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UIT holds Pakistan developers conference 2019

Usman Institute of Technology (UIT) affiliated with NED University of Engineering & Technology, recently held the ‘Pakistan Developers Conference 2019’ at UIT, Karachi. The conference featured keynotes, tech talks and panel discussions on a wide range of topics encompassing disruptive technologies, digital transformation and industry 4.0 challenges within Pakistan’s local tech ecosystem.

The exhibition was attended by Javed Edhi, Group Head & CIO, Silkbank Limited, Iqbal Yoursuf Sheikh, CEO, Country Head, Aptech Education, M Kamran, Founder, DevnCode, Kanwal Masroor, Founder, TECH Pakistan Disrupt, Kh. Tanveer Saleem, CIO, Shan Foods, Khushnood Aftab, CEO, Viper Technolgies and Muhammad Hussain, CEO, Boundless Technologies along with other honored delegates, attendees, guests, faculty and students were part of the well-attended conference.

The conference was hosted by Raheel Akhter (Anchor BOL TV) and the welcome address was given by Dr. Zahir Ali Syed (Director, UIT) followed by an illuminating keynote address by Mr. Khushnood Aftab (CEO, Viper Technologies).

The conference’s agenda comprises technology and developers designed to showcase concepts and ideas on the future of cutting-edge technology. The conference featured a line-up of speaker sessions, panel discussions, workshops and a plethora of networking opportunities for young entrepreneurs to interact with mentors, potential investors and discuss new avenues of business and the ways forward for scalability and nationwide economic growth.

Director Zahir Ali Syed said: “The Pakistan Developers Conference 2019 was conceived of as a platform that understands the Pakistani market and has the capacity to revolutionize the eco-system to support Pakistani entrepreneurs. UIT supports this vision, professionals from diverse backgrounds and with decades of experience have come together under the Pakistan Developers Conference 2019 to share their knowledge and help map out a path to a better tomorrow.”

UBL announces winners of the 8th UBL literary awards

The 8th UBL Literary Awards were held in Karachi recently. Celebrating the literary efforts of Pakistani writers, UBL held these awards for the eighth year running. The awards were held at a local hotel and the event was attended by a host of writers, literary & media personalities, socialites and celebrities.

Over 130 entries were received as nominations for the seven categories of the awards. The books, which were written by Pakistani authors and published in Pakistan in 2017 & 2018, were shortlisted by an esteemed panel of judges which included the likes of Dr. Asghar Nadeem Syed, Dr. Asif Farrukhi, Mr. Ghazi Salahuddin, Dr. Arfa Syeda, Ms. Kishwar Naheed, Dr. Anwaar Ahmad and Mr. Masood Ashar.

The winners from each category are:

Urdu Fiction: Jindar by Akhtar Raza Salimi

Urdu Non-Fiction: Us Ko Ik Shakhs Samajhna Tou Munasib Nahin by Dr. Nasir Abbas Nayyar

Urdu Poetry: Tum Kabeer by Fahmida Riaz

Translation into Urdu: Dur Uftada Shehr Say Aik Taveel Nazam by Munawar Hussain

Children’s Urdu Literature: Nazmein, Pahelian Aur Nasr Paray by Shanul Haq Haqqi

English Non-Fiction: The Faltering State by Tariq Khosa

Children’s English Literature: Partition by Amina Azfar

For the first time in the history of the Awards, a Lifetime Achievement Award was also presented to Ms. Zehra Nigah for her extensive and extraordinary body of work.

Sima Kamil, President & CEO UBL, during her speech, said “Pakistan is a wonderful mix of cultures, languages and ethnicities and our literary lineage is best proof of that. UBL considers it incumbent upon itself to recognize and inspire writers to continue contributing to the country’s literary wealth. We hope that the literary impetus does not slacken and that future generations continue to take advantage of these literary treasures”.

Reon energises 12.5 mw solar project at Jhang Bahtar

Pakistan – Reon Energy Limited today announced the Commissioning of its latest 12.5 MW captive Solar Power Project at Fauji Cement Company Limited (FCCL) in Jhang Bahtar, Punjab. The proposed move is a key step in commercializing a unit in order to achieve a lower cost of electricity.

The 12.5 MW photovoltaic project is expected to produce approximately 20 GWh (Gigawatt hours) annually. The output energy will be used for captive generation and will avoid around 121,437 Tonnes of CO2 equivalent emissions in the next 10 years. The project aims to integrate the new photovoltaic project with the existing power generating facility.

