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Mar 18 - 24, 2002


Mr. Reza S. Habib, Joint President of Habib Bank AG Zurich receiving award from H.H. General Shaikh Mohd Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, Minister of Defence, UAE, and Chairman of the Department of Economic Development


As technology evolves with each passing day, as computers slide into the very existence of mankind be it personal or business, home or office, as time, management and productivity depend on 'new and effective means' - computers, technology and software are much more significant than we may tend to believe. Customers demand services that are tangible and cost-effective, translating, on many an occasion, into software and hardware that increase the overall company performance.

Recently, Inbox Business Technologies along with 2B Technologies hosted a seminar keenly focusing on emerging technologies with a direct link to effective Customer Relationship Management (CRM). CRM, today is one of the integral aspects of a running, successful business. Clients and customers are always on the lookout for companies who understand their business function and have the relevant knowledge and expertise to assist them in achieving higher productivity.

"End-to-end Customer Care Solutions" was one such seminar where the two participating companies presented their solutions from their respective areas of expertise. Inbox Business Technologies, a renowned local branded computer assembler and 2B Technologies, a software development company focusing on customer care solutions, both teamed up to highlight this focal area in today's business world. The combination of specialized services and expertise offered attendees with an opportunity to gain insight into an evolving requirement that direly needs to be addressed. On behalf of Inbox, Mir Nasir, Director Technical & Networking Solutions, spoke about server technology and about high-end Inbox machines that can be an effective part of an organizations structure to the degree of cutting unnecessary costs and enhancing productivity. Owais Zaidi from 2B Technologies made a presentation on software that can be integrated into businesses to ensure better performance.

The "Build Your Business on a Real Server" presentation made by Mir Nasir, Inbox, highlighted business-related environmental changes such as stronger competition, the daily and common usage of the Internet and email, global connectivity so to speak and offered information regarding why a business must work with servers and a networked environment. A common misconception is that an ordinary PC will suffice as a server whereas the reality is far from that. The basic reason being that the ingredients in a server are not found in normal desktop PCs. A server has more powerful processors, real server boards and multiple network connections.

Moving on in the presentation, Mir Nasir spoke about the clear-cut benefits of a real server in a business environment "Working with the right technology means you make a one-time expense and cut any future costs. Companies can't afford to have their servers crashing when data and communication is of primary importance," said Nasir. Reduction in overall network costs is an obvious result as working with the right machines means there won't be any unnecessary problems such as a desktop PC crashing under the load of acting as a server. And this very amalgamation of hardware and software will make the company more efficient, productive and competitive.

According to Nasir, Inbox e-Bridge servers feature three main characteristics: Performance, availability and scalability. On the performance front, the servers have multiprocessing features and are compatible with various Server Application softwares. Availability includes the reliability, the manageability and serviceability of the product. Inbox guarantees original hardware and components, which are trustworthy and dependable. Service, in terms of expertise and knowledge is of primary importance at Inbox and the company currently has a number of Intel certified engineers who are qualified to address all technical and software problems. Scalability provides users with the option of either buying bigger servers with more memory and faster processors or purchasing several similar servers for doubling bandwidth and reducing overheads.

The complete range of Inbox e-Bridge servers was displayed in a showcase area for all present at the seminar. e-Bridge is the first local brand of servers with international quality and backing and Inbox offers a complete range of servers with server solutions. Inbox e-Bridge servers are the only servers in Pakistan to be validated for Pentium III and Pentium III Xeon and carry a 3-year comprehensive warranty. Additionally, Inbox has trained sales specialists who are capable of identifying and fulfilling customized server requirements.

Inbox Business Technologies was established a little over a year ago with the aim of capturing the local computing scene with a locally branded range of computers. By sheer virtue of technical expertise and exceptional customer service, Inbox has managed to establish itself as a formidable entity in the market.


The Pakistan Credit Rating Agency (PACRA) has maintained First Habib Modaraba's financial strength rating at 'A3' (A Three). The rating denotes an outstanding financial condition with consistent record of above average performance. FHM is one of only two Modarabas that has been placed in "A" category rating. This is the highest rating band in PACRA's rating scale for Modarabas.

