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EDITOR’S NOTE Together we can make a difference

Be more concerned with your chahacter than your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are. John Wooden

The first thing that history has taught us to question is how long our government will be successful in overcoming the problems at hand. With Pakistan facing an unparalleled leadership crisis, the time has arrived to work for the betterment of our future. It is the intrinsic duty of every citizen of Pakistan to choose the right leader, so we should make every effort count. With the aforementioned concerns prevalent, something must be done to bring a political upheaval. With the rise of people-centric leadership, our difficulties would be history in no time. Every person’s voice matters. In the last issue of Manager Today, we covered the interview of Imran Khan, Chairman of PTI. Imran is reining the political front this year. He has brought a radical change to the mindsets of people in this regard. According to the political observers his rally, at the historic venue of Minare-Pakistan, was ‘one of the biggest’ events. Pakistanis have had enough with the mendacity of hope and Imran’s previous services are the raison d'etre for his credibility to work in good faith towards a better Pakistan. For our sixteenth issue, we have paid a tribute to the great thinker, Allama Iqbal. It was his poetry that sank in and revived the disconsolate spirit of Muslims to acquire a separate homeland. His verses made Muslim renaissance possible. On the other hand, the world also suffered from the loss of a creative genius and a visionary, Steve Jobs. Atif Tufail pays a tribute to Steve by incorporating his unforgettable address at Stanford University in his writing. Kamran Rizvi points out the valuable asset of Aligarians that we had, but still we have struggled at every stage. With an unprecedented power crisis, it would be difficult to rely on the textile industry only and that is when the IT industry comes in. Salim Ghauri calls attention to development of IT in Pakistan. Sualeha Bhatti puts forward that the old principles of management and leadership, laid down by astute people like Chanakya, haven’t lost relevance and can be effective even today. Making the new employee feel welcomed will not only

help retain him, but will also quadruple your profit margins. Haroon Waheed has something to share on onboarding. Weight loss is a much sought-after trend these days. Instead of going on a crash diet or sticking to bad food choices, Dr. Maryam Arif proposes to make healthy food choices. Hammad Siddiqui explains how the longevity in customership could be attained by maintaining a high standard of customer service. Saiqa Razik elucidates that a set of core resilience principles is more than just a planning mechanism and focuses on the way successful businesses manage risk by incorporating proactive and reactive strategies. Our decisions can make us or break us, but it does not mean that we should avoid exercising this power. Syed Shahzad Ali expands on the points to harness the power of decision making in oneself. Whether it is hiring or firing, recruitment practices still have an important role to play in an organization. According to Hassan Raza modernization of recruitment practices can lead to a better coordination. Ahmed Fuad explains how we can groom and preserve good leaders in order to be prepared for the crisis at hand. Leadership crisis surely betokens disaster, if we still don’t pay heed to it. Sana Alam explains how, whether verbal or non-verbal, effective communication can foster effective relationships and diffuse confusion. Whereas, Ghulam Hussain gives some tips for the managers to maintain their profit margins. Then we have the article on women empowerment by Sadia Waqas, inciting women to give up subservience and set an example by having an equal share in the society. Ashraf Chaudhry gives an anatomy of successful practice for the doctors, as to how they can multiply their income. And lastly, I would mention our featured interviews that include Sidra Iqbal, the MD of Statuspro Inc., giving a message of empowerment to all the Pakistani women. Then we have Javed Leghari, the Chairman of HEC Pakistan and a renowned industrialist, Mian Iftikhar, MD, Mian Tyre and Rubber Co.

IJAZ NISAR Founder & President Manager Today

Mail Box think that the interview with Imran Khan was refreshingly truthful. It showed that despite the media-fueled fallacies, he is the right leader indeed. Besides it is heartening to see that his love for Pakistan is still there, also keeping in mind the dedicated charity work that he has been doing for almost two decades. I am glad that you are putting your best foot forward in order to keep your readers aware of such influential people.

uncover the tips and actions to become a successful entrepreneur. And it is only through attempts like these that we will be able to tackle the social as well as cultural factors that our corporate sector is struggling with at the moment. Kudos to Mr. Ijaz for making such a remarkable endeavor.


am pleased to see that you focus your attention on HR in the featured interviews and articles. I am doing Masters in HR and I see the areas in which we lack proficiency. It is very likely that through a constant focus and discussion of the issues at hand, we will be able to turn the tables in no time. I hope that you keep up with your great work.


ince I have subscribed to Manager Today, I always turn straight to your articles, thinking a useful piece of writing might be in order for some difficult situation ahead. Like I found the article on stress factor, that was really useful and I realized the grave repercussions that it can have on your mind and body. It was rich with useful tips, I really appreciate it and I hope that this article would make women realize how easy these hang-ups are to deal with.


NAVEED MALIK Lahore he timing of your featured interview with Rahila Narejo was great, as I have just stepped into HR practice. My normal course of action is to take things as they come, however after reading the interview I have decided to take up every challenge and opportunity to move forward in my field. This is a promise that I made to myself as a woman and a go-getter, the faith in my abilities has been renewed tremendously. ZAINAB MAQSOOD Islamabad


s a businessman, I was extremely impressed by your magazine. I welcome with open arms any coverage that could help




ZUHAIR ALI Lahore really liked the featured interview of Imran Khan and I am always pleased to see the voluptuous section on corporate events as it helps us put in sync with the current trends in business sector. It is invigorating to see a magazine that is actually willing to pull us in and get involved.