Mujtaba Haider Khan, CEO, Reon Energy Limited said “The 12.5 MWp Solar Plant shall offset higher energy prices for power from grid and other sources. Cement sector is going through a tough patch, lower prices and demand compression, this initiative should help preserve margins in a tough environment. I commend the Fauji Cement Team for taking a leap towards energy independence, we’re privileged to have played our role.”

The Solar Plant was said to create 500 jobs during the project duration.

Realme holds special fan meet-up dinner, unveils c2 phone

Realme powered by Oppo, the fastest growing smartphone brand in Pakistan, invited its real fans on a meet-up followed by a special dinner in Karachi. At the meet, surrounded by realme fans, the brand also announced another variant addition to its entry-level series, the value king realme C2. The New variant of realme C2 comes 2GB + 16GB RAM ROM. The phone will be available offline all across Pakistan by 25th June, 2019. The price will be Rs.17, 999

30 realme fans were invited for a meet and greet followed by a dinner. This Event is part of Realme’s global fan meet-up activity. Chilling around in a spacious hall at Avari, Realme Fans expressed their opinions about the newly launched Realme 3 Pro and C2; reported their usage experience and told what they expect from the launch of the Realme Community. The launch included famous local Karachi YouTube celebrities The Idiotz and Karachi Vynz. They both elaborated upon their experience of using the device and its features from a content creator’s perspective and answered fan questions.

Talking to the real fans, He Shunzhi, Marketing Head of Realme Pakistan, said “Realme has set up a stage for young people to express themselves, show themselves and make personal breakthroughs. Revamping brand Interpretation of “Dare to Leap” and leading innovation realme is now well prepared and positioned to embrace the 5G era and provide users with premium-quality 5G experience.”

“Meeting with our Realme Fans and learning what we can do to make their experience even better was a blast! Thank you all for your precious time and feedback, and we are looking forward to meeting you all again in the upcoming Realme Community Fan Meetups.” He further added

Realme C2: Shine like a diamond with mega display and mega battery

The 6.1″ Dewdrop Full Screen on realme C2 gives users more immersive experience while watching videos or playing games. Corning glass 3 enhances the screen toughness on the HD+ screen. The Diamond-cut design with 3-layer of paintings and pearl shining particles restores the changing effect from nature, like sky, starry night or waving water and is smudge free. Realme C2 will be available in Diamond Black and Diamond Blue.

The phone comes with a 4000mAh battery with a day usage assured without charging. The 2.0GHZ and octa core Helio P22 processor for realme C2 is capable of a long lasting battery endurance and powerful performance. Realme C2 will support an expandable 256GB storage with triple Independent card slot.

The well-customized AI dual rear camera (13MP+2 MP) are apt for more definite and natural photos with the Chroma Boost that can improve the HDR range and colors. Realme C2 will also be the first at this price to support an 80fps/480P slow-motion video recording.

Minister for environment & climate change commends ‘Nestlé cares’ initiative

Nestlé Pakistan launched its global initiative ‘Nestlé Cares’ with a beach cleaning drive in connection to the World Oceans Day at Sea View Beach, Karachi. Nestlé Cares, the company’s Employee Volunteer Program, is aimed at enhancing volunteer activities under one global concept. Initiatives under the Nestle Cares’ volunteer programs will provide employees the opportunity to make an impact by engaging and assisting local communities. The event was attended by the Provincial Minister for Environment & Climate Change, Taimur Talpur and Commissioner Karachi, Iftikhar Ali Shallwani among others.

Over 100 volunteers, including employees of Nestlé Pakistan, representatives from National Forum for Environment & Health (NFEH), and Consumer Association of Pakistan (CAP) participated in the clean-up activity inculcating a sense of ownership and civic responsibility as they played their role in reducing plastic waste and marine pollution by collecting and sorting plastic disposal at the Sea View shoreline.

While addressing the ceremony, Chief Guest Taimur Talpur, Provincial Minister for Environment & Climate Change said, “I commend Nestle for their role in fostering a behavior change starting from within by educating, engaging and mobilizing individuals and by providing them the means to act and contribute towards impactful change. It’s high time that more organizations such as Nestlé take part and play their role in shaping a waste-free future.”

Waqar Ahmad, Head of Corporate Affairs, Nestlé Pakistan, while sharing his views said, “Over the years, thousands of Nestlé employees worldwide have donated their time in supporting activities focused on having a positive impact on individuals and families, our communities and the planet. ‘Nestlé Cares’ is one of the ways we bring our purpose and values to life.”

