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TPL sponsors 58th Sindh open boys swimming championship

TPL Corp, a technology driven conglomerate, was the proud Sponsor of the 58th TPL Sindh Open Boys Swimming Championship this year. Organized by the Sindh Swimming Association (SSA), the three-day championship is one of the largest sporting events of the province with over 400 contestants from schools, colleges and recreational clubs. Swimmers compete in six age groups, the open age category and races from the Special Olympics Squad.

Held at the Karachi Parsi Institute (KPI) recently, the event was live streamed by Sports Vision. The first day kicked off with a grand opening ceremony and the national anthem was performed by the students of Deaf Reach in sign language and the qirat was done by the student of Ida-Rieu. Participating schools and teams included Karachi Grammar School, CAS, Bay View Academy, Beacon House, The City School PAF Chapter, Foundation Public School, Haque Academy, Karachi Club and Karachi Gymkhana to name a few.

With the spirit of competition at its peak on all 3 days, winners of the 58th TPL Sindh Open Boys Swimming Championship were Karachi Grammar School while Karachi Club finished as runner up and Karachi United Swim Academy secured third place.  Group champions were as follows: Zaki Rasool – Under 8 category, Syed Azlan Sohail – Under 10 category, Ali Muhammad Mitha – Under 12 category, Ryaan Adnan Ali and Yousuf Khalid – Under 14 category joint champions, Hamza Khaliq – Under 16 category and Shahzil Farhan – Open category.

Inaugurating the event, Shoaib Savul, President SSA said, “Swimming is an extremely competitive sport with grueling schedules between attending school, swim practice and swim meets. We would like to thank TPL for making an event like this possible and for creating much needed opportunities for the swimmers of this province.”

At the closing ceremony, Farah Sayeed, Group Head Marketing & Communications said, “TPL takes great pride in its commitment to support events that promote the development of sports in the country. This endorsement is a testament to our vision and our belief in the potential of Pakistan’s youth to become tomorrow’s leaders”.

Boiler plate:

TPL Corp is a technology driven conglomerate with investments across Life and General Insurance, Real Estate, Security, Asset Tracking, Navigation and Mapping and several technology startups. With innovation and disruption at the core of its operations, TPL is steered by a digital mindset to create sustainable value for their stakeholders. A critical component of its business strategy is their diversified sustainability portfolio that spans health, education and environment.

In Sindh, the SSA is affiliated with the Sindh Olympic Association (SOA), which is headed by Shoaib Savul as President. The SSA is also affiliated with the Sindh Sports Board (SSB).

Gas supply being restored to normal levels in Balochistan

Natural gas demand has a wide seasonal impact between the summer and winter months. Demand for gas increases four times more in winters than in summers in areas such as Balochistan that experience bitterly cold weather. This mainly arises due to the space heating and extra geyser load that sets in during the winter months.

The last few days have seen a sudden drop in temperatures in Quetta and adjoining areas from 22 degree centigrade to 12 degree centigrade. Consequently, the usage of gas heaters and unauthorized use of compressors by the customers has increased extraordinarily. This has resulted in the reduction of gas in supply lines causing low pressure problems in isolated pockets and for the tail-end customers.

To overcome the situation and to substantially lessen the customers’ woes, gas pressures were enhanced immediately and affected lines were filled in a period of 2 days. Gas supply consequently increased from 75 mmcfd to 142 mmcfd and the supply situation in Quetta is now back to normal.

SSGC is totally aware of the inconvenience caused to its customers as a result of low gas pressure due to sudden drop in temperatures. However, it must be mentioned that full customer care is being provided to the customers and survey teams are immediately dispatched to the affected areas to attend to their complaints to remove bottle necks in bringing gas supply to normal levels.

The company requests the customers to practice gas conservation at homes by discontinuing the illegal use of compressors to meet their unauthorized gas consumption and refrain from tampering with meters.

It is pertinent to mention here that SSGC is monitoring gas load on a daily basis whereby the gas consumption is reviewed and adjusted daily in accordance with the Government of Pakistan’s Gas Load Management Plan.

Greenovation wins Shell global innovation prize

Greenovation, a startup by Saad Bin Azam, an entrepreneur from Islamabad, Pakistan has taken home one of the 2019 Shell LiveWIRE Top Ten Innovators Awards, a global competition which highlights and rewards businesses that demonstrate excellence in innovation as well as giving entrepreneurs a chance to shine on a global platform.

This year, Shell LiveWIRE has partnered with Shell Global Commercial, which supplies lubricants, aviation fuels, bitumen, sulphur and related services to one million business customers in 150 markets, to deliver a competition focused on the circular economy. Shell aims to reward entrepreneurs that help move the world away from the linear economy model – taking, using, and disposing of products –towards an economy that designs waste out of the system.

“It’s been incredibly inspiring to see such passionate entrepreneurs across the world helping to tackle and eliminate waste,” said Huibert Vigeveno, Executive Vice President of Shell Global Commercial. “Transitioning to a circular economy requires us to think creatively and do things differently. Working with innovators like these winners, will allow businesses, communities and society to move faster towards a truly sustainable future.”

Habib Haider, Country External Relations Manager said, “We’re thrilled to see Greenovation, a start-up that transforms plastic waste into liquified petroleum gas, from our country take home the Top Ten Innovators prize. This is a great opportunity not only to highlight Greenovation but also showcases the talent and innovation we see every day across Pakistan.”

The winner of each category will receive a top prize of $20,000 and the two runners-up from each category will receive a prize of $10,000. In addition, the judges chose an Outstanding Achievement Award winner who will receive $10,000. The award package for all ten also includes mentoring support by a Shell expert, an opportunity to benefit from market linkages and a possibility to be considered as a vendor to Shell or Shell’s customers.

The winners faced stiff competition with Shell receiving 98 applications from 19 countries around the world. Twenty-one finalists then had to compete in a public vote, which drew in more than18 thousands votes from 144 countries.