SHAHID HUSSAIN Gujranwala hat I love about your magazine is that it is visually pleasing. The photos and the layout both make it first-rate. Since the visual impact is as important as the written content, and your magazine is nothing short of amazing in this context.



INSPIRED? MOTIVATED? DID YOU LIKE WHAT YOU READ? If you find ManagerToday inspirational for the personal and professional development, do inform us. You can also contribute your articles, suggestions and recommendations at: Email:,, Website: Ph: 042 35792066, 0300 883 8428, 0300 4521298, 0300 8167229 Don’t forget to mention your full name, postal address and phone number on your letters. Find us on:

PCPB # 303-M OCT-NOV,2011


The Genius Behind the Revolution Steve Jobs

18 MANAGEMENT Seeking Wisdom Desperately

20 INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY IT industry An Answer to the Energy Crisis


28 LEADERSHIP Leadership lessons from Chanakya Chanakya’s management ideas haven’t lost relevance even today.

30 HUMAN RESOURCE From Onboarding to Jumpstart, Grow and Retain Talent Undoubtedly the effective onboarding of new employees takes time and effort, but it will pay big-time for both the employer and the new hires in the long run.

32 HEALTH & WELLNESS Diet vs Lifestyle Change Shedding extra pounds does not mean building a negative relationship with food. It is important to exercise and have balanced eating habits.

34 WOMEN OF SUBSTANCE Empowering Women SIDRA IQBAL MD, StatusPro

40 CUSTOMER SERVICE Customer is King Many companies do not realize the significance of customers’ expectations.

42 ORGANIZATIONAL BEHAVIOUR Organizational Resilience A Positive Adjustment under Challenging Situations.

44 DECISION MAKING Harness the Power of Decision Making Within Yourself Decision-making can be a mind-bending exercise, but the rewards are worth it.

46 ENTREPRENEUR Taking Challenges Head-on MIAN IFTIKHAR MD, Mian Tyre & Rubber Co.

50 LEADERSHIP Leadership Crisis Leadership is neither an inborn quality nor can be acquired but it is a choice of any individual who decides to lead his people in a given situation.

52 HIRING Recruitment Practices at Pakistan Through online integrated management and clear coordination between HR and other divisions, much of the unsaid troubles could be mitigated.

54 COMMUNICATION Effective Communication

59 BRANDING How a doctor can Multiply his/her Practice? There are several ideas that doctors can carry out to increase the traffic of patients passing through their door.




has 20+ experience in HR, both in Pakistan and international circuit. Helping people to grow together with business is his passion. Building talent for the future is his obsession. Unilever always provided him with huge opportunities to fulfill his passion by working with people within Pakistan and outside, thus growing people and business together. This creativity lead him to win two international awards in 2010, namely ‘Asia HR Leadership Award’ (Singapore) and ‘Best Talent Management Award’ (London).


is currently the President of Asia Pacific, NetSol Technologies Inc. and the Chairman and CEO of NetSol Technologies Limited, Lahore. He has been heading NetSol Technologies Limited for the last thirteen years. During this tenure, NetSol has gained world-class recognition and sustainable growth, topping the list of IT companies in Pakistan and serving blue-chip clients all over the world. This is what makes Salim a true visionary and one of the best-known entrepreneurs of the country. Mr. Salim is also serving as the first Honorary Consul of Australia for Punjab (Pakistan)


pioneered the personal-improve ment and OD movement in Pakistan in 1991, after working for fourteen years in retail and commercial banking in the Middle East and the UK. He is the Founding Director, Trainer, Executive Coach, Keynote speaker and Consultant at Navitas, a leading organizational development (OD) consulting and training firm in the country.He also serves on the board of School of Leadership (SoL) in Pakistan, best known for its flagship program, the Young Leaders’ Conference (YLC), now in its 10th year. He has specialized in behavioral and organizational change and is a well-known inspirational speaker.


is Pakistan’s renowned Sales Trainer. He has worked for more than 15 years for multinationals and local blue-chip companies in sales & marketing department. His vision is to raise optimistic sales and marketing force in business organizations. After a brilliant career at Worldcall Telecom Ltd. as GM Sales & Distribution, he went on to pursue his passion for corporate trainings, public speaking and writing. He is co-author of the sales novel ‘The Ten Commandments of Selling: Story of Danial’, however his latest venture is ‘The Craft of Selling Yourself’.


is the Chief Consultant and CEO of Winning Edge. She is one of Pakistan's leading names in the field of training and development. She holds a Master's degree in Business Administration from UK and has had the privilege of interacting with and learning from some of the best known names in this field such as Tom Peters, Robert Holding, Robert Benninga & Ron Kaufman etc.


