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QEC, IBA KARACHI HOSTS THE QAA-HEC MS/EQUIVALENT PROGRAMS REVIEW VISIT

Quality Enhancement Cell, IBA, Karachi organized the Review Visit of the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA), HEC and the Committee of Experts from various universities of Pakistan. The purpose of the visit was to review the IBA Graduate Programs’ compliance with the HEC’s minimum criteria/guidelines set for the MPhil/MS and Equivalent level of Programs.

The Review committee was comprised of the following experts and the HEC officials:

Dr. Amir Ijaz, University of the Punjab, Lahore
Dr. Samina Awan, Allama Iqbal Open University, Islamabad
Dr. Usman Ghani, Institute of Management Sciences, Peshawar
Dr. Zahoor Ahmad Bazai, University of Balochistan, Quetta
Mr. Sulaiman Ahmad, Quality Assurance Agency, Higher Education Commission, Islamabad
Mr. Muhammad Ali Baig, Quality Assurance Agency, Higher Education Commission, Islamabad

From IBA, the Senior Management including the Associate Deans of Faculty of Business Administration and Faculty of Computer Science, the Chairpersons, Program Directors, Senior Faculty of all graduate programs, Coordinator, Testing Department, Controller Examination, representatives from the concerned Graduate Program offices and HR team participated and contributed to the review meeting.

Dr. Shahid Raza Mir, Director QEC opened the meeting with a presentation on the overview of Graduate and Post Graduate programs and support services at IBA. In the first slot, the committee reviewed the documents prepared separately for each Graduate Program backed by the students’ progress records and faculty files showing their eligibility, competence and teaching and supervision records. The program offices and the HR department, in coordination with the QEC, led this activity. In the second slot, the Review Committee had interaction with students, faculty and supervisors of all Graduate programs under review and collected their feedback to see how smoothly the programs are functioning in line with the HEC guidelines. Next, they visited the classrooms, labs and library to see the sufficiency of research and support facilities and services at IBA.

Finally, the Review Committee shared their observations with Dr Farrukh Iqbal, Dean & Director, IBA and the IBA Senior management in exit meeting. They appreciated the efforts of the QEC to have managed the review visit very well providing all necessary documentation, supporting records and the field visit. In the end, Dr. Farrukh Iqbal closed the meeting with a vote of thanks and distributed souvenirs among the Review Team.

CHAIRMAN PTA INAUGURATES 17TH ITCN ASIA 2017

The 17th ITCN Asia 2017, Pakistan’s biggest international exhibition and conference on Information Technology (IT) & Telecommunications, is being inaugurated by Syed Ismail Shah, Chairman PTA. This insightful forum will be carried on till the 21st September, 2017 at Karachi Expo Centre. Participants should carry their business cards with them in order to enter the ITCN Asia 17.

The concurrent events of this year’s insightful forum are; Security Asia, Fire & Safety Asia, Lights & LED Asia and Consumer Electronics Asia. The event promises great enrichment to this dynamic and valuable industry. The 17th ITCN Asia’s scope is expected to be greater than all its previous annual events, with numerous new features added to it. It is occupying over 150,000 sq feet of exhibition area, and expects more than 600 international & domestic brands with 150+ foreign delegates and participants from more than 25 countries. Well over 50 startup companies and experts along with 100,000+ visitors are expected to grace the event. It is designed to create major opportunities for business-to-business alliances, leveraging their mutual strengths for capacity-building in this fast-evolving industry.

JS BANK DECLARED BEST ENVIRONMENTAL, SOCIAL AND GOVERNANCE BANK

JS Bank proudly collected the award for the category of “Best Environmental, Social and Governance Bank” at the prestigious Pakistan Banking Awards 2017 that were held on September 19, 2017. The Banking Awards ceremony was jointly organized by the Institute of Bankers Pakistan, A.F. Ferguson & Co. (a member firm of the PwC network) and Dawn Media Group. The award recognizes the overall environmental, social and governance (ESG) impact that JS Bank initiatives have had in the areas such as health, education, sustainable development and relief efforts across the country. The jury recognized JS Bank for being at the forefront in this domain amongst all the banks in Pakistan in criteria such as energy usage, waste disposal, social standards and transparent governance mechanisms. Among other initiatives that were instrumental in helping JS Bank’s win this award were being recognized as the first commercial bank to be WWF Green Office-certified and being one of the first banks to have branches that use solar power.

The award ceremony was attended by Khalid Imran (President & CEO, JS Bank), Basir Shamsie (Deputy CEO, JS Bank) and Kamran Jafar (Group Head of Corporate & Retail Banking Group, JS Bank) along with senior management of the bank.