Commissioner Karachi, Iftikhar Ali Shallwani who also graced the event, said, “I am delighted to be a part of this initiative with Nestlé Pakistan as it’s geared towards encouraging citizens of Karachi for keeping their city clean and plastic-waste free.”Nestlé Pakistan is taking steps and introducing various initiatives in its manufacturing units and beyond, to demonstrate its respect for the future. It is working towards the day when, through efficiencies and new technologies, it can reduce its environmental impact to zero. Nestlé believes that with the right approach, plastic packaging can be collected or recycled without having a detrimental impact. Nestlé’s ambition is that by 2025, 100% of its packaging should be recyclable or reusable.

Naeem Qureshi, President National Forum for Environment & Health said, “Plastic waste is the largest cause of pollution of rivers and oceans in Pakistan. This cleanup initiative with Nestlé is in line with our long-term ambition and commitment to stop plastic seepage into the environment and avoid further accumulation of plastics in environmental landscape.”

Talking about the drive, Kaukab Iqbal, Chairman Consumer Association of Pakistan stated, “Organizations should come together for implementing such initiatives to establish common goals for protecting the environment.”

Special Assistant to Chief Minister Sindh Qasim Naveed, government officials, members of civil society, and community volunteers also participated in the activity.

NBP conducts lucky draw for debit card holders for ICC World Cup campaign

In continuation of National Bank of Pakistan’s (NBP) journey for embracing the future banking, NBP held the lucky draw of NBP EMV/Contactless Debit Card holders powered by Golootlo.

The lucky draw ceremony was conducted by senior management of NBP including SEVP/Group Chiefs Mr. Tariq Jamal, Mr. Jamal Baqir and CIO Mr. Shahid Saeed, Group Head Payment Services & Digital Banking, Mr. Muhammad Farooq along with Chairman Decagon Pakistan (Private) Limited Mr. Aziz Kassamali and representatives from UnionPay International.

Speaking at the occasion Mr. Muhammad Farooq, Group Head Payment Services & Digital Banking stated that NBP in collaboration with Decagon Pakistan (Pvt.) Limited (Golootlo) had exhibited ICC Cricket World Cup Trophy 2019 at NBP Head Office in April 2019, becoming the first bank in the world to achieve this recognition. On the occasion, the bank launched a lucky draw campaign for cardholders for encouraging them to use plastic money at merchants, hence fostering the use of digital payments.

During the ceremony, senior management of National Bank conducted the lucky draw and announced the names of 10 lucky winners, who will get the chance to visit England to watch Pakistan play at the ICC World Cup 2019.

Also speaking at the occasion, Chairman Decagon Pakistan (Private) Limited Mr. Aziz Kassamali, stated their brand Golootlo was the only Pakistan company sponsoring the ICC World Cup 2019 and Golootlo was also offering over 8,000 merchant discounts for EMV Debit Cardholders across Pakistan.

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9th yearbook launching ceremony of NBFI & Modaraba Association of Pakistan

NBFI & Modaraba Association of Pakistan is organizing Launching Ceremony of its 9th Year Book accompanied by distribution of Best Performance Awards to the best performers of the NBFI & Modaraba Sector on Monday the 24th June, 2019 at Pearl Continental Hotel, Karachi. Mr. Khalid Aziz Mirza, Chairman, Policy Board, Securities & Exchange Commission of Pakistan will be the Chief Guest

NBFI & Modaraba Association is a representative body of all Modarabas, Leasing Companies and a few Investment Finance Services operating in Pakistan. The Year Book is being published by the Association since its inception and covers all the activities of the sector including the performance of the individual members as well as consolidated position of the entire NBFI & Modaraba Sector. The book also contains useful articles on some of the recent development in the financial sector of the country such as Anti-Money Laundering, FATF and other current issues.

Over a period of years the Year Book of the Association has established a reputation of being a reliable and useful source of information on the performance and development of overall sector. Regular publication of the book is creating awareness among the investors, research analysts and general public.


National foods hosts elevate growing women leaders program

National Foods Limited, one of the leading food companies headquartered in Karachi, hosted the graduation ceremony of Elevate participants at their Corporate Office. Elevate is CIRCLE’s flagship campaign which is Pakistan’s first women leadership program.National Foods Limited acts as a leader for the cause of women empowerment in Pakistan’s corporate landscape and constantly comes up with ideas and initiatives to support the cause. National Foods Limited has achieved several milestones with such women empowerment initiatives which serve the UN’s 5th Sustainable Development Goal of Gender Equality.

