OF BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION
An interview with Dr. Javed Ashraf, Director IBA
By AMANULLAH BASHAR
Feb 04 - 10, 2002
The only good in this world is the knowledge while
the only evil ignorance. The educational institutions which are
engaged in imparting quality education certainly doing a commendable
job in fighting against ignorance the mother of all sorts of evils
especially in the third world countries.
Institute of Business Administration (IBA), pioneer
of business education in Pakistan enjoys the distinction of producing
business leaders who with the passage of time have grown to the level
that they are now at the helm of economic and financial affairs of
Pakistan. Finance Minister Shaukat Aziz, who has been recently awarded
as the best finance minister by the Euromoney, is one of the IBA
Institute of Business Administration (IBA) which,
is so far known for its quality graduates is taking a step with the
distinction to have the best and strongest faculty in Pakistan.
Dr. Javed Ashraf, Director IBA carries a Ph.D. in
Economics to his credit. He did his Ph.D. from Northern Illinois
University. Prior to his Ph.D., he did his Master's in Economics and
in Political Economy from Boston University. Earlier he did his MA
Economics from prestigious Government College Lahore.
Before joining IBA, July 2000 Dr. Ashraf held
faculty positions at Northern Illinois University, the University of
Wisconsin, the University of Hartford and the University of West
Besides the recipient of the E.W. Hopkins Award for
the most outstanding faculty member in the College of Business at the
University of West Florida, he also won first prize of the National
Research Scientists of the year Competition in 1997 by the Ministry of
Education in Pakistan.
The institute of Business administration (IBA) is
the oldest graduate business school outside North America and was
established in April 1955 in collaboration with the Wharton School of
Finance and Commerce, University of Pennsylvania. Later, it was
associated with the University of Southern California.
The dynamism of Dr.Javed Ashraf, Director IBA has
given a new composition to the faculty within a short span of 13
months. Out of the strength of 27 full time faculty ten are Ph.D.
In an exclusive interview with PAGE, Dr.
Javed Ashraf said that his organization has launched a 3-way strategy
to have the best faculty in Pakistan. He said that IBA has hired
services of 10 new Ph.D. accompanied 27 new full time faculty members.
Rest of the faculty are also being sent abroad for higher training. He
said IBA has sent 5 faculty members for Ph.D. courses, which are fully
sponsored by abroad. "We will be sending 6 more for higher
training every year."
The 3-pronged strategy the IBA has launched to
reinforce its faculty include hiring of existing Ph.D within the
country. Second, sending the deserving abroad and the 3rd way is to
launch our own Ph.D. program.
Spelling out the strategy, the IBA director said,
"we had introduced six rigorous courses for the selection of the
deserving faculty members eligible to take the higher studies. Out of
the six, three were dropped out while the remaining three are expected
to get Ph.D. in next 18 months. He disclosed that Commissioner Sukkur
is also one of our Ph.D. students. He expressed the hope that six IBA
faculty members are going to be recognized as quality product of IBA.
He said that there should moral commitment in getting higher education
like Ph.D. because taking the course as a part time job cannot justify
to the demands of the higher education. Hence, the next induction for
Ph.D. would be on full time basis. Part time concept will no more be
allowed in Pakistan.
However, changes are taking place in the
composition of faculty and are visible in a very short period of time.
Henceforth even an assistant professor must be a Ph.D., Karachi
University has also decided to introduce this criterion.
To give a new flavour in the teaching atmosphere,
"We have started a program something like "America in
Karachi". Under this program, "we have started inviting
American professors for four-five weeks during their vacations. Last
summer we invited 5 professors from top US universities who really
enjoyed teaching Pakistani students and Pakistani culture.
This kind of program has aroused a lot of interest
among American teachers in Pakistan. They enjoyed themselves in
teaching here. Their prime interest in visiting Pakistan was to know
about a nation; they are not coming for money. We are targeting the
people who are not after money.
