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WORLD SIGHT DAY: 80PC OF BLINDNESS CURABLE

Once a year, on the second Thursday of October, World Sight Day is celebrated to raise awareness of the 36 million people who are blind and the 217 million people that are visually impaired worldwide.

80 per cent of the blindness and vision loss are curable or preventable. That means four out of five of the visually impaired loss their sight needlessly. That’s why Standard Chartered has committed to raising USD 100 million by 2020 through Seeing is Believing – its global initiative, run in partnership with the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB) – to fund leading eye health organisations to deliver projects that train doctors and health workers, develop eye care infrastructure and support services to the poor.

Since 2003, Seeing is Believing has invested over USD95 million in projects reaching 150 million people through work to restore sight, prevent blindness and educate communities about the importance of eye care. Over 4 million people have had their sight restored by surgeries supported by Seeing is Believing.

According to the Vision Loss Expert Group, the global prevalence of visual impairment has dropped from 4.58 per cent in 1990 to 3.38 per cent in 2015. The decline indicates that the collective efforts of medical professionals, civil society organisations, governments and corporations, including Seeing is Believing, are leading to meaningful change across the world.

Shazad Dada, Chief Executive Officer, Standard Chartered Pakistan, said: “There is a lot that needs to be done to eliminate avoidable blindness. Individual organisations like Standard Chartered are a pivotal part of the solution to help tackle avoidable blindness. We hope that through Seeing is Believing, we can raise awareness of the issue in our country. That’s why across the globe, we’ll be celebrating World Sight Day.”

UBER PAKISTAN JOIN HANDS WITH SOS CHILDREN’S VILLAGES

Uber, the international smartphone app that seamlessly connects riders to drivers, signed a MoU with SOS Children’s Villages as part of its long-term commitment to digitally empower communities.

As part of the partnership, Uber Pakistan organized a carnival to commence Uber’s commitment with SOS Children’s Villages. It was a first of fun filled activities that Uber will be organizing at various SOS villages across Pakistan.

Uber is also offering a great opportunity to its riders who uses the promo code: UBERSOSFRIENDSHIP, Uber will donate the fare to SOS Children’s Villages across Pakistan. Another campaign for the Children’s Day will include free rides to and from SOS Children’s Villages for riders who wish to join Uber’s team for celebrating the day with the children of SOS. Furthermore, Uber will be launching a series of UberGive campaigns in order to donate to SOS Children’s Villages through its app.

Speaking on the importance of partnering with SOS Children’s Villages, Safee Shah, GM of Uber Pakistan said: “Serving the communities we operate within is an integral part of our company’s DNA. We believe that organizations such as SOS Villages are doing a phenomenal job looking after and ensuring a bright future for children of our society and by utilizing our platform, we look forward to more such partnership to digitize Pakistan.

Numerous fun filled activities were planned at the SOS village in Lahore including magic shows, joy rides, music, food and games. The carnival witnessed Uber Team coming to the venue to spend time with the children at SOS and share their joy along with the Uber Pakistan team

Apart from helping millions of Pakistanis move around the cities by offering access to affordable, reliable and most importantly safe rides, Uber is utilizing its platform to support the community on a greater level As a responsible corporate organization, Uber works on the fundamental of giving the community back with every opportunity that comes its way. Currently, over thousands of drivers are using the app to be connected to part time work, and the number keeps growing every month.

STANDARD CHARTERED KARACHI UNITED YOUTH LEAGUE LAUNCHED

Standard Chartered announced the launch of “Standard Chartered Karachi United Youth League” as part of its community service mandate to promote sports amongst children.

The objective of the “Standard Chartered Karachi United Youth League” is to provide a platform for Youth football teams from across Karachi to come together, break barriers and inculcate the spirit of competition. A total of twelve boys’ and seven girls’ teams are participating in the league which kicked off at Karachi United Stadium on 23rd September 2017. The final is scheduled to be held in mid December 2017.

The Boys league comprises of competition in three age groups (Under 12, Under 14 and Under 16 respectively). The format is that of a group system from which the top teams qualify for the quarter-finals. The competition also includes a Girls tournament to be played on a single league basis in a 7 aside format with the top two teams competing in the final.

The competition will see a total of 700 boys and girls from across Karachi participate in matches. In order to increase the standard of the league, official referees and match commissioners have been appointed for every match and awards for best player, top scorer, fair play and match officials will be given. A total of 121 matches will be played in eight different locations including Old Golimar, Clifton, Malir, Baldia, Lyari, Korangi and Mauripur. Mauripur promises to attract football fans from all over Karachi.

