PSO LEAPS TOWARDS RETAIL MODERNIZATION IN PARTNERSHIP WITH TELENOR PAKISTAN
Pakistan’s largest oil marketing company, Pakistan State Oil, has partnered with Telenor Pakistan, Pakistan premier digital and mobile financial services provider, to offer branchless banking services nationwide utilizing its 3,500 outlets across the country and massive cash management strength; giving its customers the convenience like never before.
The agreement was signed between GM NBD PSO, Mr. Babar H Chaudhary and Director Sales & Distribution Telenor Pakistan, Mr. Mohammad Qasim Awan at PSO Headquarters in Karachi. Present at the event were MD PSO Mr. Sheikh Imran-ul-Haque and Telenor Pakistan CEO Mr. Irfan Wahab Khan and various other senior officials from both organizations.
Branchless banking has proved to be an alternative mode to conventional branch-based banking that creates a distribution model for a host of vital financial services including Peer-to-Peer Money transfer through CNIC, opening up of an account instantaneously with low KYC requirements, issuance of instant debit cards, Utility Bill payments of all utility companies, Mobile Phone payments & top ups, Government funds collection/payment including pensions and corporate cash management & insurance. Customers shall now have easy access to all such services round the clock at PSO Stations
The number of branchless banking accounts increased by 73 per cent to 23.69 million in 12 months through March, the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) reported recently. This only highlights the growing potential and awareness of the benefits of branchless banking. It is the aim of PSO and Telenor Pakistan to provide access to financial services to every corner of the country. The branchless banking industry experienced overall improvement in key indicators in Jan-Mar. A significant increase was observed in the number of accounts, which grew 19pc over the preceding quarter.
Speaking at the event MD PSO, Mr. Sheikh Imran-ul-Haque stated that, “We intend to make PSO a one stop preferred destination of choice for every fuelling consumer in the country. Partnering with Pakistan’s largest digital services provider , Telenor (EasyPaisa) Pakistan to provide branchless banking services across Pakistan takes us one step closer to transforming PSO into a retail giant beyond the status of just an oil marketing company.”
Expressing his views at the event, CEO, Telenor Pakistan, Mr. Irfan Wahab Khan said, “We are excited to be part of PSO’s retail revolution as it also gives Telenor the opportunity to further expand its footprint and get more opportunities to serve our valued customers through PSO’s outlets countrywide.” “Telenor believes in bringing empowerment to the people through digital services, for which their availability and access must be seamless and unrestricted by time, and this partnership will help us make it possible.”
Under its retail transformation initiative, PSO aims to not only provide fueling services at all of its outlets, but also venture into non-fueling services, making its outlets a one-stop solution for the needs of its customers. The introduction of non-fueling facilities will give a competitive advantage to PSO in terms of greater offerings on its stations as compared to that of any of its competitors.
New products and services at PSO’s fuelling stations have been introduced nationwide including remodeled Shop Stops, automated vending machines, quick-service-restaurants – and now financial solutions/services such as branchless banking and micro-insurance all under one roof. These all are part of the company’s drive towards better serving the ever increasing needs and demands of customers.
PHILIPS LIGHTING PAKISTAN INITIATES SUSTAINABILITY PROGRAM
Philips Lighting (Euronext Amsterdam ticker: LIGHT), a global leader in lighting, in Pakistan has initiated a sustainability program to create awareness about energy efficiency and climate change amongst schoolchildren. The rapid growth in urban population has increased the overall energy demand including lighting, which contributes to roughly 15 percent of the world’s energy consumption. Hence, there is an urgent need to create awareness about energy efficiency and its positive effects on the environment.
Under this program, Philips Lighting Pakistan is conducting interactive workshops for schoolchildren across various age groups at the local schools. The workshops include interactive and engaging sessions to help children understand topics such as climate change, sustainability and energy efficiency amongst others. As part of this initiative, Philips Lighting Pakistan has already conducted one workshop at the local school reaching more than 150 students.
