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PTCL & Convo Announce First Ever Pakistan-based Cloud Enterprise Social Collaboration Platform

Pakistan Telecommunications Company Limited (PTCL), has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Convo Corporation, a leader in Enterprise Social Collaboration Platforms based out of Silicon Valley.

This partnership aims to bring the next-generation employee collaboration and communication solution to Pakistan, which is designed for enterprises especially those who have a vast frontline workforce. As per a recent study, such collaboration tools can boost the productivity of employees by 25%.

On the occasion, Osman Rashid, CEO, Convo, said, “PTCL can now offer a localized software and infrastructure collaboration to enterprises in Pakistan that have mission critical requirements. For instance, in the case of the banking sector, due to recent regulations set by State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) that requires banks to host all their data and subsequent related products, in a cloud infrastructure that is based within the country. PTCL can thus provide this next-generation enterprise wide collaboration platform to all the banks in line with SBP regulations.”

This collaboration offers a first-of-its-kind Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) based Enterprise Social Collaboration Platform that is entirely hosted in Pakistan. Enterprises in Pakistan will now have both options, whereby they can either have the solution hosted in a Pakistan-based cloud or on the premises.

On the occasion, Saad Muzaffar Warraich, Chief Technology & Information Officer, PTCL, said, “We, at PTCL, see great value of platforms like Convo in the future, whereby our huge workforce around the country will be able to connect via their smartphones anywhere, anytime. This has the potential to bring increased operational efficiencies, greater visibility, control and a reduced response time from our field operations.”

Convo provides rich collaboration capabilities, simplified and optimized workforce interactions that can really benefit companies with many non-desk employees, who rely on mobile communications, geographically distributed business, networks that need centralized synchronization and companies that require coordination to achieve standardization.

Globally governments are setting regulations to protect consumer and citizen data. Banks, telecommunication companies, healthcare companies, public bodies and consumer enterprises now prefer to host their consumer data inside their country of operations. PTCL and Convo partnership allows to fulfill such regulations and secure citizens’ data within Pakistan.

PTCL & NDCTECH Collaborate for Banking Cloud Setup within Pakistan

Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited (PTCL), signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with NDCTECH; an award winning partner of Temenos, worldís#1 Banking Software, to create an in-country banking cloud platform by offering value added services for Temenos Software over PTCL cloud.

The partnership agreement was signed in Karachi by Adil Rashid, Chief Business Services Officer, PTCL and Ammara Masood, CEO & President, NDCTECH.

On the occasion, Farooq Ahmed Jalali, Executive Vice President Digital Services Sales – PTCL, Nabeel Amjad, General Manager Business Applications – PTCL, Behram Ahmed, Chairman – NDCTECH, Navaid Kareem, EVP Sales – NDCTECH and Jean-Paul Mergeai, Regional Managing Director- Temenos Middle East and Africa were also present

Following this understanding, NDCTECH and PTCL shall jointly host Temenos Software for clients wanting to use Test & Development value added services on PTCL Cloud. The companies will also embark on a joint advocating effort for the creation of a local banking cloud setup in the country for Production and DR in the future.

On the occasion, Adil Rashid, Chief Business Services Officer, PTCL, said, “Owing to the recent data leakages in the financial sector, the need for an in-country cloud based hosting solution for Financial sector has increased many folds. With this agreement, PTCL & NDCTECH shall jointly help to create a safer and more secure data storage & processing environment for financial data within the country.

This initiative shall serve to reduce costs for the fin-techs; as well as create a safe and secure cloud based hosting solution for the Pakistani financial industry, previously restricted to keeptransactional data on-premises only.

Temenos core banking platform has been the best-selling solution in the global market for 15 years, used by more than 700 financial institutions. Over 3,000 firms across the globe, including 41 of the top 50 banks, rely on Temenos to process the daily transactions of more than 500 million banking customers.

Ammara Masood, CEO and President, NDCTECH, said, “Our expertise across retail banking, corporate & Investment banking, regulatory risk and compliance, mobile banking, channels, payments, lending and mortgages address transformational changes for our customers. PTCL and NDCTECH collaboration and our solution on Pakistan based cloud offering will enable our customers to build a bankable future.”

Cloud is vital for the public and private sectors to transform customer experience, drive business innovation and raise productivity to the next level.

The Bank of Khyber signs PTCL for Managed Services contract

The Bank of Khyber signs Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited (PTCL) for managed services contract for a period offiveyears. Under this agreement, PTCL willmanageand maintain active & passive network operations on behalf of the bank at more than 170 branches countrywide, as well assupport the bank in meeting the current and future customer demands. PTCL will also bemanagingthe bank’s overall point to point & point to multipoint connectivity, along with dual media connectivity.

