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Standard Chartered organises ‘women in tech’ graduation ceremony

Five women led companies win up to $10,000 in seed funding

Standard Chartered, in partnership with INNOVentures Global (Pvt.) Limited, is excited to announce the five winners of this year’s Standard Chartered #SCWomenInTech Programme 2019. Today’s event saw five women led teams shortlisted from over 80 applicants win up to USD 10,000 in seed funding for their businesses.

The Chief Guest at the occasion was Mr. Zubair Gilani, Chairman Board of Investment.

The five teams were selected from a pool of the best 18 teams previously shortlisted and went through the #SCWomenInTech programme for two months where they were offered coaching, mentoring and business management skills to grow their businesses to the next level.

The five winning companies for 2019 are:

  • Plate 101
  • Relive Now
  • Dot-mind unlocked
  • Trashit
  • Closet

The awardees will be supported with extended mentoring and milestone-based disbursement of the winnings for a period of 9 months.

Speaking at the event, Shazad Dada, CEO, Standard Chartered Pakistan mentioned, “#SCWomenInTech is another first by Standard Chartered where we are focusing on developing and empowering women entrepreneurs. I would not only like to congratulate the winners of our programme but also all the entrepreneurs who have been part of our journey. Together they are positively transforming our country’s economy and creating more job opportunities and avenues for Pakistani women and youth. Just like the Bank, you are striving to be a force for good, promoting sustainable economic and social development in the markets and communities where we operate.”

Standard Chartered launched Women in Tech in Pakistan in March 2019. This programme aimed to promote the economic and social development of women in Pakistan through innovation or technology led entrepreneurship.

The teams were shortlisted based on performance in the programme’s 100 points criteria as follows:

  1. Must be a women-led business
  2. At least 1/3rd of the Founders be women
  3. Woman Founder(s) has been around for at least 1 year
  4. Must be a technology venture or a traditional business seeking to use technology to significantly grow
  5. Registered (Pvt) Ltd Company
  6. Between 3 months and two years at the time of application
  7. Significant Growth and/or Impact potential
  8. Must have an initial plan to scale or be technology enabled to scale by using $ but also mentoring and other support.

SC’s investment in the business/venture must make a material difference

Raids undertaken against gas theft, fir lodged

The Task Force of SSGC’s Customer Relations Department conducted a raid against the culprits involved in gas theft in different cities and villages of Sindh. CGTO Team conducted a raid in Wazirabad Lakhi a renowned area of Shikarpur where 4 culpirts were using gas directly from SSGC’s main pipeline by clamps.

In another raid in Village Bilawal Soho an area of Nasirabad where 3 miscreants were using gas illegally from the company’s main pipe line by puncturing the SSGC’s gas pipeline.

SS&CGTO Larkana, lodged an FIR against tempered Commercial Meter. Naimat Ullah was operating a Generator through tempered commercial gas meter in Cattle Colony Larkana.

In a statement Chief of CGTO Birg. Muhammad Abuzar has said that no one is beyond to court of the law. He further added that move against the miscreants will kept continue.

Govt must take reform measures as IMF’S recipe going worse: Mian Zahid

President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum (PBIF), President All Karachi Industrial Alliance (AKIA), Senior Vice Chairman of the Businessmen Panel of FPCCI and former provincial minister, Mian Zahid Hussain on Friday said IMF has given impossible targets to Pakistan without properly diagnosing economic ills and giving implementable solutions.

He said that quarterly review of IMF can result in another crisis if targets were not achieved.

Talking to the business community, the veteran business leader said that Pakistan has repeatedly taken loans from IMF but the economy could not be stabilized which indicate that IMF recipe is designed to avert crisis only.

He said that IMF conditions make life difficult for masses, increase divide between rich and poor, and choke growth while the recent programme will push around eight million Pakistanis into poverty.

The former minister noted that the economy grew by five percent during the last few years but taxes were increased by 20 percent. The current growth rate has been estimated to be 2.4 percent while taxes have been increased by 35 percent which is impossible to achieve. He said that the IMF’s targets have resulted in widespread demonstrations by the trading community while the industrialists are also restless.

Mian Zahid Hussain said that new tax measures may help the government fetch an additional Rs1.8 trillion but it will not benefit masses as one trillion rupees will be diverted to repay loans. IMF has estimated an increase of eight percent in exports, it has claimed that exports will jump to 36.7 billion dollars in five years and projected revenue to the tune of Rs 7 trillion by next years which is unlikely.