NdcTech and temenos vision for bank of the future

National Data Consultant (NdcTech), a leading financial technology firm in Pakistan and Temenos Group AG; the world’s #1 banking software company based in Geneva, Switzerland jointly hosted their 9th annual ‘Bank of the Future’ Forum 2019, at Marriot Hotel Karachi. This year approximately 150+ senior banking delegates and leadership representing over 20+ banks attended this forum.

This full day event serves as a platform to share insights of global practices and develop and strengthen business relationships among leading global fintechs and banking institutions in Pakistan. Speakers shared strategies on transforming the future of digital banking, accelerating the journey to be a Digital Bank and how Banks of the Future are complying with the evolving regulatory frameworks and standardizing processes and procedures. This year’s event also highlighted the recently acquired US #1 digital banking SaaS company – Kony by TEMENOS.

Chief Enterprise Architect of Temenos – Mr. John Schlesinger core message to the delegates was on readiness for the future architecture which will be a radical change for the banks and being able to take advantage of the massive opportunities for profitable growth and improved efficiencies.

Mr. Behram Ahmed, Chairman, NdcTech commented that: “We are delighted to witness the participation of such prestigious group of banking leaders and global technology experts in our forum which is so well attended and clearly shows the value that this brings to the banks.”

Adding to this Ms. Ammara Masood President & CEO, NdcTech said “Our company has been a major contributor for last 19 years to bring real transformation in banking through best practices and innovations of our global partners Temenos and other global fintechs EFS Technology, Abris, HID Global and Validata. Our talent is now contributing significantly in Pakistan and in global markets very effectively.

Jean Paul Mergeai – Managing Director, Temenos Middle East & Africa said that: “As the 9th annual event of its kind taking place in Pakistan, my team and I are always honored to be involved in the Bank of the Future Forum with our partner NdcTech in Karachi. The 2019 forum once again proved to be an ideal opportunity to network and share knowledge with both Temenos’ existing Pakistani clients and those we are yet to work with. Temenos has been steadily growing its presence in the Pakistani market alongside NdcTech since 2000 and the presence of 15 Temenos experts at this event from not only the region, but around the globe, truly demonstrates our continued commitment to the country. This year’s event also gave us the opportunity to fully introduce our updated Temenos Infinity digital offering since the acquisition of Kony in August, a truly next generation, best-in-class digital banking solution.”

NBP cash counters serve successfully at Kartarpur Sahib Corridor

National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) teams successfully started collection of Service Charges from Yatris at Kartarpur Sahib Corridor through NBP counters within the span of just 15 days. Special arrangements for collection of service charges from Sikh Yatris were made through three options i.e. Collection of USD Cash @ USD 20/- per Yatri per visit through 24 Cash collection counters, Collection through web portal/Internet Payment Gateway for payment of service and charges via credit cards (Master/Visa/UPI).

Collection through 10 ‘Cheque & Cash Deposit Machines’ (CCDMs) and Collection through ‘Point of Sale’ (POS) to be placed at the counters. Prime Minister of Pakistan inaugurated the Corridor in a ceremony held in the courtyard of Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib on November 09, 2019.

The ceremony was also attended by State Ministers from Pakistan & India, Foreign Diplomats, Officials from MOF / MORA and SBP/ NBP and Sikh Yatris from all over the world including the general public.

The newly established NBP cash collection counters at Kartarpur Sahib Corridor was visited by the Army Chief and the Prime Minister of Pakistan. Both expressed satisfaction and appreciated the arrangements made in such a short span of time. NBP Counters are also selling special coins of Rs. 550 minted by the Government of Pakistan on the eve of 550th anniversary of Baba Guru Nanak Devji. The NBP project team was led by Mr. Tariq Jamali, SEVP, Chief of Operations, Ms. Sultana Naheed, SEVP/GC-CRBG, Mr. Faisal Ahmed Topra, SEVP, GC-SBAG and Mr. Tariq Zafar Iqbal, EVP-Group Head, OPG and Mr. Mahmood Akhtar Nadeem, EVP, Operations who was responsible for co-ordination and management with SBP / MOF / MORA, Mr. Aqib Malik who was in liaison with Military Authorities and Mr. Aamer Manzoor, Regional Head Sialkot. Furthermore a NBP team comprising of senior executives from Commercial and Retail Banking Group, Operations, IT, Logistic Support, Strategic Business Analytics Groups from Head Office, Regional Management Team Sialkot were also present at the inauguration ceremony of the Kartarpur Sahib corridor. Also the field staff from Narowal area opened and serviced the 24 Cash Counters for collection of Service Charges from Yatris. NBP delegation was also accompanied by SBP Officials namely Mr. Qader Bakhsh, Additional Director, Mr. Muhammad Ali Sario, Senior Joint Director, Mr. Abdul Malik Achakzai, Senior Joint Director, Mr. Hassan Jawad, Deputy Director, Mr. Ghulam Muhammad Phul, Senior Joint Director, SBP (BSC) Karachi and Mr. Ansar Iftikhar Butt, Chief Manager, SBP (BSC), Sialkot.

Mian Zahid lauds decision to increase wheat support price

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 lauded the decision of the government to increase wheat support price by Rs 50.

The support price has been increased after five years which will provide some relief to farmers but it may increase the price of roti which has already been increased twice during this year, he said.

Talking to the business community, the veteran business leader said that the government claims that it has sufficient stock of wheat in the country but the private sector has expressed concerns which should be taken seriously.

The former minister noted that situation should be reassessed to keep the balance between demand and supply lest whether or some other factors disrupt the supply side.

The government claims that it has 4.5 million tonnes of wheat while the private sector is asking for permission to import up to three hundred thousand tonnes of wheat which must be considered.

He said that wheat stocks in Sindh are under pressure, rumours are fanning speculation resulting in a price hike while smuggling to Afghanistan continues unabated.

