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Feb 19 - 25, 2001

Microsoft Windows 2000 server sales hit 1m mark

Microsoft Corp. has sold nearly one million copies of its Windows 2000 server software, the powerful version of its flagship operating system that underpins its march on the lucrative market for corporate computing, a company executive said on Thursday.

It was the first time the world's top software maker has released sales figures for the server version of Windows 2000, which it launched almost exactly a year ago after more than $1 billion and three years in development.

While Microsoft frequently touted rapid sales of the cheaper desktop version of Windows 2000, analysts long suspected its silence on server sales meant the product hadn't sold as fast as hoped.

Shares in Microsoft fell $2-7/16, or 3.8 percent, to $62-1/4 on the Nasdaq. The stock has tumbled from its year high of $115 amid concerns over slowing computer sales and business technology spending.

Getting businesses to use Windows 2000 is crucial for Microsoft as it pitches itself as a low-cost, high-powered alternative to traditional corporate computing giants like IBM and Sun Microsystems, analysts say.

Windows 2000 is also the foundation for the company's .NET strategy to deliver data and services over the Internet to PCs, cell phones and handheld computers.

Microsoft said its sales figure includes the Server (powerful), Advanced Server (more powerful) and Datacenter (most powerful) versions of Windows 2000. It includes sales made through computer makers, retail outlets, and volume licensing that lets large businesses deploy multiple copies.

Cathay Pacific selects NetDimensions for global E-Learning

Cathay Pacific Airways announced it has chosen NetDimensions, a leading Asian provider of learning-management systems, to provide its Enterprise Knowledge PlatformTM (EKP) for the airline's global e-Learning network. When the learning-management system is rolled-out in July 2001, more than 14,000 Cathay Pacific employees in 29 countries will use the platform to take courses on topics ranging from customer service to management skills.

Cathay Pacific's Manager, Learning & Development Group, Graharm Higgins said: "The Enterprise Knowledge Platform will strengthen our training capabilities and allow us to offer a wide range of learning options anywhere, anytime in a personalized way. With this approach our training centres can reach out through our system and manage the process, content and relationship with learners efficiently and cost effectively."

Cathay Pacific has purchased EKP on a software license-basis, and NetDimensions will provide software integration and related services to link the platform to Cathay Pacific's other enterprise systems. The implementation will initially be in English, and will later be expanded to other languages.

NetDimensions' Managing Director Jay Shaw said: "Cathay Pacific has a reputation for service and operational excellence. We are delighted that NetDimensions and EKP can play a role in furthering that reputation."

Centenary Air Race Entrants Stop at Karachi Sheraton

The contestants of the London-Sydney Centenary Air Race 2001, a re-creation of one of the most famous air routes, are scheduled to stop at the Karachi Sheraton Hotel & Towers, the only internationally managed 5-star hotel in Pakistan. An assortment of aircrafts from all over the world are preparing to converge on England's famous Biggin Hill aerodrome near London in preparation for the start of the first Great Air Race of the new century. The London/Sydney Centenary Air Race 2001 will leave Biggin Hill on March 11, 2001 at the start of a 22,000-kilometre journey to Australia

"The Karachi Sheraton is proud to be the preferred choice for the air-race participants' stay in Karachi and wishes good luck to all the contestants," said the General Manager, Karachi Sheraton Hotel & Towers, Mr. Thomas van Opstal. "We promise to strive hard to maintain our image and meet and exceed the expectation of our valued guests"

More than 40 entrants in the race will take 28 days to reach Australia, touching on many of a countries which became well known stopover points on the original Kangaroo Route between England and Australia. Stopover and transit points will include France, Greece, Crete, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, United Arab Emirates, Oman, Pakistan, India, Myanmar, Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia and Timor, finally making their first Australian landfall at Darwin.

KODAK celebrates a milestone of 100 Kodak Express Outlets in Pakistan

Kodak Limited Pakistan with its multitude of dealers from all over Pakistan celebrated a milestone of reaching 100 Kodak Express Outlets. The occasion also included the Lucky Draw Ceremony of the "Kodak-200 Gold Dealers Scheme".

Also present on this momentous occasion was Mr. Richard Fleming, General Manager for Kodak Distributor Markets, Asia Pacific Region, Mr. Awais Ahmed, Country Manager, Kodak Limited Pakistan and Mr. Owais Yaqoob, Managing Director, General Traders (Private) Limited.

"This has been an overwhelming achievement for Kodak Limited Pakistan having reached this milestone of 100 Kodak Express Outlets in such a short span of time. It speaks volumes of our commitment and quality assurances to our dealers and consumers alike," said Richard Fleming while addressing a large number of dealers present on the occasion.

KEPZ investors' Problems

Like most of the government institutions, Karachi Export Processing Zone (KEPZ) is being run half-heartedly. Even after 21 years of its launching, KEPZ still striving hard to survive mainly because of improper planning and unpractical procedures etc.

The shipping documents pertaining to the goods meant for dispatch to Tariff Area (outside KEPZ) are filed and processed at Customs within KEPZ.