“Philips Lighting Pakistan has a long history of commitment to the environment. We deploy our expertise and knowledge of lighting to give back to the communities in which we operate. We are delighted to collaborate with the local schools to create awareness about energy efficiency and environment sustainability amongst schoolchildren,” said Asad Jafar, CEO Philips Lighting Pakistan. “By harnessing clean energy, we can power more equitable social and economic development. Now is a time for action. Through this unique initiative, we seek to educate children about the importance of being responsible towards the environment from an early age.”
The world’s energy demand is increasing significantly owing to the growth in population and increased urbanization. By 2050, two-thirds of the world population is expected to live in cities, where demand for lighting is greatest. There will be an estimated 35 percent increase in the number of light points worldwide to cater to the increasing population. Therefore, lighting can greatly contribute to achieve energy savings.
The program is a local extension of Philips Lighting’s global sustainability program ’Brighter Lives, Better World’ and reflects the company’s commitment to the universally agreed United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals for affordable and clean energy, sustainable cities and communities, responsible consumption and production as well as climate action. The company’s ambition is to create brighter lives with quality light that improves people’s wellbeing, safety and productivity.
HMD GLOBAL LAUNCHES NOKIA 3 IN PAKISTAN
HMD Global, the home of Nokia phones, announces the launch of the Nokia 3 in Pakistan – a stunning new smartphone designed to deliver an outstanding experience with unprecedented value. With a precision machined aluminium frame forged out of a single piece of aluminium, laminated 5″ display with sculpted Corning® Gorilla® Glass and seamlessly integrated 8MP wide aperture cameras (front and back), the Nokia 3 packs a truly premium quality smartphone experience into its compact and elegant form. The Nokia 3 delivers AndroidTM in its pure form, giving you the ability to use your phone, your way.
Speaking on the occasion, Kamran Khan, Head of Near East, HMD Global said, “We are thrilled to bring an affordable quality smartphone to all consumers in Pakistan with the launch of the Nokia 3.î
“Pakistan is an android ready market and with Nokia smartphones, we bring the best of both worlds. The Nokia 3 is ideal for value-conscious consumers who do not want to compromise on design and performance. It combines the hallmarks of a true Nokia phone with a clean pure Android performance and a new level of craftsmanship. We want to reward loyal Nokia phone fans and make a statement that premium design, build, and value for money can go hand-in-hand,” he further added.
Superior craftsmanship at an affordable price
The Nokia 3 has looks that will turn heads. With a precision machined aluminium frame, delivering exceptional structural integrity, and polycarbonate back, the Nokia 3’s robust design provides protection where it counts. Available in four distinct colours – Silver White, Matte Black and Tempered Blue – the Nokia 3 boasts quality craftsmanship at an unprecedented price.
Exceptional viewing experience
Featuring a fully laminated IPS display with no air gap and sculpted Corning® Gorilla® Glass, the Nokia 3 screen offers durability and superb clarity delivering a viewing experience that is second to none. With fewer reflections thanks to the polarised screen, the experience is crisp and clear offering unbeatable visibility even in bright sunlight.
Capture the moment
The Nokia 3 has been designed to give a premium experience at an affordable price. The 8MP autofocus rear and front facing cameras have been balanced with large pixel size and aperture to deliver great images, particularly in low light situations. Combined with the exclusive camera user interface, to provide automatic scene detection, it is easy to take great shots every time. And with unlimited free cloud storage via Google Photosi, you can snap all you want safe in the knowledge that every moment you capture can be automatically and securely backed up.
“Premium is an experience, not a price point. We’ve been extremely thoughtful about the overall performance of the Nokia 3, to ensure that a premium high quality experience is fully accessible for everyone,” said Juho Sarvikas, Chief Product Officer, HMD Global. “We’ve thought hard about how the phone will be used, and then crafted a beautiful device to make sure it looks as good as it performs.”
