Stories about business

10 reasons why Karachi University is better than LUMS

A bit of university rivalry is always on display at any workplace, with those belonging to one institution drawn together in an alumni-brotherhood, whose sole purpose at times is to make fun of the inferiority of the the other institutions duly represented among their colleagues. Suffice to say, the old our-frat-party-was-cooler-than-theirs-ever-could-be always makes for idle chit chat at the water dispenser or smoke room. So, what happens when you try to pit one of the top business schools with the largest university in the country? 1.The real estate: Karachi University has a main campus which sprawls over 1,800 acres, a small town in ...

Read Full Post

Corporate memories after marriage

If I look back on the three years of my hardcore corporate life, I remember nothing – nothing but the fact that I was busy and going insane. I remember the times I would look up from my cubicle for some blood circulation and see faces staring at screens that stared back in anticipation — or the times I would look up and my big fat boss would be staring down at me, eyebrow raised with questions mounted on the royal arch. There were a few moments that provided a semblance of real life, like coming back home and sleeping, or ...

Read Full Post

Money 101: All women need a job

Happy Women’s Day everyone! I am amazed at how the Pakistani woman has evolved in the last 20 years. Away from the land of saas bahu TV shows, she is well aware of her rights and will not be intimidated by male co-workers. In fact, she is most likely to outperform them and get that promotion! Our mothers fought for options – so that we could choose between staying at home or going out to work. But I feel that it is compulsory for every woman to have some form of part-time, flexible hours work, even if it is not the 9 to ...

Read Full Post

How to run the economy (for dummies)

Anyone can run the economy. Ask any lawmaker and he’ll point out exactly what is wrong with the economy, what is needed to fix it and what conspiracy has prevented a solution from being implemented. But the economy is still alive and kicking and the country has not defaulted on its sovereign debt just yet. The following is a collection of ‘winning’ arguments that have been presented by legislators. It is important to note here that even monkeys have been known to run an economy quite efficiently. I’m sure we can do better. Here’s what they said: 1. Eat less sugar – A legislator ...

Read Full Post

Sex for sale: Where are we heading?

On a recent trip to a juice shop in Lahore, my husband and I noticed a huge black Cygnus car stop at the turn across the road. After closer observation, we saw two women, both around the age of 25, dressed in bright silk step into the jeep that careened off. Two other women were left behind. After some 20 minutes, they too stepped into a Camry and sped off. My husband and I looked towards each other simultaneously – we knew what we just saw but did not have the guts to admit what was going on so openly at ...

Read Full Post

TV commercials: Inform, remind and persuade!

While I was watching the news the other night, a newscaster said, “Stay tuned, we’ll be right back after a short commercial break,” making me immediately think, “Oh god! Not again.” The musical rollercoaster of advertisements began – a five minute ride that I seriously did not enjoy. What I learnt in my O-level commerce class was that there are three categories of advertisements – ‘reminder advertisement’ that reminds consumers of the products available in the market; ‘informative advertisement’ that keeps the consumer informed and ‘persuasive advertisement’ which persuades consumers through various techniques to buy the product. And these apply ...

Read Full Post

How to generate business excellence

I’d like to shed some light on a topic much debated in companies that have survived more than five years and would like to get out of the break-even trap. They wish to bring their capabilities at par with the corporations they once aspired to be, and the key is operational excellence. This is achieved by building operational capabilities, which in turn come about by undertaking structured programs for epic-systematic high performance. To develop a rewarding development program, four factors are crucial to a corporation’s goals: Aim to create value by developing a marketing road map that grants a systematic process for ...

Read Full Post

Money 101: Getting down to business

If I was to do a spot poll and ask a hundred odd people whether they wanted to work for themselves or someone else, 95 per cent would choose being their own boss over job security and the luxury of forgetting about work when the clock strikes 6pm. But for every person who dreams of owning a quaint bookshop, a café by the sea or any other small scale business there are 10 others who will never get around to starting it up. Small businesses are the backbone of any economic system, often owned and managed by families, they continue ...

Read Full Post

The customer is always right…but is he happy?

During uncertain times, the customer becomes the lifeblood of any business. But today the brand team is struggling with which existing and prospective customers to target with their current offers via multiple channels of interaction. Many established corporations are aligning their resources towards BRIC countries – Brazil, Russia, India and China, for growth opportunities and are aiming to hone in on the rise in disposable income within these economies – notably China, whose new five-year plan aims at a growth strategy fuelled by domestic consumption instead of the trillion-dollar generating strategy of exports maximisation. What they are finding is the difficulty to ...

Read Full Post

10 ways to be a better manager

People do not usually quit their jobs because they are unhappy with an organisation, but because they are unable to give input to the degree which satisfies them. Satisfaction comes from performing tasks exceptionally well. This feeling can be created through the effective management of the human resource. Here lies the role of the manager who needs to know the power of his written and spoken words, his anger and smile, his attitude and behavior. Organisations generally do not fall because of bad strategies, but because they encounter bad managers. It is important to note that bad managers are not those who ...

Read Full Post