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May 22 - 28, 2000

New Director of Engineering at the Karachi Sheraton

Mr. Farhan Zaheer has recently joined the Karachi Sheraton Hotel & Towers as the Director of Engineering. With more than 18 years of working in the shipping industry both in Pakistan and abroad and 8 years in the hospitality industry having worked in various hotels, Mr. Zaheer brings with him rich experience that would be highly valuable to the hotel.

In his current capacity as the Director of Engineering at the Karachi Sheraton Hotel & Towers, Mr. Zaheer will be responsible for prompt and high quality operations & maintenance of the engineering facilities at the hotel. A man of diversified experience at managing engineering affairs, Mr. Zaheer will also be expected to use his problem solving skills to increase his department's efficiency.

Karachi Sheraton Hotel & Towers, the only internationally-managed five star hotel in Pakistan, is a part of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, inc. which has more than 700 hotels in 76 countries and takes pride in the quality of staff it hires all over the world to bring about consistency in service in which Starwood property you experience.

Hundi causing huge losses to exchequer: UBL President

"Pakistan has lost out on legal remittance flow of $150 billion into the country from the Non-Resident Pakistanis (NRPs) during the last 20 years." This was stated by UBL President, Amar Zafar Khan while talking to journalists in Dubai, recently.

NRP remittances to Pakistan are around $10 billion every year, of which around $9 billion goes through the Hundi route because people still prefer to take advantage of the four to five per cent differential that they make on the exchange rate when sending money through the illegal channel according to the UBL President. These figures do not talk of opportunity losses, but real losses to the country, he added.

However, recently introduced remittance schemes, which deliver money to beneficiaries in Pakistan within 24 hours by banks like UBL have made some difference, which he said will further improve. UBL's fast remittance scheme launched late last year, has improved in volumes with the bank doing three fold business this year compared to the previous year.

President said that since his taking over as the President of the bank earlier this year, he is in the process of reviewing and looking into the operations including in the UAE and Gulf. But he said that the broad policies of the bank would remain the same with focus on the consumer-banking segment apart from corporate and trade banking. He said that the UAE operations, which had broken even in 1998, made profits of Dh. 3.8 million last year, while liquidity of the bank was up by 30 per cent.

Emirates Honours UAE's top Galileo Users

Galileo Emirates recently celebrated its successful partnership with some of the UAE's leading travel agents, with a Gala Evening at the prestigious Burj Al Arab Hotel.

The company, part of the Emirates Group, is the distributor of the Galileo electronics global reservations system to travel agents in the UAE, Lower Gulf, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

Emirates' Chairman, HH Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al- Maktoum, who hosted the exclusive event, said: "We are very pleased to honour our partners in the UAE travel community. Emirates chose the Galileo system, quite simply because we considered it to be the best for the travel agent. The fact that Galileo now has an 85 percent share of the Middle East market in reservation systems, proves us right.

"I thank you for your continued support for our part, we shall continue to invest in the latest software and equipment available, to keep you at the cutting edge of travel industry technology."

Galileo International, the American-based parent company of Galileo Emirates, was represented by Guest of Honour Gordon Wilson, Vice- President Galileo International, who said: "We are thrilled to be present in Dubai with these great partners.

This is a three- way partnership- Galileo, Emirates and the travel agents. Let us work together to face the new challenges in the travel industry today.

50 Years Celebration of Gestetner

Gestetner celebrated its 50th year of presence in Pakistan on Friday 5th May, by hosting a dinner for some of its valued customers. Earlier the same day a supplement had appeared in the press, highlighting its core products, i.e. Digital Copiers, Digital Copyprinters and Plain paper laser fax machines alongwith its diversification into the field of BCI Personal Computers, De la Rue note & coin counting machines and Diebold ATMs. These were also on display at the function. Gestetner, in keeping with the IT development seeks to provide complete solutions for its clientele.

Apart from notable dignitaries like Mrs. Shahida Jamil, Provincial Minister for Law, Mr. Iftikhar Soomro, Provincial Minister for Food & Agriculture, Mr. Tariq Ikram, Minister of State & Chairman, Export Promotion Bureau & Mr. David Merry, Deputy High Commissioner, British High Commission, Mr. Munnawar Hamid CEO, ICI, Mr. Timothy Gibbs of Emirates Bank, Mr. Shaukat R. Mirza representing PSO, Mr. T. Umar CEO of Hoechst Marion Roussel, Mr. Munsif Raza MD, PPL, Mr. P. Ghias Director Finance, Engro, Mr. Kamran Ibrahim MD, Roche, Mr. M. I. Akbar,. Chairman, Akbar Group of Companies, Mr. Richard Hardwick, Director, British Council & Mr.Hassan Hares representing Diebold of USA, had graced the occasion.

"Andaz Apna Apna"

Karachi Sheraton Hotel & Towers, an ardent supporter of art and culture, recently co-hosted the 1st Anniversary show of awarding-winning TV show, "Andaz Apna Apna" - which features women achievers from across Pakistan. People from all walks of life had been invited by Karachi Sheraton Hotel & Towers and Broadcast Marketing Network (BMN) to attend the grand celebrations.