Punjab has 3.5 million tonnes of wheat; KP has two hundred thousand tonnes of wheat while Sindh claims to have eight hundred thousand tonnes of wheat which are contested by market forces.

The business leader said that the government has tried to keep prices stable but to no avail, therefore, the government should allow duty-free import of wheat to keep prices stable.

All regional economies performing except Pakistan: Mian Zahid Hussain 

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 Monday said growth rate of all regional countries is improving except for Pakistan. Improving growth is reducing poverty in all regional economies but inflation and eroded buying power in Pakistan is resulting in poverty, health issues, stunted growth, and other serious issues, he said.

Talking to the business community, the veteran business leader that almost forty percent of the global children population with stunted growth lives in Pakistan which will a burden in the future.

The former minister noted that inequality in increasing globally and in Pakistan because the policymakers are more inclined towards the welfare of the wealthy which also reflect in their policies and budgets.

The majority of the countries are facing the concentration of wealth in few hands which if discouraged will improve the lives of the majority and trigger rapid growth. He said that distribution of wealth is not practiced anywhere in the world except for few welfare states while employing tools as poverty and unemployment to control majority has become a norm.

The business leader said that the rich and influential are as much visible in the society as poor but the tax administration prefer to milk poor to generate revenue. He noted that the allocation of Rs6 billion by the government to provide items of daily use on economical rates to masses through Utility Stores is a good move but the allocation is not sufficient.

The government should try to provide employment for which investment climate should be improved, he demanded.

Khushhali Microfinance Bank and IFC undertake digital project benefiting rural customers

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between Khushhali Microfinance Bank Limited (KMBL) and International Finance Corporation (IFC) for a transformation program that will extend over two years. The essence of this project is to empower farmers through digital-agri transformation program that will extend over two years. The project is being undertaken to empower farmers through digital agri-finance solutions and expand outreach to new rural microfinance customers in Pakistan.

The project will comprise a segmentation approach which will drive the Bank’s market strategy by delivering relevant product concepts. The project will leverage data from both Khushhali’s existing customer base & external sources. IFC will help develop a digital solution for streamlining processes and nimble credit decisions. The project will also address with potential value change collaboration possibilities

President Khushhali Microfinance Bank Ghalib Nishtar, while talking about the project said, “It is truly exciting to be working with IFC to realize our joint goals of reaching the rural customers by leveraging digital technology and is part of our commitment to financial Inclusion”.

Regional Manager – Advisory Services at IFC, Qamar Saleem, also remarked about the initiative, “Projects like these help unlock new opportunities for unserved rural population to access financial services while allowing microfinance sector to adopt innovative technologies such as digital processing, value chain finance and data analytics. Partnering with KMBL, the market leader in Agri and rural lending, is a privilege for IFC where we can leverage our global experiences and expertise to create new markets enhance inclusion for underserved market segments and accelerate growth avenues for overall economic growth and job creation”.

IFC is a leading development finance institution and functions as part of the World Bank Group to spur private sector activity through investment and advisory across the Globe. IFC has played a leading role in supporting Agri-digital practices by collaborating with selected practitioners that can help towards the cause of finance inclusion.

Pakistan is a priority country for IFC. During the last three years, IFC has ramped up its investments and advisory services work in the country- with current investment commitments of USD 1.2 Billion, to support the development of Pakistan’s private sector. The organization has focused on mobilizing investments in power and infrastructure, and providing access to finance to micro, small and medium enterprises through financial intermediaries.

KE, KFC sign MoU for centralized billing solution

In line with its commitment to facilitating industrial and commercial customers K-Electric signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with KFC/Gray Mackenzie Restaurants International to add them to a growing list of corporate consumers who are benefiting from KE’s Centralized Billing Mechanism (CBM)/Single Billing Solution payment system. The agreement was signed by Amer Zia, Chief of Distribution of K-Electric and M. Raza Pirbhai, CEO of KFC Pakistan, at the KFC head office.

After the signing of this agreement KFC’s 25 locations including restaurants and warehouses have been connected to K-Electric’s CBM/Single Billing Solution, taking the total number of KE’s corporate CBM consumers to 10 enterprises with a total of 2,850 connections.

Speaking at the signing ceremony Mr. Amer Zia, Chief Distribution Officer, K-Electric said, “The Centralised Billing Mechanism is in line with KE’s vision to enable businesses by simplifying processes and strengthening service delivery. The Single Billing Solution for corporate consumers ensures an eased payment process for our key customers by reducing documentation and tracking requirements. Over the last few years, KE has supported industrial growth through a number of initiatives, including 100% exemption from load-shed, streamlining the New Connection process for commercial/industrial customers through the launch of online portals for estimates and tracking of applications, reduction in the number of documents required and e-payment options as well as energy audits to facilitate businesses in improving energy efficiencies and reducing costs.”

At the signing ceremony, Mr. Raza Pirbhai (CEO) KFC said “Centralized Billing Mechanism/Single Billing Solution is a customer-centric initiative by KE for its consumers. It is a sign of dynamic and progressive companies to always seek improvement in their processes to enable fast-paced growth.” He also appreciated KE’s initiative to pioneer this “Value added Service” in the power sector, for the convenience of businesses.

KE’s Centralized Billing Mechanism (CBM)/Single Billing Solution payment system provides customers with single-bill solution, eliminates the hassle of multiple individual payments and eases cash flow management. Companies who are already availing this service include Bank Al-Falah, CMPak Zong, PMCL/JAZZ, Edotco Pakistan, Imtiaz Provision Store, Askari Bank Ltd, Bank Al-Habib Ltd, Pizza Hut, Meezan Bank Ltd and Bank Islami Pakistan.

KE apprises FBATI about investment in power value chain

A KE delegation headed by CEO Moonis Alvi met with the Federal B. Area Association of Trade & Industry (FBATI) as part of the power utility’s drive to further improve industry facilitation through closer coordination.

