse range of products and services through a vast foot print of over 1,500 branches throughout the country. The Bank is taking initiatives for increasing market penetration and growth in the priority sectors of the economy. The Inclusive Development Group (IDG) within NBP is leading these initiatives and is engaged in focusing on financial inclusion of underserved sectors that have significant business potential.

Ufone collaborates with PBA for ‘Mera Pakistan, Mera Ghar’ helpline initiative Islamabad

Pakistani Telecom Company, Ufone has launched its new state-of-the-art Contact Center for Pakistan Banks’ Association (PBA), in order to resolve queries and generate leads for the Government of Pakistan’s ‘Mera Pakistan, Mera Ghar’ helpline initiative, which brings affordable housing finance facility for low income groups.

The Contact Center was inaugurated by Governor, State Bank of Pakistan, Reza Baqir, here in Islamabad, in presence of President and Group CEO, PTCL & Ufone, Hatem Bamatraf, Chairman, Naya Pakistan Housing and Development Authority, Lt. Gen. (retd) Anwar Ali Hyder, Chairman Pakistan Banks’ Association (PBA), Muhammad Aurangzeb, and senior management of the member banks and financial institutions of PBA.

Ufone is providing Contact Center services to PBA from two existing Centers by disseminating information on the loan process, eligibility criteria etc., besides offering 24/7 query and complaint resolution services to prospective customers. Sharing his thoughts at the ceremony,

President and Group CEO, PTCL & Ufone, Hatem Bamatraf, said: “We are glad to be a part of this historic initiative for the people of Pakistan. Ufone’s on boarding as the official contact service provider is a testament to the company’s extraordinary track record as a dependable services provider for Pakistan’s business sector. We constantly innovate and modernize our products and services ecosystem to deliver remarkable user experience to our individual and corporate customers.”

The latest state-of-the-art Contact Center facility will further enhance our capacity to respond to queries and complaints to bring a hassle-free banking experience to the low-cost housing beneficiaries.

The Contact Center will provide an additional channel for Ufone to resolve queries and generate leads for the housing finance project and promote its nationwide uptake.

The facilities are easily scalable to manage additional facilitation as the need arises. The facilities feature robust centralized Complaints Management and Leads Management Systems to help the member banks track every step of customer journey, besides expediting the processing of the loans.

Ufone Contact Centers are strategically located for effective management of traffic for calls from across Pakistan.

Port Qasim signs construction accord

Port Qasim Authority and M/s Sanmar Shipyards had signed two Contracts for construction of four ASD LNG Compatible Tugs and two Pilot Boats in March 2021, after competitive bidding.

A substantial progress has been made in construction and it is expected that these Crafts will be delivered well before the delivery period. A ceremony to name the Crafts was held on 6 Oct in Sanmar Shipyard Altinova in Turkey. Pakistan Ambassador in Turkey Muhammad Syrus Sajhad was the Chief Guest in place of Syed Ali Haider Zaidi Minister for Maritime Affairs who could not attend due preoccupation in Islamabad.

Chairman Port Qasim R/Adm Syed Hasan Nasir Shah HI(M), (retd) attended the ceremony along with Cem Seven the President of Sanmar Shipyard.

The four Tugs have been named as Gharo, Malir, Korangi and Pipri. Two Pilot boats are named as Sassi and Heer.

Emirates Skycargo upgrades customers with cargowise

Emirates SkyCargo is launching a new technical solution for its customers that will enhance user experience and the efficiency of the booking process for cargo shipments.

Working with WiseTech Global, a leading provider of software solutions to the logistics industry, Emirates SkyCargo will be providing direct access to its flights and inventory for cargo customers through the CargoWise platform. Customers will now be able to make cargo bookings direct on the platform for a majority of their cargo requirements after completing a short registration process.

“At Emirates SkyCargo, we are always looking at ways to make every stage of the transportation process more efficient – from the time of booking the shipment to the delivery of the cargo to the consignee. We are delighted to work with WiseTech to connect the CargoWise platform to our own Emirates SkyChain system, allowing customers enhanced direct access to search for flights and make bookings directly with Emirates SkyCargo without requiring any other touch points. This will save time and effort for our customers and for our global teams and at the same time help avoid any unnecessary confusion and inefficiencies in the booking process,” said Nabil Sultan, Emirates Divisional Senior Vice President, Cargo.