Commenting on the sponsorship, Ms. Khadija Hashimi, Head of Corporate Affairs and Brand & Marketing said, “Standard Chartered is proud to partner with Karachi United for the Youth League. A unique league bringing communities together, we hope that the League enables healthy competition whilst being a unifying force that brings positivity and social benefits , making a positive difference to the long term development of our community. Standard Chartered has a long association with football and are proud to have brought another community initiative, Goal, which enables financial education through sport for adolescent girls, to Pakistan.

“Imran Ali, CEO, Karachi United said: “We welcome and thank Standard Chartered’s partnership to promote sport and much needed competition for our Youth. We are particularly pleased with the scope of including a girls and multiple age groups for boys which means we are touching many more lives and families. In addition to football, we feel such forums are true enablers in helping bring about positive social change by driving values such as discipline, respect, team work and overall community development.”

DECISIVE MOMENT FOR PAKISTAN’S BUSINESSES TO ADOPT BIG DATA AND INTERNET OF THINGS

This is the decisive moment for Pakistan’s organizations to adopt Big Data and Internet of Things solutions to drive business and economic competitiveness, one of the world’s leading digital transformation enablers, SAP, announced at GITEX Technology Week in Dubai.

GITEX is one of the world’s largest technology events, with over 100,000 visitors and 4,000 exhibitors – including Pakistan’s leading business executives, technology futurists, and startup entrepreneurs.

The biggest topic of discussion here is the urgency facing global organizations in embracing digital transformation. Every industry vertical is looking to embrace emerging technological innovations such as artificial intelligence, blockchain, machine learning, and the Internet of Things.

Digital leaders expect 23 percent more growth by 2019, and already have 85 percent of market share and 80 percent of profitability versus competitors. However, while 84 percent of organizations say that digital transformation is critical, only 3 percent have completed digital transformation, according to the new SAP and Oxford Economics Digital Transformation Executive Study.

“Pakistan’s digital leaders already have a head start in the constantly-evolving Digital Economy. This is the decisive moment for all of Pakistan’s organizations to undergo digital transformation, and harness the power of Big Data and analytics, Internet of Things, and digital skills. Pakistan’s CIOs need to treat digital transformation as an all-encompassing and knowledge-sharing business imperative to disrupt the competitive landscape, said Gergi Abboud, Managing Director, Gulf, North Africa, Pakistan, and Levant at the digital transformation enabler SAP.

Across the wider Middle East and North Africa, more than three-quarters of digital-leading organizations will invest in Big Data and Internet of Things in 2018. The Internet of Things has the highest current investment, at 76 percent, though it will be supplanted by Big Data and analytics in 2018, with 82 percent, according to the survey. The majority (58 percent) of digital leaders add that digital skills investment is the most important profit growth driver in 2018.

Internet of Things and Smart Cities Transform Daily Lives: Pakistan’s digital-leading organizations have gotten off to a head start by investing in innovative products and services – especially the “Big 3” of Big Data and analytics, cloud, and Internet of Things.

“At GITEX, SAP is enabling Pakistan’s organizations to adopt emerging Internet of Things innovations to transform daily lives and key sectors such as mega-events, aviation, real estate, and hospitality. Collaboration between the public and private sector will exchange best practices and enable Pakistan’s to embrace innovations to drive business competitiveness and support economic growth,” said Saquib Ahmad, Country Manager, SAP Pakistan.

Visitors from Pakistan are experiencing the future of Internet of Things technology:

In mega-events, the SAP “Smart Hajj” concept can significantly enhance the journey experience for millions of pilgrims. Organizers can use real-time analytics based on monitoring bracelets, bus GPS locations, and video and environmental data to ensure pilgrims have a seamless end-to-end experience, from the airport to the Holy Sites. The technology can enable organizers to optimize transport, immigration and digital payment processes, while simultaneously promoting crowd safety.

In Smart Cities, governments can harness the power of spatial innovations — satellites in the sky and sensors on the ground — to better manage urban life. Industry experts agree that “running live” is vital.

“Live Airport” solutions can help plan trips, enhance security, personalize shopping. “Live Real Estate”, powered by blockchain, can enhance the tenancy process from the building survey, through contract leasing and building management. “Live Hospitality” solutions can deliver a seamless end-to-end visitor experience, including targeted marketing, virtual tours, and business dashboards.

