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PROFILE

SHAMA AHMED

Shama Ahmed, is associated with Pakistan's most prestigious educational organization, the Institute of Business Administration (IBA) as one of the faculty members, having her major in Finance.

By AMANULLAH BASHAR
May 06 -12, 2002

She says teaching is her passion and she has joined the profession not for the sake of doing jobs but as a challenge. The passion is to produce strong hands in the form of IBA graduates for developing a strong base of the national economy. Before joining IBA, she also served as the senior lecturer (Finance) at the College of Business Management (CBM), Karachi.

Shama Ahmed did her Masters in Commerce from the University of Karachi in 1992 and carries the distinction of first Class- iii to her credit.

As a professional in the field of Finance, Shama also did analysis work for some leading organizations like IDBP and AlBaraka Bank, analysis of Corporate Finance in Pakistan: Review of Case Studies prepared by LUMS on the request of Oxford University Press. Her published research papers are including "Leverage and Profitability in Pakistan Cement Industry" and "Evaluation of Brokerage Houses in Pakistan". Shama is also an active member of Pakistan Business Review Forum.

PAGE: IBA is a place where the majority of the best students come from all over the country to take higher education. It must be an easy going to teach such a nice cluster of intelligent students. Would you like to comment?

Shama Ahmed: There is no doubt in saying that the strength of IBA is in its students who certainly are the best. But it is not an easy job to teach the intelligent people. They always have questions and counter questions. It calls for extremely careful handling to satisfy the inquisitive minds. Hence a teacher has to take extensive home work to be fully prepared to face the volley of questions from the student side, However, it thrilling and gives job satisfaction when you get the proper feedback from the students.

PAGE: Being a financial expert, what would you suggest to improve the lot of common man in Pakistan.

Shama Ahmed: The answer lies in just and equitable distribution of the available resources. Unfortunately, most of the time people at the helm of affairs were not sincere. They worked for the personal gains rather than the betterment of the common man. Although Allah Almighty has gifted this country with enormous resources but the disparity in equitable distribution of resources is the root cause of the problem. Human Resource development is another area which requires more emphasis to overcome economic problems of the country. Although the country is not short of skill manpower and professionals of high caliber, yet majority of the educated people leaves this country obviously for better prospects. We will have to check this brain drain phenomenon by offering attractive incentives to retain the educated youth with in the country. It is unfortunate that our professionals are being utilized by other developed nations for their own economic goals due to lack of opportunities and incentives. If the country has to match the global pace of economic growth we would have to provide level playing field to our educated youth so that they prefer to stay at home instead of going abroad to make fortunes. Otherwise no amount of patriotism can stop them from going abroad if the economics were not made attractive for them.

PAGE: Would you like to comment on the current economic situation of the country, especially the financial side after the events of September 11.

Shama Ahmed: Obviously, the financial strength of the country is much better than what it was in the pre-September 11 scenario. Our reserves have gone up to around $6 billion, it is for the first time that the country has a surplus in balance of payment while the economy has also got a breathing space in terms of debt servicing due to successful rescheduling and effective fiscal discipline. All these achievements can however be described as the price for the sacrifices the country has made on September 11. The government has moved wisely in accordance with the global situation.

PAGE: You were talking about human resource development, what contribution your organization has made specially for the poor youth who have the talent and brain but are unable to study in reputed organizations like IBA obviously due to financial constraints.

Shama Ahmed: Situation is not like this, she took a pause for a second and cited an example of a poor but intelligent guy from Lahore who was given 100 per cent scholarship to carry out his studies in IBA, she came out with a smile on her face. Although the situation is not ideal for the poor especially for higher studies, yet it is not so bad as is being painted by the critics. However, she agreed that society would have to do a lot more in order to spread the light of education to the grass root level. This will ultimately benefit the entire nation, she observed.

PAGE: What are your goals and ambitions in future?

Shama Ahmed: "The target, which I am determined to hit, is to complete my Ph.D.", she said firmly, and added that she is working in that direction and may proceed abroad for the purpose in the days to come", she observed with a sense of confidence.