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Excerpts from an interview with CEO City campus

By SHABBIR H. KAZMI
Sep 25 - Oct 01, 2000

We at Hamdard University, follow a theme "improvement in competence to enhance output". Incidentally this is also the aim of education. Education, followed by experience, helps a person to do the things efficiently, with minimum wastage of time and other resources. With the increasing competition and globalization if a business house wishes to survive and grow it has to acquire an edge over other competitors. Therefore, the education at any business school must enable the graduates to do the things in a better manner so as to compare to the acts of an uneducated person using his hunch.

We at Hamdard believe that getting education is an inherent right of a child irrespective of his/her financial, social and cultural background. I would go one step further, higher education policy of the government or any educational institution should not be biased towards any particular group or a few elites. Realizing the fact that higher education costs more, it is necessary to provide an opportunity to in-service people to improve upon their competence.

The students coming to Hamdard Institute of Management Sciences (HIMS) can be divided into various groups. These are: 1) whose fees is paid by parents and they often do not realize its worth. 2) Who work during the day and then spend part of their hard earned income on getting education in evening when most of the people prefer to relax. 3) Our employees who want to progress and 4) those who do not have money or job but wish to study by becoming a productive part of Hamdard.

In the absence of any career counselling, our up-coming generation often suffer a lot due to herd mentality. At one time every one wished to become a doctor or engineer. Then there was a craze for acquiring MBA degree. The latest being information technology (IT). It is very unfortunate that due to over production of any one particular type, very soon the graduates face unemployment.

I believe, that instead of wasting resources and precious time and energy of youth, there is a need to undertake the need-analysis and then produce only the required number of graduates. Saying this much, it is also necessary to estimate the annual brain drain. Since we cannot stop the professionals from going abroad and no such effort should be made, we have to create employment opportunities and pay the talented youngs an attractive salary so that they build their careers in Pakistan. I also believe, that most of the youth who leave Pakistan ultimately come back. While they are abroad they also send some part of their earnings, at least, to Pakistan to support their families. When they come back finally, they have already accumulated enough resources for the brought up of their next generation which their parents could not ensure due to their own limitations.

The policy planners, business community and academicians must join their hands in re-engineering of whole education system. The business schools should not produce professional managers only. They should groom entrepreneurs. Look at the public sector entities, most of the employees believe that they are hired to do a specific job in that particular entity. They do not use their intellectual properties to work harder or work as a team. They also do not own these corporations and are least bothered whether the entity makes profit or loss. They also believe that if the unit, where they are employed, incur losses their income will not be affected and the government is liable to provide them with another job.

The harsh reality is that with the passage of time, the role and participation of private sector is being redefined and state-enterprises will abolish from the scene, ultimately. Multilateral lenders no longer provide funds at concessional rates. Even the domestic banks and DFIs have become more choosy. Therefore, in the next phase of industrialization only the best companies will be able to survive and grow.

Pakistan has a huge population but most the workforce has hardly any skill to serve in today's job market. We need to invest in developing this resource. The presence of a large number of foreign investors and constant increase in their stake is the exhibition of their faith in the economic potential of the country. Let all of us join our hands to build this country our homeland and ensure a prosperous future for all. Most probably we are fighting our last war for the survival