The partnership agreement was signed by Adil Rashid, Chief Business Services Officer, PTCL and Azfar Ali, Chief Information Technology Officer, Bank of Khyber. On the occasion, Dr. Daniel Ritz, President & CEO, PTCL, Basharat Qureshi, EVP, Digital Services, PTCL, Suleman Awan, General Manager, Digital Services North, PTCL, Shehbaz Jameel, CEO&MD, Bank of Khyber, and Gulzeb Jadoon, Head of Information Technology Infrastructure, Bank of Khyber, were also present along with officials from respective companies.

On the occasion, Shehbaz Jameel, CEO&MD, The Bank of Khyber, said, “This agreement meets the strategic long-term plans of the bank in increasing operational efficiency. To optimize our costs for betternetwork management we have entrusted PTCL for their support to maintain our network. This will allow us to maximize our focus on business development, improve the quality of our services and provide value added quality services to our customers.”

On the occasion, Dr. Daniel Ritz, President & CEO, PTCL, said, “Managed services has become a standard practice globally for operators and banks. I am happy that PTCL will manage the network operations of the bank, which will help to reduce the operational expenditure, enabling them to focus more on providing innovative solutions to their customers.”

With more than 15,000 service professionals working across Pakistan, PTCL is the leader in managed services and has the scale required to meet the needs of top businesses countrywide.

NIC graduates its second cohort in Islamabad

The National Incubation Center – a public-private partnership of Ministry of Information Technology and Telecom (MOITT), Ignite (formerly National ICT R & D Fund), Jazz and Teamup – graduated its second cohort of 15 innovative tech entrepreneurs in Islamabad.

After 12 months of challenging sessions at the technology hub, founders of these startups are ready to showcase their award winning businesses with an aim to make a difference. Only 26 out of the 600+ startups were inducted into the program to undergo an intense training program and one-to one mentorship sessions with industry experts and thought leaders.

Six out of the 15 graduating startups – Mauqa Online, Easy Insurance, Fabricare, Integry, Content Studio and Rasai – received High Achiever Awards at the ceremony. Awards to these startups were distributed based on the significant number of investment and revenues raised during their time at the NIC.

The occasion was graced by Special Assistant to the PM on Overseas Pakistanis Zulfikar Bukhari, who were given a tour of the NIC facility, which was then followed by keynote presentations by Jazz’s CEO Aamir Ibrahim, Head of Regulatory Affairs and Public Policy Salman Malik, Head of Digital Channels and Partnerships Mian Talha Nasruddin; Muddassar Hussain Member Telecom Ministry of IT and Telecom; Co-Founder & Partner of Teamup Zouhair Khaliq and Project Director of NIC Parvez Abbasi and an awards distribution ceremony.

“Being the leading digital company, we aspire to empower societies by developing a robust startup eco-system and bridging the digital divide through our extensive data network and innovative solutions, said Aamir Ibrahim, while addressing the graduating startups in his speech. “Jazz xlr8 and the NIC are laying the foundation for a sustainable technology ecosystem. By working closely with these startups, we aim to radically innovate diverse fields by leveraging the power of digital technologies.”

Zouhair Khaliq remarked, “We are very proud of our startups, who, we have seen grow exponentially over this time. They have shown the willingness to take risks, have pivoted and signed off their first clients – their progress at the NIC proves that this program is much needed.”

“What these wonderfully talented young people are doing is creating the future of Pakistan. We wish them good fortune and continued success as they now step out in to the world. Know that we will always be behind you and supporting you as you make the future!” he added.

Lauding their entrepreneurial efforts, Parvez Abbasi commented, “It’s exciting to see how these startups have progressed over time with all the efforts pulled in by our team of mentors & partners,” He added. “Working with these startups not only sets a challenge for us but it is also important to understand the lessons that we have learned in this journey altogether and that’s the measure of our success.”

While complimenting Jazz and Teamup efforts in scaling their businesses, Co – Founder, Easy Insurance, Maliha Javed Khan commented, “Our experience with the NIC team has helped us improve our business, draw a clear roadmap and define a strong vision.” She added, “We were connected with industry experts and received massive support from giants like Jazz and are thankful to them for helping us out.”

The startups at NIC have been able to raise over USD 2 million in funding showcasing how the NIC is already on its way to promoting a successful entrepreneurial eco system by partnering with giants in the corporate sector – both locally and internationally.

PMEX Lists New Cash Settled Futures Contracts

Pakistan Mercantile Exchange (PMEX), the country’s only commodity futures exchange, listed cash settled futures contracts of corn, wheat, soybean, palladium and Japan equity index $1 & $5 and made them available for trading from November 20, 2018.