is a Psychologist and a Trainer with expertise in Trauma Counseling, Stress Management and Conflict & Negotiation Skills. Her professional work is on the area of emotional health and social issues. She has been teaching as visiting faculty at UET (Lhr) and CASE (Isb) on Organizational Behavior, Industrial Psychology and Business Communication. Skilled in stress management, she has been evaluating management programs. Many of her programs focused on the issues of Violence Against Women and Child Neglect and Abuse. Integrating Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) in their functional life is her passion.


is working as Deputy Country Director at the Center of International Private Enterprise (CIPE). He has qualified from the Institute for Organization Management, a development program of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. He has over 26 years of experience in the senior management of international organizations. Besides specializing in institutional capacity building and leadership development, he is also a trained discussion facilitator from The British Foreign and Commonwealth Office. Hammad had the honor to serve as the official Press Officer to Her Majesty The Queen during her visit to Pakistan in 1997. Moreover, he has expertise in social media strategies.


is the Manager of HR at HKB & a member of Board of Trustee at Lahore Human Resource Forum. He has specialized as a trainer in the areas of Recruitment & Selection, Leadership, Team Building and HRM. He has expertise over Change Management Programs, Talent Pool Management, Training & Development and Employees’ Engagement Plans. After starting his career from Golden Blue Group, a top: notch HR Consultancy, he has worked in different sectors of Inter Market Knit, Pak Elektron Limited and Eden Builders Limited. He is also running a consultancy named Pakistan Jobs Bank


is presently associated with COMSATS institute of IT, Lahore and looks after Development & Placement office. He has an experience of over 25 years in sales and sales training. He held many positions during his 16-year long career with TCS, where customer orientation and punctuality have always been the main characteristics of his personality. Mr. Hussain is an optimist, meeting people and discovering their personality is his passion.


is serving a USbased Information Technology company as head of human resources these days. He is managing all functions like recruitment, performance management, training and compensation & benefits. Before his current work commitment, he added value to Aitchison College, Lahore as a faculty member and human resource advisor for a decade. He did Masters in Physics from GCU, Lahore and Masters in HRM from University of the Punjab. Now-adays, he is also preparing for 'Global Professional in Human Resources' (GPHR) certification offered by the Society for Human Resources Management, USA.


is a seasoned HR Practitioner, with an experience of 7 years in this field, and a motivational and inspirational keynote speaker. He has worked both in national and multinational organizations. After finishing his MPA from Karachi University, he specialized in HR. Syed is a prolific writer and a blogger too. He frequently writes articles on his blog which mainly focus on innovative HR practices, motivational and inspirational subjects.


is a doctor with extensive experience in clinical research in Endocrinology in the US. She is a keen observer of human behavior and psychology. She believes that true change can only come with a change in mindset and a collective revival of a core value system in our society. She has a very creative and intellectual mind and a spark to achieve and go a distance.


the Assistant Manager Human Resources at Naseeb Networks, Inc. After qualifying from the Institute Of Administrative Sciences Human Resource Management, she has worked as Assistant Manager Human Resources at Punjab Group of Colleges & Allied Schools HO. Moreover, she has had the chance to serve at Etimaad Engineering Pvt Ltd and First Capital Group Pakistan.


is working for Pakistan's largest cellular company, Mobilink, as a Corporate Training Specialist. He has a vast experience of conducting trainings for different organizations. He is known as a motivational speaker and a soft skills trainer.He has worked as Assistant Manager & Team Coordinator in corporate sector and as Professional Sports Journalist (Sports Incharge & Sports Reporter in Lahore) for Daily Khabrain. He has been writing bilingual articles since 1996 in different national and international news-papers & magazines like Daily Nation, Daily Times, Daily News, Daily Nawa-eWaqt, Urdu Magazine, World Times, Urdu Digest etc.


The writer is an academic and a journalist. She has done Masters in English Literature and is a philanthropist and environmentalist too.


is an international consultant, speaker, leadership trainer and executive coach. He is CEO of Skill City [Asian answers to Asian questions], a newgeneration learning and development regional firm with a developing-country perspective. He has spoken to audiences in South Asia, Southeast Asia, Middle East, East Africa, Western Europe, England and the United States. Wali has trained thousands of managers and business leaders in the past 15 years from most Fortune500 companies. His leadership and training of trainers workshops have been crowd pullers. His branded workshops include ‘Leadership for CEOs’, ‘Women in Leadership’, ‘Leadership Derailments’ and 'TOT.



After his demise on October 5, 2011, Steve Jobs left a legacy of countless wonderful inventions behind. The world lost a visionary and a creative genius. With an inspiring persona that he created in the public eye, we still haven’t seen the likes of him. A lot could be said in his encomium ATIF TUFAIL

