Dec 22 - 28, 2003



The largest team at Hair Asia Pacific and winner of the outstanding country performance award, Team Pakistan celebrated their jubilant victory at a reception here in Karachi. After an intensive day-long competition where Asia's best stylists and beauticians competed in eight categories including Ladies and Gents Hair Cuts, Bridal makeup, Fantasy style, and Nail Art, Pakistan's very own Imrana Shahid won accolades for the country by picking up first prize in the Nail Art category. Angie Marshall also did Pakistan proud by winning the outstanding Pakistani performer trophy and fourth runner-up award in Nail art. Nasreen Iqbal and Tehseen Tasneem also secured positions in the Nail Art category, getting the 2nd runner-up trophy and 3rd runner up position respectively.




In the backdrop of Anti Dumping investigation against Pakistan's Bed Linen in the EU, the Commerce Minister met with all the stakeholders of Bed Linen in the Ministry of Commerce recently. The exporters lauded the efforts of the Commerce Minister over the last year in helping the exporter build up of their case for defending Pakistani bed linen exporters' interest.

The meeting focused on various options available to the exporters in view of EU's plans to impose anti-dumping duty as indicated in EU's communication to the sampled companies. The meeting focused on the strategy that the exporter will adopt in view of this development. The exporters expressed their confidence that they will continue to receive the same level of support from this Ministry and agreed to maintain the momentum of interaction in the best national interest.


Pakistan has expressed concern over the exclusion of Super Basmati from the Abatement Scheme of EU withdrawing the exemption of Euro 250 per metric ton which was available on Pakistan Basmati Rice's exports to European countries.

Minister for Commerce, Mr. Humayun Akhtar Khan while addressing the members of Rice Exporters informed that Government will take each and every step to include Pakistani Super Basmati in the Abatement Scheme of EU. The Government is taking up the case with European Commission based in Islamabad to present Pakistan's point of view on the basis of the origin of Pakistani Super Basmati which has been technically approved a genuine variety of rice. Pakistan's total export of rice is $555 million out of which $360 million is Basmati. Pakistan exports basmati rice worth $53 million to EU and out of this quantity 80% is super basmati.


The Export Promotion Bureau is encouraging the concept of branding of Pakistani products with a view to enhance not only the export volume of Pakistani products but also to legitimize Pakistan's status as supplier of world class quality goods, achieve value addition and sustainability of export levels.

Since the concept of branding is relatively new amongst exporters Pakistan, the EPB would encourage maximum in-depth interaction of the interested stakeholders in Pakistan with world leaders in this field.

Management Association of Pakistan (MAP) is organizing a Seminar on "How Nestle Manages its Business and Brands Local and Global". This seminar is scheduled for Thursday 15th of January 2004 from 10:30 AM to 01:00 PM at Avari Towers, Karachi. Nestle's strengths as one of the world leaders in not only branding but also maintenance of brands combined with the knowledge and experience of Mr. Friedrich G. Mahler, Market Head of Nestle Milkpak, would make this seminar useful to understand the various aspects of branding, brand management and maintenance of brand ownership.


Oracle Asia Pacific, a division of Oracle Corporation the world's largest enterprise software company, recently announced that it has continued to gain momentum in the financial services sector in Asia Pacific. Some of the largest financial services institutions that have successfully adopted Oracle solutions to run their businesses include Ageon Insurance (Taiwan), Bangkok Bank (Thailand), Kookmin Bank (Korea), MayBank (Malaysia), MetroBank (Philippines), OCBC (Singapore), State Bank of India (India), United Overseas Bank (Singapore) and Westpac Banking Corporation (Australia). Oracle's growing momentum is indicative of its understanding of and ability to address industry issues such as globalization, channel convergence and the need for improved reporting and analytics.


President Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry (ICCI) Mr. Zubair Ahmed Malik has denounced the security arrangement in the Industrial Zone of Islamabad. He said Sihala Flour Mills cashier was robbed in day light with Rs.9.5 lakh cash at gun point. This is the fourth case of dacoity in the last few months in the Industrial area.