However, the leviable taxes are paid at National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) booth situated at Karachi airport which is miles away from KEPZ. This exercise too much of time thus causing delay and hardship to KEPZ investors in supplying their goods on time.

Tax collection booth should be set up at KEPZ without further delay. It is necessary to point out that an NBP branch is already running its business in KEPZ. As such no extraordinary infrastructure is required for having such a tax collection booth within the branch which will definitely help expedite the shipments from KEPZ.

Another important issue is of 'cash counters' in KEPZ banks. There are four banks working in KEPZ. However, none of them has a cash counter in its branch for dollar or rupee transactions. The KEPZ investors have to remit their funds to a local bank or a moneychanger in downtown from where they get their foreign currency encashed and then come back to KEPZ for payment of dues/salaries to their associates and staff, etc. This process not only invites extra expenses and hassle but could be risky to investors while carrying handsome amounts of cash.

The Governor of State Bank of Pakistan is requested to look into the matter personally so that these genuine demands of KEPZ investors are accepted and anxiety amongst them is minimized.

Ahmed Zafar Takes over as CEO of Philips Pakistan

On January 16, 2001, Ahmed Zafar assumed the responsibilities of Chief Executive Officer of Philips Pakistan Ltd.

He has taken over from Javed Iqbal, who continues to be the non-executive Chairman of the Board.

Ahmed has been associated with Philips since 1995, working initially as General Manager of the Philips Electronics Representative office in Uzbekistan.

Subsequently he was transferred to Prague where he worked as the Regional Project Manager for the Central and Eastern Europe region.

In the early part of his career, Ahmed spent time in the fields of advertising, hotels and communications, both in Pakistan and the Middle East.

IT Culture: An Orientation

Recently a seminar was held at Mohammad Ali Jinnah University, Karachi. The guest speaker, Mr. Taimur Aslam was a renowned person from USA. He graduated from Purdue University with BS (Hons) and MS in Computer Science and Mathematics. He worked for Motorola for 4 years where he was involved in development of real time operating systems and the embedded Java Virtual Machine. Currently he is working at Aeterna where he is conducting R&D in Network Management and Network Applications.

The following points were discussed:

IT culture in Pakistan

CS accreditation standards.

Steps or measures taken in Pakistan

Implications of IT & its potential

Definition of an IT professional

Mr. Aslam said "In Pakistan the culture of rather the view of IT is quite different from what's happening in the USA or other developed countries of the world." He particularly pinpointed comparisons with the US domain as he has vast experiences working there.

According to him IT is very much associated with CS (Computer Science). The world of computer technology can be categorized into 2 parts, one is Software engineering and the other is the maintenance and operations. People in Pakistan are following the trend of doing certificate courses and joining the field of IT. As soon as the tool which the expertise is becomes obsolete their worth in the International market starts decreasing until they are forced to learn new tools. IT is not just the Operations. Side of computers. In the world IT is linked with CS just like nut and shell.

The most important thing is the courses which are taught at our local institutes and international standard universities. Associations and organizations such as ACM and APPIT have got down certain standard boundaries for any institute or university to achieve competence with US standards. Those courses and aspects of CS and IT should be taught by our universities. These courses are a merger of both CS and Ops and IT.

They include:

1. Introduction to Programming

2. Analysis of Algorithm

3. Compiler Design

4. Databases

5. Networking

6. Computer security etc.

It's a very worrying situation that only few universities in Pakistan follow these standards and rest all lag behind in one part or the another as these institutes are the ones who cause our educated youth to follow the trend of becoming IT technicians rather than Professionals.

The guest suggested that if the govt. can't support IT development programmes fully then the private sector should come forward and invest in this field. This could at least lay down the foundation of a development.

In the seminar it was very proudly proclaimed that Pakistani IT professionals are far better than that produced in India. Although India is earning a lot of money from its exports in software and transfer of manpower to the west but still if in USA we compare our professional by professional we mean here a degree holding person in field of CS & IT not certificate holding skilled men. Our people are far better and more strong in terms of potential of work.

But still we are behind due to our poor planning. Cause what India is doing is not founded few years ago. The dates go way back in 1950's when few people went to USA and prospered there due to their skill in CS and laid the trend by investing their earnings in this field in their own country. Had we done that even during the late 80's we would have been way ahead of our current position. But its not too late even now cause if now we look at the broad picture instead of the narrowed approach on getting certification by Microsoft or SUN, we should pay attention on solid and value added education structures which will help us brighten the future of IT in Pakistan.

Union Leasing Limited

Profit rates of Certificates of Investments:


 Profit Rate

 Per Annum Profit Payment


3 months

11.50% Maturity


6 months

12.50% Maturity


1 year




2 years




3 years




4 years




5 years



1. COI's are subject to applicable Government of Pakistan taxes.
2. Minimum deposit, Rs 100,000/-
3. Profit rates are subject to change without prior notice.

Citibank and Gerry's Group sign exclusive agreement

Citibank and Gerry's Group of Companies signed an agreement offering exclusive travel related facilities to Citibank Credit Cardmembers

The Citibank Credit Card Travel Desk to be set up shortly will be providing across the board facilities to Citibank Credit Cardmembers. Discounted airfares, hotel reservations, special travel packages, free ticket delivery and meet and greet services are some of the main benefits that Citibank cardmembers will enjoy.