Scott McCorquodale, Chief Automation Officer, Air Cargo at WiseTech, said: “As the platform of choice for many of Emirates SkyCargo’s major customers, this connection is a testament to CargoWise’s penetration in the market. Adding to our growing number of airline-direct ebooking connections on the CargoWise platform, over time, all CargoWise users will have access to Emirates SkyCargo’s flight schedules, rates, availability and real-time eBooking functions. Working together, this connection provides ease of access to timely data at the user’s fingertips, translating to increased efficiencies and productivity, and importantly, informed decision making.”

Emirates SkyCargo has commenced roll out of customer access to the CargoWise platform in a phased manner from 1 September 2021. By the end of September, the majority of Emirates SkyCargo’s global customers using CargoWise will be able to make bookings on Emirates SkyCargo through the platform.

Daraz becomes exclusive digital streaming partner for ICC T20 world cup in Pakistan

After the disappointment of two international series withdrawal from New Zealand and England in Pakistan earlier this month, Daraz will bring the entire country together on its platform to watch the ICC T20 World Cup free of cost.

Daraz announces their exclusive partnership to stream the biggest cricket tournament of the year. Through this partnership, the app users will be able to watch all the matches of the tournament from anywhere on Daraz’s app. The shopping platform launched Daraz Live in September 2021 bringing state-of-the-art technology introducing the concept of shoppertainment to its user. With a monthly user base of 15 Million and growing, Daraz aims to attract more users with this partnership on their app.

Muhammad Ammar Hassan, Chief Marketing Officer of Daraz Pakistan, said “Cricket is the most watched sport in our country and we want all Pakistanis to follow cricket anywhere through their mobiles. Through this we are aiming to promote Daraz Live which is our new live commerce technology where users can watch cricket and enjoy shopping at the same time.”

The partnership is a key component of Daraz’s marketing strategy to accelerate the growth of the brand through association with high-profile sports teams. With cricket commanding a huge following across the South Asian region, it presents an effective platform for Daraz to engage with the region’s passionate fans and drive the brand to the next level.

Featuring a total of 45 matches in UAE, the ICC T20 World Cup will start from 17th October 2021 with semi final scheduled for 10th and 11th of November and final on 14th of November 2021. All the matches will be streamed on Daraz App.

Advertisers in Pakistan will be able to advertise on Daraz during the live stream of ICC T20 World cup which Daraz will be showing exclusively. With the largest digital audience base in Pakistan, It will be a great opportunity for advertising fraternity to expose their brands to millions of people who are digital natives.

Dawlance proudly sponsors Pakistan pavilion at Dubai Expo 2020

Dawlance is the #1 home-appliances brand in Pakistan has collaborated with the government of Pakistan by committing to be the ‘Supporting Sponsor’ of the ‘Pakistan Pavilion’ at the Dubai Expo 2020 – one of the biggest exhibitions in the world, beginning from 1st of October, 2021. Participation in the Dubai Expo reflects Dawlance’s continuous support in government’s “Make in Pakistan” vision towards boosting economy and creating income opportunities, by nurturing large-scale investments for a robust future.Dawlance’s vision for the Pakistan Pavilion at the Dubai Expo is; to build capacity, learn and nurture collaborations, by showcasing the nation’s potential and many major projects. It will highlight Pakistan’s valuable heritage, talents, commodities and destinations. Leading designers and researchers have equipped the ‘Pakistan Pavilion’, to provide insights about the nation’s industrial competence, arts and crafts.

The Chief Executive Officer of Dawlance — Umar Ahsan Khan stated that: “Dubai Expo 2020 will attract millions of international investors to explore the untapped potential for business, tourism and industrialization in Pakistan too. This contribution is in line with our vision of boosting economy and supporting “Make in Pakistan” policy of government as we are poised to start exporting products out of Pakistan to become part of the global supply chain.”

Dawlance is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Arcelik — the 2nd largest manufacturer in Europe. It is inspired to share its success with the masses, through resourceful social-development initiatives, including; Plantation of more than 5,000 Mangrove saplings along with Large-scale tree-plantation. Aiming to become a carbon-neutral company in production by 2025, it is investing heavily for sustainability, adopting Green-Technologies to reduce emissions and recycling huge amounts of water, during the manufacturing process.

The Dubai Expo 2020 will continue for six months, as resourceful enterprises from 192 nations will feature their Innovations, achievements and cultures. This event is also a major milestone towards resuming global trading and industrial productivity, after the long disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Silkbank credit cards hits another innovation milestone

Silkbank, one of the fastest Credit Card issuers in Pakistan has partnered with Silverlake, a technology powerhouse, to successfully deploy the Mastercard module for the launch of Mastercard Credit Cards. With this deployment, Silkbank is all set for the pilot launch this month and the commercial launch next month, November 2021.