President of Federal B Area Association of Trade & Industry (FBATI) Abdullah Abid spoke about KE’s efforts in facilitating industries through initiatives such as a simpler and faster process for acquiring new connections. He also spoke about the improved accessibility of K-Electric which has resulted in efficient resolution of operational and technical issues faced by industries. Masroor Alvi, Chairman of the Utilities Committee FBATI spoke about KE’s improved response times and efforts to enhance the quality of services such as exemption of industries from load-shed.

At the same time, he also expressed hope that KE will continue to invest in the power infrastructure of Karachi with growing power demand of the city. Office bearers of the association acknowledged the need for all stakeholders to work together in developing a robust civic infrastructure which will create an enabling environment for the utility to operate.

Moonis Alvi, CEO K-Electric apprised the FBATI leadership about KE’s commitment to facilitating industrial consumers through upcoming initiatives. The most important among these is the 900MW RLNG-based power plant which is expected to be start producing electricity by summer of 2021. “This highly efficient, combined-cycle power plant is part of K-Electric’s vision of diversifying its fuel mix, enhancing its generation fleet efficiency, and meet the growing power demand of Karachi. This investment is also critical considering the National Grid’s technical limitations to provide additional power to KE which is available in their system. The city’s power demand is growing faster than the rest of the country which makes it imperative to commission such projects to bridge the gap between supply and demand.”

Mr. Alvi also spoke about ongoing infrastructure upgrades such as the installation of Aerial Bundled Cable (ABC), in line with the power utility’s efforts to further enhance the reliability and safety of the network. Amer Zia, Chief Distribution Officer outlined the installation of automated meter reading (AMR) to increase transparency. Progress of KE’s US$ 450 million transmission enhancement project was also discussed, under which four grids and 22 power transformers have already been energized.

KE officials further apprised FBATI of the various initiatives including the reduction of documents required for New Connection, Load Extension and Load Regularization applications of industries. The power utility has also significantly reduced the turnaround times for acquiring new connections in line with its efforts to support Karachi’s economic growth. These and other initiatives have contributed to improve Pakistan’s ranking by 36 points from last year to reach 108 in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business Index. In the parameter of Getting Electricity, Pakistan improved by 44 points to reach the 123rd spot.

JS Bank hosts book talk with Dr Ishrat Husain

In its drive to promote regional arts and literacy, JS Bank hosted a book talk on “The Economy of Modern Sindh. Opportunities Lost and Lessons for the Future” authored by Dr. Ishrat Husain, Aijaz A. Qureshi and Nadeem Hussain. The ceremony was attended by Basir Shamsie, President & CEO-JS Bank, Imran Shaikh, Chief of Staff-JS Bank, professors and students from Sindh University amid media presence.

The Economy of Modern Sindh delves into the different aspects of Sindh’s economy. It highlights the socioeconomic problems that have beset Sindh and proposes a multi-pronged strategy to address these challenges.

Basir Shamsie, President & CEO, JS Bank stated “JS Bank strongly supports progressive and sustainable initiatives for engaging the people of Pakistan. Modern economy of Sindh reflects back into the time where Sindh was the center of economic progress and how it has lost its competitive advantage to other provinces today. The book proposes fine measures that will contribute significantly towards the economic revival of Sindh and further help regain its lost stature. We at JS Bank strive to highlight Pakistani authors and their work.”

Committed towards its role as a catalyst towards the progress and prosperity of Pakistan, the Bank hopes to continue this journey of impact by being a part of arts and literature.

JBS enters into cloud services agreement with telenor Pakistan

Jaffer Business Systems (Private) Limited, one of the most reputable Information Technology Companies in Pakistan, has joined hands with the country’s leading cellular services provider, Telenor Pakistan, to resell Alibaba Cloud Services across Pakistan. Primarily acquired by Telenor Pakistan, these services will include Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), Software as a Service (SaaS), Consulting Services, and Managed Services. An MoU for a Reseller Agreement to this effect was signed between JBS and Telenor recently.

With the motto to solve people’s business challenges with Information Technology Solutions in a creative way, JBS promotes the culture of excellence, innovation and vitality in its business processes and services. The Agreement with Telenor Pakistan enables JBS to achieve that by reselling Alibaba-powered Cloud Services, besides defining the duties and obligations of JBS and Telenor with regard to procedures, marketing, customer service, service charges, and other related matters.

Commenting on the Agreement, Veqar ul Islam, Director and CEO, JBS said, “We look forward to a bright and fruitful future engagement with Telenor Pakistan under this agreement. This is a good opportunity for us to experience various aspects of Cloud Services and who better than Telenor Pakistan to walk us through an insider’s view of the business and uncover new experiences for us.

“I am sure the agreement will work for us as an upward growth opportunity and further increase our profitability. I expect it to open new revenue streams for us so that we can provide Cloud Services to our customers in a much more confident and competent manner. The added value in this proposition is that because we are partnering with Telenor, we can package solutions with industry-leading products. As the Cloud market continues to soar, we will be well-positioned and in the lead to meet customer demands for managed Cloud Services.”

Haroon Bhatti, Chief Business Officer, Telenor Pakistan, expressed his views on the signing, “Being at the forefront of digitalisation in the country, Telenor Pakistan is always spearheading innovation and bringing smart solutions for conventional challenges. With our Cloud Service offerings, we are aiming to enable businesses to improve and accomplish their objectives in innovative, secure, and economical ways. We are confident that the partnership will equip our partners to meet business challenges effectively and help address the specific needs of their clients besides promoting Cloud services in the country.”

The agreement is poised to help both partners reach the digital transformation goals that they share. Jaffer Business Systems with its quest to bring the latest and emerging technologies to its customers, and Telenor Pakistan with its leadership role in digital transformation of the country, make for great partners to further develop Pakistan’s digital ecosystem and promote integration of smart solutions for greater business efficiency.