Speaking on the occasion, Khalid Imran, President & CEO of JS Bank said, “I would like to thank the jury for this award on behalf of entire JS Bank. This is only the second the edition of Pakistani Banking award and it has already gained tremendous credibility and importance in the financial sector. We as a bank, apart from ensuring our long term business plans are met, are very well aware of our social responsibilities and strongly believe in giving back to the community. I assure you all that as a team we will continue our efforts in the best way possible”

JS Bank was also recognized earlier this year for the 4th year in a row for its Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives at the 5th Corporate Social Responsibility Summit & Awards.

MCB BANK HONOURED WITH ‘BEST CORPORATE REPORT’ AWARD FOR THE SEVENTH TIME

MCB Bank, one of Pakistan’s largest & most innovative banks, has been honoured with the prestigious “Best Corporate Report” Award in the Banking sector by ICAP & ICMAP in a ceremony held recently in Karachi. This marks the seventh time that MCB Bank has received this honour by ICAP & ICMAP.

The Award was presented to Mr. Nadeem Afzal Group Head – Consumer Banking, MCB Bank Ltd, by Mr. Kashif Mateen Ansari Former President, ICMA Pakistan in recognition of the bank’s responsible reporting and transparency in sharing the economic, environmental and social performance of the Bank as per international best practices.

Speaking about the Award, Mr. Imran Maqbool, President MCB Bank Ltd. said “We are honoured to have won this award, which is a testament to the Bank’s commitment to Corporate Governance and Business Transparency. The Bank’s consistent recognition in this area reflects the company’s leadership in corporate reporting and our long term value creation for all stakeholders.”

The Award is primarily aimed at promoting effective communication of financial and other information by companies to their stakeholders through the publication of timely, informative, factual and reader friendly annual reports. All the submitted annual reports are adjudged in accordance with set evaluation criteria, which is undertaken by the technical staff of both the institutes. The results are reviewed by the Joint Evaluation Committee under the chairmanship of Mr. Yaqoob Sattar.

REMITTANCES THRU BANKING CHANNEL A MUST FOR NATIONAL CAUSE: NBP PRESIDENT

National Bank of Pakistan (NBP), the largest public sector bank in the country, recently launched a campaign specifically designed to create awareness about the ills of money transfer through illegal channels to Pakistan. This campaign was initiated by the launch of a short docudrama targeted towards Pakistani diaspora residing especially in UAE, Saudi Arabia and other GCC countries. NBP believes that this mode will prove to be an important medium to educate the masses about the advantages of sending remittances back home through legal banking channels, such as National Bank of Pakistan’s “Foree Remittances”.

This launch was well attended by a number of top officials. Mr. Jameel Ahmed, the Deputy Governor State Bank of Pakistan was the Guest of Honor and the event was presided over by Mr. Saeed Ahmad, the President & CEO National Bank of Pakistan. Other SBP executive who attended the event included Syed Samar Hasnain, Executive Director Development Finance Group, Mr. Abid Qamar, Director / Chief Spokesperson, Mr. Moinuddin, Head Pakistan Remittance Initiative and Mr. Arshad Sattar, Manager Services & Quality, Pakistan Remittance Initiative. The top management from NBP included the SEVPs, Group Chiefs and Divisional Heads including, Mr. Mudassir H. Khan, Mr. Aamir Sattar, Ms. Sultana Naheed, Mr. Tariq Jamali, Mr. S.H. Irtiza Kazmi, Mr. Risha A. Mohyeddin, Mr. Jamal Baqar, Mr. Shahid Iqbal Dar, Mr. Zahid M. Chaudhry and Mr. Shahid Saeed.

Deputy Governor State Bank of Pakistan Mr. Jameel Ahmad said that “Workers remittances are a life line for our external account balance.” It is indeed heartening to note that focused efforts of all stakeholders resulted in an increase in home remittances by 13.2% during the first two months of FY 18 after a fall of 3.1% in FY17. There is a need to maintain this momentum and positive growth trajectory in coming months,” he said.

He was addressing the audience at the launch of a short docudrama targeted towards Pakistani diaspora residing especially in UAE, Saudi Arabia and other GCC countries.

Mr. Jameel Ahmad went on to add that our banks need to focus not only on the traditional corridors of remittances but also to explore untapped non-traditional corridors. “They should also improve their service levels in general and for remittance recipients in particular. Similarly, introduction of innovative remittance products is required to attract new customers. Further, enhancement of infrastructure and systems and capacity building of human resources should be on-going tasks to improve efficiency,” he added.

He said that banks have to undertake effective and aggressive marketing campaigns within country and abroad. “I would encourage banks to use all mediums for marketing including print, electronic and social media”.

Mr. Jameel Ahmad appreciated the initiative taken by NBP and thanked the management of NBP for advancing a national cause.