Shahram Raza Bakhtiari, Director Retail Banking Silkbank commented on this successful deliverable: “The successful launch of Mastercard is in line with Silkbank’s robust Consumer Strategy. We are fully committed to heavily investing in technology to cater to our many new initiatives, which are technology-driven and will create a competitive advantage for us by creating solutions for our customers that are ahead of the technology trend. Silkbank’s SilverlakeSymmetri’s well-founded and fruitful partnership goes back many years. SilverlakeSymmetri’s expertise and state-of-the-art card management system have always enabled Silkbank to achieve its business and strategic objectives.”

Maris Ozolins, Chief Operating Officer at SilkverlakeSymmetri commented on this successful collaboration: “We understand that every customer is unique; hence we bring hyper-personalized and configurable technology together with experience to execute the transformation. Our customized avant-garde technology that involves continuous improvements through innovation, combined with our unparalleled expertise, are known to provide compelling and differentiated benefits to our customers for decades. Our methodologies are proven not solely on technology, but the commitment and expertise behind that technology, which has ensured our 100% successful track record for over 30 years.”

Energy crisis may shrink global GDP: 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 Saturday said energy crisis is to shrink global GDP, increase poverty and degrade the environment.

The global energy crisis is resulting in the increased price of petrol, diesel, gas and coal but coal has seen the highest price surge which is up to 200 percent, he said.

Mian Zahid Hussain said that the crisis has become a big threat to global recovery but it has also provided a new lease of life to the dying coal industry.

Talking to the business community, the veteran business leader said that the demand and price of coal are increasing by leaps and bounds which has started damaging industries like power production, cement, metal, chemical, glass, textile and cotton fibre etc.

He said that 196 countries and associations have signed the Paris Agreement in 2015 to reduce the use of coal and fossil fuel to reduce the impact of climate change but many countries have disregarded this deal due to emerging fuel challenges.

Mian Zahid Hussain said that the cement industry will suffer the most in Pakistan as its production cost will increase due to reliance on imported coal and it will also hit construction activities.

The demand for cement will be reduced due to increased price fanning unemployment and stalled investments.

He said that cement production has increased to half a million tonnes thrice in the current fiscal which will go down substantially which will be a threat to private and public projects.

First Pakistani Master Mariner

It is with great honour, I am extremely thrilled to announce that by the grace of almighty Allah, I, Capt S.M. Ajmal Mahmoodi has been granted a ‘CHARTERED MASTER MARINER AWARD’ by the Honourable Company of Master Mariner, UK.

I am the first Pakistani Master Mariner who has been given this honour so far. Today (24.09.21) I has received the award in person at the award ceremony which took place onboard HQS WELLINGTON by Chairman of HCMM commodore Duncan and Captain John Lloyd, RD MBA FNI – Chief Executive Officer of The Nautical Institute-UK.

JazzCash rolls out an all new and improved mobile app

JazzCash, Pakistan’s leading fintech with over 13.1 million monthly active users, has released a new, revamped version of its consumer app. The all new JazzCash app not only comes with a completely redesigned user centric interface but also adds exciting new features to make the experience better than ever before for the JazzCash family.

The design team at JazzCash conducted an in-depth study with users from diverse educational and socio-economic backgrounds, resulting in a user-centric mobile experience designed by millions of Pakistanis and delivered by JazzCash. This new design allows app users greater flexibility and the ability to do more with fewer action steps.

“As a platform promoting the digital payments ecosystem, we decided to invest in a scalable, future proof platform that can give us the agility and capacity to support our rapidly growing business. We did not just revamp the user experience on the front end but also conducted end to end modernisation of the entire JazzCash technology stack,” said Murtaza Ali, acting CEO, JazzCash.

Through this revamp, JazzCash is looking to take user convenience to the next level at every touchpoint. To continue offering innovative payment solutions and bank the unbanked segment, the company plans for a continuous improvement mindset moving forward.

Standard Chartered Pakistan selects risknucleus governance, risk and compliance solution

Aimed at digitizing the compliance-risk management processes, Standard Chartered Bank Pakistan Limited (SCBPL) has selected the RiskNucleus® Governance, Risk & Compliance (GRC) solution, which is created and backed by the expertise of BenchMatrix. Deployment of this fully configurable and integrated, web-based application reflects the technological-innovation and process-advancement at Standard Chartered, with an aim to further strengthen controls culture through automation for identification, assessment and management of compliance risk.