JazzCash partners with TCS

JazzCash, country’s fastest growing digital financial service, has entered into a strategic alliance with TCS, Pakistan’s largest courier, logistics and e-commerce solutions provider. Under the first phase of this alliance, 184 TCS centers across the province of Punjab will provide cash-in, cash-out, domestic remittance and interbank funds transfer services through JazzCash.

Speaking about this initiative, President Global Digital Financial Services Nadeem Shaikh from JazzCash, stated, “This alliance benefits JazzCash users by expansion of our payment acceptance forecourts, which offers them security and convenience. TCS’ footprint across Pakistan allows JazzCash to capture diverse markets via multiple service offerings. This is in line with our vision to bridge the prevalent banking divide by offering financial solutions via the convenience of one’s mobile phone.”

CEO TCS Private Limited Salman Akram said, “TCS has been actively pursuing the strategy of incorporating branchless banking and Fintech services at its retail locations. TCS is proud to partner with JazzCash in this endeavor, which is one of the fastest growing digital financial services providers in Pakistan.”

In the near future this service will be expanded to all TCS centers across Pakistan, which will greatly facilitate thousands of customers who visit TCS Express Centers every day. Expanding the reach of innovative payments, this collaboration is set to facilitate current and new JazzCash users through state-of-the-art digital and mobile payment methods.

 

IBA, Karachi and OTF offering Rs2 million scholarships

The Institute of Business Administration (IBA), Karachi signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Orange Tree Foundation (OTF) agreeing to provide scholarships worth Rs. 2 million each year for a period of 2 years to undergraduate and graduate students. The objective of the scholarship is to provide the Institute’s promising young students a stepping stone to self-efficiency. The eligibility for the scholarship will be based on the candidates’ academic record and their requirements of financial assistance.

In the ceremony, the Institute was represented by Acting Executive Director IBA Karachi, Dr. Sayeed Ghani; Head of Corporate Relations and Communications Department, Malahat Awan; Director National Talent Hunt Program, Dr. Junaid Alam; and Director HR Department, Mashooque Bhatti while OTF was represented by CEO and Board Member, Omer Mateen Allahwala; Chairman Board, Faisal Khalid Abdullah; Board Member and Head of Academic Program, Arfa Hasnain, Senior Coordinator, Tazeen. A. Qadir, and Senior Member Fundraising Committee, Riaz Ahmed.

The IBA Resource Mobilization department is striving to create new avenues for helping the financially constrained students at the Institute. Every year 4000 students get enrolled in the six undergraduate as well as eight graduate programs of the IBA Karachi. Out of these 4000, 1500 students apply for financial assistance. Along with the limited resources of the IBA Karachi, many individuals, businesses, and governments make regular funds available to provide scholarships to the underprivileged students of the Institute.

The OTF is a tax-exempted, not-for-profit Educational Society based in Karachi working towards the cause of education in Pakistan. Established in 2011, Orange Tree Foundation aims to provide equal opportunities to financially challenged individuals of our society through quality education, healthcare and family support.

Karachi urban lab at IBA Karachi organized a seminar on climate change

The Karachi Urban Lab, a research organization based at the Institute of Business Administration (IBA), Karachi led by Professor of City and Regional Planning Dr. Nausheen H. Anwar, hosted an event as part of the French and German Embassies’ joint lecture program Open Doors. Christine Rosenberger from the German Embassy, Islamabad joined Dr. Anwar in introducing the panel discussion, titled Climate Crisis Seminar, which is the first event of this series.

Dr. Anwar spoke from the perspective of an urbanist situated in Karachi, who studies not just Karachi but also other cities across Pakistan and the Global South. She asked about the role of the city in the climate crisis, especially considering the ambiguities and complexities of the impacts. Dr. Anwar pointed out how the government has developed and implemented policies that are actually antithetical to the change that must be undertaken. In particular, Dr. Anwar highlighted how structural inequality compounds the impacts of the climate crisis, and how the present understanding of “resilience” is not adequately taking this into account.

Executive member Shehri-CBE Farhan Anwar, highlighted the numerous climate change challenges faced by Karachi and Pakistan. Pakistan is ranked 8th in terms of countries most impacted by climate change and Karachi faces significant challenges such as extreme heat, sea level rise, and flooding. In light of these challenges, Anwar argues that Karachi must undertake more effective climate change adaptability measures.

Adrien Detges and Bastien Alex joined the two speakers on stage for the panel moderated by Afia Salam, a journalist and geographer. Detges spoke about his work with Adelphi in Berlin, an organization that researches climate change, security, and development. He spoke about Adelphi’s compound climate-fragility risks framework, which accounts for how climate change is a risk-multiplier for factors such as state fragility, social unrest, and migration. Mr. Alex, who works with the French Institute for International and Strategic Affairs, spoke about the importance of working with the military with regard to climate change’s impacts on security. The military, he claimed, plays an important role in disaster management. Both Detges and Alex spoke about the importance of awareness at the institutional level about the impacts of climate change on security.

ICICT 2019 concludes at the IBA Karachi

The second day of the flagship conference, the 8th International Conference on Information and Communication Technologies (ICICT 2019), organized by the Faculty of Computer Science (FCS) at the Institute of Business Administration (IBA), Karachi started off with a keynote session by Associate Professor Department of Electrical Engineering at LUMS, Dr. Momin Ayub Uppal. He presented the findings from his experiments which he conducted with the students of LUMS. His talk revolved around environmental sensing using WiFi signals.

It was followed by a talk by Director, National Cyber Security Auditing and Evaluation Lab (NCSAEL), MCS-NUST Dr. Haider Abbas. He delivered a talk about Cyber Security Auditing and Evaluation: A Challenge for Every Organization.