While assigning the rating, PACRA has recognized the consistent performance trends and continued outstanding asset quality, which is an outcome of prudent credit policies and effective post disbursement monitoring. Going forward, the asset quality and sound financial health of the Modaraba is expected to be sustained considering the highly competent management team of FHM. The rating also reflects continued strong support arising out of the affiliation with the Habib Group.

Effective this year, the nomenclature for the rating has been changed from Individual Rating to Modaraba Financial Strength Rating. The change is primarily to fully reflect the methodology of Modaraba ratings, which focus on the overall financial strength of the Modaraba. The rating definitions remain unchanged.


MCB and Ufone have joined hands to provide Mobile Banking services through MCB Mobile Banking. The launch ceremony was held at MCB Principal Office, Karachi on 8th March 2002. The ceremony was attended by Mr. Arshad Khan (Chief Executive) Ufone, Mr. Salman A. Wassay (GM) Marketing & Sales-Ufone, Mr. Mohammad Aftab Manzoor, President MCB, Mr. Ali Munir (SEVP-Financial Control Group), Mr. Amjad Farooq (Head of IT) MCB, Mr. Aarij Ali (Head of Consumer Banking) MCB and Mr. Javed Adhi (SVP) MCB.

MCB Mobile Banking was introduced for the first time in Pakistan in September 2001. It is now being expanded to MCB ATM cardholders that are Ufone customers also. The service is available 24-hours a day, 7 days a week, inclusive of all holidays.

This service will allow Ufone subscribers to access their account balances and mini-statements through Short Messaging Services (SMS) Facility.

Interested customers can have more information by visiting any of MCB's on-line branches, contacting Help Line (021-111-000-777) or registering on the web at www.mcb.com.pk.

MCB is committed to technological excellence. MCB Mobile Banking is one of the series of initiatives aimed at providing value-added products and services to its current and potential customers as well as customers of its partners.


Mr. Temu Alam, Consul of the Republic of Indonesia, visited the Chamber of Commerce & Industry, Karachi and had a meeting with the President, Mr. A.Q. Khalil.

Mr. Temu Alam expressed the optimism that bilateral trade can be expanded manifold through frequent exchange of trade delegations and identification of potential tradables.

The recalled the successful holding of exhibition of Indonesian products in Karachi in the year 2000 and hoped that Pakistan will reciprocate.

Mr. Temu Alam expressed the view that businessmen of the two countries should be encouraged to participate in the privatization process underway in both the countries jointly and severally.

The Indonesian Consul stated that there was ample potential of export of rice to Indonesia's over one billion global rice import market, mentioning that this year over-flooding has damaged the standing rice crops. He also informed that there was impending shortage of sugar, which would provide Pakistan a good opportunity to export its surplus sugar.

Mr. A.Q. Khalil, President of the Chamber stated that, unfortunately, overall bilateral trade of about $300 million lags far behind the existing potential. The trade base is very thin and goods exchanged are very limited. There is ample goodwill for expansion of trade and joint venture collaboration.


Syed Veqar ul Islam, the Counlry General Manager for NCR Pakistan has been assigned the additional responsibilities for managing the Data Warehouse and CRM business of NCR for Bangladesh and Iran.

Veqar has been heading the NCR Pakistan operation for the last 3 years. He is instrumental in the recent growth of NCR Pakistan and has also established NCR as a strong niche player in the area of Self Service Banking, Data warehousing, Call Centers and Networking in Pakistan.

In its recent report Merrill Lynch has also acknowledged NCR Pakistan's leadership position in the area of Call Center and Data warehousing. NCR Pakistan has also recently established a Center of Expertise in Pakistan in the area of Data warehousing for the Middle East Africa Region.

His appointment follows the great success of Veqar and his team in the data warehousing market in Pakistan. NCR Pakistan becomes a regional player as operations of two more countries come under the leadership of Veqar due to his immense experience, knowledge and leadership qualities.

Veqar joined NCR Corporation in September 1985 as a Sales trainee. Within a short span, he moved up in the organization from Senior Account Manager to Branch Manager, then to Business Unit Leader and was promoted to the position of Country General Manager.


TeleCard Limited has recently appointed Mr. Rick Battilana, as the Chief Operating Officer responsible for operations of both Wire Line and Wireless business units of the company. Rick is a fellow of Institution of Engineers of Australia and has degrees in Electronics and Computing Sciences from University of Southern Australia and University of Adelaide. He has had extensive experience in planning, installing, managing and operating both wired and wireless networks, satellites systems, cellular networks in Australia, Middle East, and South East Asia.