The implementation of this digitized solution will ensure compliance with SBP’s requirements to capture compliance risk at business, function, and entity-level. Through advanced reporting and analytics, the bank will be able to provide actionable, real-time risk and compliance intelligence and data across the institution, which will further strengthen business performance, based on the risk-awareness and integrity.

Muhammad Mubbashir Yasin, Managing Director and Country Head of Conduct, Financial Crime & Compliance, SCBPL stated that: “Regulatory-compliance remains the key agenda across SCB’s global operations and with this cutting-edge digital solution by BenchMatrix, bank will be able to streamline cross-modular linkages and compliance processes to build data-driven and innovative compliance function effectively delivering the ever changing business and client needs.

Taimur Kaleem, CEO, BenchMatrix stated that: “It is a matter of pride for us to be a leading solutions-provider and a trusted technology partner for SCBPL and more than 100 implementations with 70+ other clients globally. We have successfully established offices in Canada, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain, Kuwait & Pakistan, to implement our wide range of products, with unmatched efficiency. BenchMatrix promises accelerated deployment-timelines, as our staff has gained global experience of project implementation in financial institutions.”

Unnecessary imports stagnating troubled economy, says 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 Friday said massive imports of food and other items will stagnate the troubled economy.

He said that there are limits to inflation which is resulting in unemployment and reduced demand as masses are using a good part of their income on food and utility bills therefore they are unable to buy other things.

Mian Zahid Hussain said that the current account deficit will not allow the economy to develop therefore state-run enterprises should be sold or restructured while agriculture should be given full attention by improving supply and discouraging hoarding as there are slim chances of price reduction in the international market.

Talking to the business community, the veteran business leader said that international institutions helped poor countries during pandemic while supply chain disruption and shipping costs added to the inflation which increased the price of oil, metals and food items etc.

Now, the economic situation is improving in many countries and demands is picking up which has added to the inflation while rich nations are considering to limit or stop aid of developing nations which will stagnate the economy of such countries which also includes Pakistan.

IMF must release loans for developing nations while altering its policy of demand management otherwise a global economic crisis will spring in action.

IMF must suspend its quota system and lend money on the basis of need unless the global economy is fully recovered.

He said that developed nations are spending billions and trillions to improve their economy while forcing poor nations to adopt austerity which is not only a recipe for disaster but the height of hypocrisy, he said.

Mobilink Bank puts forth Policy Recommendations to foster Financial Inclusion in Pakistan

Pakistan’s largest digital Bank, Mobilink Microfinance Bank Limited (MMBL) has put forth it’s 9 point agenda for the future of financial inclusion covering far-reaching and research-based recommendations in the areas of diversity & inclusion, microfinance, SME finance, housing finance, agriculture finance, digital lending, payments, savings, and insurance.

The 9 point agenda was formally launched by President & CEO, Mobilink Microfinance Bank, Mr. Ghazanfar Azzam, in the presence of dignitaries from State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP), Pakistan Microfinance Network (PMN), Jazz Pakistan, VEON and the media.

Speaking at the event, President & CEO, MMBL, Ghazanfar Azzam said: “The COVID-19 pandemic has made it indispensable for Pakistan to fully embrace digital transformation on a sustainable basis for wholesome socio-economic growth and development. Being an industry leader of financial inclusion in the country and as the largest digital bank, MMBL has identified key strategic areas that need immediate interventions to bring every Pakistani into the fold of financial inclusion. The development of these areas through access to finance will prove to be a game-changer for the national economy. We are committed to playing our part for the uplift of Pakistan”.

Chief Finance and Digital Officer, MMBL, Sardar Mohammad Abubakr said: “Any discussion on financial inclusion must address the needs of the masses. We believe digital is a great equalizer and with the right approach, digital financial inclusion can help alleviate poverty by bringing women into the financial inclusion mainstream and enabling the all-important SME sector to have formal access to finance. A National Digital Execution Plan and public-private collaboration can help drive this agenda meaningfully forward.”

MMBL strongly proposes banking the entire adult population, especially women, and facilitating easy financing of SMEs, which contribute nearly 40% of the GDP and 80% of the labor force. The document also emphasized facilitating digital payments that continue to lead the way in digital finance and their growth hints at the country’s progress towards transformation to a digital economy in the future. In addition, the policy document acknowledges the significant reform in the housing sector as a result of The Naya Pakistan Housing Scheme and similar initiatives taken by the Government of Pakistan as well as the banks. It stressed that low-cost affordable housing for the masses is of utmost importance and reforms in housing finance practices and procedures are necessary to complement these efforts.

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