‘ D

eath is very likely the single best invention of life. It is life's change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new. Right now the new is you, but someday not too long from now, you will gradually become the old and be cleared away.’ These were the words of the legendary Steve Jobs in his address to the graduating students at Stanford University in 2005. Steve’s genius lay in his ability to simplify the complex. He came up with highly engineered products just by stripping away the excess layers of business, design and innovation till only the simple and real was left behind. This reminds me of the time when someone asked Picasso as to how he made flawless sculptures, he replied, ‘I just removed the excess mud from the loaf of mud and the sculptures emerged from it’. Mr. Jobs put much stock in the notion of ‘taste’, a word that he used frequently. This sensibility shone in all of his magnificent creations like iMac, iPod, iPhone and iPad. He believed that great products were a triumph of taste, of ‘trying to expose yourself to the best things humans have done and then trying to bring those things into what you are doing’. The real man, behind the so-called ‘exacting and fearsome leader’ at Apple, was revealed

in his address at Stanford University. Steve narrated three stories from his life. His first story in his own words: ‘I naively chose a college that was almost as expensive as Stanford, and all of my workingclass parents’ savings were being spent on my college tuition. After six months, I couldn’t see the value in it. I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life and no idea how college was going to help me figure it out. And here I was spending all of the money my parents had saved their entire life. So I decided to drop out and trust that it would all work out OK. It was pretty scary at the time, but looking back it was one of the best decisions I ever made. The minute I dropped out I could stop taking the required classes that didn’t interest me, and begin dropping in on the ones that looked interesting. It wasn’t all romantic. I didn’t have a dorm room, so I slept on the floor in friends’ rooms, I returned coke bottles for the 5¢ deposits to buy food with, and I would walk the 7 miles across town every Sunday night to get one good meal a week at the Hare Krishna temple. I loved it. And much of what I stumbled into by following my curiosity and intuition turned out to be priceless later on. Let me give you one example: Reed College at that time offered perhaps the best calligraphy instruction in the country. Throughout the campus every poster, every label on every drawer, was beautifully hand calligraphed. Because I had dropped out and did-

n’t have to take the normal classes, I decided to take a calligraphy class to learn how to do this. I learned about serif and san serif typefaces, about varying the amount of space between different letter combinations, about what makes great typography great. It was beautiful, historical, artistically subtle in a way that science can’t capture, and I found it fascinating. None of this had even a hope of any practical application in my life. But ten years later, when we were designing the first Macintosh computer, it all came back to me. And we designed it all into the Mac. It was the first computer with beautiful typography. If I had never dropped in on that single course in college, the Mac would have never had multiple typefaces or proportionally spaced fonts. And since Windows just copied the Mac, it’s likely that no personal computer would have them. If I had never dropped out, I would have never dropped in on this calligraphy class, and personal computers might not have the wonderful typography that they do. Of course it was impossible to connect the dots looking forward when I was in college. But it was very, very clear looking backwards ten years later. Again, you can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.’ His second story was about love and loss. ‘I was lucky — I found what I loved to do early in life. Wozniak and I started Apple in my parent’s garage when I was 20. We worked hard, and in 10 years Apple had grown from just | MANAGER TODAY | 15

the two of us in a garage into a $2 billion company with over 4000 employees. We had just released our finest creation — the Macintosh — a year earlier, and I had just turned 30. And then I got fired. How can you get fired from a company you started? Well, as Apple grew we hired someone who I thought was very talented to run the company with me, and for the first year or so things went well. But then our visions of the future began to diverge and eventually we had a falling out. When we did, our Board of Directors sided with him. So at 30 I was out. And very publicly out. What had been the focus of my entire adult life was gone, and it was devastating. I really didn’t know what to do for a few months. I felt that I had let the previous generation of entrepreneurs down – that I had dropped the baton as it was being passed to me. I met with David Packard and Bob Noyce and tried to apologize for screwing up so badly. I was a very public failure, and I even thought about running away from the valley. But something slowly began to dawn on me — I still loved what I did. The turn of events at Apple had not changed that one bit. I had been rejected, but I was still in love. And so I decided to start over. I didn’t see it then, but it turned out that getting fired from Apple was the best thing that could have ever happened to me. The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again, less sure about everything. It freed me to enter one of the most creative periods of my life. During the next five years, I started a company named Next, another company named Pixar, and fell in love with an amazing woman who would become my wife. Pixar went on to create the world’s first computer animated feature film, Toy Story, and is now the most successful animation studio in the world. In a remarkable turn of events, Apple bought NeXT, I returned to Apple, and the technology we developed at NeXT is at the heart of Apple’s current renaissance. And Laurene and I have a wonderful family together. I’m pretty sure none of this would have happened if I hadn’t been fired from Apple. It was awful tasting medicine, but I guess the patient needed it. Sometimes life hits you in the head with a brick. Don’t lose faith. I’m convinced that the only thing that kept me going was that I loved what I did. You’ve got to find what you love. And that is as true for your work as 16 MANAGER TODAY | April - May 2010

it is for your lovers. Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking until you find it. Don’t settle.’ His third story was about death. He was diagnosed with cancer in 2004. The intellectual concept of death had become a living reality by then. ‘Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure – these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart. Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice. Most importantly, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.’ While we appreciate Steve’s ingenuity, we also know that he excelled not only because of his unusual way of looking at things, but also for the fact that he was in a country that rightfully rewarded individuality and creativity. A country where a college drop-out could realize his dream, conceive in a garage and excel through hard work and creativity alone. But the question is: Will our intellectuals and thinkers ever have such mental liberation? Will we ever grow up, unconstrained by predetermined ideas and ideologies? Will there ever be a Steve Jobs in this Land of the Pure? n ATIF TUFAIL

is serving a US-based Information Technology company as head of human resources these days.