He said that current interest rates and set of policies will not help the government achieve targets and the government needs to boost investments, trigger developmental work on CPEC and soften IMF’s conditions with the help of the US to improve the situation.

K-Electric holds its 107th annual general meeting

K-Electric (KE) held its 107th Annual General Meeting (AGM)–FY 2017, at a local hotel in Karachi. The meeting was chaired by Ikram Sehgal, Chairman KE Board, in the presence of Moonis Alvi, CEO; Aamir Ghaziani, CFO; Rizwan Dalia, Company Secretary & CPO and other members of the Board and KE leadership.

A review of KE’s performance indicators reflected continuous operational improvement driven by investments across the value chain. It is pertinent to note that T&D losses dropped from 22.2% in FY 16 to 21.7% in FY 17, and have come down more than 14% since 2009, whereas overall fleet efficiency rose from 30% in 2009 to 37% in the year under review.

In its financial results issued to the PSX, KE declared profit of PKR 10.42 billion compared to PKR 31.81 billion during FY 2016 resulting in a fall in earnings per share (EPS) from PKR 1.15 to PKR 0.38 rupees per share in FY17. While key operational indicators showed sustained progress during FY17, KE’s net profit dropped around 67% as compared to FY16, mainly due to significant reduction in tariff level along with change in tariff structure under the new Multi Year Tariff (MYT) for the control period July 01, 2016 to June 30, 2023.

During the AGM, the management of KE apprised shareholders about the power utility’s business plan in view of growing power demand and to strengthen the city’s power infrastructure including the development of 900MW Bin Qasim Power Station III, 700MW coal-fired power project as well as US$ 460 million Transmission Enhancement Plan. In addition, significant reduction in losses has been achieved as a result of installation of theft-resistant Aerial Bundled Cables (ABC) at over 7,500 PMTs along with ongoing anti-theft campaigns. The power utility is also working to diversify its fuel mix towards clean energy and will add another 50 MW of renewable energy to the system by the end of this year. The continuous stream of investment from KE has further strengthened the power infrastructure and reinforced its long-term commitment to serve the people of Karachi.

On this occasion, shareholders approved KE’s financial statements and endorsed the decision to reinvest its profit, in line with the power utility’s plans to continue to grow its generation capacity and upgrade its transmission and distribution system. Over PKR 25 billion has been invested in generation, transmission and distribution during the reporting period. KE’s practice of reinvesting its profits into the business has resulted in improvement in supply and quality of service, as a result of which, 70% of the city, including all industrial zones, is now load-shed free.

Concluding the meeting, the management assured shareholders of its commitment to move forward with planned investments enabling the company to serve the city better in an environmentally sustainable and economically viable manner, and in doing so, support the economic growth of Pakistan.

Women-led small, medium enterprises bid

Karandaaz has signed investment agreements with seven women-led businesses under its Women Entrepreneurship Challenge this year to help women-led small & medium enterprises. These include New Age Flour and General Mills, Web Work Solution, M-Tex, Lel, Noha Global, Kamal Impex and Saira Rizwan.

JS Bank and NOWPDP join hands for entrepreneurship growth

00JS Bank has joined hands with Network of Organizations Working for People with Disabilities, Pakistan (NOWPDP), an organization which focuses on inclusion and empowerment of persons with disabilities for financing of loans under the JS Naya Aghaaz SME Loan program.

Through this partnership, JS Bank will work with NOWPDP, to extend financing facilities to individuals with disabilities. Individuals possessing CNIC with disability logo and aged between 21 and 65 years will be able to apply for loans of up to PKR 1.5 million at a highly subsidized mark-up rate of 5% only.

Reflecting upon the partnership, Basir Shamsie, President and CEO – JS Bank stated, “JS Bank is driven to create impact and build financial inclusivity through value-added partnerships. Our efforts towards this goal is strengthened through our alliance with NOWPDP, an organization that has truly achieved milestones in empowering differently abled persons across Pakistan.”

Amin Hashwani, President – NOWPDP expressed his optimism about the future of this partnership and commented, “We appreciate the step taken by JS Bank for believing in the abilities of persons with disabilities. With this initiative, we hope to see thousands of successful entrepreneurs initiating their own businesses.”

Through this alliance, JS Bank is promoting economic growth and creating opportunities for people across the country.