Recalling his own experience of teaching for six
weeks in Alma Ata of Karghistan, he said that he had gone there to see
the former Soviet Union. Similarly, we are inviting those people from
abroad who want to come to see the country, which they have not seen
Dr. Javed Ashraf said that IBA has led rest of the
country by initiating a 4-year bachelor program from next academic
session. The next induction of the students for bachelor will for a
He said that he had strongly recommended 4-year
bachelor program in the vice chancellors committee, which not only
approved but also decided that all universities in Pakistan will have
a 4-year bachelor program from next session. The recommendation has
already been approved in the board.
The recommendation was moved with the idea to
elevate our bachelor degree in conformity to the education standards
already being practiced in India and rest of the world.
He said that IBA's Center for Computer Studies is
headed by Dr Saeed Ghani who is the only Ph.D. in IT/
Telecommunications, while another faculty member hired for computer
studies is Azhar Mahmood who has been hired from Sir Syed University.
He said IBA is actively negotiating to acquire a
new building for MCS program. While CCS program is also undergoing
major changes, for which we are trying to get a highly qualified
Major changes have also been introduced in
non-academic divisions to bring a better environment in other
In this connection IBA has hired services of a
senior army officer as the Head of the Administration. Another fully
qualified chartered account has been inducted as the Director Finance,
and to avoid any sort of gossip about our pre-admission testing
provision, we have hired a new person Dr. Iftikhar Ahmed Mir for
IBA is striving for one simple goal and that is to
become number one in Pakistan and in the region as well. Dr. Javed
Ashraf said with a sense of pride that IBA's greatest strength is its
students, who are the best students in Pakistan.
IBA is striving to achieve the target of having the
best faculty in Pakistan. IBA has recently hired a faculty member from
LUMS and another from LUMS is also expected.
To achieve our goal, IBA is in need of financial
support for its ambitious plans. "We plan to embark a fund
raising plan for construction of a new building at main campus and
another at city campus. It may be a six-storied building for housing
library, auditorium, and proper underground parking. "We are
encouraged to go for a fund raising campaign as the private sector in
Pakistan is always supporting for the cause of education in general
and for IBA in particular. The fund raising campaign is likely to be a
great success because support from a large number of senior executives
who are IBA Alumni.
Responding to a question regarding increasing
number of educational organizations in the private sector and the
possible competition among them, Dr. Javed Ashraf said that instead
comparing things with each other we should see things from positive
angles. For instance, LUMS is another prestigious organization and
producing good results, however all of us are moving in the same
direction and that is to impart quality education for the good of the
nation. Instead of taking others as rivals, IBA feels to go together
for achieving better results.
Working on these lines, IBA has decided to go for
joint education programs in collaboration with LUMS. Citing the
example of cooperation, he said that LUMS wants to start Management
Development Program, initially we would do this program together.
Another aspect of cooperation can be exchange of
faculty and students each year. This would add flavor of other
institutions for the faculty as well as the students. While a number
of students come from different countries to Pakistan and when it can
be done with other institutions abroad why not in Pakistan.
He said that USAID, which had initially provided
financial support to IBA in the early years, is again opening its
offices in Pakistan. Regarding getting financial support, he said that
donor agencies are usually willing to provide financial assistance to
the public sector institutions as compared to private sector as the
private sector organizations are allegedly operate as profit making
The prestigious premises of the Institute of
Business Administration (IBA) — the center of excellence — is
spread over 80 acres of land and is worth well over nine hundred
million rupees. The two campuses compare in size and beauty with any
campus in Asia and Europe and true to IBA's tradition of achieving
excellence, are immaculately maintained.
Ideally located in a serene corner of the
University of Karachi, the IBA main campus gives the impression of
peace in spite of the hectic atmosphere prevailing all around in this
industrial city of Karachi. IBA's main campus is a large complex of
buildings spread around lush green sprawling lawns which serve as a
backdrop to an extremely conducive environment for academic pursuit.
