KARACHI - The annual convocation of Institute of Business Administration (IBA) was held here on Saturday on the spacious lawns of IBA-UBL Sports Complex.

A total of 695 students (the largest cohort of graduates in IBA’s history) were conferred degrees for the completion of their undergraduate and post-graduate programmes.

The audience consisted of proud parents, students, faculty members and distinguished personalities from the corporate, academic and public sectors; Dean and Director IBA Karachi, Dr Farrukh Iqbal, Chief Guest – Chief Minister Sindh, Syed Murad Ali Shah and Minister for Education and Literacy Jam Mehtab Hussain Dahar.

The event commenced with recitation from the Holy Quran, followed by an address by Dr Farrukh Iqbal, Dean and Director IBA. Dr Iqbal, in his speech, wished the class of 2016 success and happiness, in the hope that they will be the ‘leaders of tomorrow’.

He elaborated on the physical, intellectual and social transformation at IBA.

He said that IBA was currently on the path to an important journey, with a significant goal.

“The physical transformation is before our eyes. IBA now has buildings and technology that did not exist a few years ago,” Dr Iqbal said, and added, “Our facilities are now at par with the best endowed universities in the country. And they are kept in this fine state by a dedicated group of support staff.”

Furthermore, he discussed various programmes being offered at the institute.

He said that the intellectual transformation of IBA in recent years was reflected not just in the quality of the faculty but also in the programmes being offered.

“IBA is much more than a good business school now. Alongside Business Administration, IBA also offers programmes in Computer Sciences, Accounting and Finance, Economics, Mathematics, Social Sciences & Liberal Arts,” he said, and added, “Commencing next spring, a Master’s degree programme in Islamic Finance by the Centre for Excellence in Islamic Finance, will also be introduced.”

Stressing the need for managers and responsible citizens, he said that the institute had shared knowledge and experience with the students so that they might pass this along and help bring about positive changes in the country.

“Pakistan is in dire need of capable managers, responsible citizens and ethical leaders. We hope that one day you will be one of these,” he expressed the optimism.

He also thanked the parents for entrusting IBA with the future of their offspring.

Addressing the audience, Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah said that the Sindh government had been making all efforts to improve the business and investment climate in the province, with a major focus on betterment of law and order and infrastructure in the city.

“Some of these results are already visible and on others, work is being carried out,” he added.

He said that the Sindh government realized the contribution of IBA in providing an excellent pool of business. "We have been trying to ensure our full support in providing resources to this esteemed institution for further extending the boundaries of excellence," he said, and added with the contribution of Rs100 million as grant in aid, the Sindh government had been supporting the endeavour of IBA for substantial contribution in the economy of Pakistan in general and in Sindh in particular.

Murad said that recently as Finance Minister he had inaugurated Center of Business and Economic Research (CBER).

“At that time, the Sindh government had also signed a services agreement with IBA, Karachi with the objective to foster a healthy and productive bilateral cooperation,” he said, and added, “I have been encouraged to know that CBER has taken many initiatives since its inception, including the establishment of a research grant, launching of the IBA working paper series, initiation of seminar sessions, conferences and collaborations with education and government institutions."

He said that through the Services Agreement between Sindh government and IBA "We have been working closely to enhance performance efficiency of the provincial tax administration and capacity building by conducting training programs for concerned officers as part of 50 million dollars World Bank Project Appraisal Development.

Syed Murad Ali Shah said that he had learnt about the programs the IBA initiated to give a chance to students from less privileged backgrounds to study in this premier institution.

 "These truly are remarkable measures not only for the promotion of education but also for improving social and economic in years to come," he said.

Addressing the students, the chief minister said, "Today is your day. Today you have completed a phase in your life, where you were ably guided by your teachers to enter into this new phase in life, where you will be mostly on your own," he said and urged them "to chase your dreams, burst your dreams, never stop trying- nothing is really over until you stop trying."

Earlier, the degrees were conferred to students by the Dean and Director, Dr Farrukh Iqbal and the Chief Guest Syed Murad Ali Shah.

Together they presented medals, shields and certificates to the high achievers to celebrate outstanding excellence in their respective disciplines.

The institute also gave prizes to twenty best performers amongst its dedicated staff that are the part and parcel of IBA.