These six futures contracts are based on universally traded benchmarks and the trading and operational mechanism is similar to the already listed contracts of international commodities at the Exchange. With the introduction of these contracts, PMEX brokers will be able to cater to the needs of a wider market segment. Moreover, the market participants will not only get a diversified range of commodities to broaden their investment portfolio but also enjoy the added advantage to trade and hedge the risk of price volatility in an efficient and convenient manner

At present, the Exchange offers 22 commodities with 110 contracts of different denominations which can be clubbed into six main asset classes: metal, agriculture, energy, Indices, Currencies and financial futures.

Commenting on the listing of new futures contracts, Ejaz Ali Shah, Managing Director, PMEX said, “We are delighted to add six new futures contracts in our portfolio. We relentlessly strives to broaden our product range by launching a rich mix of products to further enhance our product portfolio. In recent months, we have witness a significant surge in the trading volume that signifies the growing interest of market participants in using our diversified product suite to invest, trade and hedge at a regulated platform”.

National Highway Authority Public Relations Directorate

Advisor to the Prime Minister on Institutional Reforms and Austerity Dr. Ishrat Hussain has said, National Highway Authority may be transformed into a role model department through reforms in services infrastructure. Termination of traditional pay scales, promotion rules, seniority list and ACRs are important parts of such reforms. Present government is committed to bring about good governance and better delivery system in public sector organization. He was addressing officers and workers of National Highway Authority on institutional reforms, re-organization of the Federal government for better public service delivery and economic growth, at NHA headquarters here today. Secretary Communications Mr. Shoaib Ahmad Siddiqui and Chairman NHA Mr. Jawwad Rafique Malik briefed about existing service structure, performance level and challenges. NHA’s Member Planning Mr. Asim Amin, General Manager RAMD Mr. Ikramus Saqlian Haider and others presented individual experiences and observations with regard to service rules and injustices being faced by the NHA employees Dr. Ishrat Hussain said, Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan is strong willed on introducing reforms based on termination of corruption and delivery of justice that will help highlight soft image of Pakistan. He said, government is promoting dialogue culture among stakeholders for better service reforms, by reviewing bureautic channel and performance of public sector organizations.

NBP holds green pakistan meeting at Governor house Peshawar

NBP 2nd Committee meeting for “NBP Green Pakistan Tree plantation Drive” was held at Governor house Peshawar.

The meeting was Chaired by Mr Shah Farman Governor KP In presence of Mr Shaukat Mehmood Group Head Service Quality group NBP HO Karachi, Ms Saima Rahim RH (KP), Finance Minister Taimour Jhagra, Forest Minister Ishtiaq Urmar, Agriculture Minister Mohib ullah, Secretary Agriculture Israr Ullah and other attended the meeting. In first phase NBP will plant tree preferably fruit trees at Regi Model Town, DHA, Hayatabad, Defence and Highways. Later on the drive will be extended to other areas of KP.

Governor named the Drive “Fruit for All” at provincial level.

Moreover Governor insured full cooperation at government level for Success of NBP Tree plantation Drive and advised all technical team to fully cooperate with NBP.

NBP to enhance cooperation with PRCS to extend community services across Pakistan

IA delegation of National Bank of Pakistan led by Mr. Tariq Jamali, President of NBP visited Pakistan Red Crescent Society National Headquarters here on Friday.

The NBP delegation was received by PRCS Officers and was welcomed by Chairman PRCS Dr Saeed Elahi in his office. The delegation was briefed about the PRCS ongoing humanitarian projects and initiatives in the Committee Room. PRCS Vice Chairman Mr. Naguib Ullah Malik, Treasurer & Member Managing Board Mr. Mumtaz Haider Rizvi, Member Managing Board Brigadier (R) Abdul Hadi, Acting Secretary General Mr. Khalid Bin Majeed and PRCS officers were also present at the occasion.

Speaking at the occasion Dr Saeed Elahi said that NBP has shown keen interest to support PRCS humanitarian initiatives which is highly praiseworthy. He said that he looks forward to further strengthen and enhance the cooperation between the two prestigious organizations in future.

Mr. Tariq Jamali applauded the humanitarian initiatives and activities of PRCS. He said NBP will enhance its cooperation with PRCS to extend community services across Pakistan.

Later, the NBP delegation was shown the Ambulance that was upgraded through the generous financial support of 2.5 million made by NBP. The delegation also visited different departments of PRCS including Regional Blood Donor Center and Radio Room and appreciated the humanitarian work being undertaken by PRCS.

Mr. Tariq Jamali also planted a tree at PRCS premises as symbol of solidarity and to commemorate PRCS “Go-Green Plantation Drive”.

Meezan Bank and NayaPay Join Hands to Accelerate Digital Payments in Pakistan

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between Meezan Bank Limited and NayaPay Pvt Ltd. on the 14th of November 2018. The agreement forms the basis of a strategic partnership between the two organizations to provide innovative, technology-based payments in Pakistan.