OGDCL, PSO TO SUPPLY HSD OF 25 TO 30 MILLION LITERS ANNUALLY

Oil & Gas Development Company Limited (OGDCL) being the largest Exploration & Production Company of Pakistan in public sector has inked an agreement with Pakistan State Oil (PSO) for Supply of 25 to 30 million liters annually High Speed Diesel (HSD) to meet its operational requirements at Fields, Plants and Drilling Rigs.

Speaking on the occasion, OGDCL’s Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer Mr. Zahid Mir said, OGDCL is looking for sustainable and viable agreements with National & International partners to make OGDCL a truly E&P. This agreement will help OGDCL in uninterrupted operations at Field locations across the country and will effectively contribute to enhance the indigenous hydrocarbon production to reduce the import bill on account of crude oil.

Managing Director/CEO Sheikh Imran-ul-Haque said PSO takes immense pride in signing this agreement with an icon organization of Pakistan. Our joining hands is bringing in synergies in our shared national agenda with MoE to help accelerate the economic well-being of Pakistan. PSO has a longstanding history of ensuring corporations, such as Pakistan Railways, PIA, SECMC, Port Qasim and now OGDCL, with an uninterrupted supply of quality petroleum products. Signing this agreement is indeed a further testament of our unwavering commitment to serve our valued customers 24x7x365 as they being their journey and to keep the wheels of industry moving every day, and also in those situations when our competition struggles to meet national fuel demand as was ably demonstrated by PSO last month.

PMEX LISTS 4 NEW FUTURES CONTRACTS OF HIGHER DENOMINATIONS

Responding to the ever increasing demand of market participants, Pakistan Mercantile Exchange Limited (PMEX), the country’s only multi-commodity futures exchange, has listed contracts of higher denomination of actively traded commodities. These commodities include Silver (5,000 Ounce), Copper (25,000 Pounds), Crude Oil (1,000 Barrels) and Brent Crude Oil (1,000 Barrels). With the introduction of these contracts, PMEX now offers 13 international commodities in 20 denominations. Introduction of these contracts will facilitate the high net worth clients both individuals and corporates to participate in the market more actively. These contracts were made available for trading from Wednesday, October 4, 2017.

These futures contracts are of internationally traded denominations which are actively traded at global exchanges. The price quotation of these contracts is in USD but margins are received in PKR. Previously, PMEX offered trading in Silver (10, 100 and 500 Ounces), Copper (1,000 Pounds) and WTI Crude Oil & Brent Crude Oil (10 and 100 Barrels).

Speaking at the launch, Mr. Ejaz Ali Shah, Managing Director, PMEX said, “It is the endeavour of the Exchange to offer futures contracts of different commodities in multiple denominations for trading that not only adds depth to the market for the existing investors, but also attracts larger investors seeking trading, investing and hedging opportunities to diversify their portfolio.”

K-ELECTRIC BAGS TWO AWARDS AT PAKISTAN DIGI AWARDS 2017

K-Electric was announced the winner of ’Best Use of Creativity/Innovation/Out of the Box’ and ’Best Digital Marketing Communication (Social Media)’ at Pakistan Digi Awards 2017 held at PAF Museum Karachi.

The awards are testimony to KE’s newly implemented cutting edge customer relationship management software which enables the power utility to maximize convenience for customers through its social media platforms. The victory also endorses the quality and engagement levels KE’s social media platforms provide in terms of customer convenience and effectiveness.

According to KE spokesperson, “We have always been at the forefront in implementing customer-centric technologies and solutions. Deployment of state-of-the-art social media tools and strategies enable us to continuously optimize customer experience in the digital arena.”

To capitalize on the power of online media, KE established its presence on social media five years ago. The KE Social Care model is backed by a dedicated in-house team that works round the clock to manage online queries and ensure immediate response. The digital platforms are also functional during public holidays. KE has successfully managed to maintain a very high response rate since its inception and has been tagged as ’very responsive’ by Facebook. In 2015, KE became the first ever utility in Pakistan to integrate its digital platforms with SAP thereby enriching company’s already wide range of customer care touch points.

KE is also one of the first utility companies to implement SAP IS-U – a state of the art customer relation and billing management system. Earlier this year, K-Electric became the first Pakistani company to win the ’Best Use of Technology’ Award in the ’Best Customer Innovation’ category at the Genesys G-Summit Middle East 2017 held in Dubai.

