KARACHI - KESC embarks on an 'Integrated Business Centre drive from 8th April to be pilot-tested in the demographically diverse locality of Defence. Defence covers 80,000 consumers and covers low-income localities including Gizri, Akhtar Colony, Quyumabad, T&T Colony, Hazara Colony and various others, wide reach being a key focus for the new programme. Operationally, four BOCs in Defence are merged into a single-unit, refurbished Integrated Business Centre (IBC), a new interface between KESC and its customers. Rashid Hussain, newly appointed General Manager of the Defence IBC, created under the KESC Umeed Zone banner and located for the pilot at 13th Commercial Street, Phase II in the midst of Defences Commercial Area, says, The key partner for success of these business centres are our customers. Their support and goodwill will make this improvement happen and show results quickly. The refurbished business centre is to be managed by a internally-recruited pool of existing KESCs staff, appointed through a detailed merit-based process and internal job posting from the companys 17,000-strong employee base. 107 people have been hired from within KESCs ranks, via a rigorous interview and technical competencies evaluation process. These employees are trained in new service-level processes which are geared toward quicker resolution of customer services-related issues as one key metric. These employees, a number of who feature in an accompanying media campaign, will provide improved wide-ranging service to customers. The BOC will cover an array of possible customer needs, including billing issues, from handling customer complaints to collecting payments, reduce distribution losses and improve collection of overdue funds receiving applications and customer feedback. This customer window will be accompanied by operational improvements in the wide Defence locality and will form the basis of a roll-out into a sequence of high population localities in Karachi, eventually embracing the whole city. Within 3-6 months at least three more integrated business units will be launched within different parts of the city. The BOC is expected to provide higher revenue collections, a key issue facing KESC. The company believes that it will eventually result, according to Rashid Hussain, in a more favourable public profile for KESC and greater synergies with KESCs operations and reporting, including with the 118 service. Naveed Ismail, CEO KESC said that the opening of the Defence IBC, under the Umeed Zone promise, serves as an important milestone in the service and operational drive to improve delivery to a wide consumer cross-section in Karachi. The one window approach is one that will pilot, measure, review, enhance and then roll-out to the city as rapidly as resources allow. To do that, our partnership with the public is vital.