Sep 08 - 14, 2003 

 

ABN AMRO LAUNCHES VAN GOGH PREFERRED BANKING

ABN AMRO Bank formally launched Van Gogh Preferred Banking, its global priority banking service, at the Main Branch in Karachi recently. The luxurious and swanky Van Gogh Preferred Banking lounge, designed exclusively for Van Gogh Preferred Banking customers, was inaugurated by Mr. Paul Lembrechts, Managing Director, Business Development, Private Clients and New Growth Markets. The Karachi Van Gogh Preferred lounge was the second lounge to be inaugurated by the Mr. Lembrechts after the Lahore lounge was opened on the 27th of August, 2003.

 

 

Van Gogh Preferred Banking (VGPB) takes its inspiration from the creativity, mastery and determination of the world-renowned post-impressionist Dutch artist, Vincent Van Gogh and represents a fresh and vigorous approach to banking. Marked by the unique range of privileges and benefits, VGPB offers its customers the highest levels of services, the guidance of Personal Relationship Managers, the advantage of the preferential pricing on the products and access to the plush VGPB lounges, amongst a host of other facilities.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Paul Lembrechts described Van Gogh Preferred Banking as "the epitome of service, offering a second home-coming to the customer" and "as distinguished as a Van Gogh masterpiece".

Mr. Naved Khan, Country Representative ABN AMRO Bank, remarked that "Van Gogh Preferred Banking will promote growth within the banking sector as a whole, by raising the competitive bar and setting industry standards" and added that, "the continued investment in the country is clear evidence of ABN AMRO's commitment to the nation."

UBL ADOPTS A NEW CORPORATE IDENTITY

Pursuant to the successful privatization of the bank, United Bank management unveiled the new corporate image of the bank in a media briefing.

Speaking to the newsmen UBL Deputy Chief Executive Officer, M.A. Mannan said that it was the vision of United Bank's founding fathers for Pakistan and its banking sector that had led UBL to survive the turbulent times of history and once again re-emerge as a; banking leader.

"Since the UBL privatization in October 2002 to now, UBL has been undergoing a metamorphosis to re-emerge as banking giant," said Mannan.

Founded in 1959, UBL's main focus over the last four decades has been in the corporate and investment banking, demonstrating good performance in the commercial sector. "It is now time to vigorously approach consumer banking as a core business strategy."

"The need to change the image of UBL the bank in the consumer's psyche was imperative. We have been working towards this end for the last 3 years and now, and are happy to launch an identity that is an emblem of innovation, progress and superior service," Mannan explained.

PRESTON ORGANIZES INFORMATION SEMINAR

Preston University organized an Information Seminar for prospective admission seekers to its various graduate and post graduate (Regular & Executive) academic programs being offered at all its eleven campuses located in the major cities of the country. The seminar which was held at a local hotel in the Capital, was overwhelmingly participated by prospective students from the twin cities and their parents. Regular students including corporate executives who attended the seminar evinced keen interest in the academic programs being offered by the University, at graduate and post graduate level, at its Islamabad campus. The Information Seminar was organized to furnish detailed information to prospective students about the programs, Preston currently offers at graduate and post graduate level in the field of Business Administration, Information Technology, Social Sciences, Natural Sciences and Applied Sciences.

Addressing the students on the occasion, the Director Marketing and Public Relations Preston University Mr. M. Fazal Elahi highlighted the significance of Preston's BBA (IT), BS (IT), MS (IT), MBA, EMBA, EMS Programs that are being offered at graduate and postgraduate level. Mr. Elahi also spoke at length about the new academic programs such as Economics, Statistics, Mathematics, Applied Psychology, International Relations, Telecommunication and Electronics that has been launched by the universiy at its Islamabad campus from fall 2003. He said that Telecommunication and Electronics Programs are also being offered at the bachelors level. He maintained that all these programs are market and industry oriented and are of very high quality. In his concluding remarks, Preston's Director Marketing and PR, Mr. M. Fazal Elahi informed the participants that Preston University is a chartered and recognized private university. He said that a university charter was conferred on Preston by the government of NWFP vide NWFP Ordinance No. LII of 2002, in November 2002. He further said that Preston University is recognized by the Higher Education Commission (HEC), Government of Pakistan, and is duly enlisted in its list of chartered/recognized public and private Degree Awarding Universities and Institutes of Pakistan.

 

 

EPB DELEGATION IN CZECH

A trade delegation of the Export Promotion Bureau of Pakistan visited the Czech Republic from 28 to 31 August 2003. The delegation which was led by Vice Chairman, Mr. Tariq Iqbal Puri represented top businessmen from the sectors of textile and textile products, leather and leather products, sports goods, surgical instruments, carpets, rice, fruits and vegetables, cutlery, chemical and engineering goods.

During the visit the Ambassador of Pakistan and EPB Vice Chairman called on the Vice Minister of Industry and Trade, Mr. Miroslav Somol and exchanged views with the Czech Trade & the Czech Chamber of Economy. Meetings between the Pakistani and Czech companies were held which led to good initial contacts with bright future prospects. Since the Czech Republic would become a member of the European Union in May 2004, it was hoped that within the framework of the EU, trade and commercial relations would receive further boost. Prague's contribution towards the industrial development of Pakistan in particular in the hydro power and energy sector was deeply appreciated by the Pakistan side.