NBP Aitemaad signs Bancatakaful accord with Jubilee Life’s window Takaful operations

National Bank of Pakistan Aitemaad Islamic Banking Group signed the ‘Bancatakaful’ agreement with Jubilee Life Insurance Window Takaful Operations which is the largest life insurance company in the private sector of Pakistan. The agreement was signed in a ceremony held at NBP’s Head Office to commemorate the partnership in the wake of the expanding market for Bancatakaful products. The agreement signing ceremony was graced by Mr. Arif Usmani, President and CEO of National Bank of Pakistan, Mr. Javed Ahmed, MD & CEO of Jubilee Life Insurance, Mr. Fouad Farrukh SEVP/Group Chief, NBP – AIBG, Mr. Shan Rabbani, Group Head – Retail operations, actuarial and Investments, Jubilee Life Insurance and Syed Rizwan Aziez, Head of Bancassurance, Jubilee Life Insurance along with senior officials from both organizations.

President NBP Mr. Arif Usmani emphasized the importance of Takaful (Shariah Compliant alternate to insurance) in the growth of the Islamic finance industry. He said that NBP has a long-running business relationship with Jubilee Life Insurance, and through this partnership it combines the expertise of one of the leading insurance companies with NBP’s extensive branch network, offering branch customers with convenient solutions to their takaful needs.

Mr. Fouad Farrukh said that NBP Aitemaad Islamic banking group and Jubilee Life Insurance Window Takaful Operations had joined hands by entering into the ‘Bancatakaful’ agreement for selling Takaful products of Jubilee Life Insurance WTO through NBP’s Aitemaad Islamic banking branch network on a referral model. He said the agreement will introduce a cross sales culture throughout the organization. The alliance will cater towards savings and protection needs of NBP Aitemaad clients. He added that NBP believes in creating value and convenience for their customers and providing innovative financial solutions.

Mr. Javed Ahmed, MD & CEO, Jubilee Life Insurance, also spoke on the occasion, saying ‘Bancatakaful’ was the commencement of a new chapter in the Shariah compliant market and a means of strategically penetrating through the industry which has witnessed prodigious growth in Pakistan, “We are confident that, along with NBP Aitemaad, our top quality services will create room for business longevity through the newly established platform of trust.”

National Bank of Pakistan is the largest state-owned financial institution of Pakistan which launched Islamic banking in 2006. To market Islamic products and services, NBP plans to capitalize on its strong brand recognition. It relaunched Islamic banking in 2013 under the brand name “Aitemaad”. Aitemaad provides high-quality and cost-effective Islamic banking product and services to the nation.

NBP – Aitemaad Islamic banking has observed phenomenal growth in its Islamic Banking branch network. The branch network increased from eight branches in 2012 to 190 branches in 2019. It has a strong presence in more than 85 cities including many areas where no other banks exist.

Jubilee Insurance is a global brand of Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development (AKFED) that offers diverse insurance solutions (life, health and general) in the Asian and East African markets. Jubilee Life is the largest private insurance company in Pakistan in the Life & Health insurance and in Window Takaful Operations. Jubilee Life offers uniquely designed range of life and health insurance plans, catering to various customer segments and needs. These include retirement, child education, marriage, saving & protection, wealth accumulation, life insurance plans for women, rural insurance plans and life and health insurance solutions for the less privileged of our country.

Ministry of information & broadcasting holds training workshop for media students in Lahore

The 3-Day Professional Training Workshop for Thirty Four (34) media students from all over the universities in Punjab concluded, last week. This workshop was organized by Pakistan Peace Collective (PPC), a Research & Communication project of the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting (M/O,I&B). It may be recalled that project works on the peace-building campaigns to counter the trends of violent extremism in Pakistan and subsequently on the capacity building of media students on developing creative media content.

Mian Shabbir Anwer CEO Pakistan Peace Collective chaired the concluding session of training workshop. While addressing the participants, he emphasized upon the need for peace and harmony in society to achieve a higher benchmark of progress and development. He advised the participants to strive for achieving the higher objectives of life and play their due role in this regard, when they enter into practical life. He expressed the hope that the participants would utilize the lessons learnt during the training workshop and contribute towards the peace building efforts as responsible communicators particularly while covering issues of violent extremism. He later distributed certificates among the participants of the workshop.