A diverse panel of industry leaders for the event was assembled, with the aim to get a holistic understanding of the barriers that women face and how leading companies are preventing the unconscious creation of glass ceilings in our corporate environment. Among other industry leaders the CEO of National Foods Limited – Mr. Abrar Hasan, who is an Elevate Champion, also shared his views on the subject of women empowerment and leadership. Elaborating the importance of professional women in a work environment he said, “I personally always have been an advocate of women empowerment and I try to build a similar culture here at National Foods. A culture where women professionals not only feel safe but also where they can get equal opportunities to grow and prosper, as their men colleagues. I hope to see things improving for women professionals across our society and I am glad that with initiatives like Elevate, things are moving in the right direction.”

Another highlight of the event was a very motivating and inspirational speech from Ms. Rafia Qaseem Baig who is Pakistan’s and Asia’s first female bomb disposal officer. She talked about the highs and lows in her struggle to become a part of our esteemed bomb disposal squad and how she was doubted for being a girl at every step of the way but she brilliantly broke all stereotypes in pursuit of her dreams.

National Foods Limited was the participant of this program’s first batch while they hosted the graduation ceremony of the second batch this year.

Standard Chartered Saadiq receives ‘Islamic bank of the year 2019’ by the banker

The Banker awards are among the most prestigious awards, designed to recognize institutions that have made significant contributions to the banking and finance industry.

Standard Chartered Saadiq was competing with some of the largest players in the Banking Industry and has won this award on the basis of its competence and commitment to clients.

Commenting on this recognition, Mr. Azhar Aslam, Head of Islamic Banking, Standard Chartered Pakistan, said, “This award comes as a recognition of our efforts to provide our clients efficient, and convenient Shariah compliant solutions. Standard Chartered’s global expertise, strong on-the-ground presence and deep local market insights, give us a distinct competitive edge to provide financing structures that enable us to deliver value to our clients.”

Standard Chartered was the first international bank to get an Islamic Banking license in 2004 and to the first to open an Islamic Banking branch in Pakistan.

Our Islamic Banking innovation capability is reflected by being the first and only bank to launch and offer a Shariah Compliant Credit Card in the country.

Standard Chartered Saadiq offers a comprehensive Islamic product suite for our Corporate Finance/ Commercial Banking and Retail Banking clients. It also has some globally recognized capabilities and deals to its credentials. Saadiq’s client base cuts across all business segments and is growing at a consistent pace.

Dell technologies solutions accelerates digital transformation in Pakistan

New cloud solutions, powered by Dell EMC and VMware, enable consistent hybrid cloud operations across public cloud, private cloud and the edge

At Dell Technologies Symposium 2019, Dell Technologies unveiled its new modern workforce and infrastructure solutions transforming the IT landscape – from the edge to the core to the cloud. The latest technologies are poised to deliver the foundation customers need to process, transport, store, protect and consume data – wherever it lives.

At the event, the Dell Technologies leadership team emphasized how data is the new currency, as well as the growing need to embrace transformation across different operations, business applications and processes in order to extract maximum value from data.

According to a Gartner survey, 67 percent of business leaders have stated that their company will lose its competitive edge if it does not digitally transform by 2020. As the foundation for successful digital transformation, customers need to be able to modernize their data centers with infrastructure designed to simplify their data landscape, optimize workloads at any scale and secure an organization’s most valuable asset — data. According to the Dell Technologies Digital Transformation Index, only 5% of businesses around the globe have been defined as Digital leaders. The study indicate that many businesses digital transformation programs are still in their infancy. This is evidenced by the 78% of business leaders who admit digital transformation should be more widespread throughout their organizations and more than half of businesses believe they will struggle to meet changing customer demands within five years.

“Artificial Intelligence (AI) is your rocket ship, and data is the fuel. To be competitive in the future, it is necessary for companies to leverage technology tools, such as software, data, AI and Internet of Things, at record speed as well as scale,” said Khun Anothai, Vice President Asia Emerging Markets, Dell Technologies, at the event. “As a technology provider, our goal is to resolve the issues faced by our customers not only in the present but also in the future.”

Accessibility to data is at the core of business transformation and modern enterprises are increasingly relying on cloud to help accelerate the delivery of innovative services powered by data to the business, ultimately delivering new experiences to their customers. The Dell Technologies Cloud portfolio consists of the new Dell Technologies Cloud Platforms and the new Data Center-as-a-Service offerings. These offerings enable a flexible range of IT and management options with tight integration and a single vendor experience for purchasing, deployment, services and financing.

“Dell Technologies data center solutions are built to enhance operational and business efficiencies, providing customers with both cost effectiveness and compatibility across multiple cloud environments,” stated Naveed Khan, Director AEM Data Center Solutions, Dell Technologies “These solutions provide the right platform to support companies in their digital transformation journeys and helps them in gaining better data insights to facilitate their decision-making process.”

