Blog

“No, I don’t see myself in your seat in 5 years time”

Why the lustre of corporate life has waned and is it a good thing? 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…

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Is the modern professional too busy to exercise?

The benefits of being physically active can be a boon to society and to individuals; so why do we not make more time for it? A friend of mine, who is several years younger, went for a regular medical check-up recently. He was told that he had blockages in two of his arteries and was immediately operated upon. He is…

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Why can’t we compete in global markets?

More than anything else, our main disadvantage is incompatible and poor management skills Why are Pakistani businesses unable to compete in the global markets? What is it that inhibits them from breaking through overseas? As our exports continue to decline, the commonly heard responses to these questions from the private sector are lack of government support, expensive inputs, energy shortages…

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The meaning of culture

Can developing admirable cultures be an opportunity for our organizations? “I came to see during my time at IBM that culture is not just one aspect of the game, it is the game. In the end, an organization is nothing more than the collective capacity of its people to create value.” These are strong words expressed by Louis Gerstner, the…

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The real accountability

Using data to judge performance for service delivery is the much needed real accountability Accountability is a damaged word in Pakistan. Recent rains in Karachi brought out various aspects of public service delivery in this large city and people clamoured for accountability of various organisations involved with service delivery. The voices raised against the government and other service organisations have…

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Our manufacturing opportunity

How Pakistani producers must redefine opportunity and create new markets For the last 5 months, I have undertaken the arduous task of renovating my home. Much to the discomfort of family members, I have rather foolishly persisted with the endeavour. Although it is difficult to foresee success in this adventure, at least not to the satisfaction of my wife and…

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To privatise or not to privatise?

Despite reticence on the part of the government, the long-term benefits of privatisation cannot be taken for granted On a recent trip to London, I could not help but follow the media coverage of the upcoming general election in the UK. The Labour Party, which has since been soundly defeated, was campaigning on an agenda to increase public spending on…

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Third World, pause. Time for an agenda reset

Is there a silver lining to the Covid-19 pandemic? With the global novel coronavirus pandemic affecting the entire world, most regions and countries are looking at the unfolding situation in terms of horrifying scenarios from the public health and economic perspectives. The alternate future scenarios oscillate between bad and worse, depending upon what you read or who you listen to.…

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Build the future, not the past

Business owners longing for things to return quickly to what they were in pre-Covid-19 days may be on the wrong side of history One of the key tasks in developing a business strategy is to identify and separate what is relatively predictable from the fundamentally uncertain. Future scenarios are built by varying the uncertain while keeping the predictable constant. Of…

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Lives versus livelihoods

Some lessons in leadership By now, almost everyone understands the lives vs livelihood dilemma policymakers face throughout the world. The fact that social distancing, or physical distancing to use the recommended term, is a public health requirement to prevent the disease from spreading is at odds with the economic costs we have to pay for this measure.  This is an…

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