NayaPay aims to introduce a robust payment services platform to enable merchants and consumers to sign up, transact and communicate cheaply, securely and conveniently. NayaPay believes there is a significant gap between consumer expectations and financial services currently available-and the company intends to address these shortcomings with a home-grown platform with best in class components to make payments frictionless and safe while ensuring compliance to local and global regulatory frameworks and strictly adhering to anti-money laundering and countering financing of terrorism guidelines.

NayaPay is an applicant for the PSP/PSO license issued by the State Bank of Pakistan. The NayaPay platform responds to customers’ security concerns by implementing international best practices and standards, including ISO/IEC 27001:2013 and PCI-DSS 3.2. Equally importantly, the company is deploying world renowned technology solutions for KYC, AML/CFT and AI based fraud detection – all hosted within Pakistan.

Speaking at the signing ceremony, Mr. Danish Lakhani, CEO NayaPay (Pvt.) Limited, said: “We at NayaPay hold the firm conviction that Pakistan needs a robust, local payment service that provides similar user conveniences to and has as profound an impact on the transaction economy as those which PayPal, Venmo, AliPay and WeChat Pay have on their native markets. In fact, we believe that a mobile-app based, low cost and secure digital payments platform is an important pillar of any digitally inclusive society and will enable a range of new services that previously were too expensive or accessible only by a small segment of Pakistani society. In addition, the NayaPay digital payments platform will bring greater transparency to the economy. We are also building this platform from the ground up using best in class components to address global challenges associated with money laundering and financial fraud. Finally, it is our firm view that Pakistan has rich human capital required to operate, scale and develop many of the components within Pakistan and there is absolutely no reason we cannot match and — in many ways – exceed the success of PayTM in India and bKash in Bangladesh among others.”

Mr. Ariful Islam, Deputy CEO of Meezan Bank, said: “We are delighted to partner with NayaPay which is all set to introduce exciting innovations in the payments space aimed at making payments easier and faster for the customers while expanding payments ecosystem with the inclusion of new segments and use cases. We wish NayaPay all the very best.”

Khushhali Microfinance Bank Collaborates with Minerva to Empower Female Entrepreneurs

Pakistan’s leading financial inclusion institution, Khushhali Microfinance Bank, has joined hands with Minerva’s SheReturns program to organize a social media marketing training workshop for female entrepreneurs on the occasion of Women’s Entrepreneurship Day. This day is celebrated on November 19 every year to alleviate poverty by empowering and supporting women entrepreneurs.

A two day free of cost training and skill development workshop for Rawalpindi and Islamabad based female entrepreneurs was intended to make women economically powerful in the digital age. The workshop highlighted how such initiatives will play an important role in equipping women entrepreneurs with the knowledge and technology required to build and grow their businesses online.

The initiative is committed to train women entrepreneurs with the knowledge, connections, skills and technology resources to improve efficiency in their business processes using social media marketing tools.

Talking to the female entrepreneurs, President Khushhali Microfinance Bank, Mr. Ghalib Nishtar, said, “Today is a very significant day that puts female entrepreneurship into the spotlight. Social Media offers easy access and digital mechanisms to reach out to potential customers. Khushhali Microfinance Bank has always been committed to removing barriers for women entrepreneurs in Pakistan.”

“Today is also an opportunity to inspire the female entrepreneurs of the future, by showing them what is possible and why they should be thinking to join the entrepreneurial bandwagon. Pakistani businesswomen have shown that they can be the best in the world and we must continue with this frame of mind,” He further added

SheReturns is a program by Minerva developed to support women on a career break to return to work with confidence. It offers training to build skills required to succeed in modern work environment and create economic opportunities for women by providing them help to grow and succeed in professional world.

Khushhali Microfinance Bank Limited is a pioneer institution within the microfinance industry of Pakistan. Having serviced over 6 million loans to date, Khushhalibank takes pride in its legacy of providing access to finance to marginalized segments of the population. For over 18 years, Khushhalibank has enabled easy access to working capital requirements for farmers, self-employed individuals, and home-based workers, and enabled them to realize their economic potential.

K-Electric holds energy conservation seminar at KATI

K-Electric organized an energy conservation seminar at the Korangi Association of Trade & Industries (KATI) recently. The seminar was attended by more than 75 representatives from KATI members and energy efficiency solution providers and highlighted the need for energy efficiency and environment-friendly industrial operations.

On this occasion, Muhammad Danish Khan, President, KATI said, “K-Electric’s efforts for improving industrial energy efficiency is a great value addition for the industrial sector and will go a long way towards enhancing our market competitiveness. We are hopeful that the participating industrial concerns will actively pursue and adopt energy conservation and energy efficiency measures shared during the seminar.”