Dell Technologies is empowering businesses on their digital transformation journey to preserve essential information while becoming more adaptive, competitive and innovative.

Aligned to this, Dell Technologies has also introduced Unified Workspace to help IT transform end-user experience. This visionary approach to end-user computing helps make workforce transformation a reality for customers by providing workers with a fuss-free, ready-to-work experience, while enabling IT teams with automated, open and intelligent solutions for unified management.

Naveed Siraj, General Manager Pakistan and Afghanistan, Dell Technologies added, “the data insights provided by Dell Technologies workforce solutions can help customers save both cost and time, enabling them to focus on making strategic decisions and providing their employees with customized devices that are more receptive to their work efficiency”.

Using data-driven insights that assess how the worker is using their PC – from the battery consumption and storage utilization to mobility requirements and most frequently used applications – Dell Technologies can help customers select the right PC and applications for each employee, shipping the devices preconfigured directly from the Dell factory to the end users. This data-driven, low-touch experience helps save IT time and money, allowing them to focus their resources on other strategic projects while enabling workers with personalized devices and access to data and applications so they are immediately productive when they first boot up.

It was also highlighted that Dell EMC Partner Program is now the Dell Technologies Partner Program, increasing Partner access to a more holistic Dell Technologies solutions portfolio.

“At Dell Technologies, our channel partners are integral to the overall success in delivering an excellent customer experience,” shared Chua Chee Wei, General Manager, Asia Emerging Markets (AEM) Channels, Dell Technologies. “The Dell Technologies Partner Program is designed to provide our partners with access to world-class solutions, sales tools and demand generation programs that allows them to reap more profitable financial incentives, marketing funds and rebates”.

With the Dell Technologies Partner Program, partners have the full weight of the Dell Technologies brand behind them. The partner program provides our partners with the competitive advantage of Dell Technologies that enables them to do more business with transformational solutions. The evolved program provides simplified engagement for partners to cross-sell and procure products and solutions across the Dell Technologies.

The introduction of the Dell Technologies Partner Program comes as the company significantly expands the partner opportunity around market-leading storage and next-generation cloud solutions.

Professionals in Pakistan see Cyber security as the most significant business risk: ACCA survey

Not a day goes by without a breaking news story about data breaches or personal data theft from large organisations. Cyber crime is one of the biggest risks to businesses to date and globally its estimated costs will reach $6 trillion by 2021.

ACCA (Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) has teamed up with Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand, Macquarie University and Optus to launch the report Cyber and the CFO. The global survey, which features views from 1500 ACCA and CA ANZ members, including their members in Pakistan, finds cyber security is not managed as a risk to businesses and is too often left to IT specialists to handle.

Highlights from the report show:

  • Almost 60 percent of CFOs and finance leaders rank cyber security as the most important or top five business risk.
  • However, a third of respondents did not know whether their organisations had been the subject of a cyber attack. Few survey responses showed a recovery plan that included much beyond the hardware.
  • Over 20 percent of finance professionals admitted they had no involvement whatsoever in cyber security within their company.
  • And 10 percent of respondents did not know who in the business was responsible day-to-day for cyber security.
  • Larger businesses placed a higher priority on cyber risks (8 percent), but small businesses were marginally (5 percent) less concerned or aware of such security risks.

Cyber-risk is becoming ever more complex with the integrated nature of supply chains. Only 19% of survey respondents said they regularly audited their supply chains.

It is noteworthy that more respondents in Pakistan than in any other country surveyed see cyber security as the most significant business risk, whereas overall its significance as a ‘top five’ business risk was lower than in the other major respondent countries.

Sajjeed Aslam, head of ACCA Pakistan says: “Finance professionals in Pakistan need to understand and play their full role in managing cyber risk in their organisations. Weakness in cyber security is a significant business risk across all organisations. The ACCA Qualification ensures that our students and members in the country are developed and assessed in digital and technology competency to be in a position to lead organisation into the digital future.”

ACCA’s head of business management, Clive Webb, says: “The increasing use of technology within businesses to create commercial advantage comes at a price and that price is cyber risk. The finance community cannot stand by and leave cyber security to others in the business to manage. It is very complex, but it is essential for finance leaders to familiarise themselves with the issue.”

The report highlights the changing nature of the cyber threat. It establishes the financial and operational risks that arise and in that regard the finance community needs to keep abreast of the evolving nature of the threat and ensure it is managed appropriately. The report can be accessed online: https://www.accaglobal.com/pk/en/professional-insights/technology/cyber-and-the-cfo.html

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