June 06 - 12, 2005

 

A MEGA EVENT FOR TELECOM INDUSTRY NEXT MONTH

By NAURIN HUSSAIN

Pakistan came into existence with agriculture as the backbone of its economy. As time moved, the worldwide phenomena of industrialization reshaped the course of business activities with the development of industries and industrialized zones in many mega cities of the world.
As the agricultural lands were taken over by industries, Pakistan's economy took a new shape. In recent past the rapid development of technologies in various sectors is once again changing the route of economical growth and now the boom in IT sectors re-conceptualizing the industrial trend of businesses. With IT culture spreading in all walks of life, the common man is now becoming a part of global

 

 

environment, as instantaneous communication with the rest of the world is no more a daydream now. Use of Internet has virtually interknitted the nations. Communication, once an essential and vital part of various business sectors has now become a full-fledged industry itself with hundreds of modern days inventions such as mobile telephones, wireless connectivity, voice-over IP, CDMA etc. etc., coming into play.

The common man's analysis in regards to communication industry is somewhat akin to taking a roller-coaster ride, with lots of bumps and jolts. With so much advancement in communication industry in the world, it was not possible for Pakistan to keep away from this revolution and hence the Government of Pakistan decided to liberalize the communication sector and provide market access to foreign investors. Being a representative of the Pakistani public, my analysis foresees that a positive approach and timely approach has been adopted by the Government of Pakistan to keep pace with global IT trends during the 21st century. Although this beginning has been made at a belated stage but it is a well known saying, "better late than never". In this connection, government has already announced telecom deregulation policy, mobile policy and broadband policy. In order to overcome various hurdles to pave way for its growth in Pakistan.

From the recent facts and figures that I was able to put together is that Pakistani market is fully cluttered with its respective stakeholders. Few among them have succeeded in making their presence felt whereas others are still struggling hard to do so. Since the industry is growing day by day and each day adds a new dimension to telecom industry, it is imperative to bring all stakeholders together not only to share their experiences and technologies with each other but also to show their strength as an industry locally and regionally.

With above demand in mind, first initiative has been taken by a local event management company The Exhibitor (Pvt) Ltd to hold "C Future 2005" conference & exhibition under the theme of "Communicating the Communication" from 21st till 23rd of July 2005. The event is being arranged under the auspices of Federal Ministry of IT & Telecom, Board of Investment/Federal Ministry of Privatization Chief Minister's Investment Cell Government of Sindh, Provincial Ministry of IT, Pakistan Telecommunication Authority, Federation of Pakistan Chamber of Commerce and Industry, National IT Park, Pakistan Export Corporation and United Mobile. GEO is a media partner.

The event is schedule as on, day one international conference under the theme of "Global Tends of ICT" and the next two day would be for Exhibition under the theme of "Communication-Oriented Future Lifestyle" at Expo Centre Karachi

It is expected that the event will bring a turn into the industry as it will be a platform where all stakeholders will not only gather under one roof but they will also analyze their potentials parallel and cross-functional. It will be the best opportunity to portray one's customized technological capability in a larger context.

According to the organizers, the main objectives of this event are:

Uniting all allied businesses on one platform

It will be place where all allied business personnel will meet under one roof. This event will provide a chance for various local and regional collaborations for further growth of individuals.

 

 

Providing a rostrum to communicate with larger audience

Since this mega event is to involve a large number of audience, the existing companies would be able to find their new target market for their upcoming brands and new entrants would be able to get their new focal market. Statistically speaking, only 9% of the total Pakistan's population has been under the umbrella of this sector, so the rest needs to be explored.

Promoting the industry to interact with the trade bodies of Pakistan

It will be a good chance for international market to meet trade bodies of Pakistan for business collaborations in Pakistan.

According to the promotion plan of the organizers, wide media coverage of the event in both electronic and print media will promote all participants in various manners. The public relation activities will provide an opportunity to address the press conferences, to participate in TV talk shows and give interviews on TV & Radio channels. The use of billboards, street banners and hoardings around the city, road shows/mobile billboards will not only have the attention of passers-by but will help considerably in increasing the number of visitors to the event, thus boosting the business of participants.

This is the first time that any event management company will provide a TVC displays on plasma screens & audio commercials on PA system at venue for its participants. The sharing in color scheming of venue as per the brand/company's requirement is also being introduced first time. The best part of the event is that an independent shopping mart will be set up for any on-the-spot sale.

We expect a positive response from all stakeholders, as their participation in such an event would not only be beneficial for them, but for our nation too, as it will help make a trademark in the world of competency. Briefly this event will provide an colossal benefits to all participants which include, gaining market recognition, image building for companies, acquiring know-how on global diversity, interaction with instrumental & key decision-makers through the specifically designed network session etc. The exhibition will help users to increase brand awareness, brand retention and a chance to evaluate market trends in this sector, and as far as Pakistan's image is concerned, we are hopeful that we would not spare any effort which may help to heighten our country's esteem.