According to KE Spokesperson “KE is committed to powering industrial growth and also extends complete facilitation to industrial associations. Over the years, through energy audits conducted by KE, several industrial concerns have managed to substantially improve their energy efficiency and we look forward to partnering with more organizations in line with our vision to further drive efficiency and conservation in the industrial sector.”

K-Electric actively promotes best practices for energy conservation and carries out a robust public awareness campaign to help preserve the country’s precious resources. To date, more than 1.3 million consumers have benefited from these campaigns, including more than 50,000 school children. K-Electric makes a concerted effort to create awareness about conserving electricity and offers various energy efficiency advisory programs to its consumers.

JazzCash strengthens in-app marketplace

JazzCash, the country’s fastest growing fintech, has signed agreements with Bookme, Easytickets and EatMubarak to bolster in-app options for customers. These partnerships will allow users to buy tickets for bus and air trips, cinemas and events in addition to government payments, utility bills and loan repayments.

Such a collaborative ecosystem enables JazzCash to access new opportunities in adjacent industries to tap into the consumer’s every aspect of life.

“Pakistan’s payment ecosystem is in the midst of a shift toward digital, and JazzCash is accelerating this migration. We are seeing a surge in demand for online purchases as more people are feeling at ease paying for products and services via digital channels. So these strategic partnerships will be instrumental in helping us push use cases that consumers are interested in,” said Aamer Ejaz, Chief Digital Officer at Jazz.

Faizan Aslam (CEO Bookme), Syed Sair Ali (CEO Eat Mubarak) and Monis Rahman (CEO Easytickets) were present at the signing ceremony for these new partnerships.

Syed Sair Ali said, “This partnership will enable JazzCash users to order their favorite food from 1200+ restaurants in KLI from within the JazzCash App. This collaboration will allow Eat Mubarak to serve piping hot food to all Jazz Family Members”

“We at Bookme are super excited to facilitate JazzCash customers with bookme’s vision of making e-tickets accessible to everyone and everywhere. We shall be bringing a positive change in everyone’s life by empowering them with real time access to cinema and bus inventory,” said Faizan Aslam.

“EasyTickets is delighted to add JazzCash to our rapidly growing portfolio of payment platforms. Both EasyTickets and JazzCash share a common goal of giving customers delightful and purely digital experiences, while revolutionizing old painful processes as Pakistan embraces the future,” stated Monis Rahman regarding the partnership.

JazzCash is the leading provider of digital financial services in Pakistan. With a simplified Mobile App available for both iOS and Android devices, users can access their mobile wallet anytime and anywhere nationwide. Mobile wallets are payments made through a user’s mobile account – instead of paying cash. This has made JazzCash the fintech service of choice for more than 4.5 million active users in Pakistan.

Sixth International Karachi Conference

’Language should be taught but not through medium of instruction’

Speakers on the first session of the third day of the Sixth International Karachi Conference held at the JS Auditorium, IBA, city campus focused on how teachers should be improve their teaching methods.

Educationist and public policy expert Dr. Baela Raza Jamil spoke of her experience with children in Korangi where a different method of teaching was applied and was found to be very successful because a large number of these children have parents and grandparents who came from elsewhere. She had used the migratory history of Karachi to teach these children. She said this made the children understand each other better. The children in her method were made to draw the imagined homes of their past homelands. They were also asked to take photographs of their present homes and what they would want to change there. The children were also asked to draw maps of the region. The dependence on visual teaching helped the children unleash their imagination as well as creativity.

She concluded that children were not only the preservers of cultural practice but also mediators of cultural difference. She said migration should be acknowledged as a collective social experience in the lives of this generation and should form part of pedagogical methods and understanding.

Science educationist Dr. Nelofer Halai pointed out that according to a study, Karachi ranked 43rd among the districts of the country, though she admitted that there was a need to make distinctions between the six districts of Karachi as well. She said schools here showed very poor ranking in the education of science and mathematics. She also pointed out that the standard of teachers of science and maths in the city was also poor. Speaking on this problem, she said there was a need for more imaginative methods of teaching science at the primary level. She said dedicated science teachers should be appointed or assigned for the primary level.

She also made suggestions on how teachers can improve their teaching methods. They should teach by raising questions, thus igniting the curiosity of children. She also emphasized the need for mentoring method, not only in teaching science but also in teaching educational methods. She concluded that every child has the right to be taught by qualified teachers.

Journalist Zubeida Mustafa spoke on the distinction between teaching a language and medium of instructions. She said teaching English or for that matter any other language was desirable but using English as a medium of instruction so that children would become well versed in the language was a failure as it succeeded in teaching neither the language nor the subjects that were being taught in English. She favored teaching at the primary level in the mother tongues.