The complex houses the main Campus Program Offices, the faculty
offices, a library, an auditorium, a dozen class rooms, three computer
labs, spacious car parking and a cafeteria. In addition to the main
campus facilities, students have complete access to the facilities at
the City Campus.
City campus, is spread over 3.5 acres in the heart
of Karachi and is within walking distance from the business and
financial nerve center of the country. Apart from 24 classrooms, it
houses the Evening Program offices, its own library, an auditorium,
conference hall and seminar rooms, four computer labs and a roof top
canteen. The campus provides parking facilities for more than 500 cars
in an extremely busy part of the city. A new complex for preparatory
and BCS program has recently been completed.
The IBA libraries contain more than 60,000 books on
business management and related subjects. The libraries subscribe more
than eighty internationals and forty-two local journals and
periodicals. The libraries maintain copies of three journals since
Recently, IBA library received 2500 free of cost
books from abroad while Asia Foundation also sent several hundred
books. In order to further improve the strength of library, IBA has
also approached other organizations to send books.
The main campus library has acquired the Wilson
Business Abstracts on compact disc which contains over 700,000
references. The reading room at the main campus library has a capacity
of more than 200. In sheer size, the IBA library facilities excel
other business school libraries in Pakistan and are comparable to
those in Asia and Europe. The library also maintains book banks to
provide students with textbooks on semester basis at nominal charges.
IBA's state-of-the-art computing facilities are
continuously upgraded to keep them in sync with the fast pace of
advancement in computing technologies. At present, there are around
150 latest PC Workstations at IBA. The PC's in each of the six
computer labs are connected in local area Network (LAN) environment
that facilitates sharing of hardware and software resources.
Unlimited e-mail and Internet access is available
to students at both the campuses from any PC on the network. Students
are not charged for Internet, e-mail or print services. Web servers at
both the campuses are connected to the Internet Service Provider (ISP)
through dedicated 33.6 KBPS unlimited access telephone connections.
There are 200 KBPS satellite links for Internet access available via
satellite dish through ZakSat.
The Institute of Business Administration (IBA) is
the oldest graduate business school outside North America and was
established in April 1955 in collaboration with the Wharton School of
Finance and Commerce, University of Pennsylvania. Later, it was
associated with the University of Southern California. The United
States Agency for International Development (USAID) spent $10 million
on establishing facilities at IBA. Some 50 prominent American
professors were assigned to IBA, while 72 Pakistani faculty members
received advanced degrees from Wharton and USC. IBA today, is the
oldest graduate business school in the developing countries of the
world, in 1994 IBA's status was elevated to a degree awarding
IBA believes that the continuous development of
professional, dedicated managers is the most important prerequisite
for the development of a country like Pakistan. Towards meeting the
objective IBA endeavoring to select individuals with a burning desire
to contribute positively to the society as a whole and not just
themselves. Students thus selected are exposed to a training program
that instills in the individual a pervasive habit to act as an agent
of change in a stagnant environment rather than being the recipient of
change from such an environment. Graduates coming on with such a bent
of mind invariably distinguish themselves in catalysts of progress for
their organizations and the country.
The institute maintains that education is an
essential service and its academic activities must continue even
during emergencies or disturbances. As a result of this philosophy,
IBA has not been closed out of schedule even once since 1979 and
classes have been held in the most difficult situations. Regularity,
punctuality and conformity to schedules and deadlines are the accepted
norms practiced by faculty and the students religiously. The motive
behind all this is to develop a habit among the people having
association with IBA to work devotedly and tirelessly and joyously in
the practical life. This exactness includes a strong commitment to
professional excellence among IBA students, a commitment that forms
the cornerstone of IBA's philosophy.
The initial absorption of students through a
methodical, merit-based admission procedure, their subsequent training
in a rigorous academic environment and the ultimate on-time completion
of studies have now become a routine cycle at IBA — a ritual that
may be termed as IBA's way of life.