am the poet of tomorrow’, claimed Dr Allama Iqbal, who was a great Muslim philosopher-poet of the Subcontinent. Any man who has a bit understanding of Iqbal would bear me out that he was a man with profound knowledge of history, religion, political science, philosophy, literature and modern sciences. He possessed an acute insight to analyze the fate of different nations. He was splendidly saturated with the glistening pearls of Eastern and Western revolutionary movements. He had seriously brooded over the past, critically judged the present and clearly envisaged the future of humankind. And Iqbal was the top grade seer of the world who had seen the coming ages in the crystal clear mirror of realities. Like a true devotee he solemnly prayed to God to grant him special vision for a high understanding of realities. He says: “O God give me a heart that can see the inside; Give me the sight that can see intoxication in the wine.” It is necessary for a seer that he should directly be in contact with the present and study the world around him with critical eyes. The common poet does not glorify the human life. His presentation of life is photographic. Some poets present a critical view of life. They either degrade life or exaggerate it. But great poets always study life with the eyes of reality and present the solutions of world problems. In doing so, they render the job of prophets. Allama Iqbal had really rendered the job of a prophet as the Holy Prophet had said:” The scholars of my Ummah would be like the prophets of the Israelites.” So Iqbal says: “Do not consider my frenzied tune as mere attempt at versification; For sooth I am conversant with the secrets of tavern.” I don’t find any exaggeration in the claim of Iqbal when he announces to be the advocate of liberty of ego which ultimately is the message against all sorts of complexes. Iqbal was conscious of his revolutionary and philosophical importance in the making of posterity and toiled day and night to give a clear cut picture of future systems. Iqbal in the capacity of a seer believed in the



Futurist The

prophetic mission of poetry and hence said: “If the object of poetry is to invest humans with creative qualities; Poetry is direct succession to prophethood.” Iqbal burnt like a candle and gave light to the Muslims of the Subcontinent in particular and to the Muslims of the world in general. The thickened clouds and lengthening shadows of slavery withered away by the flash of his staunch faith in liberty. The creation of Pakistan is one of the greatest realities which came out of the noble dreams of Iqbal .He could foresee the emergence of a number of free and independent Muslim States in 1932 when he visited the Mosque of Cordova. How beautifully he composed the following verses: “Deeply slumbered Chinese are awakening, And the springs are oozing from Himalayan Mountains.” I am of the view that Iqbal, being the proponent and renovator of the Muslim renaissance, champion of social justice, banner-holder of liberty and the exponent of world peace is still a paradox that needs more attention for the right understanding of his message. Iqbal can only be understood with an open mind and deep love for reformation, revolution and soul-searching. With the passage of time as the world is getting new turns, Iqbal’s message would be more clearly understood and implemented, as he himself proclaimed: “After me they will read my poetry, grasp it and say, A self-conscious man has revolutionized the world.” As he believed in change and aspired for a new world it can be rightly said that he is the poet of tomorrow. He is the poet of future and was a futurist.


After me they will read my poetry, grasp it and say, A self-conscious man has revolutionized the world. | MANAGER TODAY | 17



DESPERATELY SEEKING WISDOM nstitutions are not just bricks and mortar, instead they are built on the labor of sincere and competent people. In this sense, Pakistan seemed to be a privileged beneficiary of the Divine planning, since the people were groomed and educated decades before the nation came into being. The year 1875 saw the establishment of Muhammadan Anglo-Oriental College (MAO College), located in the district town of Aligarh in India. It was founded by a group of Indian Muslims, under the leadership of Sayyid Ahmad Khan. Almost seventy years later Pakistan came into existence. This nation started its life with a unique advantage – we had the access to an impressive pool of educated Indian Muslim talent, who had graduated from Aligarh earlier. The Aligarhians provided the leadership that this new-



born nation needed desperately, despite that our nation has floundered due to a lack of leadership at all levels of society. It seems that we passed up the fortunate wave of destiny that was served to us on a silver platter. However, to think that there is a leadership crisis is a classic fallacy and it has misled our society for decades. Waiting for someone to come and rescue us from our plight would lead to nothing. It is high time that we, as individuals, recognize the power that we possess to make a positive and lasting difference in our respective realms. To be alive and aware would be a great place to begin with. A good management can be achieved by the people who are genuinely sincere in their intentions and efforts. And then it is about developing sufficient competence to

strategize, plan, execute and serve effectively. Wisdom is about making a correct use of knowledge. Not doing so makes one a fool! However, in today’s world, knowledge is abundant and wisdom is scarce. As Lelyveld, the author of “Aligarh’s First Generation”, said, ‘Sayyid Ahmad may have made light of the BAs and MAs of Bengal, but his idea for Aligarh was to raise a new generation of Muslims who would have the knowledge, skills and values necessary to qualify for public leadership’. Example of how the Agha Khan University Hospital (AKUH) was built in Karachi, about three decades ago, comes to mind. Twenty years prior to the construction of the building, a nursing college was built there. This was to ensure that as soon as the

