Stories about business

Floods and the business of responsibility

These days Pakistan is going through the worst flooding in its history. Even before the floods, most people living in rural areas that have been affected were living in abject poverty. It is the responsibility of companies to participate in and finance projects that address the long term needs and social welfare of the flood victims. Occasional distribution of cheques and commodities is good but much more has to be done – and on a regular basis. The concept of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is not new in Pakistan. Companies across the country participate in and arrange welfare activities to ...

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Mommy in the boardroom

“So what do you do” is one of the most common introductory questions strangers will ask each other attempting to build an acquaintanceship. In the last three years ever since I have returned from college with fresh ideas on how to change the world I have received a lot of interesting answers – ranging from the usual doctors and bankers to the now increasingly common development specialists and cupcake makers! And given that I am in my late 20s these replies have been matched with the same number of “I have a two year old so I am really ...

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Reader, beware of us

We are a very busy bunch these days. What with the floods, the target killings, the shenanigans of our president, and not to forget, the supposed betrayal by our cricketers, who we have loved selflessly over the years, we have a lot to talk and write about. Now this is prime-time business for the media. I say this not out of conjecture or mischief, but will give you some recent examples: The gentleman with long hair called us, not a people, but human cockroaches; the Harvard-educated columnist used terms such as ‘western, liberal columnists’ in her rebuttal and senior editors threw in mind-boggling ...

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The futility of Karachi mayhem

Raza Haider, an MQM leader and member of the Sindh Assembly, and his guard were shot dead at a mosque in Nazimabad in Karachi. It was a sad event. Target killings are unwarranted and uncalled for. The culprits of this cold-blooded murder and all such murders should be caught immediately and punished severely. But another sad event followed the murder. As soon as news of the incident broke all shops were closed. Members of the self-proclaimed ‘middle-class’ and ‘most educated’ political party of Pakistan were allegedly seen threatening shopkeepers. Some shopkeepers were even physically attacked by workers. A Pakhtun cobbler’s small ...

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Why we need special economic zones

Pakistan is a country of unlimited human potential, especially with regard to talent that can be utilized to create a culture of dynamic entrepreneurship. Once the majority of your population is below 25 years in age you cannot depend upon a number of big companies working in the country to produce employment of a desired level for the qualified and skilled youth. It is all about how well the planners in the government provide solutions to the youth to become their own employers and in turn employ others. Let me give an example of a UAE based company, RSI Concepts. The company is ...

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A three point formula to online success

In a country like Pakistan, where job uncertainty at its peak and market giants are still losing revenue having your own small business is like a blessing. Research has show that in times of economic uncertainty, small and medium businesses tens to survive while big businesses feel the heat and begin to decline. Moreover, nothing beats being your own boss. However, no matter whether a business is a small shop or a giant corporation – marketing is mandatory. Large organizations have big budgets to invest in marketing while small businesses can’t find the money to spend on strategy. But don’t worry, the solution for small budget is online ...

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Women face an uphill battle in the corporate world

Clare Boothe Luce once said “Because I am a woman, I must make unusual efforts to succeed.  If I fail, no one will say, ‘She doesn’t have what it takes.’  They will say, ‘Women don’t have what it takes.’” I had just completed my MBA and was in the process of applying for jobs in Karachi when I received an interview call from an organisation through my college graduate directory. It was a small organisation but I decided to go for the interview just for the learning experience if nothing else. I cannot disclose the name of the organisation but my interview ...

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Excuses or entrepreneurship?

The weather was nice in Islamabad. Clouds surrounded the Margalla Hills, while discussions went on about the economy, the deplorable business outlook and politics. I was listening to these people speak about Pakistan’s worst business environment. They were saying that it is difficult doing business in Pakistan. Some of them were even planning to shift their businesses overseas. I called them to stop. They were stunned. I remained quite for a minute and then posed a question. Can we ask Student Biryani and Dilpasand Sweets to close their businesses and shift to any other country in the world? They did not ...

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