Citibank, the largest card issuer in Pakistan has always been at the forefront of offering value-added services to its cardmembers. It's Smart Installment Plan gives flexibility and affordability to the cardmembers by converting their purchases into easy monthly installments.

The Citibank-Gerry's partnership is another lead taken by Citibank to cater to the lifestyle needs of its cardmembers," said Mr. Haroon Basheer, Country Business Manager, Global Consumer Bank " In the future, we will also be partnering with other industry leaders for cardmember loyalty programs." Gerry's is also a leader in its field and is the largest travel, tour and aviation group in Pakistan. Gerry's is also a leading Internet Service Provider. The Gerry's group has partnerships with renowned names such as Emirates group, Federal Express, Dell Computers and Abacus.

Gerry's is also privileged to be in a position to provide VISA DROP BOX facility for USA and Canada in Pakistan. The partnership is ideal as both companies are leaders in their respective industries and understand the needs of their customers.

Intelligent building named MCB tower construction contract awarded

In line with the ongoing construction work of the 27 story high "Intelligent Building" named MCB Tower which will house the MCB, Principal Office in Karachi. Contract for Civil & Electrical work have been awarded in a simple ceremony at MCB Principal Office, Karachi to M/s Builders Associates for Civil work and for Electrical work M/s Siemens Pakistan Engg. Co. Ltd.

The contracts were signed by Mr. Nasimur Riaz, Executive Vice President/Head of Engineering & Maintenance Division on behalf of MCB and Mr. M. Sadiq, Managing Director of M/s Builders Associates and Mr. Nasim Siddiqui, Executive Director, M/s Siemens Pakistan Engg. Co. Ltd., signed the agreement on behalf of their respective organizations.

Among those present at the ceremony were Mr. Sarmad Amin, Director MCB, Mr. Mohammad Aftab Manzoor, President MCB, Mr. Shafiq A. Khan, Head of Operations/Financial institutions and Mr. Khalid Niaz Khawaja, Head of Human Resources & Legal Group.

MCB "Intelligent Building" has three tiered basement and 24 storey Tower and located in Hub of Karachi's Banking District i.e. I.I. Chundrigar Road. It is going to be a very modern Building, meeting all needs of 21st century, such as high speed state of the Art Elevators, Management System to conserve energy, latest and modern communication facilities and co-generation plant to meet its Electrical and Air-conditioning needs.

Asif Sheikh Javaid nominated on KCCI committee

Asif Sheikh Javaid (ASJ) Chief Executive M/s. East West Enterprises has been nominated as member of Taxation Sub-Committee of Karachi Chamber of Commerce & Industry (KCCI). The Sub-Committee are incorporated by KCCI for representation of businessmen in respective fields.

Commenting on the procedure that ruled out for collection of ST from Customs Agents, he said the way of collecting tax is un-realistic and unpractical. Most of the custom agents are working on self-employment basis or with a staff of one or two. As such it is next to impossible for them to pay ST every month and maintain detailed input and output registers supported with separate Sales Tax invoices for each consignment, he added. Asif said that majority of the custom agents is willing to pay the due taxes but a simplified procedure should be adopted otherwise it would be another hassle to them. He appealed to the chairman CBR to frame out a simple procedure of payment of ST on per shipping document basis and that too on fixed rate. Previously the Central Excise Duty (CED) was being charged this way. Moreover, he said that submission of Nil Transaction Return in case of no business during the month seems to be a continuation of some laws and procedures of 18th century. Authorities can meet their collection targets if the rules are made simplified. This will also ensure Trade Facilitation, he was confident. He also invited attention of Custom Agents' Group for playing its due role in this regard.

Asif who is also an amateur Flyer, actively takes part in Trade Body activities. He had also been serving as Director National Shipping Council. ASJ was member of the Communication, Banking & Insurance and Exports Sub-Committees of KCCI in the past.

ASJ said that these Sub-Committees should work on scientific and practical basis. He urged upon the president KCCI that the said committees should have the power to get their recommendations implemented instead of making fruitless presentations as in the past.

Furthermore, the chairman taxation committee expressed his confidence that experience of Asif and his insight into the problems would prove to be the most valuable asset to the Sub-Committee.

Sheraton's Fanoos introduces new late buffets

Fanoos Lounge the ultimate cafe at the Karachi Sheraton Hotel & Towers goes jazzier, with the introduction of the special buffets hoping to fill you when the hunger strikes at those odd hours when nothing is available!

Late in the afternoon at Fanoos Lounge: Karachi Sheraton's round-the-clock lobby restaurant, Fanoos lounge will be serving late in the afternoon meals from 1530 hrs to 1730 hrs, for all those working people who just couldn't leave the office during the lunch hour to eat. At the Fanoos lounge, you can create your own sandwiches from a large selection of cold turkey, smoked veal, chicken and roast beef with all the necessary salads and condiments. Follow it with a great choice of bagels, cakes and other desserts and a hot cup coffee for a special buffet price of Rs. 215 plus tax.