Despite having the valuable asset of Aligarh, Pakistan has floundered at every level of society. The reason, as to why it has been so, is a point to ponder indeed!

hospital was built, it could be manned by a competent and qualified staff. Likewise, trees were planted a decade before its completion. As a result, when AKUH opened its doors to the public, everything was in place. A beautiful green environment with a fully equipped hospital was ready to provide the quality care. Now that is visionary leadership! The AKUH analogy compelled me to think about Aligarh and Pakistan. The results were altogether different and I wondered as to why it was so, particularly when you consider the high ideals of Sayyid Ahmad Khan and Sayyid Mahmud for the Muslims of India. In fact, they chose Cambridge University as their benchmark. In this regard, the timing couldn’t have been better. Cambridge was transformed around the time of Sayyid Ahmad’s trips there in the late 19th century. Seeley, the Professor of History at Cambridge, was of the view that the work of education was a vital area of social action. He

formulated a new understanding of the role of higher education in modern society. Sayyid Ahmad was very much aligned to such perspective as he had long denounced any system of education that left the inner spirit lifeless. According to Seeley, ‘Democracy and industrialization did require a new kind of education, but it was not to be a simple surrender to the vocational training. What was needed was a generation of intellectuals capable of rigorous scholarship and research, but also sensitive to the totality of human needs’. This view was very egalitarian. It also resonates the spirit of Islam, which promotes equality and a classless society. The United States’ Declaration of Independence includes a kind of moral and legal egalitarianism in the phrase, ‘All men are created equal’. Like many other nations, it was not much later that the American society extended these benefits to slaves, women and other groups. With the passage of time, uni-

versal egalitarianism has won wide acceptance. The notable egalitarian philosophies are on socialism and human rights. Several egalitarian ideas enjoy wide support among intellectuals and in the general population of many countries. However, it remains to be seen if any of these ideas have been significantly implemented or not. For instance, some argue that modern democracy is a realization of political egalitarianism, while others believe that in reality most political power still resides in the hands of the ruling class rather than the people. Study of Aligarh’s history is inspiring and also very painful. For instance, according to Lelyveld, the founders of Aligarh spoke in the name of all the Muslims of India, but offered a program designed only to connect with a narrower group, namely the North Indian Muslims who were literate in Urdu and formed the reservoir of Muslim intelligentsia and government servants. The old habit of social exclusivity had some bearing on an otherwise noble intent. We can see this social disease in certain quarters of our society today. And it is very much visible in class distinctions that still permeate our society. To Sayyid Ahmad, English education at Aligarh was a political strategy for the Muslims to achieve their rightful position of power within the British Empire. In his numerous addresses to the students, Sayyid Ahmad reiterated the basic theme that the Indian Muslims were the former rulers of the country and the only hope for their regeneration was to mobilize under the aegis of Aligarh. Lelyveld goes on to share that it was a belief of the Aligarh party that only the British-Muslim friendship could help Muslims improve their position in the Indian society. According to the written rules of the Union Club, ‘No matter shall be discussed which raises the question of permanence or stability of the British rule’. The lesson that I derive from the Aligarh story is that if we aim all our efforts at the acquisition of status and power, we are surely doomed. We need to break out of the debilitating habit of duality and embrace equilibrium in both our words and deeds. n KAMRAN RIZVI

is the Founding Director of Navitas. He also serves on the board of SoL. | MANAGER TODAY | 19





akistan is passing through an unprecedented energy crisis presently. The demand exceeds the supply, hence frequent power shutdowns have made ‘load shedding’ a common phenomenon. Pakistan needs about 18,000 MW per day. Right now it can produce about 13,000 MW per day, so there is a shortfall of about 5000MW. This shortage is terribly affecting the industry, commerce and daily life of the people. The demand for natural gas and oil has increased manifold. The Middle East crisis is likely to burden the economy even more. The government has planned major initiatives that include three gas import pipelines, with Gwadar port as energy hub and LNG import to meet energy shortage. Pakistan’s economic growth is majorly reliant on its textile industry, which contributes over $10 billion annually in terms of foreign exchange. This industry is losing 30% of its production due to prevailing energy shortage. Installation of Captive Power Plants (CPPs) by the spinning industry has also failed to deliver the desired results because the availability of gas, as a cheap fuel for these CPPs, is becoming a question mark with each passing day. The textile industry was already denied Sui gas for over 100 days during the last fiscal year. It is also for the very first time in the history that the SNGPL has cut the supply to this industry during summer this year. Textile industry has yet to witness the worst in coming winter. The government is fully attentive to this fact and is trying its level best to ensure uninterrupted supply of electricity and gas to the industry. An out of box solution to deal with energy shortage in the country has become an urgent need of the hour. It has been creating a deep dent in the national economy since November 2007. Chances of meeting energy shortage in near future are not very bright, at least for another seven years. Therefore, this is a right time to reevaluate the potential of various segments of economy in order to reshuffle the priorities in an alarming situation like this. The govern-