JS BANK COLLABORATES WITH ABACUS CONSULTING TO ACCELERATE ITS DIGITAL PLATFORM

JS Bank Limited & Abacus Consulting signed an agreement for the implementation of Apigee, Google Cloud’s API Management Platform. The initiative aims to create a JS Bank led ecosystem where partners, customers, fintech players, and employees can leverage this digital investment and participate in building an API economy. The implementation would accelerate JS Bank’s strategic plans of becoming the leading digital bank by providing its customers an enhanced banking experience.

Speaking on the occasion, Khurram Shaikh Chief Digital Officer, JS Bank, said “We are heavily focused on becoming a truly Digital Bank in Pakistan. This initiative will certainly accelerate our Fintech Collaboration Strategy and enable us to engage for the first time with the financial developer community. Apigee is a proven cutting-edge platform, which will enable us to offer banking APIs in a very agile environment to keep up with the pace of fintech development globally and especially in Pakistan.”

Abbas Ali Khan, Managing Director Abacus Consulting stated: “We are delighted to have been selected by JS Bank as partners in their digital journey. Building on our extensive work with Google Cloud over the past two years, we are confident that a strong API Management strategy will help bring JS Bank into the forefront of digital banking in Pakistan.”

Sharing his thoughts, Denis Dorval Head of Apigee, Google Cloud EMEA “These are exciting times for the banking industry and we see great emphasis on digital banking in this region whilst disruptive challengers emerge from the Fintech space. We believe API Management can be leveraged to bring opportunities and growth for all players, new and old.”

JS Bank is considered amongst the fastest growing banks within Pakistan’s banking landscape with 323 branches in 161 cities and 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 http://www.jsbl.com

ACCA AND PCI ISSUE VOINT REPORT ON THE ECONOMIC BENEFITS OF THE MODERN SILK ROAD

For the last almost 3 years the business community and finance professionals have been talking about the economic benefits of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor, for Pakistanis CPEC has become as familiar an acronym as NOC, CNIC and JIT. We all know about the various projects that make up CPEC like Gwadar port, extension and modification of the Karakoram highway, new motorways, railways including may be even bullet trains, enterprise zones and off course energy plants, but has the business community started thinking about the impact of CPEC on their strategies? What will be the long term benefits? How can businesses prepare for new opportunities and challenges? Where do they need to invest or allocate resource to capitalise on the future? What are the risks and how to navigate around them? What are the possible scenarios north or south or the good the bad and the ugly? Clearly a lot of deep dive thinking still needs to happen” says Arif Masud Mirza, Regional Head of Policy for ACCA.

The report was a joint initiative with the country’s leading think tank, the Pakistan-China Institute (PCI). According to PCI Executive Director, Mustafa Hyder Sayed “this report indicates that investment in people, for example, learning Mandarin, understanding Chinese business culture and increased networking i.e. the people to people contact which is one of the pillars of CPEC, must be embedded in the long-term mission of the private and public sectors. Pakistan’s manpower; professional, skilled, semi-skilled and unskilled must match or be better than their Chinese counterparts if our nation is to ensure that CPEC’s long term benefits don’t start heading South.”

Sajjeed Aslam, Head of ACCA Pakistan said “We could see and hear the chatter on CPEC in professional networks very early on; a lot was hearsay which in itself can be a risk for businesses, the numbers being talked about where historic by Pakistani standards USD46bn multiplying to USD62bn later. The report from ACCA Pakistan, The Economic Benefits of the Modern Silk Road – CPEC contains the result of a survey amongst 500 finance professionals and business stakeholders as well the outcomes from 5 SWOT workshops in Baluchistan, KPK, Punjab, Sindh and Islamabad. The SWOTs revealed a common trend such as knowledge gaps, opportunities included regional trade and commerce, new cities and job creation; strengths included leveraging on the country’s educational institutes, scaling up agriculture and tourism, lastly, the threats revolve around environmental, social and governance challenges.”

The report writer Malik Mirza, FCCA, spent several months researching and interviewing diverse stakeholders across the country said “the SWOTs are a great way to get people to think strategically and ensure that we don’t just look at the blue sky only. ACCA 100 drivers for change provided a good pivot point for professionals to look at what skills will be needed to prepare for the future and these are explored in the report. Almost 70% agreed and strongly agreed that new skills will be needed in the future and 74.4% said they agreed and strongly agreed that there is a marked difference in business styles between the Chinese and Pakistani. Surprisingly over 80% agreed or strongly agreed that investing in Chinese language was desirable but on the ground we are not witnessing this investment.”

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