Blog

Understanding Life..

Some treasures from my sister’s brave soul Samina Saad, October 1961 - February 2021 Self-help literature places a lot of emphasis on ‘finding your purpose’. The coronavirus pandemic recently snatched away my elder sister who was very dear and close to me. The tragedy leaves me looking at life through a very different lens. As I re-visit what Samina Saad…

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Break the monopolies!

Can shortsighted governments deliver the one-step economic reform agenda Pakistan needs for the long term: Eradicate monopolies and cartels, in both, the public and private sector? Big business in Pakistan is excited. The government has provided various stimuli and planning wheels are in motion to invest and expand in sectors like real estate, steel, cement and textiles. Wonderful? Perhaps. Shortsighted?…

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Rebuild Karachi

The city’s decline may have much to do with a lack of political ownership, but the situation cannot be allowed to continue. The way out is for the business community to step up with a common agenda. Cities have a big role to play in national and global economies. According to a Mckinsey report on urbanization, “The world is in…

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2020 – An obituary

As we say goodbye to the year, we will remember it mainly for the massive disruption it brought This is my last article for 2020 -- and what an extraordinary year has it been. It came, it destroyed so much of what we knew and how we lived. Now it is going away with vaccines on their way in and…

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What is work ?

I am often amazed watching people at their workplace. Most common, you would agree, is to see people with their heads almost buried inside computer screens in front of them. Unless they are computer programmers (who we can ignore for this discussion), they are emailing or browsing the internet and sometimes (rarely in my view) reading a work related document…

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The utilities must transform

Raising prices and privatising ownership is not enough to create a more efficient energy supply chain; the utilities have to rethink how they approach their way of doing business entirely 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…

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Why overstaffing is not the biggest issue with our state-owned enterprises

....and how to fix it! In a recent conversation with a friend who used to work for a very large state-owned enterprise (SOE), I asked him an obvious question: how many redundant people does this company have and will the state let go of them to improve the organisation? Much to my surprise, his response was that the total employee…

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Why most board rooms at Pakistan Inc. are nothing more than a hoax

Why boards matter, and what can investors, companies, and the government do to fix them? 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…

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Islamabad blues: why capital calling is bad business

Having a strategy that relies on favours from the government is a recipe for disaster 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…

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Disrupt or Be Disrupted

Tech disruption about to hit Pakistan's five major industries and more 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…

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