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Syed Farukh Mazhar




Syed Farukh Mazhar
For the record
AMI — Iqra University
Information Technology
The Internet as a marketing tool
The global growth of women in business
A tribute to Hamid D Habib

Jun 19 - 25, 2000

Syed Farukh Mazhar, a qualified Chartered Accountant, completed his articleship from Ford Rhodes Robson Morrow. Prior to SGS, he worked with Metropole and Pakistan Service Limited (PSL). He has been with SGS since 1990, where he was appointed as the Director Finance. In 1997, he was promoted to Managing Director of the organization where his vast portfolio of responsibilities include total management of the company, overseeing the entire regional operations and ensuring that SGS Pakistan offers the best in ISO certification. Syed Farukh Mazhar is a leading personality in matters relating to quality standards and has travelled extensively in relation to his work requirements. SGS Pakistan (Pvt.) Ltd. has four offices in Pakistan, with its Head Office in Karachi and branch offices in Lahore, Islamabad and Multan.

PAGE: What is ISO certification program for various groups, i.e. manufacturers, services companies, etc.

Farukh Mazhar: SGS ICS (International Certification Services) is committed to the practical implementation of international standards throughout industry. Our services include certification training against standards such as ISO 9000 series, ISO 14001, EMAS, QS-9000, VDA 6.1, SCC (equivalent to VCA in Netherlands, BS 7799, ISA 2000, SA 8000, HACP, SQF 2000 to name a few. For the industrial groups, certification agencies offer ISO 9000 and ISO 14000 certification services. ISO 9000 certification is awarded to the group or industry, which develop and implement quality management system within the organization. On the other hand ISO 14000 certification applies to those industries or groups who develop and implement Environmental Management System with in the organization head. Elaborating the ISO 9000 (QMS) certification, the implementation or the adaptation varies from group to group. One group which is designing its product, manufacturing / producing, and dispatching it, qualifies for ISO 9001 whereas one group/industry which is manufacturing according to the customer's requirement qualifies for ISO 9002. However, the importance and the prestige are the same for both. Certification program for any service sector is very similar to that of product oriented organization. The only difference is the service group / organization acquiring the certification, documents the operations / service workings as its quality system documents, otherwise quality management system theme remains the same.

PAGE: Why should one acquire such certification?

FM: Adapting and effectively implementation of such a system ensures improved work performance and ultimately creating confidence in the mind of the customer. Internationally, the certificate is your evidence that one is committed towards a positive thinking and producing desired quality, enhancing the brand / image perception and gives you an edge over one's competitors. These standards are aimed at ensuring consistency in each sphere of business activity.

PAGE: Why don't Pakistani companies give due attention to the important aspect — documentation of procedures?

FM: It is an unfortunate situation, the lack of attention and action by our businesses has also affected our industry, and especially the export oriented industries.Unfortunately, when ISO is introduced, the model was defined in a pressurized manner that every single activity will be recorded and documented, and once it became started implementing, the concept of ISO was stuck up in the minds of the group that one has to develop unnecessary documents. Another concept was that the written procedures / documentation are meant for the top management just to put pressure as every thing will be written. For some groups, this documentation will increase the expense to a good extent and increase the production cost. Another reason is, most Pakistani companies have so called experienced "MASTERS" displaying wonders of their experiences. When it comes to the documentation, their thinking is these procedures might make my skills common enough that no body will bother to ask for my expertise.

Now, however the situation has improved, Export Promotion Bureau is taking keen interest in supporting programmes that will not only serve the awareness objectives but also facilitate the companies in applying and acquiring these certifications. The government's support and cash subsidy has given a tremendous boost to the number of companies who are applying for these approvals.

PAGE: How many Pakistani companies have qualified for such certificates?

FM: For the past few years, the concept of quality consciousness is changed a lot and people have tried to adopt this system. In Pakistan, so far about 1200 companies have successfully been certified to ISO management systems and this rate is increasing at a constant rate which shows that people have adapted the cultural change which is really helping them finding efficient ways of carrying out businesses.