Aurat Foundation-Nestlé joint event

LAHORE (PR): Nestlé Pakistan, in collaboration with Aurat Foundation, organised an event to commemorate International Women’s Day by providing a platform where inspiring, successful women shared their stories with others.

The theme for the event was “Making it happen: inspirational stories of Pakistani women turning the tide”. Speakers included Fiza Farhan (2015 Forbes ‘30 under 30’ social entrepreneurs list); Muniba Mazari (artist, activist, motivational speaker), Justice (r) Nasira Iqbal, Nasreen Zehra (director, Aurat Foundation) and Mira Phailbus (educator). It was moderated by Nadia Jamil. Each speaker told their personal life story that was followed by a Q&A session with the audience.

“There is a business case for gender balance but we believe that gender balance needs to envelop all segments of the society. Women are an integral part of the society and should be an essential part of the workforce, whether it’s formal or informal economy.” said Waqar Ahmad – Head of Corporate Affairs for Nestlé Pakistan.

Nadia Jamil called the panelists “powerhouses” in themselves who had made the lives of other women better. She said she had been influenced by each of the panelists.

Fiza Farhan said she had not wanted to be defined as somebody’s daughter or wife. “Your gender becomes a strength” when women decide to go out and work. “We have one life so live the life that you want to live. Create opportunities for yourself and other women. Believe in yourself and in your passion,” she said.

Artist Muniba Mazari said she looked at her accident as an “opportunity”. She said she had “seen the worst but that brought out the best in me… I wanted a hero in my life but I couldn’t find one. So I decided to become one.” She said to her Pakistan was the perfect place for women to make their mark.

Mira Phailbus said when she was made principal, fathers used to come and tell her to offer “easy subjects” so that they could pass and then get married. She told them if they just wanted a college stamp they should take their daughters elsewhere because her vision was to help the girls “become independent and decision makers”.

Nasreen Zehra went back to work after a break of 15 years and started her career at Aurat Foundation in Quetta. The job, she said, had made her stronger and empowered her. When her husband passed away, her work was what gave her strength, she said adding that she was proud that she had empowered her daughters too.

JS Bank posts strong result

KARACHI (PR): JS Bank Limited (JSBL) has announced its 2014 result, posting a profit after tax of Rs1,060.039 million in CY14 compared to Rs351.283 million in CY13. Board of Directors of JS Bank, in its meeting held recently, approved the audited financial statements for the year ended December 31, 2014. Bank’s Earning Per Share (EPS) increased to Rs0.99 for the year 2014 from Rs0.33 in CY13. Bank’s Net Interest Income (NII) stood at Rs3,854.040 million and non-markup income at Rs2,590.161 million. JS Bank posted a profit before tax of Rs 1,608.225 million in CY14 compared to Rs 501.371 million in CY13.

The balance sheet registered a YoY growth of 56.7% to reach PKR 176,717 million as at December 31, 2014. Deposits increased to PKR 108,740 million as compared to PKR 80,916 million in the previous year, a YoY growth of 34.4%. Gross advances grew to PKR 58,765 million as compared to PKR 35,164 million in the previous year, a YoY growth of 67.1%.

Given that the bank has shown such robust performance in what has been a difficult time for the local economy, is testament to the prudent management and financial discipline at the bank. JS Bank is one of the fastest growing commercial banks in Pakistan, it has a large network of 238 branches across 122 cities of Pakistan with plans to expand its outreach with more branches nationwide.

‘Universal broadband a real target to achieve through PPPs: Etisalat CEO

ISLAMABAD (PR): Universal broadband is a real target that can be achieved through public private partnerships to promote greater digital, social and financial inclusion in the developing world, observed Ahmad Julfar, Chief Executive Officer of Etisalat Group.

He was addressing an audience of some of the world’s leading figures in telecommunications at Mobile World Summit (MWS), the premier event of the ongoing 2015 Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. Julfar also holds the position of Vice Chair of the GSMA, which organizes the annual Congress and unites over 800 telecom operators and over 250 companies that operate in the broader mobile eco system.

Julfar said that the public internet needs to evolve further and this requires investment in capacity, new solutions, technologies andinnovative business models. The telco sector will not be able to drive this alone, as they face the risk of a big disruption due to the shifts across the value chain.

“Etisalat believes that access to broadband is a basic right for everyone and it can be served smartly, where needed,” he said. “But providing universal access to broadband poses a challenge for telcos because network investments not only have long pay-back periods andcapex on infrastructure today yields diminishing returns.”