ment policymakers should consider diversification of economic model and start thinking beyond traditional areas like textile industry. An extraordinary dependence on textile and agriculture, since the independence, is making the country lose its competitive edge fast, which is also compounded by the prevailing energy crisis. Unfortunately, all the trade policies are entirely focused on the textile industry, which is highly power-intensive and the present energy shortage has also resulted in massive unemployment. Unlike India, Pakistan’s IT sector consists of a web of small firms and many of the entrepreneurs started from a very low level to make an entry into the business. According to Pakistan Software Houses Association (P@SHA), the industry revenues have exceeded at the rate of $2 billion a year and are projected to reach $11 billion by 2016. This target can be achieved much earlier than 2016, provided the government supports the growth of IT industry. Despite ranking 120th on the infrastructure and logistics components of the World Bank’s Logistics Performance Index, Pakistan has successfully achieved these growth rates. The Pakistan Software Export Board (PSEB) has recently quoted that Pakistan is producing around 25,000 IT professionals every year to meet the growing requirement of domestic and international markets. Out of the total number of these professionals, about 50% enter the job market. The current pool of IT experts and engineers available in the country is not sufficient to meet the domestic requirements. To achieve targeted results, the government needs to take several steps to increase the number of experts and engineers in IT industry. The best way to achieve growth in IT sector of Pakistan is to follow the Indian model. A shift in focus towards the IT industry would ease down the pressure on the economic growth of the country. It is important to note that the IT industry in Pakistan is not as power-intensive as the textile industry. The IT firms in Pakistan have not closed their operations, even for a single day, due to power shortfall because the computer machines are not as power intensive as the spinning looms are. India’s software and services exports have been rising rapidly. The annual growth rate is around 45% in IT services and nearly 55% in IT-enabled services (ITES),

A shift in focus towards the IT industry would ease down the pressure on the economic growth of the country. It is important to note that the IT industry in Pakistan is not as power-intensive as the textile industry

Business Process outsourcing (BPO) and other administrative support operations. Together they grow to 25% per annum. Despite the fact that Indian share in the world market for IT services is not negligible, this sector has been growing at a scorching pace. Whereas it is helped by a large pool of English speaking workers, nearly 3 million engineers and the increasing tribe of tech-savvy entrepreneurs in the country. The IT industry currently account for 7% of India’s GDP. Software service exports in India increased from US$0.50 million in 1990 to $5.9 billion in 2000-01 to 23.6 billion dollars in 2005-06, recording 34% growth with a compound annual growth of over 25% per annum till 2010. The impact of software and IT enabled service exports (of around $60 billion) is likely to be profound on the economy. One manifestation is that India notched up a current account surplus in 2001-02 for the first time in 24 years. Having a strong IT industry in Pakistan could only be possible with concerted efforts by government and a host of other factors like private initiatives, emergence of software technology parks, clustering and public private partnerships. India formulated the national vision to promote software industry in the early 1980s and took its IT industry exports to $60 billion in just 20 years. Pakistan’s IT industry has much higher potential than the Indian industry and could earn more foreign exchange, provided the focus of the government is there. n SALIM GHAURI

is currently the President of Asia Pacific, NetSol Technologies Inc. and the Chairman and CEO of NetSol Technologies Limited, Lahore. | MANAGER TODAY | 21



Dr. Javaid Laghari is the Chairperson of Higher Education Commission of Pakistan. He has remained the President of SZABIST and a Senator (2006 -2009). Prior to that he was the Director of Graduate Studies and Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at SUNY, Buffalo, USA. He has organized many International Conferences and did sponsored research for NASA in the US. Dr. Laghari is a Senior Member of the ACM (USA), IEEE (USA), FUIW and the Asia University Federation. He is also the recipient of the Distinguished Leadership Award by IEEE , the national award 'Tamgha-e-Imtiaz' and is listed in the American Men and Women of Science. 22 | MANAGER TODAY |

Dr. Leghari is one of those eminent personalities who have made their mark not only on national but also the international level. While serving his country, Dr. Leghari has a compelling vision to create knowledge capital and increase literacy rate in Pakistan. And with him calling the shots, the lack of knowledge would be history in no time.


Please share with us your early life and educational background? I have been an academician, a researcher and a scientist all my life. After completing my PhD from the US, I started working as a professor at SUNY, Buffalo. Then in 1995 Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto called me to Pakistan in order to establish a university named after her father Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto Institute of Sciences and Technology (SZABIST). I established this university from scratch, was appointed its first President, and took it forward to its present international recognition. Mohtarma Bhutto also nominated me for a technocratic seat in the Senate and I remained a Senator from 2006 to 2009. I was involved in a lot of party matters, including the writing of the power and energy policy for PPP. I was also the co-author of the PPP Election Manifesto 2008. But when I took the position as the Chairperson of HEC, I resigned from SZABIST and the Senate as well. HEC is reputable for ensuring quality education, what is the strategic vision of HEC to keep the momentum? HEC is not just about education, it has a large number of responsibilities. It has a vision to work on the socio-economic responsibility through capacity building, which is attained by HR development .So it is not just about education, in fact it is a much higher approach. There is a lot of difference among literacy, education and knowledge creation. Our aim is to create knowledge capital. It is an established fact that there is a direct correlation between



