Stories about corporate

Stuck in the concrete jungle of the corporate world, with nowhere left to go…

Pitch black darkness. Darkness so thick. And silence. He tried to say something. But no sound came out of his mouth. He had not spoken to anyone in years. Perhaps, the muscles in his throat had become weak and inactive. He used to talk to himself a lot in the first few days, weeks and months. But then he lost interest even in his own voice and soon silence replaced it all. Silence had become his only companion. Silence accompanied him every minute, every second of the day. He had tried so hard to break the silence at times. He hit his chains and shackles on the walls, ...

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Pakistan’s Stock Market: A lost investment opportunity?

The phrase ‘stock market’ has a charm around it, which grabs the attention of almost any listener anywhere in the world. In Pakistan, however, it portrays a picture of an exclusive club for the aristocrats who bet their easily earned fortunes in the corporate bazaar. However, perceptions are often incorrect and the same is the case with the Pakistan’s stock markets, where the consequences usually involve lost opportunities to rake in money. A recently published report in The Economist concluded that the proportion of capital to labour is rising in developing economies. Simply put, to employ your human capital, as an entrepreneur, provides more financial ...

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How the corporate sector turned me into a hypocrite

To become a part of the corporate world had always been my dream, and ever since my graduation, it had become my vision to enter this grand realm and use my knowledge to cater to its needs. However, it did not take me long to understand that my vision was better as a dream than as a reality, and these are the reasons why. As planned, a month after my graduation, I joined a renowned multinational to kick-start my career. Everything was looking glorious to me, as if it could not possibly get any better than this – the office, the environment, ...

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Pretension in the making

Business dinners were once relatively private affairs organised with little fuss. Today, however, the word ‘corporate dinner’ immediately brings to mind extravagant dining halls, elaborate menus and seating arrangements, interminable guest lists and the presence of expensive entertainment as a finishing touch to the evening. Clearly, the expansion of the corporate sector, over the past century, has led to a simultaneous expansion in the extravagance with which the corporate sector receives and likes to be received. Today, when Aunty Zulaikha and Major Jamshed hold a corporate dinner, it has to be the social highlight of the season. Everyone who is anyone ...

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Buffoon bankers

I have been working in a well reputed bank in Pakistan (whose name I will not mention) for the last five years. I have learnt a lot about banking, from credit modules to debt ratio analysis to greeting customers. What I have not as yet been able to understand is how our banking industry’s middle management is filled with buffoons wearing ill fitted suits with qualifications of no more than Bachelors in Commerce (BCom) and brains the size of a bird’s. Why is this so? The reason I feel the current state of the banking industry is depressing, is not only because ...

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De-meriting the merit system

Pakistan is notorious for multiple reasons – ranging from terrorism to illiteracy and poverty. Recently, however, I feel that our merit system has seen a bit of a downturn. It seems that in the professional world, it’s all about who you know, not what you know. And for fresh graduates like myself, that is indeed quite demotivating. My friends and acquaintances will start with the: “my dad knows the head of HR at company XYZ so I’m going to be starting there from next month.” And i’ll wonder what relevance a social sciences degree will have in the finance department. Aah, ...

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So you hate TV? Do something!

The Pakistani Television media has a problem. It is too often racist, sexist and intolerant of religious beliefs of minorities. How do citizens push back against the tide of propaganda being fed on the airwaves? I don’t think anyone should be advocating for the government to regulate channels. When the government is given power to regulate media it is very easy for regulation to become censorship. What should be done? It is simple. Citizens should push for economic boycotts. It is important to understand how media works and how they generate money. Unlike print media which also earns money through the circulation of ...

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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 ...

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We’re being stalked by Ufone, Mobilink, Telenor et al!

While surfing through channels yesterday, I saw an ad about ‘talking’ and ‘shawking‘. For the umpteenth time, I realised we are being pushed into a culture of ‘talk more’. Have you ever noticed the plethora of telecommunication advertisements? They are everywhere. Switch on  the radio and the same advertisements are being aired, with their not-so-subtle offers to talk at the cheapest rates in the world. Open a newspaper and the big expensive adverts glare back at you. Lets not forget the huge billboards adorning the city. Its like the advertisement companies and the telecommunication business are following you everywhere. Even if by ...

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Entering the corporate minefield

Growing up most girls whilst combing their Barbie’s unbelievably silky hair dream of life with a Ken look alike in a White House inspired mansion with three children who supplement the family income by being Gap for Kids models. I however owing to; a militant mother and being dropped on the head by a clumsy aunt umpteen times during infancy remember giving my Malibu Barbie’s flaxen locks 100 vigorous strokes and dreaming of taking over Mattel Inc. And truth be told the quest for boardroom success has not diminished in the last 20 something years. So I did what any other ...

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