Always Pure Android
With the Nokia 3 you will have a pure Android experience for your device. With monthly security updates your Nokia 3 is safe, up-to-date as well as clutter-free – putting choice at the heart of the consumer experience. And with the latest Android comes the latest features including Doze, which saves battery life while the phone is stored. The new Nokia 3 features Google’s most recent innovation, the Google Assistant, building further on a great Android experience. Our teams have worked together to ensure conversations with the Google Assistant happen seamlessly on Nokia smartphones.
The Nokia 3 will be available in Pakistan in partnership with Jazz and will retail at the price of 16,900/-. Along with the warranty of Advance Telecom, customers will also be given 1 GB of free Jazz Internet for up to six months.
K-ELECTRIC SUPPORTS NICVD CHEST PAIN FACILITY
K-Electric, under its Sustainability initiative, has partnered with the National Institute of Cardiovascular Diseases for the provision of free-of-cost electricity for a year to its mobile chest pain facility established in Gulshan-i-Iqbal. A ceremony was held recently to formally energize the facility in the presence of KE and NICVD teams.
The NICVD has been playing a pivotal role in providing free-of-cost medical care to patients with heart disease since its inception in 1963. During the last year, it provided cardiac treatment to about 400,000 OPD patients, 37,000 in-patients and nearly 200,000 emergency cases. The NICVD mobile facility in Gulshan-i-Iqbal provides 24/7 emergency cardiac care and has so far treated over 850 patients since its inauguration last month.
According to KE spokesperson, “As a socially responsible organization, K-Electric has always been at the forefront for providing generous and valuable support to organizations working for social welfare. This is yet another testament of KE’s commitment to support healthcare organizations – empowering them to continue their efforts to serve the community.”
Professor Nadeem Qamar, Executive Director, NICVD said, “The support from K-Electric, besides providing uninterrupted power supply, will also help us extend free-of-cost cardiac treatment to deserving patients at our Gulshan facility. We request other corporate sector organizations to follow the footsteps of K-Electric and extend support to organizations providing healthcare services.”
Earlier this year, KE partnered with Husaini Hematology and Oncology Trust to further enhance reliability of power supply of the Trust’s emergency center. Whereas last year, the power utility strengthened power supply to Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Center (JPMC) with the installation of an additional feeder. KE also installed a new 40 MVA power transformer at Aga Khan Grid Station as well as installed an upgraded 400 KVA dedicated PMT at Layton Rahmatulla Benevolent Trust (LRBT) Eye hospital located in Korangi. Earlier, the utility partnered with Kashif Iqbal Thalassemia Care Centre (KITCC) for the installation of a dedicated 150 KVA PMT.
KE, under its Social Investment Programme (SIP) reaches around 3.9 million lives annually through 15 partners including SIUT, TCF, Indus Hospital, LRBT, The Kidney Center and SOS Children’s Village among others. Initiatives under SIP include facilitating education for the underprivileged; providing free-of-cost or subsidized electricity to Karachi’s key educational and health institutions; educating thousands of school children through its fire safety and energy conservation programme while engaging youth through cricket and football platforms including KE-Lyari League.
JS BANK HOSTS ANNUAL IFTAR
JS Bank hosted an Iftar Dinner on Sunday at a local hotel in Karachi to mark the Holy month of Ramadan. JS Bank has a long standing tradition of hosting an Iftar for prominent personalities of media, its employees and other distinguished guests. The event was thoroughly enjoyed with the live screening of the Champions trophy final for all the valued guests and made even more special due to the great win by Pakistan.
Ali J. Siddiqui, Chairman JS Bank welcomed all the guests and congratulated them on the auspicious occasion of the holy month of Ramadan. He hoped that Ramadan will bring peace, justice and equality in Pakistan. Imran Haleem Shaikh, Head of Marketing also stated that the Holy month of Ramadan demonstrates the true spirit of Islam. We hope and look forward to the message of peace being spread everywhere.