The keynote speakers including Assistant Professor at Information Technology University, Lahore Dr. Agha Ali Raza, and Professor at Capital University of Science and Technology, Islamabad Dr. Amir Qayyum delivered their keynote sessions after the refreshments. The students were engaged in Q&A session with both the speakers.

The technical papers sessions on different topics such as Artificial Intelligence, Social Computing and Information, and Networks were held across different locations at the Aman Tower, City Campus which were headed by Session Chair and Session Secretary. The last tutorial of the ICICT conference was held at the Aman Tower, by Dean, University of Glasgow UESTC Dr. Muhammad Imran on the topic of Research Areas in 5G and Telecom.

The ICICT 2019 came to an end with a closing ceremony that featured closing remarks and presentation of souvenirs to the keynote speakers. The ceremony concluded with a vote of thanks by the conference chair.

Global Islamic Microfinance Forum to be held in Lahore

The 9th Global Islamic Microfinance Forum (GIMF) will convene in Lahore–Pakistan on December 11-13, 2019 under the theme of “Evidence of Impact and Financial Inclusion” to explore and discuss innovative financial inclusion strategies that can create clear pathways to poverty alleviation. This Apex event is organized by AlHuda CIBE in Association with Akhuwat and Sponsored by Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector- ICD. ICD is one of the premier Islamic multilateral financial institution for the development of the private sector.

More than 20 countries will be participating in this prestigious event and around 25 international speakers will be addressing in the event. Majority of the speaker are industry leaders and experts. AlHuda is striving for poverty alleviation through Islamic microfinance by providing advisory, consultancy, research and capacity building services and organized 8 annual events in different countries of the world. This event helps the industry practitioners to join the common platform and strengthen the networking for industry development in true and innovative ways.

Mr. Muhammad Zubair, the Chief Executive Officer of AlHuda CIBE said that 9th GIMF will explore how new and effective strategies (according to Shariah compliant procedures) be formulated to alleviate poverty and for economic sustainability.

While narrating the theme and core purpose of 8th GIMF, Mr. Muhammad Zubair echoed his thoughts, saying that poverty is considered one of the common global issues, but most alarming situation is that major chunk of poverty exist in Muslim countries, as it is considered as number one agenda of “financial inclusion” and Evidence of Impact that how positively affecting the lives of poor people. According to most recent estimates, 46% of the poor population resides in Muslim countries, where poverty trends are alarming. The prime reason of this staggering situation is the general avoidance from” RIBA” which is strictly prohibited in Islam. In order to reduce poverty in Muslim populous countries, a proper platform is needed to execute, valuing their cultural and social values, which is possible only through Islamic Microfinance. The purpose of this forum is to gather the stakeholders under one platform, to find out the remedy to these problems to give a strong support to rapidly increasing Islamic Microfinance industry. A gathering of 200+ Participants are expected from almost 25 different countries to participate in the forum, wherein a large variety of topics will be covered including; Islamic Microfinance, Financial Inclusion, Evidence of Impact, Rural development, Use of IT in Microfinance, Micro-Takaful, Small business problems and solutions, Shariah Principles and General Economic Development.

Dr. Amjad Saqib, the Executive Director, Akhuwat also highlighted the objective of this forum, by articulating that the primary objective of this 9th GIMF, is to assist poor by developing a welfare society exploring the best techniques from different modes of poverty alleviation practiced globally. He presented the Akhuwat Model as a successful case and declared that Akhuwat has so far distributed almost Rs. 63,212,461,837 among more than 2,039,681 families with 99.93% recovery rate, through “Qarz-e-Hassan” which in itself is a true model of Islamic Welfare oriented Microfinance system. Moreover, Akhawat is going to pilot Mudarbah based product to launch it on mass level for poverty alleviation.

The Forum will be followed by Two Days “Post Event Workshop on Operation and Practices of Islamic Micro and Agriculture Finance” dated for December 12-13, 2019. This Workshop will cover a variety of allied topics. To learn more about please visit:  www.alhudacibe.com/gimf2019

Pakistan cables wins the 7th FPCCI achievement award for technological advancement

Pakistan Cables won the 7th FPCCI Achievement award for its contribution towards technological advancement in power transmission systems by introducing a revolutionary technology, ACCC® conductors, for the first time in Pakistan. Aluminum Composite Core Conductors or ACCC®, launched by Pakistan Cables in collaboration with CTC Global Inc., US, is the revolutionary technology which offers twice the capacity of conventional all-aluminum or steel-reinforced conductor with far less thermal sag. ACCC runs cooler and more efficiently than any other conductor type of the same diameter and weight. Line losses are decreased under any operating condition—freeing up generation capacity assets to serve growing demand while reducing emissions.

“ACCC® conductors are a proven technology worldwide which deliver on improving efficiency and conserving energy. Pakistan’s transmission and distribution utilities can benefit tremendously from this revolutionary technology and we remain committed to empowering the sector by offering meaningful innovations”, commented Fahd Kamal Chinoy, Chief Executive Officer, Pakistan Cables.

The Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) organized 7th Achievement Awards Ceremony for the year 2019 in recognition of the praiseworthy contributions in development of different sectors of national economy. Mr. Rao Salman – GM Sales Pakistan Cables received the award on behalf of Pakistan Cables from Chief Guest of the ceremony Governor Sindh Mr. Imran Ismail.

Deakin University conducts the first ever “Deakin Week in Pakistan”

Deakin University’s hold first ever Deakin Week in Pakistan on November 4, The 2019 Deakin Week in Pakistan goes beyond showcasing Deakin’s strengths; it demonstrates the University’s unique relationship with Pakistan. For nearly 20 years, Deakin has been one of Australia’s largest beneficiaries of Pakistan outbound students. These students have worked hard and achieved incredible success in a variety of fields, helping to grow Deakin’s name and reputation.