Sui Southern Gas Company expresses profound grief and offers condolences with the families of three persons who expired as a result of an explosion which took place at Shell CNG Filling Station in Karachi. In a press statement, issued on Tuesday, December 16, 2003, SSGC spokesman stated that the Company has taken strict notice of the incident, and is issuing an advisory note to all the CNG filling stations operating in SSGC's franchised areas in Sindh and Balochistan to ensure that requisite safety precautions are taken. SSGC will also hold a workshop to educate its stake holders including CNG dealers and consumers on safety measures to be adopted in the use of CNG.


SSGC achieved another land mark when it sold 1.011 billion cubic feet gas in a day. In addition SSGC also transmitted over 213.5 million of gas to the SNGPL system thereby achieving an overall flow exceeding 1224 MCFD. Due to this magnificent increase in sales, SSGC spokesman informed that SSGC revenues are expected to increase beyond Rs. 51 billion in FY 2003-04, as compared to Rs.42 billion in FY 2002-03.

This landmark was achieved due to the expansion in the system capacity of SSGC from 600 million cubic feet in a day to 1200 mcfd as a result of the completion of Gas Infrastructure Rehabilitation and Expansion Project (GIREP) which was completed in a record time of three years from 2000 to 2003 at a low capital cost of Rs. 3.2 billion.

According to the press release, the Company has recently embarked on 5-year major expansion project which will increase it gas handling capacity to 1.8 billion cubic feet per day, and increase its customer base to over 2 million. SSGC is also developing, through its joint venture company, Inter State Gas Systems Limited (ISGSL), import option of gas from neighbouring countries to fulfill the gas requirements for the next 20/30 years. A US $3.5 billion pipeline project from Turkmenistan or a 2nd option of import of gas from Iran is in advanced stage of development. Through its expansion and import projects, SSGC is gearing-up to contribute significantly in the national development, improvement in industrial productivity and creation of significant employment opportunities, to support the growth of national economy.

SSGC is also actively examining setting up of underground gas storage projects to ensure creation of strategic gas reserves to provide gas supply security as well as to meet the seasonal peak gas demands especially in the winter months.


Toyota Motor Corporation's Senior Managing Director Yoshi Inaba visited Pakistan after 20 years recently. This visit is part of the tour that the Senior Managing Director is undertaking to visit Toyota companies in various parts of the world.



A graduate of Kyoto University and an MBA from NorthWestern's Kellogg School, Inaba has an illustrious career in sales and marketing, unlike most top management executives of Toyota who have an engineering and manufacturing background. In addition to his rich experience of the Japanese automobile market, he has also worked in Germany and in USA where he was President, Toyota Motor Sales, USA Inc. In 1997, he was named to Toyota's Board of Directors and then became Senior Managing Director of Toyota Motor Corporation in June 2003.

"The recent upsurge in the automobile market is a result of stable policies. In order for the Pakistan market to grow further, it is necessary that policies are clearly spelt out and remain consistent in the future", said Inaba during his visit to Indus Motor Company.

While complementing the Indus Motor Company Team on their performance, Inaba said, "Our Pakistan joint venture, Indus Motor Company is an excellent success story, manufacturing world class cars with high local content and quality standards. Its sales and production has doubled in the last two years."

Commenting on Pakistan's auto industry, Inaba said, "The automobile industry in Pakistan is still in its infancy stage when compared with other countries. But automobile demand in Pakistan is growing fast, especially in the past few years due to an improvement in the economic climate, enhanced auto-financing, consistent government policies and political stability. To sustain this growth, it is necessary that the Pakistan government ensures that its investment friendly policies continue so that Pakistan's growing market potential is tapped by more investment and capacity expansion."

Inaba expressed his faith in Pakistan's workforce, saying, "I see a good future for Pakistan because it has a large workforce that has the potential of being trained to high skill levels." He assured continued support of Toyota to provide training assistance saying, "The auto industry is a core industry in any country, and with the development of human capital, this industry can make a significant contribution towards the economic development of Pakistan."

Speaking on this occasion, Mazhar Valjee, CEO IMC said, "It is a matter of honor for Pakistan and Indus Motor Company that Inaba has visited us. This demonstrates the importance Toyota Motor Corporation attaches to the auto market of Pakistan. We have had an opportunity to discuss with Inaba our progress and plans for the future. Toyota and IMC will continue to provide quality vehicles and quality service to customers in Pakistan through our joint efforts in the years to come."