Well-known theater actor and theater teacher Atif Badar also presented a skit written by Mustafa on the topic of English-medium education.

A healthy discussion followed the paper presentations in which members of the audience offered opinions and asked various questions on the issue of medium of instruction. It was also highlighted during this discussion that using education for job acquiring mechanism also destroyed the purpose of education itself.

Greenstar organizes breast cancer awareness session

Greenstar Social Marketing (GSM) organized a Breast Cancer awareness session for its female employees at its head office in Karachi recently. The session was held in collaboration with Liaquat National Hospital. The session was organized in an effort to raise awareness and reduce the stigma of breast cancer through education on symptoms and treatment.

The session was conveyed under the pink ribbon theme, which is the prominent symbol of Breast Cancer Awareness to promote healthy lives and well-being for women at all ages. The session was graced by Prof. Rufina Soomro, a practicing General Surgeon, specialized in breast surgeries at Liaquat National Hospital and PECHS Trauma and General Hospital in Karachi along with the female employees of GSM. The session was used to provide a safe space for the audience, especially females to learn about causes, symptoms and prevention measures regarding the disease.

Speaking at the event, Prof. Rufina Soomro, General Surgeon, Liaquat National Hospital said, “It is pleasing to see Greenstar come forward and ensure that their female employees are healthy and safe. A seminar on sensitive health issues empowers women to take better care of themselves. The welfare and health of the community of our country is linked to the health and welfare of our female population. It was an honor being a part of this session, and providing accurate information to the participants.”

Speaking in praise of the initiative, Dr. Syed Azizur Rab, CEO of GSM said, “It is not easy for women to discuss health issues such as Breast Cancer openly. Greenstar, realizing this, hosted this session to ensure that its female employees are made aware of the different factors of this deadly disease. We are thankful to Dr. Rufina for gracing us with this session to impart knowledge on breast cancer.”

FWBL & Serene Air sign the agreement to facilitate customers

First Women bank Ltd (FWBL) has entered into an agreement with Serene Air that will enable FWBL Debit card holders to enjoy discounts on purchase of tickets through Serene Air offices across Pakistan.

Through this strategic alliance, FWBL and Serene Air will achieve mutual goal of successful penetration in the market specially to serve women and their families. The agreement was signed by Ms. Naushaba Shahzad President & CEO (Acting) FWBL and Mr. Sohail Gul Khan, CEO, Serene Air in Karachi today.

Through this partnership FWBL Debit Card’s customers; both Mastercard and Paypak; can be benefitted.

Speaking at the Signing Ceremony, Ms. Naushaba Shahzad CEO & President FWBL said. “This strategic alliance with Serene Air brings us closer to provide our customers with exceptional and high quality services and thus enhance our customer experience. This partnership will act as a stepping stone in fostering a very strong mutually beneficial business relationship between FWBL and Serene Air”, she added.

Speaking on the occasion Mr. Sohail Gul Khan – CEO, Serene Air said, “This strategic alliance with FWBL promises Serene Air to reach out to a vast audience particularly women of the country.

EFU General wins 13th consumers choice award 2018

EFU General has been awarded the 13th Consumers Choice Award 2018 in the Category of Best General Insurance Company of Pakistan. Mr. Altaf Qamruddin Gokal, Chief Financial Officer received this award.

The Consumers Association of Pakistan (CAP) organized this magnificent event at Pearl Continental Hotel, Karachi. Mr. Sardar Masood Khan, President, Azad Jammu & Kashmir and Mr. Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui, Federal Minister, IT & Telecom distributed the awards. The ceremony was graced by high profile personalities from the government, public and private sectors.

These awards are especially gratifying as the winners are selected from a wide cross-section of Pakistani consumers through different surveys conducted by the Consumers Association of Pakistan (CAP).

EFU General has received this award in recognition of its outstanding performance in the field of non-life insurance Industry of Pakistan. EFU offers a variety of products that caters to the needs of its clients and protecting their diversified interests. EFU brand has become synonymous to progressiveness and promptness in settlement of claims. EFU’s greatest achievement continues to be consumers’ trust for more than 80 years.

Second edition of the future Summit

Wasim Akram and Veqar ul Islam talk on Management lessons from Cricket

The Cricket Legend Wasim Akram and CEO- JBS, Veqar ul Islam had an exclusive session on ’Management Lessons from Cricket’ at the 2nd edition of The Future Summit. The session was a one-on-one conversation between Wasim Akram and Veqar ul Islam which shed light on the similarities between corporate world and the world of sports.

Wasim Akram while expressing his views on struggles of life and career stated, “I was 29 when I got diagnosed with Diabetes. I was at the top of my career at that time and had to struggle more mentally than physically in order to accept it. But it was my passion for the game which made me go on and not give up. I was so passionate about it that I knew I had to make it work and that’s why I was able to play for eight and a half years after that.”