Deakin Week in Pakistan illustrates how partners’ expertise, knowledge and networks can be enriched through regular engagement with Deakin. This will be highlighted through professional development, internationalising curricula, collaborative research pathways and global citizenship initiatives. With the theme ‘Creating Connections and Partnerships’, Deakin Week in Pakistan is aimed to strengthen Deakin’s connection with Pakistan through engaging all partners, agents and other stakeholders.

As part of the first ever Deakin Week in Pakistan, following public events are being held in Lahore and Islamabad where select audience are participating through prior registration and screening.

The Deakin Engage series involves a sequence of lectures and events promoting the work and thoughts of Pakistani and Australian public intellectuals, opinion leaders, academics, political leaders and community leaders. The first event of this series was held at PC Lahore in partnership with The Lahore Chamber of Commerce. The second event of this series held at Marriott Islamabad on 8th November in partnership with Islamabad Chamber of Commerce.

Friends of Deakin Dinner is also being organized to bring on board alumni, partners and other stakeholders at one platform to further strengthen partnerships and create more connections. Friends of Deakin Dinner held in Lahore on 5th November PC Hotel and 7th November in Islamabad at Serena Hotel.

The Alfred Deakin Oration series will involve a sequence of lectures and events promoting the work and thoughts of South Asian public intellectuals, opinion leaders, academics, political and community leaders. The Alfred Deakin Orations will celebrate both the contribution of South Asian intellectuals and the success of Deakin University academics from South Asian backgrounds. The first event of this series is scheduled to be held at University of Health Sciences Lahore on 6th November.

Deakin’s faculty members of various departments such as Health, Business and Law and Science, Engineering and Built Environment and Arts and Educations are also participating at these events and are available for interaction and guidance for students and media.

Please join us to help celebrate Deakin’s new and old partnerships in Pakistan. Hosted by Mr Carl Jones, Deakin University International Manager.

CEJ-IBA and KUJ sign MoU for capacity-building workshops

The Karachi Union of Journalists (KUJ) (Barna Group) and the Centre for Excellence in Journalism at the Institute of Business Administration (CEJ-IBA) Karachi signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for a capacity building program for journalists.

The MoU was signed by the KUJ Barna Group President, Hassan Abbas, General Secretary Aajiz Jamali and Director CEJ-IBA Kamal Siddiqi at a ceremony held at the CEJ-IBA.

According to the MoU, KUJ Skills Development Committee will be jointly organizing training workshops for journalists. These trainings will focus on enhancing professional skills of working journalists by equipping them with the latest tools in areas of data journalism and mobile journalism.

The MoU signing was attended by Vice President Aijaz Ahmed, Joint Secretary Lubna Jerar Naqvi, Joint Secretary Nasir Sharif and Member Executive Council Iqtadar Anwar.

Pakistan pavilion wins widespread praise at ADIPEC

Pakistan grabbed the limelight at the Abu Dhabi International Petroleum Exhibition & Conference (ADIPEC), one of the world’s most influential energy sector events, held from 11-14 November 2019 in Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC), United Arab Emirates.

Pakistan’s Ministry of Energy (Petroleum Division), Petroleum Institute of Pakistan (PIP) and leading national oil and gas companies featured prominently in this event by setting up a grand Pakistan Pavilion which was spread over 90 square meters showcasing Pakistan and its upstream, midstream and downstream energy sectors in vibrant style. The theme of the Pakistan Pavilion was ‘Pakistan – Emerging Opportunities’. The exquisitely created Pavilion was well-equipped with spacious meeting spaces. The Pavilion provided Pakistan’s oil and gas sectors’ heads and professionals an exceptional opportunity to have B2B meetings with delegates and visitors and explore new business opportunities, encourage foreign direct investment in the country, promote Government’s investor friendly policies and enhance the country’s overall image. Pakistan Pavilion received extensive appreciation by the national and international oil and gas community.

Participating companies from Pakistan included Government Holdings (Pvt.) Limited, Mari Petroleum Company Limited (MPCL), Oil & Gas Development Company Limited (OGDCL), Pak-Arab Refinery Limited (PARCO), Pakistan Petroleum Limited (PPL), Pakistan LNG Terminals Limited (PLTL), Pakistan LNG Limited (PLL), Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited (SNGPL) and Sui Southern Gas Co. Limited (SSGC) with PIP as a focal point of the industry, under the patronage of Ministry of Energy (Petroleum Division). The Pakistani delegation was headed by Nadeem Babar, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister (SAPM) on Petroleum Division.

Nadeem Babar spoke eloquently at the Ministerial and Policy Session entitled ‘4th Industrial revolution is upon us on; One of its critical assumptions will be access to affordable energy’. The SAPM said that the present government of Pakistan is focused towards overcoming energy crisis in the country through proactive efforts. He said that energy shortage in early 2000 in Pakistan contributed to a loss of 3 to 4 % of Pakistan’s GDP. The SAPM said that the present government has completely changed the paradigm for energy with the result that by 2030, Pakistan will have 64 per cent green energy that basically includes wind, solar, biomass and hydel. ‘If one adds nuclear to it, which is another 10 per cent, the number may go up to 75 per cent.’ Mr. Babar said while adding that the Government is pursuing hydel, solar and wind energy projects.

The Nadeem Babar suggested an industrial policy ‘nexus’ with energy policy to achieve supply-demand balance. “We have seen the economy being choked because of lack of supplies of energy,” he lamented.

Mr. Babar noted five pillars of paradigm shift in energy transformation – availability, affordability, sustainability, responsibility of use and converting brain power into machine power. “In Pakistan, we have launched two streams – one is to have huge increase in footprints of renewable and cleaner energy and at the same time a need to reinvigorate our gas industry,” the SAPM added.

‘In addition to the renewables stream, we are opening up our E&P sector in a major way by demolishing regulations and removing approvals. The SAPM announced that Pakistan Government would be launching 40 exploration blocks in the next 12 months, with the first one to be unveiled by the coming month.