In a nutshell Pakistan being a lucrative market, the telecom industry is progressing rapidly. Stakeholders have to be proactive in their action so as to catch the bus in time, as it is in the right gear to start the race.

MOBILEZONE.COM RATED AS TOP WEBSITE

Mobile Zone (the largest mobile phone company in Pakistan) website has accomplished another milestone as its website mobilezone.com.pk has been rated amongst the top 50 websites of Pakistan by ranking.com (the largest free market research firm on surfers behavior ranking the top 900,000).

Mobile Zone website has the largest number of hits and considered as the most trustworthy source for mobile phone users in Pakistan. Although there are many websites relating to mobile phones but mobilezone.com.pk has been frequently visited by consumers because of its customer-friendly interface, unmatched customer support, latest information, feedbacks and most importantly consumers trust on MZ brand/warranty.

The interesting part is that along with Mobile Zone only website from Pakistan telecom industry picked by ranking.com is PTCL which endorse consumers loyalty towards Mobile Zone as one of the largest telecom brand in the country.

JCR-VIS UPGRADES EFU GENERAL INSURANCE RATINGS

JCR-VIS Credit Rating Company Ltd (JCR-VIS) has upgraded the Insurer Financial Strength (IFS) rating of EFU General Insurance Limited to 'AA' (Double A) with Stable outlook from 'AA-' (Double A Minus) with 'Positive' outlook.

EFU is the second largest private sector insurance company in Pakistan and currently has a market share of over 30% The company has maintained strong reinsurers on its panel. With rising business volumes, and effective risk management, key profitability indicators have shown considerable improvement. Capital base of the company has grown steadily and as funds generated from operations get deployed in liquid earning asset, liquidity has also been improving. The management continues with its endeavor to improve it human resource and control systems. JCR-VIS will monitor the management's ongoing strategy to improve it return on earning assets.

MCB TO START MARGIN FINANCING

MCB being a major market player and provider of diversified financial solutions is ready to start Margin Financing to its valued clients.

Margin Financing is lending by banks/DFIs to brokers for their clients for purchase of approved shares of joint stock companies listed on stock exchange against approved securities with the retention of margins as prescribed by State Bank of Pakistan.

To complement SBP & SECP's efforts to replace badla with margin financing in order to provide stability in the stock markets, ensure prudent lending and provide diversified market-based financing avenues to investors to enable them to leverage their stock holdings, MCB in accordance with the guidelines provided by SBP will soon start providing margin financing facility to its valued clients.

For providing this service efficiently within the stipulated deadlines, all necessary arrangements are being put in place so as to facilitate our valued customers in an effective manner.

PARCO's MD HONOURED BY AUSTRIA

Dr. Shahid K. Hak, Managing Director, PARCO was decorated with the Grand Decoration of Honour in Gold by the Government of Austria. Presenting the Decoration on behalf of his Government, the Austrian Federal Minister for Industry & Labour, Dr. M. Bartenstein lauded Dr. Hak's extraordinary achievements in developing Pakistan's energy infrastructure and refining industry and making PARCO an excellent role model of mutually rewarding cooperation between Pakistan, Abu Dhabi and Austria.

Acknowledging the Decoration, Dr. Hak attributed the success of his efforts to the wise counsel and encouragement by the joint venture partners and the full support of a highly competent and motivated team at PARCO that shares his vision and works hard to translate them into reality. He expressed the hope that in times to come, the cooperation among PARCO's joint venture partners will not only get stronger but also diversify into many new facets.

PAK-KUWAIT, TAKAFUL SIGN ACCORD

The first-ever joint venture agreement in the financial sector between Pakistan and Malaysia was executed in Islamabad on May 24, 2005 at an impressive ceremony on the occasion of the official visit of a high level delegation from Malaysia headed by the Deputy Governor of the Malaysian Central Bank.

The agreement was signed by Mr Istaqbal Mehdi, Managing Director of Pak-Kuwait Investment Company (Pvt) Limited and by Mr. Aminuddin M. Desa, President/CEO of Takaful Nasional Malaysia.

The agreement provides for the setting up of the first-ever Takaful (Islamic Insurance) company in Pakistan with the Malaysian equity participation, by the name of "Pak-Kuwait Takaful Company Limited." Takaful Nasional is a leading Takaful Company operating in Malaysia for almost two decades. In addition to investing in this joint venture as the sponsoring equity partner, Takaful Nasional shall also be providing technical assistance to the emerging company in its operations.

MUHAMMAD ANWAR USMAN, CHAIRMAN ISO COMMITTEE, FPCCCI

M. Anwar Usman has been recently nominated as Chairman for the standing committee on International Organization for Standardization (ISO) of FPCCI for term 2005-06. In the past terms 2003-04, he has also served FPCCI for the standing committee on World Trade Organization (WTO) as Vice Chairman. He is an industrialist and an entrepreneur and currently, working as an Executive Director of Al-Abbas Industries Ltd. He is also a qualified professional as a registered Chartered Engineer of England. Also involved in research and teaching at SZABIST as an adjunct faculty member in MS/PhD program. He is also a guest writer time to time of PAGE as well.