For the fifth year running, The Pakistan Credit Rating Agency (PACRA) has maintained the entity ratings of Pak-Arab Refinery Limited (PARCO) at "AAA" (Triple A) and "A1+" (Single A one plus) for the long term and short-term respectively. The entity ratings are applicable to the senior unsecured creditors of the company. The rating of the comfortably secured TFC of Rs.2.5 billion has been maintained at "AAA" (Triple A). These ratings denote the lowest expectation of credit risk and an exceptionally strong capacity for timely payment of financial commitments. PARCO continues to be the only company in Pakistan out of over a hundred entities rated by PACRA that has been assigned an entity rating of AAA.

PARCO a joint venture between the Government of Pakistan (60%) and the Emirate of Abu Dhabi (40%) is involved in refinery, transporting and marketing of various petroleum products including the introduction of unleaded MOGAS in the country.

PARCO's rating reflect stable and efficient business operations, effective management policies, high margins on pipeline operations and the GoP guaranteed 25% minimum return on the paid-up capital attributable to the successful first year operation of the Mid-Country Refinery. As a result, the company's business and financial risk continues to be low. However, the liquidity levels are expected to remain dependent on the pace of agreed disbursements of the Shortfall in the Guaranteed Return (SGR) by the GoP. Meanwhile the management's capability to successfully accomplish its business and financial objectives remains fully demonstrated through marketing Joint Ventures with TOTAL-PARCO and SHV.


Preston Institute of Management, Science and Technology (PIMSAT-Karachi) Islamabad Campus organized a lecture on "WTO & GATT-Policies and Issues" for its postgraduate students of Business Administration. The lecture was organized by the Institute under its 'Distinguished Lecture Program.'

Mr. S. M. Abbas Raza, former Director of the National Tariff Commission, Ministry of Commerce, Government of Pakistan and currently Director Trade & Industrial Technical Services (TRAITS) Islamabad, while addressing the postgraduate students, faculty and management of Preston Institute of Management, Science & Technology, said that conditions governing the trade and industrial sectors of Pakistan were undergoing radical changes as a consequence of and in furtherance to the application of the GATT & WTO rules and regulations. He spoke at length on the World Trade Organization (WTO) and General Agreement on Trade & Tariff (GATT) on the occasion. The rule-based system developed in the Uruguay Round, he said, is expected to promote smooth and orderly development of international trade.

Mr. Abbas further maintained that whereas on the one hand the detailed rules give industrial and business enterprises certain rights, on the other they placed certain obligations on them. The ability of the industries and business enterprises to benefit fully from this rule-based system, however, greatly depends on the knowledge and understanding of these detailed rules. In view of the foregoing, he asserted that there is a dire need for the university students and particularly business executives to develop familiarity and in depth knowledge of the WTO/GATT Agreements and Rules & Regulations. He lauded the endeavors of Preston Institute to broaden the knowledge of its students by exposing them to specialized lectures by professionals who are regarded and respected as specialists in their respective fields. He also appreciated the knowledge that executive students of the Institute possessed, particularly regarding the economic issues confronting the country today. Dr. Abbas thanked the management of Preston for providing him the opportunity to share with its students his views on a subject so vital to the interest of a developing country like Pakistan.

Brigadier (R) Mazhar Abbas Razwi, Senior Program Director Preston Islamabad Campus expressed the gratitude of the management, faculty and students of the Institute to Mr. Abbas Raza, for sparing some of his precious time to deliver a lecture on such an important topic. As a token of appreciation, Brigadier Razwi presented the Institute's plaque to Mr. Abbas.


Arena Multimedia following its tradition to keep both education and entertainment together, organized Arena Family Fun Far followed by musical program, a grand event to celebrate 4 successful years of Arena in Pakistan. Many national and multinational companies participated in the event by putting up their stalls and banners on the venue. Dewan Group was the main sponsor for the event, beside this Pepsi, McDonald's, Lipton Igloo, FM 100 and many other big companies also participated. More than 3000 people attended this program that includes over 1500 Arena students, their families, Centro owners. Also people from different newspapers and magazines visited the event.