ACCA supports women entrepreneurs in South Punjab

ACCA partnered with the Women Economic Empowerment Network for the WEEN Summit 2019 in Multan to bring together trailblazing women entrepreneurs and provide opportunities to inspire, network, collaborate, seek support, and launch new initiatives.

At the summit, ACCA Member, Khawaja Mohsin delivered an insightful presentation on how to enable women entrepreneurship in the country and explained how ACCA is helping Women in Finance reach their career goals.

The major outcomes of the summit included the launch of wehub.pk, Pakistan’s most comprehensive information and business portal for women entrepreneurs, formulation of WECON Movement Multan Chapter, and the launch of Women Entrepreneurs and Leaders Program, South Punjab’s first entrepreneurial programme focused on female youth and women.

“ACCA has always been an inclusive professional body and we strongly advocate for gender diversity globally. We believe that it’s every organisation’s responsibility to support diversity, and to review the way they support and open up opportunities to women – and all under-represented groups in the country. By ensuring that the women entrepreneurs are supported and encouraged, we can improve economic opportunities for our people.” – Sajjeed Aslam, head of ACCA Pakistan

“The accounting profession in Pakistan is committed to improving the workplace experience and progression prospects for women. We need to keep working together on a true, concerted effort to acknowledge long-standing issues, rectify them, and bring about change that creates balance.”

The event featured contributions from leading women business leaders and policy makers, including Shandana Gulzar Khan, Chairperson, Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians.

Opportunity and diversity are two of ACCA’s five core values, and it was established specifically to open up the profession to people of all backgrounds, based solely on their ability. ACCA is in a strong position when it comes to gender balance – its membership has a 50/50 gender split, and the Council and executive team are also balanced in terms of men and women.

On 70th anniversary, NBP is ready to announce initiatives to meet local and global challenges

National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) has proved itself as a leading commercial bank of the country in terms of assets and profit, and is prepared to launch initiatives for promotion of inclusive banking to meet local and global business challenges.

NBP’s President Mr. Arif Usmani, while speaking at the 70th anniversary celebration at NBP Head Office said, ‘National Bank is the backbone of national economy and we will continue to strive to do more for the nation. He added that under a new major initiative the bank would focus on the financing of Agriculture, SMEs and projects/businesses aimed at women empowerment. For this purpose, he added, a new business group had been formed to focus on these sectors and deliver results within shortest possible time.

He said strengthening of Agriculture sector is a must for the progress of our country, SMEs is the second largest and important economic sector. Earlier, people were shy to get loan from banks because of lack of information about the loan procedure. However, NBP is now organizing seminars in different areas of the country to train SMEs borrowers. These training sessions are titled ‘Certified to Borrow,’ this certificate would work as license for getting loans for SMEs and NBP would give discount in interest rate to certified SMEs borrowers.

Arif Usmani said the bank had also gone for systematic up-gradation and the use of latest technology to provide best services to its customers in the era of digitalization.  NBP is prepared to move with digital revolution as around 75 million cellular phones are functional in the country and people are constantly demanding banking facilities on their phones.

He informed remorsefully that only 40 percent economy is documented and the banks are working with this portion only. Increasing the tax-GDP ratio is essential for strengthening the economy of the country and the government is taking effective steps to remove trust deficit among taxpayers.

President informed that under Kamyab Jawan Program, so far 470,000 people had applied through NBP. Its other partner banks are Bank of Punjab and Bank of Khyber.

Mr. Arif Usmani also displayed the trophy won by World Snooker Champion Muhammad Asif and announced a Rs. 750,000 cash prize for his historic victory.

KE’s 12mw grid energized to facilitate Getz pharma’s new plant

K-Electric (KE) has energized a dedicated 12-megawatt grid along with a dedicated 132kV distribution system to facilitate Getz Pharma’s new manufacturing/production facility in Korangi industrial area. The ceremony was attended by Khalid Mahmood, MD & CEO Getz Pharma and Moonis Alvi, CEO, KE along with their respective teams.

According to Moonis Alvi, CEO KE, “We are committed to powering industrial growth; energization of this grid today is yet another testament of our efforts towards facilitating industrial consumers to help them unlock their full potential. To meet the growing power demand of Karachi, KE has planned various initiatives resulting in investments of around US$3 billion across the power value chain over the next few years including the 900 MW RLNG-based BQPS-III, a 700 MW coal-based IPP project, and Transmission and Distribution related projects.”

Speaking at the ceremony, Khalid Mahmood, MD & CEO, Getz Pharma said, “This grid station was necessary to fulfill the load requirements of the company’s new plant Astola, which is the largest pharmaceutical plant in Pakistan, designed to obtain World Health Organization (WHO) accreditation and Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold certification. It will go a long way in enabling Getz Pharma to retain its status as Pakistan’s largest pharmaceutical exporter and lead the way in innovation and excellence. Development work on the grid station was carried out round the clock in close coordination with KE, which provided technical expertise and facilitation to ensure completion of the project as per industry standards.”

It is pertinent to note that KE’s industry-centric initiatives such as a faster and simpler application process with the option of online form submission, reduced documentation, e-payment option for new connection estimate, online cost calculator and online case tracking helped Pakistan improve its ranking in the Ease of Doing Business (EoDB) rankings. In the parameter of Getting Electricity, Pakistan rose from 167 to 123 and also gained 28 positions overall to rise from 136 to 108 based on initiatives across six indicators under the EoDB index.

Getz Pharma

Getz Pharma is Pakistan’s leading pharmaceutical company with operations in over 25 countries. It is the only company whose manufacturing facility is Pre-qualified and approved by the World Health Organization, Geneva as well as member countries of PIC/S. Getz Pharma is the largest investor and the highest taxpayer in the pharmaceutical sector of Pakistan, and 33rd highest taxpayer of Pakistan. It is also the highest exporter of pharmaceutical products and has received the Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FPCCI) Export Trophy from the President and Prime Minister of Pakistan for 14 consecutive years.

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