IBA ensures that faculty and students get to know
each other in the learning process. Students completing their studies
at IBA find that in addition to building lifelong friends, they can
develop a business network that can serve them throughout their
The system of education at IBA is a unique blend of
classroom instruction, case method, role playing, business games,
class presentations, personal research and practical training in
business organizations. It demands total commitment, concentration and
self-discipline. An important distinguishing feature of IBA is its
adherence to the academic calendar known to students at least 12
months in advance. A detailed program is given to students on the very
first day of the semester. Students are required to be regular and
punctual in attendance as well as in completing assignments. Classes
and examinations have been held on schedule even during curfew,
political disturbances, riots etc. Students are evaluated and examined
over the entire semester through quizzes, term report, hourly
examinations, class presentations and final exams.
Employer's interest in IBA graduates is high and is
reflected in the fact that graduates get jobs within weeks of their
graduation. A number of commercial organizations place their job
offers with IBA's placement office well before a class graduates.
Employer's representatives visit IBA to interview the graduating class
and students often have to divide their time between their students
and appearing for job interviews in the last month of their stay at
IBA. Students get attractive job offers even before graduation.
IBA's placement office keeps a liaison with the
hiring organizations throughout the year. Graduates directories are
sent to prospective employers to give notice of an outgoing batch and
to introduce the graduates to the employer's offices.
The office also coordinates the summer internships,
which are a requirement for the degree. The internships also provide
the students a chance to evaluate prospective employing organizations.
It gives them an opportunity to get inside knowledge about the
organizations and develop contacts. Students often decide their area
of major concentration on the basis of their experience during the
internship. Some students go back to their place of internship as
full-fledged employees. Students going through the BBA/MBA program
complete two internships and, in the process, get to evaluate two
IBA's goal is to be the number one in Pakistan and
in the region. A strong foundation has already been laid to pin the
hopes for the future. IBA is certainly doing well and would even
better if the policy makers would also spare some space in their
spacious and sprawling lawns for the children of the less fortunate to
share the real flavour of the community approach.
Professor Dr. Javed Ashraf
(Dean and Director)
Dr. Javed Ashraf earned his Ph.D. in Economics from
Northern Illinois University. He also holds a Master's degree in
Economics and a Master's degree in Political Economy from Boston
University. Prior to this he earned a B.A. and M.A. (Economics) from
the Government College, Lahore.
Dr. Ashraf has published more than 50 papers in
international journals and research publications. These include
Harvard University's Economics Letters, Cornell University's
Industrial and Labour Relations Review and the University of London's
Applied Economics. One of his papers was published in Women in the
Labour Market, part of the prestigious Critical Writings in Economics
series. He won the Dyson Faculty Excellence Award for Research four
times at the University of West Florida. He was also the first
recipient of the E.W. Hopkins Award for the most outstanding faculty
member in the College of Business at the University of West Florida.
In 1997, the Ministry of Education, Government of Pakistan awarded him
first prize in its National Research Scientist of the Year
Dr Ashraf has held faculty positions at Northern
Illinois University, the University of Wisconsin, the University of
Hartford and the University of West Florida. Prior to joining I.B.A.,
he was Professor of Economics at the University of West Florida.
Dr. Sayeed Ghani
(Chair, Department of Computer Science and MIS)
Dr. Sayeed Ghani has a B.S. from MIT, and M.S. and
Ph.D from Columbia University in Electrical Engineering. His field of
expertise is in Telecommunications and multi-media communications. Dr.