Julfar said that “new investment models based on semi-public funding from governments or infrastructure-sharing models defined by regulators are urgently needed and should be encouraged.”

Sharing his views on ‘connecting billions across the developing world,’ Julfar said: “The benefits of increasing connectivity are clear to see in economic, social and environmental fields, but there is a clear digital gap. Some 60 per cent of the world’s population remains unconnected, the majority of which is in rural areas of the developing world.”

By 2020, approximately 3.8 billion men and women, or half of the world’s population will be connected to the internet via mobile and a vast majority of the new users will be in developing countries.

“Telecommunications revolutionises everything we do; it is the industry that changes all other industries. Governments know it.  That’s why, over the past 10 years, more than 150 governments have developed or are developing national broadband networks.  The primary goal is to make the country benefit from the economic impact of broadband. And we share a common interest to keep investing in the future internet.”

Mr. Julfar proposed a number of changes the telecommunications ecosystem - Governments, Regulators, Internet companies and NGOs – should embrace. These include: new competitive models to allow telcos to focus on market value creation through collaboration between private and public sectors to distribute more choice, affordability and welfare to citizens.

Mr. Julfar added: “Some of the most innovative models today come from emerging countries. Etisalat Group takes a different approach in various developing countries that it operates in, and not one size fits all. Our ability to be flexible to meet individual market need drives our growth across the region. This flexible approach has enabled Etisalat Group to extend service provision for millions of people.”

Etisalat Group today encompasses 19 countries across two continents, and includes dynamic emerging markets across the Middle East, Asia and Africa serving over 182 million subscribers.

Entrepreneurship workshop

LAHORE (PR): COTHM (College of Tourism and Hotel Management) has initiated a higher phase at its Karachi Campus to groom its brilliant talented students more to hospitality and business world with workshop sessions in collaboration with INJAZ Pakistan. Conducted at Karachi Campus, a 4-hour long workshop resulted in students to recognize their ability of entrepreneurial skills while making creative and innovative business plan to aid the need in the market. It also leads students to assess themselves for being ideal entrepreneurs to start up their own businesses while it has prepared the students to develop superior attitude and allowed them to apprehend it in their lives. This has started to build a thought process among them to look for opportunities in the weakness of our society.

COTHM received such delight to launch such groundwork to start a succession of newly qualified and well-groomed generation in hospitality industry.

NBP organises Milad

KARACHI (PR): National Bank of Pakistan organised a Milad at NBP Head office. The event was organized with great religious fervor and enthusiasm and it was attended by Syed Iqbal Ashraf, President NBP, Qamar Hussain, Group Chief HRM&AG, Naeem Ahmed Ansari, Mirza Rehan Baig, Mirza Khursheed Baig, Mirza Roan Baig, Javed Ahmed Ansari, Raeesuddin, Mansoor Ahmed, Javed Khan, Muhammad Nasir Younus, Ahmed Ali and other staff and officers.

Zong applauds Anusha, Dr Ismail

ISLAMABAD (PR): Zong has congratulated Anusha Rahman, State Minister for IT & Telecom, and Dr Ismail Shah, Chairman PTA, on winning ‘Government Mobile Excellence Award’ as this achievement is a welcome news for the country”, said Nauman Khalid, Deputy Director Regulatory Affairs, Zong.

Anusha Rahman has recently been awarded the ‘Government Mobile Excellence Awards 2015’ at the Mobile World Congress 2015 of the GSMA in Barcelona, Spain. This award is an acknowledgement of the successful spectrum auction of the 3G & 4G services in the 850 MHz, 1800 MHz and 2100 MHz bands.

“Being the only 3G + 4G operator in the country, Zong recognizes this as a remarkable achievement for the country as it is progressing towards greater heights in the mobile spectrum world”, said Nauman Khalid. “It is also very encouraging for Zong as well as the entire telecom industry for being at the forefront with regards to 3G & 4G technology”, he added. He furthermore asserted how the government can be assured of Zong’s support in the future. “We have always extended utmost support to MoIT in all its efforts, and will continue to do so in the future”.

“Zong has been working closely with GSMA and has supported their presence in Pakistan. GSMA has a major role to play, to help the local telecom industry create further inroads and strengthen Pakistan as a major player in the global telecom industry”, he concluded.

It is a great achievement particularly given that the last time Pakistan received an award from the GSMA was back in February 2006. Achievements such as these are an indicator of the potential that this country possesses in the domain of technology and telecommunication. In this regard, Zong will continue to strive towards excellence in cooperation with the government to enable Pakistan to touch bigger and greater heights in the future.