JS Bank in collaboration with JS Group’s charitable arm, Mahvash & Jahangir Siddiqui Foundation has also been hosting its annual daily Iftar’s at selective branches nationwide to support the less privileged people. The program runs for the entire holy month of Ramadan, helping thousands of people every year.
JS Bank is one of the fastest growing banks in Pakistan, with 307 branches in 152 cities including one international branch. JS Bank is part of JS Group, one of Pakistan’s most diversified and progressive financial services groups. For more information, visit www.jsbl.com
AWARENESS CAMPAIGN ON SAFE CHARITY BEGINS IN KARACHI
‘It is inspiring that the youth of Karachi and students of local universities have started an awareness campaign of safe charity. These peace champions from IBA, Karachi University, NED, and IOBM are using banners, fliers, panaflexes, rickshaw flexes, car posters and stickers and key chains to urge especially the businessmen of the markets in Gulshan-e-Iqbal, Bahaddurabad, Tariq Road, DHA, North Nazimabad, and the Saddar areas.’ This was briefed by Sabiha Shaheen, Executive Director, Bargad during the second policy dialogue on charity for goodness organized by Bargad, an organization for youth development, in a local hotel on Tuesday.
The panelists of the policy dialogue lauded efforts of the youth campaign that is making visible the message of safe charity on streets and roads and through shop-to-shop visists in markets of two districts of Karachi. The campaign is part of a project, entitled “Charity for Goodness” for engaging youth in a noble cause so that charity reaches to the most deserving.
The panelists of the policy dialogue included eminent entrepreneurs, philanthropists, academicians, media persons and analysts Atteeq-ur-Rehman, Mubashir Zaidi, Zarrar Khuhro, Mujahid Brelvi, Fauzia Shaheen, Akram Khan, Aga Masood, Salah-ud-din Haider, Dr Khalida Ghous and Pervaiz Ahmed. The proceedings of the policy dialogue were moderated by Dr. Huma Baqai.
Pervaiz Ahmed showed his satisfaction that major chunk of charity in Pakistan is collected from Karachi. He proposed that charity should also be channeled through the banking system for the sake of documentation.
Journalist Zarar Khuhro said that the since the issue of safe charity is critical, the government should regulate charity and form a regulatory authority comprising of civil society members to oversee the charity organizations.
The panelists further advised that good governance and transparency in charity organizations has to be ensured. Academician Dr Khalida Ghous advocated for the government to publish and make available report of Bait ul Mal to the public. Audit of seminaries was another point proposed during the event.
It was raised that scrutiny of foreign funding will help the government ensure that money given for charitable purposes don’t become pellets used by the terrorists.
Entrepreneur Atteeq-ur-Rehman advised the business community and public at large to be careful in their noble deeds of donating charity and resist making charity available to distant organizations whose whereabouts they don’t know. Charity begins at home and it is advisable to choose deserving people and organizations in immediate and nearby places, who are known or related to you.
At this occasion, it was also said that electronic media should repeatedly take the names of proscribed organizations so that people are well-aware of such outfits which can use charity for their harmful aims.
The panelists of the policy dialogue resolved that they would cooperate to make the youth-led awareness campaign successful in their respective fields.
FIRST POLICY DIALOGUE ON THE CHARITY FOR GOODNESS
The First Policy Dialogue on the Charity for Goodness was organized in a local hotel on 19 June 2017. Hosted by Bargad, an organization for youth development, it examined the pressing issue of safe charity and the ways to delink charity with terror financing. Media anchor, academician and Program Director at IBA, Dr. Huma Baqai moderated proceedings of the policy dialogue, which was attended by representatives of civil society, charity organizations, media and universities.
The policy dialogue is part of the project, entitled “Charity for Goodness” that also plans launching an awareness and dissemination campaign in selected markets of two districts of Karachi.