The training workshop unwrapped on the opening day with a discussion on Narratives, Impact & Critical Analysis of Violent Extremism in Pakistan; session was delivered by Mufti Raghib Naeemi son of Mufti Sarfaraz Naeemi (Late). Mufti Raghib mentioned that his father was targeted because of his fatwa that suicide attacks are forbidden in Islam which was endorsed in the recent pact of Paigham-e-Pakistan, a social contract validated by all the political parties as well as ulema and masha’ikh of all schools of thoughts.


Students were also given a chance to interact with the resilient and brave citizen of Pakistan; Dr. Fatima Haider Founder The Grief Directory; narrated her own life story where her husband and son both had been killed in an incident of sectarian violence. Other sessions of training workshop include media’s role in Countering Violent Extremism (CVE), The social and psychological impact of Conflict Reporting in Pakistan, Critical Thinking: Communicating on Conflict in Pakistan.

The training ended with course modules of Video Production Techniques includes research scripting, interview and camera techniques, grammar of sound, lightning and editing. In the practical exercises, participants also produced media products through smartphones based on the training themes.

Mr. Qasim Ali Shah Life Skills & Motivational Trainer, Kamran Butt from National College of Arts Lahore, Dr. Manzar Zaidi Research Expert on Extremism and Terrorism, Farhan Mushtaq Producer PTV Lahore, Usman Zafar and Faizan Gul from PPC also delivered their respective lectures during the training.

The participants attending the training workshop belonged to various universities from all over the Punjab province of Pakistan, including Lahore, Gujrat, Gujranwala, Faisalabad, Sargodha and Bahawalpur.

Similar two-cluster training workshops will be organized by Pakistan Peace Collective in August 2019 for media students where twenty (20) more universities will be represented from all over Pakistan.

60Th children’s literature festival from August 7 at arts council

A press conference was held at Arts Council to share highlights of the 60th Children’s Literature Festival, a two-day program to be held on August 7th-8th, 2019.

The co-hosts, founders, directors, and organizers of CLF were present to welcome the guests warmly and brief them about the objectives and program behind the largest children’s learning festival. CLF’s sponsors including Oxford University Press (OUP) and British Council were also present at the event along with President Arts Council Karachi, delegates of the festival and CLF ambassadors including Khaled Anam and Ali Hamza who profusely appreciated the effort.

Speakers on the occasion included Iftikhar Shallwani (Commissioner Karachi), Baela Raza Jamil (Founder and Director CLF) and Ahmed Shah (President Arts Council). Ameena Saiyid (Co-Founder and Director CLF), Rumana Husain (Director CLF), Mahtab Akbar Rashidi (Director CLF), Haseena Moin, Dr Fouzia Khan, Arshad Saeed Hussain (MD OUP) and other eminent personalities present also aired their views and support for the festival.

Representatives answered questions put forward by members of the media present, followed by refreshments.

What is CLF? Key Features of CLF -Karachi 2019

Launched in November 2011, CLF is the largest learning festival for children and teachers in Pakistan to enable children to learn with all their multiple-senses and intelligences. Managed by Idara-e-Taleem-o-Aagahi (ITA), it has a nationwide footprint having completed 59 CLFs (in all four provincial capitals and Islamabad and over 25 districts of the country, reaching over 1.4 million children and teachers since its inception in November 2011. It is a non-ticketed festival open to ALL School systems, children (3-18 years), teachers and families. There are many inclusive schools/institutions attending the CLF Karachi.

CLF has 16 learning strands running concurrently at the 2-day CLF in Karachi as per practice. There will be altogether 68 sessions, 160 resource persons and 2 star-studded concerts. The Learning Strands will include:

The Art of Book Making, Story Telling with Expression, Digital Stories and Literacy, STEM, Robotics, Theatre, Arts and Crafts, Folk & Sufi Music, Dance, Heritage, Preservation, Environment, Book Launches, Book Fair, Plenary Discussions and Music Concerts on both days”.

There will be many young child authors launching their books and music at the festival, and a child prodigy Tawassul Shah (five-year old) and siblings Rahat and Ntikhab Burgi will also be there reciting Bhit Shah’s verses and young qawwals from the group Moiz Ghayyur Mustafa – a 27 generational legacy.

A special CLF Award has been designed for Outstanding Services by Resource Persons and institutions who have been actively supporting the Festival since 2011; this will be given in recognition for their passion and support at the CLF Karachi 2019.

15 Goodwill ambassadors, actors, anchorpersons and musicians have just joined this social movement to popularize the campaign for learning, reading, creativity and tolerance for the children of Pakistan.