Speaking at the occasion, Mr. Saeed Ahmad, President & CEO NBP, said: “The biggest challenge facing the overall remittance business of Pakistan is the use of illegal system of Hawala / Hundi. This is used by a large number of overseas Pakistanis due to lack of proper information. This affects the country gravely. If all remittances come via banking channels, our forex reserves will increase resulting better financial stability and improved standing of Pakistan in the International market.” He emphasised the need for documentation and cited reference of Surah-e-Baqra verse 282, where the importance of documenting contracts has been emphasized. He clarified that the use of Hundi/Hawala is also not desirable even from religious point of view.

He further added “This docu-drama launch (Hundi ko lagao kundi—- ) is not just about increasing the Remittance business of National Bank of Pakistan but the motive is much greater. The idea is whatever money is coming into the country is routed through legal channels so Pakistan as a country can fully benefit. Hundi / Hawala is illegal but mainly popular due to the perceived convenience it offers to the customers. Banks need to service the customers with an exceptional efficiency to compete, match and even surpass parallel services . The Banking industry need to enhance use of digital/branchless services. People need to be made aware and educated to use legal channels to transmit and receive money thru formal banking channels.”

“National Bank of Pakistan, has embarked upon developing services by using latest technology and for this purpose, a new Group by the name of “Payment Services and Digital Banking” has be established.”

NBP also ran a promotional campaign recently with Xpress Money. During this campaign, over a hundred customers were awarded prizes worth hundreds of thousands of rupees for sending their remittances from Xpress Money from around the world and collecting them from any of the NBP’s 1450 + branches. A lucky winner from the promotional campaign with Xpress Money was also invited at the ceremony to collect his winning prize of Rs.250, 000/- from the NBP CEO & President and Deputy Governor SBP.

On this occasion, Syed Irtiza Kazmi also described NBP’s involvement in the remittance business expressed determination to put greater emphasis to this segment.

SAMSUNG LAUNCHES ‘NOTE 8 RETAILERS TRAINING PROGRAMME’

Samsung is a global technology leader. Its revolutionary products, powerful devices and award-winning innovations enjoy tremendous popularity in Pakistan too, as its products and solutions fulfill the needs of many diverse consumer segments. Samsung is now conducting a Training Program in Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad, to enhance the capabilities of its extensive distribution network. The aim of this exercise is to maximize retailers’ knowledge about its latest innovative device – the Samsung Note 8 and to elevate the overall service skills of the personnel.

With the objective of further enriching the consumers’ retail experience, Samsung has launched this highly-evolved training programme for its dealers at; the Global Marquee, Shahra-e-Faisal, Karachi on 19th September, the Majestic Marquee, 2-A Main Islamabad Club Road, Islamabad on 20th September and the Eastern Marquee, 210 Wafaqi Colony, Main Upper Canal Bank Road, Lahore, on the 21st September. The retailers are being further trained and groomed to reflect the highest service standards, while selling the world’s premium products and technologies, created by Samsung.

The President of Samsung Pakistan – Mr. Y. J. Kim stated that: “Training of our retail network and enhancing the skills of our front-line personnel is a perpetual exercise at Samsung. We aim to maintain our market-leadership, as the new training programme will further enhance our distribution capabilities, product availability and outreach. Samsung continues to add more convenience for the consumers, to further elevate the brand-image and consumer-perception.”

Samsung’s retailers’ network is consistently inspired to exceed the customers’ expectations, to build trust on the brand. Extensive research on consumer preferences helps Samsung in anticipating their evolving needs. Hence, its innovations and high service-standards continue to win the customers’ hearts.

The retailers in Pakistan are being given a deeper understanding of Samsung’s vision, as the company is committed to expand the use of digital technology for connectivity and communications, to empower the deprived socio-economic segments through better; education, health-care, industries, telecom services, E-commerce, etc. Samsung also nurtures new start-up ventures and talents, by supporting technology incubators around the world.

STANDARD CHARTERED, SBP HELD SEMINAR ON TRADE BASED MONEY LAUNDERING

Standard Chartered Bank Pakistan, in collaboration with State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) conducted a seminar on Trade based Money Laundering at the Learning and Resource Centre Auditorium, SBP, Karachi. The seminar was attended by over 100 senior officials from across the banking sector.

The seminar was hosted by SBP in line with its renewed focus on preventing trade based money laundering. The purpose of this seminar was to allow senior bankers to get an insight on the latest techniques being used to undertake trade based money laundering and global best practices to prevent such illicit funds from entering the financial sector.

The event was part of Standard Chartered’s global initiative under the umbrella of Correspondent Banking Academy aimed at imparting global expertise in the field of financial crime to the local market. The seminar was primarily focused around the emerging risks of money laundering within international trade and sharing global best practices in the sphere of Trade based Anti Money Laundering.