The participants of the policy dialogue recommended that banned organizations should not be allowed to operate and should strictly be monitored by the state. This should not look like a cosmetic measure but the ban should be real.
Renowned journalist Mubashir Zaidi emphasized the need to educate general public and make them aware about significance of safe charity. He said that campaigns have to be launched to provide knowledge of peace-loving religion so that people can give charity to right people. Such efforts should focus on behavioral and mindset changes and promote acceptance and tolerance of others in the society. We are generally a naïve people and easily believe what the religio-political outfits convey us in the name of piety and charity, he added.
Dr. Amir Feroz Shamsi from IOBM pointed out during the policy dialogue that there are three areas for mindset development: school, Masjid/madressah, curriculum. The government needs to make changes in curriculum and purge hateful material against communities living in Pakistan. Furthermore, the government should make basic education about society, youth health & self-esteem as part of the curriculum.
Abdul Bari (Youth Activist) said that it is responsibility of the government, corporate sector and the civil society to support awareness to public on what is charity. This should especially focus youth and launch awareness campaigns in educational institutions regarding safe charity. The government should institutionally engage schools in such campaigns.
Mr. Muqtdr said that orientation programme on safe charity for teachers of schools, colleges and universities are a must. He also called upon the civil society to involve local mosques in such efforts. Sensitization of the media is another significant area of intervention.
Mubasher Zaidi was of the view that in order to make a large scale impact, youth should be involved in Social Media campaigns. Attractive and creative slogans and key messages should be developed and publicized. These should be locally relevant i.e. “Charity for Goodness, not for Terrorists or Beggars’.
Academics including Muqtadar Ahmed said that there is compelling need to conduct research studies in order to find linkages between charity and terror financing in the context of Pakistan. A culture of research, critical thinking and dialogue and debate, in general, should be promoted in every aspect of life particularity in the education institutions. We have to find the main problem, the root to terror financing through research. Then there are practical questions that we require to prove through research on how we will motivate local donors to give charity for goodness and what will work in this respect. Another research question can be to find out what are the factors that our youth are attracted to militant organizations and to look at the recruitment processes and ways to disengage them and mainstream into health activities.
Uzma Noorani said that transportation companies are important stakeholders of the safe charity. The government should ban all random charity collections within vehicles and trains.
It was agreed during the policy dialogue that since this is the first year in a long time that people of Karachi would donate independently and freely, it’s time to avail this opportunity and launch awareness campaign on charity.
ECOSTAR GIFTS A 55′ LED TV TO ALL WINNING PLAYERS OF CRICKET TEAM
EcoStar is a nationwide brand of electronics which believes that a great victory should be enjoyed with great prizes. In order to celebrate Pakistan’s glorious victory in the Champion’s Trophy, EcoStar has announced to gift 55′ LED TV set to all players of our National Cricket team. EcoStar has always been associated with cricket, it has decided to reward our National Cricket team with the objective of boosting their morale.
The CEO of EcoStar – Mr. Farooq Naseem stated: “Pakistani cricket now stands for youth, courage and passion. If we manage our affairs with confidence and humility, Pakistan will continue to win championships and produce stars for our future generations.”
EcoStar reflects technological excellence it possesses the expertise to produce highly reliable products with cutting-edge technologies.
NAUMAN ANSARI TO BE CEO, BANK ALFALAH
The Board of Directors of Bank Alfalah Limited announced the resignation of Atif Bajwa from the office of President and CEO of the Bank, said an internal communication. Nauman Ansari, formerly, CEO Faysal Bank has been appointed as his successor. The communication said that Atif, who held the office of President and CEO for over five years, will be stepping down for personal reasons.
Atif joined the bank in late 2011 after having served as CEO of MCB Bank and Soneri. During his tenure, Bank Alfalah transformed and expanded its network and operations, and received consistent upward ratings. The Bank also made significant improvements in its balance sheet and performance ratios. Under the guidance of the Board, the Bank saw remarkable growth in market value and profitability and is seen as financially healthy and stable.