The famous poet Zehra Nigah has written the CLF Tarana /anthem “Hamain Kitab Chaheyeh, Jo Zindagi Badal Dey Woh Nisaab Chaheyeh” composed by Rakae Jamil (attached) full of messages of reading for creativity, learning for peace and tolerance – making Pakistan proud.

All rooms/halls at the CLF Karachi as per practice will be renamed at the Arts Council Pakistan Karachi reminding participants about famous Hero-Citizens and Incredible Geographies:

  • Bhit Shah Auditorium
  • Fahmida Riaz ki Baithak
  • Hamida Khuhro ki Baithak
  • Bab-e-Hingol
  • Jamshed Nusserwanjee Mehta Courtyard
  • Sadequain ki Gali
  • Sohail Rana Auditorium
  • Anita Ghulam Ali Auditorium
  • Hakim Said ka Gehwara
  • Professor Abdus Salam Labs
  • Burns Road Dhabas

The Inaugural Session of the CLF will be held on August 7, 2019 at 11:00 a.m. where the Chief Guest will be the Provincial Minister Education & Literacy/Culture/Tourism and Anitiquities Syed Sardar Shah; other special guests will include Ms. Tanzeela Qambrani Sheedi, MPA and Chairperson of Education Standing Committee Sindh; Mr. Qazi Pervez Shahid, Secretary Education and Literacy Department Govt. of Sindh, Mr. Iftikhar Shallwani Commissioner Karachi, CLF ambassadors and many more.

The Sponsors of the CLF are:

Allied Bank; UNESCO; Italian Agency for Development Cooperation (IADC); Telenor; Oxford University Press; National Foods; Rotary Club of Karachi Metropolitan and Z International School.

The two day program for CLF Karachi 2019 is a packed one and the full program is available online

http://childrensliteraturefestival.com/clf_karachi_2019/ –Turab Ali Ramz — E: turab.ramzi@starlinks.pk, C: 03002000144.

Goodwill Ambassadors of CLF- 2019 are:

  1. Ahsan Khan
  2. Ali Hamza
  3. Ali Noor
  4. Ally Adnan
  5. Faysal Qureshi
  6. Hasan Khan
  7. Hina Bayat
  8. Juggan Kazim
  9. Khaled Anum
  10. Nadia Jamil
  11. Omair Rana
  12. Rana Majid
  13. Sami Khan
  14. Shamyl Khan
  15. Usman Butt
  16. Haseena Moin
  17. Atif Noorani
Training to maintain quality management concludes in NHA

In order to maintain International Quality Management System in National Highway Authority, concluding ceremony of 3 x day training was held at NHA headquarters last week. NHA’s Member Administration Capt Mushtaq Ahmed (retired) distributed certificates among the 35 participating officers from NHA head office and regional offices.

Speaking on this occasion Capt Mushtaq Ahmed said, quality management is an imperative for improved governance, enhanced efficiency and productivity in the new paradigm of institutional reforms and capacity enhancement. He recalled that NHA achieved ISO 9001-2015 certification last year by preparing itself for establishing a quality management system as per requirement of international standard. Now, he said we have to maintain this certification through continual improvement in our processes. He said, management of NHA is committed to improve governance and quality management system in the mechanism for sustainability of quality of our service. He said, such training sessions will greatly prepare the ground to maintain ISO 9001-2015 certification in the coming years.

SSGC conducts close inspection in industries and CNG sector

SSGC has intensified close monitoring of Industries, CNG and commercial sector to eliminate the possibilities of gas theft that has been causing heavy financial loss to the company.

In this regard, SSGC’s joint load survey team comprising of representatives from Measurement, Sales and SS&CGTO Departments carried out detailed inspection of two Industries in Karachi. M/s Hamid Textile Mills and M/s Hamid Garments were inspected after which the joint team furnished detailed reports to the management for its further action.

Moreover the Task Force of SSGC’s Customer Relations Department conducted raid in different areas of Sindh. In a series of raids conducted in Shikarpur, Mehar, Radhan, Qazi Ahmed, Jacobabad, Nawab Shah, Sakrand and Karachi West more than 60 illegal clamps were removed that were made by the miscreants by puncturing SSGC’s main line. The gas supply of the miscreants was disconnected by SSGC team.

All material including rubber pipes, clamps and other articles that were being used in gas theft were taken in custody by the team. Fine against the load observed during the raids will be raised and appropriate legal action will be taken against the culprits.

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