Ghani has 12 years of industry experience. He has worked as Member of
Technical Staff at NYNEX Science & Technology, where he was
heavily involved in the Standards process of high-speed data services
(SMDS, IEEE 802.6) and ATM networks. He has been employed as IT Head
for ABN AMRO Bank and State Life Insurance Corporation of Pakistan. He
has also been a pioneer in introducing VSAT and Internet services in
Pakistan and has been involved in various software development
projects throughout his career. He has also worked at GTE Labs in the
US, Laboratory for Computer Science at MIT and Lever Brothers in
Pakistan. He has a number of publications in leading IEEE journals and
has presented papers and conducted seminars in various forums in both
the US and Pakistan. His current research interests include high-speed
Next Generation networks, 3G mobile networks, and Business Process
Dr. Mohammed Nishat
(Chair, Department of Economics and Finance)
Dr Nishat is Professor and Chairman, Finance and
Economics at IBA. He holds a Ph.D. in Economics (specialisation in
finance) from Auckland Business School, University of Auckland, New
Zealand and a Masters in Management Sciences and Economics from the
University of Waterloo, Ontario Canada. Prior to this, he was the
Project and Co-project leader with teams deputed on research studies
awarded to the Applied Economics and Research Centre by international
institutions like the World Bank, the Harvard Institute of
International Development, IFPRI as well as federal, provincial and
local government bodies. He was awarded the Best Teaching Award by the
Department of Economics at the University of Auckland in 1994. He is a
prolific author with 18 research articles in Pakistan and foreign
professional journals. He is also a regular contributor to national
and NGOs in Karachi.
Dr. Qazi Masood Ahmad
Dr. Masood completed his Ph.D. from the Centre for
Fiscal Studies, Bath, England in 1997. He has ten years of experience
in research and consulting in the fields of Public Finance,
Agriculture and Trade. He teaches postgraduate courses in Public
Finance and Macroeconomics. He has undertaken assignments for several
national and international agencies in Public Finance and Policy,
Regional Economics and other related fields. He has 16 publications in
international and national journals in the fields of Monetary
Economics and in Public Finance. Dr. Masood has been associated with
the Government of Pakistan in different capacities such as the
Resource Person, Mobilization and Tax Reforms Commission, and the
member of Task Force, the Tariff Reforms Commission.
Dr. Manzoor A Khalidi
Dr. Khalidi's credentials include a Ph.D. in
Banking and Securities Markets Regulations from the University of
Southampton (UK), MSc. (International Banking) from the University of
Southampton, MBA (Finance) from IBA Karachi, and BE (Civil
Engineering) from NED University Karachi. Prior to joining IBA, Dr.
Khalidi served as Research Fellow at the University of Southampton on
a three year Economic and Social Council award on the
"Harmonization of EC Securities Markets Regulations", during
which he published two papers. He also has extensive work experience
in the area of Development Banking with Habib Bank Limited and Pak
Libya Holding Company Pvt. Limited. His areas of interest include
Banking and Securities Markets regulations, International Banking,
Entrepreneurship, Globalisation, Regionalisation, Social, Economic and
Political Theory, and Postmodern Philosophy.
Dr. Shahid Mir
Dr. Mir holds a B.E. (Elects.), and a Ph.D. in
Management from Adamson University (Philippines). He has also done
technical and management courses from France. He has more than 15
years of working experience both in public and private sector
organizations. Dr. Shahid Mir is a life member of the Royal
Aeronautical Society (UK). He is also an ISO 9000 lead auditor. Dr.
Mir's areas of teaching include Research Methodology, Material
Management, Marketing Management and other Management courses.
Mr. Shabih Haider
Mr. Shabih holds a BE (Electronics) from NED
University and MBA from IBA. He is presently working on his Ph.D. at
the IBA. He has spent about nineteen years in the engineering field
with national and multinational organisations like International
Aeradio of UK, Zelin Pvt. Ltd., NESPAK and Alcatel of France. He has
also worked on various projects including Aga Khan University
Hospital, Islamabad Hospital, Prime Minister House Islamabad, Jinnah
Terminal Karachi and many others. His taught courses at IBA include
Cost Accounting and Mathematics for Business.