Veqar ul Islam seconded Wasim while summing up the conversation by advising aspiring professionals to plan their career well. “It’s a long career spanning around thirty-five years. You can’t run it like a Twenty20 match, you have to prepare it like a test match. We must love what we do and we must learn to evolve with time. Learning, unlearning and learning again is the essence of life. That’s what people need to do in order to continue ahead and keep up the pace with the changing world.”

The 2nd edition of The Future Summit was a two-day event in Karachi, opening its doors to more than 200 guests. The event was attended by corporate leaders and their teams, where dialogue took place on emerging issues by Federal Ministers, and sessions were carried out on diverse topics such as moving with the digital world, future of D&I, leadership, innovating for future and keeping up with change, along with a lot more insightful discussions.

‘New international markets should be searched to increase exports of fans and other industrial products from Gujarat’

Chairman of the Businessmen Panel of FPCCI and Former Provincial Minister, Mian Anjum Nisar, Senior Vice Chairman and Former Provincial Minister, Mian Zahid Hussain, Secretary General Senator Haji Ghulam Ali, Presidential Candidate Allauddin Marri, Chairman Sindh Zakaria Usman, Chairman Punjab Khawaja Shahzeb Akram, Chairman Balochistan Naveed Jan Baloch, Chairman KPK Adnan Jaleel, Shoukat Ahmed and Saquib Fayyaz Magoon while talking to business community of Gujrat on Friday said that is famous for production and export of diversified products including fans, motorcycles, washing machines, air conditions, furniture and ceramics. Currently Pakistan exports to comparatively cheaper markets of Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Central Asian and African countries. Despite getting access to international market in 1990, Pakistan has share of mere 1 percent in the global market of fans. To get access to expensive markets like US and EU, we need to diversify our products range in accordance to international standards and demand as well as technological advancement need to be inducted. China has major share with respect to latest and modern fans in the global market. Pakistan’s exports have been increased by 17 percent in FY 2017 as compared to FY 2016 but it can be further improved given to huge potential in this sector.

BMP leaders said that Gujrat is famous for Basmati Rice in the European markets. Great potential of trade, industry, real estate and agriculture lie in this city which can benefit local and foreign investors. Haji Arfan Yousuf, the VP of FPCCI from Gujrat is capable person but UBG did not let him work neither gave him power to do so.

Leaders of the Businessmen Panel said that there are more than 11 hundred industrial units in Gujrat including the largest shoe making service industries. Huge potential for small and medium investors lies in dairy products, lives stock and sheep farming in the city. The outskirts of the city are comprised of various farms and orchards given to fertile land and plenty of water. Fruit processing units should be established and the handicrafts including woollen shawls, sweaters and other products should be introduced globally to promote small traders and earn significant foreign exchange.

BMP leadership that our presidential candidate who is former chief minister Balochistan and famous for dedication, ability and development works he has carried out during his tenure, will not only provide practical suggestions for resolutions of economic challenges but will also use important chambers effectively for development of exports and international trade of Pakistan. The UBG did nothing in its four years ruling tenure except false promises with no contribution towards development of trade and industry of the Country.

Current FPCCI’s leadership has never presented workable plans to nation for economic growth: Mian Anjum Nisar, Mian Zahid Hussain, Senator Haji Ghulam Ali

Chairman of the Businessmen Panel of FPCCI and Former Provincial Minister, Mian Anjum Nisar, Senior Vice Chairman and Former Provincial Minister, Mian Zahid Hussain, Secretary General Senator Haji Ghulam Ali, Chairman Sindh Zakaria Usman, Chairman Punjab Khawaja Shahzeb Akram, Chairman Balochistan Naveed Jan Baloch, Chairman KPK Adnan Jaleel, Shoukat Ahmed and Saquib Fayyaz Magoon while talking to leaders of different chambers and association on Monday said that even after passing three months of new government in power the situation of economic confusion could not be controlled. Foreign reserves are left with only $ 13 billion while trade deficit reached to $ 12 billion. The current account has reached to $ 5 billion in the first four months of current fiscal year. Exports have inclined by 3 percent however imports cannot be controlled due to ongoing CPEC projects. LSM growth has been declined by 1 percent during the period.

BMP leaders said that consumer price index has already risen to 6 percent which is troubling business community and masses equally. IMF has suggested increasing FBR collection target by Rs. 70 to Rs. 100 billion in the backdrop of next bailout program for the Country, which will significantly increase the cost of doing business and inflation.

The current FPCCI’s leadership has not used the vital forum of the leading trade and industry chamber for resolution of any problem and pertaining to the business community except giving mere statements and fake promises as usual. The government should provide investment friendly environment in addition to incentives to the investors to improve foreign investment in the Country.

