By SHABBIR H.
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
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