General

The utilities must transform

If you live in Pakistan and have recently received your gas bill, I bet you are fuming (pun intended). Gas consumers have received their latest bill with increases of up to 5 times from last month’s bill – that is 5 times in one month! Call it crazy, madness and quite unbelievable if you are an ordinary bill-paying consumer. But it is not an unlikely outcome if you have followed the working of governments, policymakers and gas companies in Pakistan, or for that matter in many countries in the developing world. While the current gas situation in Pakistan is complex
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Why most board rooms at Pakistan Inc. are nothing more than a hoax

In my career in the corporate sector and now as a strategy consultant I have often seen corporate boards of listed companies fail to do the right thing for the company, its customers, employees, and its wider stakeholders. I am of the firm opinion that most corporate failures start and end in the board room. Whether public listed or privately held, companies are most impacted by decisions taken right at the top, starting with the board and the leadership team. In this piece, I will discuss why the listed companies’ governance structure in Pakistan is misplaced and needs a complete
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Islamabad blues: why capital calling is bad business

Has anyone ever taken the 7 am PIA flight from Karachi to Islamabad? If you have, you would see a line of businesspeople and corporate executives holding files (or laptop bags) boarding the plane. Rubbing their eyes and barely being able to stay awake they are all going to Islamabad to attend meetings with one ministry or the other. They board the flight in the hope that they will achieve their objective of making their case to someone important. However, the 7 pm return flight to Karachi actually tells the story of their day. Those who make the return journey
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Disrupt or Be Disrupted

The human mind is trained to visualise linear developments and finds it difficult to estimate exponential possibilities which emanate from technology. Such disruptions are always resisted by humans at first, but once accepted and fully deployed, they are capable of changing the way we live. Think about fire, the wheel and breaking the horse in ancient times to the aeroplane and the automobile in the early 20th century followed by the internet and smartphones in recent times. In particular these days, information technology is moving faster than ever, driven by developments in 3 basic areas; processing power, communication speed and storage
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“No, I don’t see myself in your seat in 5 years time”

Growing up in the 70s, whenever we were asked what we would like to do as an adult, the very obvious response would be to become an engineer or doctor or the more academically challenged ones like me would limit our aspirations to working for a bank or a company. But one would hardly ever hear anyone say they want to be an entrepreneur! In fact, I don’t recall the word from my school days. Perhaps we heard of businessmen- men, always men mind you, who would own some factory or the other. But in today’s parlance, the word is
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