Ms. Ghazal Zahid Khan
Ms. Ghazal is a Lecturer at IBA. She has BBA and
MBA degrees from IBA. She started her career as an Equity Research
Analyst. Her areas of teaching are Finance and Economics
Dr. Mirza Abrar Baig
Dr. Mirza Abrar Baig holds Ph.D degree from Indian
Institute of Technology, India in Management. He has over 20 years'
work experience and has been the head of management functions such as
Human Resource, Marketing and Operations in various leading
organizations both, in India and Pakistan and is currently member of
the Board of Directors in a Pakistani organization.
Dr. Baig has been teaching various management
subjects as adjunct faculty at both postgraduate and Ph.D levels.
Currently he is teaching Ph.D students at IBA. He has contributed a
number of articles both in leading Indian and Pakistani
newspapers/journals and is a joint contributor to two books: Human
Resource Development for Adjustment at the Enterprise Level (ILO
Publications 1999) and Reflections on Human Capital in Pakistan (EFP
Publications 2000). On behalf of International Labour Organization he
has carried out research in the field of management and presented
papers at both national and international conferences. He has
conducted a number of Management Development Programs in Pakistan and
abroad and has provided Management Consultancy to State Bank of
Pakistan on behalf of World Bank. At present he is a member of the
Managing Committee of Employers' Federation of Pakistan.
Mrs Khadija Bari is a Lecturer at IBA. She is
currently pursuing a doctorate degree in business administration from
Strathclyde University Glasgow. Her credentials include MSc in
Business studies from Strathclyde University and M.A Economics from
Punjab University. She started her career as merchandising assistant
in Levi Strauss Eximco Pakistan. Her areas of teaching are management
Mr. Mubashir Humayoun
Mr. Humayoun holds a BE Chemical Engineering from
MIT and a Masters degree in Management Sciences from MEI Institute at
Arthur D. Little Cambridge, USA. He has worked in Chevron, San
Francisco and general Electric New York. He was Management Consultant
at Arthur D. Little and worked for clients like Chase Manhattan and
Motorola. Mr. Humayoun is a faculty member in Finance Department of
IBA. His areas of interest are Corporate Restructuring, Financial
Engineering, Islamic Finance and Corporate Strategy.
Ms. Shama Ahmed
Ms. Ahmed has a Masters in Commerce from Karachi
University and has completed Professional II of ACMA. She has six
years teaching experience in the areas of Finance and Small Business
Management. She is actively involved in research and analysis work and
has published various articles and analyses in research journals. Her
research interests include Capital Structure Decisions, Brokerage
Houses and Asset Pricing Models. She has also organised successful
seminars and workshops in areas of Risk Management and Corporate
Mr. Naeem is currently working on his Ph.D. from
IBA. He holds a BE Mechanical from NED University, Post Graduation
Nuclear Engineering from NED University, and an MBA Finance from IBA.
He has extensive work experience as on-the-job trainee at Pakistan
Machine Tool Factory, Operation Engineer at Pakistan Atomic Energy
Commission and Assistant Professor CIBE. His areas of teaching include
Financial Management, Economics and Business Maths.
Ms. Semre Qutb
Ms. Qutb is a full time adjunct faculty member at
IBA. She has done her Masters in Public Administration with major in
Human Resources. Ms. Qutb has previously taught at IBA and at the
Department of Public Administration at Karachi University. She has
also worked as a trainer with Employers' Federation of Pakistan. Her
area of interest is Human Resource Management.
Dr. Naved Ahmad
Dr. Naved Ahmad is Assistant Professor of Economics
at Institute of Business Administration (IBA), Karachi. His areas of
concentration include development economics and international
economics. His papers have been published in the Pakistan
Development Review and the Pakistan Economic and Social Review.
He received Miss Hina Ahmad Gold Medal in 1990 and President and
Chancellor Gold Medals in 1995. He has taught several advanced courses
at Applied Economics Research Centre, Karachi. Dr. Ahmad holds an M.Sc.
from the University of Karachi, an M.Phil. from Quaid-e-Azam
University and a Ph.D. from Northeastern University, Boston, USA.