The BMP has always raised its voice for the resolution of challenges faced by the business community and focused to take concrete measures for the same after securing victory in the FPCCI election 2019. Industrialists and traders play vital role in the economic growth of the Country and should be including in Government’s decision pertaining to the Country’s economy for fruitful results. Government should be benefitted from the experiences and practical exposure of the business community and to develop the export sector, suggestions and recommendations of the business community should be implemented.

BMP leadership urged government for early payment of Rs. 300 billion refunds of exporters and reforms in the tax system. It is important that the impacts of Prime Minister’s foreign visits should be extended to the nation in term of increased foreign investment; however it will take few more months. BMP is aimed to take concrete measures for increasing FPCCI’s role in the economic growth and to make it the most active chamber across globe for which the business community will needs to perform accountability of ineligible UBG leadership.

‘Making Sense of Sufism’ a Study Circle initiative by ACCW IBA

Ardeshir Cowasjee Centre for Writing (ACCW), IBA main campus conducted a study circle session on Sufism. The lead discussant was Professor of History SSLA, Dr. Ali Gibran Siddiqui.

The event began with Coordinator ACCW Ms. Maria Hasan giving a brief introduction about the study circle. Dr. Gibran commenced the discussion by asking the participants about what they think Sufism is. When various definitions were given by students it was understood that over the course of human history, much thought has been spared to the study of Sufism and Mysticism. In literature, various definitions of what Sufism implies exist and there is much contention to be found within this field of study regarding the accuracy of each of these definitions.

During his discussion Dr. Gibran referred to the work of Nile Green, titled “From Mysticism to Tradition: Conceptualizing Sufism”. He talked about what mysticism was and how it was part of Sufism. Visiting faculty Dr. Aliya Naqvi was also an active part of the discussion and narrated the story of Joan of Arc, which she believes is the closest example to mysticism.

The discussion progressed towards the different contexts of Sufism and how it changed overtime. Having a history of several hundred years all over the world, Dr. Gibran and the students went back and forth discussing what it truly means to be a Sufi. Some believed it is a destination, while others believed you become a Sufi when you aspire to have a union with God.

Towards the end of the discussion the circle talked about Sufism and Islam in the post 9/11 context and how Sufism is being presented as a different kind of Islam that is more tolerant, apolitical, and separate from orthodox Islam.

At the end of the discussion Dr. Gibran and Dr. Naqvi actively engaged with the students and answered all their pertinent questions.

ACCA discusses the importance of ’Ethics for Economic Prosperity’

ACCA held an event at the governor house Lahore to discuss the importance of ethics and its impact on economic prosperity. The congregation in Lahore was the third in a series of events to commemorate the Global Ethics Day. Previously events had been held in Islamabad and Karachi.

The event was held to explore how businesses as well as public sector organisations in the country are preparing for an ethical future in the face of threats and challenges presented by globalisation and technology. Thought leaders, academicians, prominent media personalities, representatives from regulatory bodies and experts from the banking and audit sector were in attendance to share their thoughts on ethics and professionalism.

The attendees discussed the role of ethics in business and business leaders spoke about what ethics means to them. The guest of honour speech was delivered by Makhdoom Hashim Jawan Bakht, Minister Finance – Punjab said, “The importance of business ethics reaches far beyond the company performance. As with all business initiatives, the ethical operation of a company is directly related to the impact it has on the society and the economic prosperity at large.”

The chief guest speech was delivered by Chaudhry Muhammad Sarwar, Governor Punjab, who highlighted, “Ethical or unethical behaviours have a direct impact on a business and a nation’s reputation which influences domestic and foreign investors’ decisions and more importantly have a bearing eventually on GDP growth and economic prosperity of individuals and countries. Once ethical and professional behaviours become part of recognised eco-system in a country; the phenomenon triggers a reliance from rest of the world on the skill set and thus bring with it economic prosperity.”

The keynote speeches were given by Jugnu Mohsin, MPA, Punjab, Dr. Saeed Ilahi, Chairman, Pakistan Red Crescent, Almas Hyder, President, The Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry and Sajjeed Aslam, Head of ACCA Pakistan.

Sajjeed Aslam – Head of ACCA Pakistan, shared with the audience ACCA’s initiatives on Global Ethics Day and the discussions taking place globally and said, “Ethical behaviour is an integral part of all-round professional excellence for a changing world. It’s the finance professionals of today and of the future that will help business to rebuild trust. We can all work to instil the right mind-set and culture to drive business forward, ethically and sustainably.”

Jungu Mohsin, MPA Punjab and a progressive journalist spoke about the need for moral reflection on fundamental issues in personal and public life. She emphasized that ethics can be about the way we each live our own life, but mostly it is about the ways we interact with one another.

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