The Hub Power Company has become a recipient of the prestigious Company Award 2003, given by The Banker magazine of the Financial Times group of the U.K. The Company Awards, described as "a showcase of exceptional companies across the world" were given to 29 companies in 29 countries, selected from more than 500 invitations to enter sent out to companies in 35 countries.

"Hubco winning one of the esteemed Company Awards is a matter of pride not only for our Company but for Pakistan," said Vince Harris, Chief Executive of Hubco. "The award is a victcry for Pakistan in the highly competitive international finance and commerce field. It effectively means that Pakistan has the right business climate that allows companies to flourish and reach the pinnacle of international recognition," he added.

The key criteria for the selection of companies for the Awards were historical financial performance; adoption and impact of new technology; potential for revenue and profit growth and governance and corporate social responsibility. The multi disciplinary selection panel made a qualitative assessment to identify companies that had an extra "edge" in terms of the listed criteria and Hubco was selected from Pakistan to stand alongside other winners like Volkswagen from Germany, Toshiba from Japan and Hutchison Whampoa from Hong Kong.


Ejaz Hassan
Director, United Mobile

United Mobile, the only company that maintains the largest chain of retail outlets at every nook and corner of the country offering Complete Cellular Solution. Over the last two years, United Mobile has emerged as the largest cellular company in Pakistan and has become the part and parcel of the cellular growth in Pakistan.

United Mobile's mission is "To give customers in Pakistan a first hand experience of the developing cutting edge mobile phone technology and the business applications."

At the same time company has a clear vision "To have Preferred Retail Outlets, Providing Complete Range of Cellular and Allied Products with Focus on Superior Customer Services."

Wireless Communication is getting so advanced and developed that the people around the world are coming closer n' closer day by day. The concept of far-flung distances has now become the myths of the past.

Pakistan is not behind in adopting technologies and become the part of this global village. In fact it has recognized as one of the biggest potential country in the area of IT and communication. Pakistan has made a big stride in mobile industry as four cellular operators are providing services with special features and facilities to their customers through their dealer's network.

Mobile industry has seen several phases since its birth in 1990, from status symbol to the necessity, from mobile to personal communicator, and from just a communication tool to an entertainment gadget.

Despite high potential of cellular services in Pakistan, operators have not yet grasped the major market share due to various reasons. In a country with population above 145 million, around 2.6 million people are using mobile phone i.e. penetration below 2%. This is far too less considering the average penetration rate around the world. Even though operators got into price war and therefore consumed their capacity well before time by selling connections in bulk.

All the operators have their authorized Franchisee offering Sales, Services, Bill Collection etc. but the fact is that 90% of the operator's total sales coming through its distributors and distributor's 90% of the sales coming from individual mobile phone retailers. It is therefore quite evident that various retailers, who happened to be the biggest but completely unorganized channel, are generating 80% of the overall sales.



Today customers generally prefer everything to be available under one roof. Cellular customers prefer to go to the place where they can get different brands of various items on the spot to make choice. The concept of shopping under one roof or availing services through one window have been in vogue in modern culture, since it saves the customers precious time.

This universally accepted concept was not available in Pakistan and despite four renowned companies being available to provide mobile phone services, the customers were unable to evaluate their preferences due to non-availability of collective data and information of all the mobile companies, their services etc. At the same time mobile phones with lots and lots of new features are being introduced. Due to lack of training, not many people are using some of the features. Mobile phone retailers are only pushing boxes with latest mobile handsets without knowing the features.

Realizing the situation, market potential, operator's limitation and customer's choice, it was felt to establish a service oriented company to offer "One Window" operation with complete cellular solution.

In order to bridge the gap between the operators and the customers, United Mobile has been formed in the private sector with wide area retail network. Top most priority of United Mobile is to extend superior customer services and backup support.

United Mobile will be the first company to provide all the mobiles, all the connections, all the packages and all the accessories under one banner with growing number of branches spread at convenient locations across the country.

Market in Pakistan can only expand if wide range of products and services are readily available from convenient locations. In short we can say "One Company Many Solutions"