PSO SENDS RELIEF GOODS FOR 4,000 FAMILIES

Pakistan State Oil (PSO) on September 1, 2003, dispatched relief goods for the victims of flood in Badin District.

The company sent 4,000 bags, each weighing 22 kilograms, for the victims. The bags comprise wheat, rice, sugar and cooking oil among other essential items.

The goods were dispatched on eight trucks. A team of senior PSO officials accompanied the convoy of trucks.

PSO employees have also contributed their one-day basic salary for relief fund for the flood-affected areas.

As the largest oil marketing company in Pakistan, PSO has taken care of its corporate social responsibility, emerging as a socially responsible company that strongly believes in integrating social, economic and environmental aspects. The Flood Relief Programme for the District of Badin is one such effort.

CLARIFICATION

The Sri Lanka Tea Board have given the following clarificatiion regarding the article published in PAGE captioned Durty reduction and tea smuggling.

(a) Pakistan is predominantly a CTC tea market and the share of Orothodox tea segment is approx. 10-15%. Indonesia and Sri Lanka are the main suppliers of Orthodox tea to Pakistan while Kenya is the leading supplier of CTC tea. Since two different manufacturing processes are used for production of CTC and Orthodox teas it is rather unfair to compare the quality of CTC tea with Orthodox tea.

(b) Sri Lanka produced 310 million kg of tea last year and exported 288 million kg of tea and maintained her position as the number one tea exporter in the world. Ceylon tea is known world over for its quality and exported to more than 100 countries in the world. Todate, no country has complained about the quality of Ceylon tea. Last year Sri Lanka exported 3.1 million kg of tea to Pakistan which is an increase of 15% over 2.6 million kg recorded for year 2001.

(c) According to available data, Colombo Tea Auction records highest average prices for tea and hence Ceylon tea is not "comparatively lower priced" "but comparatively more expensive" than teas produced in other countries. The average landed price of Ceylon tea in Pakistan in 2002, as reported by Pakistan Tea Association itself was US$ 1.84 per kg compared to US$ 1.74 per kg for Kenya, US$ 120 per kg for Indonesia and other supplying countries which is the most acceptable evidence to prove that Ceylon tea is the most expensive compared to other teas imported to Pakistan.

 

 

(d) The Pakistan tea market can be categorized in to two divisions, i.e. bazaar trade oand blender/packers. While bazaar trade is more price conscious, the blender/packers import good quality tea to enhance the quality and taste of their locally packed brands. Most of the Ceylon tea imported to Pakistan are purchased by blender/packers for use in their tea brands which also speaks volume for quality of Ceylon.

TERADATA DELIVERS A TECHNOLOGY SEMINAR AT COMPUTER SOCIETY OF PAKISTAN

Considering the role of CRM for businesses, Teradata, a division of NCR delivered a seminar at Computer Society of Pakistan on "Importance of Customer Relationship Management (CRM) for Businesses" recently at CSP Auditorium, Karachi, as part of its Teradata Speaker Program.

The Seminar was aimed at disseminating CRM knowledge amongst the CSP members, MIS/IT Managers and Businessmen. The Seminar provided an excellent platform for the interaction of professionals discussing the technology and latest trends and developments in CRM.

Mr. Saqib Sabah, Account Director, Teradata, a division of NCR and Mr. Akbar Moghal, Project Manager, Teradata, a division of NCR, were key speakers of the event. They successfully led the audience through the various phases involved in reaching optimum CRM. Mr. Saqib Sabah, in his presentation, discussed the changing market dynamics and its challenges and how organizations respond to these challenges by leveraging the latest technologies like CRM. He also addressed the importance of CRM from the viewpoint of using CRM as a strategy rather than a technology setup to gain competitive edge.

PAKISTAN ADVERTISERS SOCIETY ELECTS NEW COUNCIL

The 6th Annual General Meeting of the Pakistan Advertisers Society was held recently in a local hotel. The meeting, attended by eminent lead players from marketing and communications industry, was chaired by Haroon Basheer, Country Business Manager and Vice President CitiBank and Chairman of the Society.

After formal approval of the 5th AGM's minutes, Haroon Basheer briefed the member body about the major activities in the preceding year including the publication of Rural Establishment, Media Habit and Socio-Economic Survey Report.

The members were also informed about the steps that were being taken, in consultations with APNS and other bodies to draft a Universal Code of Advertising Practice that would be acceptable to all the industry.

Secretary of the Society, Ali A. Khan presented the audited accounts for the year.