Delivering key note address at the event, Syed Irfan Ali, Executive Director, Banking Policy & Regulations Group, SBP, shed light on the regulatory framework related to trade based money laundering. While sharing the recent initiates taken by SBP to curb money laundering though trade transactions, he underlined the importance of capacity building of banking industry to cope with the emerging challenges related to Trade Based Money Laundering. He also urged the banking industry to adopt best practices prevailing world over to contain money laundering through trade instruments. Mr. Shazad Dada, Chief Executive Officer, Standard Chartered Bank Pakistan said, “Trade based money laundering is not a new phenomenon. However, with the ever increasing growth in global trade volumes and complexity of cross border transactions, it has become increasingly important that banks are more vigilant and apply advanced techniques aided by technological advancements to meet Financial Crime Compliance standards set in place by regulators globally.” Further elaborating on this initiative, Ms. Carmel Speers, Regional Head of Financial Crime Compliance for Standard Chartered said, “In order to manage the risks associated with financial crime, most of the banking industry has resorted to de-risking which includes exits from some countries and clients. However, Standard Chartered is taking a different approach on de-risking. We are sharing our knowledge and experience in Financial Crime Compliance with our clients and their employees supporting our clients to meet international standards and better manage their risks”.

PAKISTAN SOCIETY OF SUGAR TECHNOLOGISTS WITH SHELL HOLDS 51ST CONVENTION

The Pakistan Society of Sugar Technologists (PSST) in partnership with Shell Pakistan conducts its 51st annual convention on 18-19th September at the Pearl Continental Hotel, Rawalpindi. Sugar is one of Pakistan’s most valuable exports and has been a significant contributor to Pakistan’s GDP in recent years.

Every year, PSST brings together key stakeholders of one of the country’s key agricultural sectors along with its associated partners under one roof. Through a series of educational seminars, valuable knowledge sharing takes place on gaining efficiencies, overcoming challenges in the entire value chain of sugar cane processing.

Shell Pakistan with its global technology and innovation expertise has been a significant partner and consistent contributor towards PSST’s efforts to ensure efficient production capabilities that benefit both the individual customers and the industry. Shell Pakistan as part of its continued efforts in upscaling the sugar industry, introduced Gadas S2 U1000, a revolutionary grease based lubricant that offers key operational benefits including longer machinery life, higher durability at high temperatures, cost saving and environmental protection.

Shell invests billions in research and development of revolutionary fuels and lubricants, which provide customers with tangible socio-economic benefits through fuel efficient, quality products that are technologically tested to improve quality and increase volume of output.

UBER REDEFINES THE EXPERIENCE OF TRAVELLING DURING INDEPENDENCE CUP 2017

Uber, the international smartphone app that seamlessly connects riders to partner drivers, redefined riding experience for cricket fans as the Official Transport Partner of Independence Cup 2017. The ultimate face-off between Pakistani daredevils and star-studded World XI cricket team took place at Gaddafi Stadium, Lahore on 12th, 13th and 15th September 2017.

With cricket fever returning to the home ground, Uber provided the residents of Lahore a hassle-free way to reach the stadium. To further show its support to the national cricket team, Uber provided cricket fanatics a flat rate of 111 PKR on their rides ending at the stadium’s designated pickup and drop-off zones on all three days. Vehicles were also available near the stadium’s shuttle service and Uber team was present on-ground to ensure a seamless experience by booking rides for attendees facing internet connectivity issues, and designating special pickup and drop off points around the stadium, throughout the three-day cricket extravaganza.

Fans were spotted thronging Uber’s booth to get their face painted and celebrate the best of cricket. Earlier, Uber announced a competition titled “Fan of the Match” for its riders and partner drivers. The three lucky winners, one rider, and two partner drivers were invited to the stage to receive a signed ball from the winning team’s captain during the Presentation Ceremony. Apart from that, social media competitions gave fans a chance to win tickets to the match. Select bloggers were also invited to ride Uber and watch the match live from Gaddafi stadium, Lahore.

Uber not only amplified the excitement for its riders but also took 150 partner drivers to the stadium for experiencing the thrill of Independence Cup 2017. The highlight of the series was when Australian cricketer George Bailey interacted with the fans and distributed Uber’s merchandise within Gaddafi stadium stands.

Safee Shah, GM Uber Pakistan, said: “It was a pleasure for us to be a part of this amazing experience where Pakistan’s Cricket stars took on the best of the world on their home turf. We at Uber share the love for cricket that our fellow citizens have for the game and simply loved the performances by both the teams. We did our best to put in place a hassle free experience for cricket fans to reach the venue from across the city of Lahore at an affordable flat rate of PKR 111, and are extremely happy to have received an amazing response from partner drivers, riders, cricket fans, and even players such as the Australian, George Bailey.”

Uber helps millions of Pakistanis every day to move around their city, offering access to affordable, reliable and most importantly safe rides in over 600+ cities worldwide at the simple push of a button.

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