Nauman Ansari will succeed Atif as President and CEO of Bank Alfalah, subject to legal and regulatory approvals. Nauman has served various banks during his twenty-four year professional career that includes leading institutions like SCB, BoA, ABN Amro, Fortis Bank and Samba. He joined Faysal Bank as Group Head, Corporate & Investment Banking in 2008 and was appointed President & CEO in 2014. Nauman is reputed to be a seasoned banker with strong professional acumen. He is a business graduate of Miami University, USA.
His Highness Sheikh Nahayan Mabarak Al Nahayan, Chairman of the Board, said, “I would like to express my appreciation to Atif for his valuable contribution to the Bank, and I am happy to announce the appointment of Mr. Nauman Ansari as the new President & CEO of Bank Alfalah. He will provide strong and effective leadership to meet the Bank’s strategic objectives and build the franchise further. We wish him success in his new role.” His Highness further added, “We are confident that the banking sector of Pakistan will continue to show resilience whilst making positive contributions towards Pakistan’s economy and Bank Alfalah will remain the most reliable and digitally advanced bank of choice for its customers.”
LCCI CHIEF CONGRATULATES MIAN KASHIF FOR WINNING BEST CEO AWARD
President Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) Abdul Basit congratulated Mian Kashif Ashfaq, Chief Executive Officer Pakistan Furniture Council and ChenOne for getting the best CEO award.
In a statement issued last Sunday, LCCI Chief said Punjab Governor Muhammad Rafique Rajwana gave away this award to Mian Kashif which reflected the best qualities of the recipient. He said business community was proud of him for setting good examples for future business generation, adding that the way Pakistan furniture sector was being promoted and projected globally and nationwide was unprecedented to introduce the handmade best quality wood furniture. He even praised him for setting an historic work of nature for the sake of Pakistan economic and business promotion. He appreciated that under his leadership Pakistan Furniture Council with any government support hold a three-day exhibition through throughout the country, in which foreign people related to furniture trade and related organization participated.
Abdul Basit said that Pakistan Furniture Council under his leadership had so far successfully organized seven mega three-day exhibitions.
Abdul Basit hoped that in the coming month, mega event of three-day “Pakistan Interiors” from July 7 at Expo Centre Karachi will provide another ample opportunities to local and foreign exhibitors to display their products and exchange trade.
ACCA’S PLAN WITH THE UNIVERSITY OF LONDON CHANGING LIVES ACROSS THE GLOBE
The first group of graduates to complete the University of London master’s route to ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) membership are looking forward to future opportunities afforded through having two world-renowned qualifications.
Made possible through an innovative partnership between ACCA and the University of London, the MSc in Professional Accountancy is the only integrated master’s programme with an accountancy body at a professional level in the world.
Jane Towers-Clark, head of university education at ACCA, says:
’The first group of graduates through our integrated masters with the University of London have provided very positive feedback about the self-study programme. Online learning has allowed us to give access to individuals globally the opportunity to gain the skills necessary to have successful careers in finance and accountancy. We are proud to have created this unique programme which allows learners to gain the ACCA Qualification and an MSc in Professional Accountancy at the same time at a fraction of the cost of traditional masters.’
Speaking about his experience of being the first to be awarded the integrated masters and ACCA Qualification, Muhammad Abrar Siddiqui, Faysal Bank Limited, Pakistan says:
’Being able to complete a masters in a short period of time and the opportunity to study a range of thought provoking subjects is what attracted me to the MSc in Professional Accountancy. Completing the award has allowed me to broaden my knowledge of emerging and developing markets at the same time as giving me insight and direction on how to develop research skills. One of the key strengths of the programme is how greatly informative it is. It offers a great understanding of current accountancy issues. I have been able to improve my career prospects through learning how to become a better problem-solver and decision maker. I found the tutorials for the modules to be well planned and would recommend the courses to fellow students of accountancy.’