The Pakistan Advertisers Society also elected a 10 member Council for the next two year term. In a brief council meeting after the AGM, the PAS Council elected unopposed Haroon Basheer as Chairman. Tariq Kirmani, Managing Director PSO and Hans Peter Heissen, VP/General Manager Proctor and Gamble were elected as two Vice Chairmen of the Society, while Ali A. Khan, Managing Director Reckitt Benkiser was elected as the Secretary. The PAS Council also includes Rizwan Jamil, Director Beverages Unilevers Pakistan, Khalid Alvi, Marketing Director Pepsi Cola International, Fazal Ghafoor, Marketing Director Pakistan Tobacco Company, Mahmood Nanji, General Manager Sales and Marketing Tapal Tea and Yasir Qadri, Senior Vice President Arif Habib Investment.

 

 

FIRST ISLAMIC BANKING BRANCH OF MCB

Muslim Commercial Bank Limited has opened its first full fledged dedicated Islamic Banking Branch on September 1, 2003 at lst Floor Shaheen Complex Karachi. Mian Mohammad Mansha Chairman MCB inaugurated the Branch. Besides, Chairman also present on the occasion were Vice Chairman, Mr. S. M. Muneer, other Directors, namely, Sheikh Mukhtar Ahmed, Tariq Rafi, Mohammad Arshad alongwith Mr. Mohammad Aftab Manzoor, President & other Senior Executives. Elite customers from business and industrial community also participated. The President pressed the key on computer to open the First Deposit Account.

On the first day of operation, the Branch opened LCs worth Rs. 1.100 Billion approximately under Islamic Mode for a subsequent Murabahah Financing for their customers M/s. Usman Enterprises and importers of LG products, namely New Allied Electronic Industries.

This Branch has been equipped with modern electronic Banking and Accounting system to extend the best possible services to its clients. A number of Shariah compliant Islamic Banking products in deposit and investment are being offered to clients and all normal Banking Services including ATM facility has been made available. MCB has taken long way in preparing Islamic Banking Products and forming a team of dedicated executives and staff who have been undergone an exhaustive training in Islamic system of banking and Finance, in Pakistan and abroad, before opening the Branch. MCB Islamic Banking has launched the following Riba free products in Deposit Scheme. All Product Manuals and Transactions of the branch are being supervised by the Shariah Advisor of the bank.

1. Al-Makhraj Savings Accounts.
2. Al-Makhraj Ianat (Current) Accounts.
3. Al-Makhraj Term Deposits.

1ST CALL CENTER EXPORT ORDER SUCCESSFULLY INSTALLED IN EAST AFRICA BY ZRG

ZRG International (Private) Limited, the first company in Pakistan to have received an export order for an advanced telecommunication solution known as Call Center, has successfully delivered and installed the solution for M/s Mobitel, a cellular phone service provider in Tanzania, Africa.

"It is a moment of great pride for Pakistan because now the country has joined the elite club of handful of countries that produce and export this type of solutions", said Mr. Ahsan Abdi, Business Development Manager at ZRG International. "This has opened up doors for other Pakistani IT and Telecom solutions companies to enter into the lucrative business of telecom solutions export", he added.

M/s Mobitel is a dynamic and rapidly growing cellular phone service provider in Tanzania, that needed a flexible, scalable and reliable solution for its customer services and support center in Darus Salaam, Tanzania. In their search, Mobitel identified Pakistan's call center market and studied the call center solutions that are being used here by various telecom companies, banks and other service organizations. After a thorough analysis and reference check, Mobitel selected ZRG International as the solution provider with the most focused approach, in-depth technical knowledge, top-notch product, best performance history and excellent market references.

Speaking about the post-sale status, Mr. Abdi said, "What is even more exciting is that Mobitel has expressed great satisfaction with the quality, performance of the solution as well as the level of post-sale support they have received. As a result, within a month of the installation, Mobitel placed another order for capacity expansion of the call center solution", Mr. Abdi believes that this event has raised Pakistan's profile in the international IT and Telecom market and has contributed towards improving the image and reputation of Pakistan as a nation of modern, educated and IT literate people.

ZRG is an IT & System Integration company highly focused in the area of Computer-Telephone Integration and Customer interaction solutions. The company specializes in the convergence of information and communication technologies and is well-versed in the integration of multiple channels of communications such as telephone call, email, fax, SMS, Web, etc. with information that stored in corporate databases and desktop applications.

 

 

ZRG offers solutions that are designed to improve and enhance business communications and information dissemination processes through more advanced, quicker and cost-effective ways and means. These solutions help businesses to offer more value and services, reduce costs, automate repetitive tasks and enhance quality of their customer services. The customized and turnkey solutions are backed by a team of call center and telecom professionals with in-depth technical knowledge, demonstrated capabilities and a vast experience. We have in-depth experience in dealing with issues such as PSTN issues, UAN, 0800, ISDN-PRI, PABX and ACD, Call Center solutions for Customer Services and Help Desks.

HUBCO BOARD OF DIRECTORS ANNOUNCE FINAL DIVIDEND

Hubco is pleased to announce that its Board of Director in its meeting London has recommended a final dividend, of 21% (Rs.2.10 per share) for the year ended June 30, 2003. This announcement is in addition to 33% (Rs.3.30 per share) interim dividend already paid on April 23, 2003.

The Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Company is due to be held in Islamabad on October 15, 2003 to approve the annual accounts of the Company and approve and declare the Total Dividend.