The show took place in the Darbar Hall, which was set to give a traditional, yet a contemporary touch simultaneously. The program started with a grand cocktail reception served outside Darbar. Karachi Sheraton is well known for its high quality standards in catering, and the meal served prior to the show was just one of the humble examples of an excellent spread. From cold cuts, to hot bites and the appetizing desserts, the Executive Chef took utmost care in ensuring that all items were prepared to perfection.

"Karachi Sheraton has always been committed towards promoting women, and their achievements", says Mr. Thomas van Opstal, General Manager, Karachi Sheraton Hotel & Towers, "hosting this show, was just our way of reiterating the role women play in the societal development".

The program itself comprised of a mixture of events, blending the best of talents in the arenas of fashion, music, film and television. The show included foot stomping performances by Junaid Jamshed, Strings & Shakeela Khorasanee. Karachi Sheraton & BMN had also invited Resham, Waris Baig, Gia Ali & Arbaaz to participate in the event, who enthralled the audience with their captivating performance. The highlight of the evening was the spontaneous pieces by Anwar Maqsood, which had the audience laughing to tears in delight over Anwar Maqsood's subtle innuendoes. Blending the whole show together, were fashion shows where works by upcoming & top fashion designers and beauticians were displayed in the themes of modern, radical/futuristic and traditional makeup & outfits.

Data Warehousing can help build better relationship with customers and citizens:

NCR Corporation, one of the leading IT multinational in Pakistan organized a series of seminars on "@ctive Data Warehouse" titled "Positioning for prosperity" in Islamabad and Karachi. These seminars mark the introduction of this technology in Pakistan thus ushering in a new era in managing Customer Relations. Both seminars were largely attended by senior executives from Corporate and Government Sector.

Minister for Interior Lt. General Moin uddin Haider was the Chief Guest at the seminar in Islamabad He briefed the audience about initiatives being undertaken by the Government towards promoting the cause of Information Technology in Pakistan. This includes coming up with IT policy, creating an IT division and identifying IT as one of the key focus area. He specifically mentioned about the major effort being undertaken by the Government to establish Citizens Database and Data Warehouse, which will enable the Government to help plan for the future better.

Lt. General Zahid Ehsan, Chairman, National Database and Registration Authority also spoke on the occasion and shared with the audience Government vision of Good Governance through Data Warehousing. He highlighted the areas of focus for the Government which includes electoral reforms, passport and immigration, taxation, education etc. He further explained that through the use of Data Warehousing solution being set up by the Government, for the first time decision making will be based on accurate analysis of data. He urged Multinationals like NCR to further invest in educating the masses about this new technology.

Syed Veqar ul Islam, Country General Manager, NCR Pakistan, spoke on the importance of this technology in Pakistan which can transform the paradigm of Information Technology in Pakistan. He believes this will enable the organizations and Government to use IT for decision making and not just for operational functions. He pointed out that this is the start of series of initiative NCR will be undertaking in this regard.

Advisor to Chief Executive on National Affairs and Information Mr. Saved Jabbar, who was the Chief Guest at the seminar in Karachi, said that data warehousing could help build better relationship with customers and citizens. He said that the government has initiated compilation of computerized voters' list with identity card numbers of all eligible voters. He pointed out that there was lack of authentic data in each sector in the country. He said that over 60 per cent of the population depended on agriculture sector, but data was not available about previous crop size. For development of agriculture sector such data was very essential, he added.

Mr. Arshad Khan, Chief Executive Of ficer of Pakistan Telecommunication Mobile Limited also spoke on the occasion in Karachi and explained the importance of using Information Technology for better customer focus. He mentioned the fact that PTML has decided to venture into Datawarehousing technology, because they would like to know the customers better so that PTML can serve them better. As per him PTML will use technologies like Datawarehousing to be better customer focussed thus enabling them to have better stronger relationship.

The keynote speaker for the seminar was Mr. Stephen Brobst, Chief Technical Of ficer, NCR Corporation. Mr. Brobst is Ph.D. in parallel processing from MIT and is also an MBA with joint courses and thesis work at the Harvard School and the MIT Sloan School of Management. Mr. Brobst is a speaker of international fame and focussed his presentation towards critical success factors for a successful Data Warehouse implementation. His talk also focussed on how to make the most out of information assets using data mining and Data Warehousing techniques. Specific case studies were also presented with an emphasis on quantification of results from various opportunities seen in real world implementations. Mr. Brobst emphasized upon the trend toward actionable decision support capability with both tactical and strategic use of Data Warehouse. He also emphasized the fact that countries like Pakistan needs to invest in this technology as it poses tremendous opportunity to improve the infrastructure and decision making mechanism in Pakistan.

International industries

International industries Ltd, the leading G, pipe manufacturers in the country are going for an expansion in their range of product. They will now be making pipes upto 6 inch dia. Which will also include seam annealed and bead removed M.S pipes for oil and gas industry.

This was stated by Mr. M. Aijaz Aquil, regional sales manager of the company in an interview with PAGE correspondent.