knowledge capital and economic development. If Pakistan wishes to become an emerging power, it needs to enhance its knowledge and intellectual capital drastically. What is the core mission of HEC? Has HEC been successful in achieving it up till now? HEC is faced with three key challenges (a) Access (b) Quality and (c) Relevance. Accessibility is where we ensure that higher education and research is accessible to the larger population around the country. The other is quality, which should be maintained in all areas of implementation. And finally, we have to take into account the relevance of both the curriculum and the research done at the universities, while making sure that they are playing their part to the fullest towards the economic development of Pakistan. What are the major achievements of HEC? Furthermore, what challenges do you face in running the institute? We have gone through many evolutionary phases. First of all, we a have limited capacity to offer higher education in Pakistan. Speaking of accessibility, only 7% of students from age 17-23 have accessibility to higher education.HEC has helped greatly in building capacity during the last eight years, where we have come from 2.6% to 7%. The target is to achieve 15% by 2015. The other thing is technology readiness. There exists a big missing gap in terms of technology readiness and its capacity. But now we have three universities in the top 400



and we expect this number to increase in future. The number of faculty with PhD degrees has doubled in the last five years. With HEC providing scholarships on merit, we have sent 7,500 people to complete their PhD in Pakistan as well as abroad. With these qualified people joining, 40% of our faculty would have PhD degrees by 2015. Different programs are in infancy stages, the results of which will be visible in the next two years. What have been the accomplishments of HEC, particularly during your tenure? Since I have taken over there are two aspects that have been my major focus, one is quality and the other is relevance in the terms of research for the economic development of Pakistan. And the achievement today is that there are three Pakistani universities which


rank in the top 400 universities of the world. In terms of quality HEC facilitates universities in achieving their goals and strengthening their capacities by working jointly with them for their strategic planning and development. Second is research i.e. the number of research publications and PhDs coming out of Pakistan. With HEC we have increased the number of PhDs in Pakistan from 200 to 800 PhDs per year. The research growth of Pakistan in certain areas has been ranked number one in the world recently. With this improvement we have seen the largest growth in Pakistan. Quality Enhancement Cells (QEC) have been established in all remaining universities in public and private sector as well. These Cells will report to the QA Division at the HEC regularly, which will monitor the performance of the universities. With the introduction of Institutional Performance Effectiveness (IPE) this year, quality performance and rankings of the universities and the programs will be significantly improved. What issue has proved to be a real challenge while you were running HEC? Relevance is a major challenge. Today there is a complete disconnect between the industry and the university. The main dilemma is to transfer research from universities to R&D or S&T organizations. To facilitate this transfer to the industry, I have embarked on a major program to set up business and technology incubator sectors at our universities. This year we are establishing ten Offices of Research Innovation and Commercialization (ORICs) and additional ten offices would be established every year. They will connect research at the universities to the industry, not only at the national but also at the international level. Next comes the Technology Parks and Pakistan does not have single one of those. We are in the capacity building stage, creating networks is in the designing phase. Setting up a Technology Park requires funding and we are looking to the government to provide it. Hence, we are trying our best to bridge the gap between the industry and the universities. Are you satisfied with the quality of business graduates that Pakistani educational institutes are producing? We are not at a stage to produce business graduates at the level of top business schools




in the world yet. Undoubtedly we have good schools like LUMS and IBA, but they have only arrived at the national level rather than the international level. In the future I would like to see managers of Forbes’ 500 companies come to the university campuses to recruit the students even before they graduate. But still we have a long way to go. The universities are offering many other specialization courses besides their main study programs, would they be opposing their mission statement in this context? Generally, when a university says something on it's title, it means that it is their main strength. They should also offer other programs beacuse we still have accessibility problems. So as long as we have campuses and faculty available, a university should definitely expand on its programs. But the quality should never be compromised.


Education has become a money making industry, what is your take on this? There is private education then there is public education. Public education is subsidized by the government, but when there are not enough spaces to go around in the public institutions, the private universities bloom and flourish. There was a time when Pakistan had a lot of sub standard private universities but now we are closely monitoring and blacklisting those universities that do not have enough capacity available, so that education does not fall below a certain standard. The Current HEC criteria, which categorizes universities under the W, X, Y, Z classification, is being further elaborated for the W category from W1 to W4, with W1 meeting the minimum criteria and W4 is offering significantly enhanced capacity. This will lead to improvement in quality of education at the uni-


want HEC and the universities to be purely professional organizations. There is an air of frustration among the people, especially the youth, about the continuing economic recession and fewer job opportunities in the market. In this state of affairs, how do you keep your optimism alive? The future of any country depends on investing in its people for HR development and creation of knowledge capital. All the prosperous countries of the world primarily focused on investing in their people, but unfortunately in Pakistan we see an utter failure of political wisdom. In 2011, HEC received a cut of 10% from its previous year’s funding, while India has received an increase of 25% for their UGC. And this reduction was on top of the 40% cut that we had received last year. While India is increasing its investment in the higher education at a rate of 25% per year, Pakistan’s higher education funding is 50% of what it used to be two years back. How is the drastic reduction in the budget affecting HEC and its performance? Undoubtedly the reduction to our funding is affecting development, which is why we are consolidating by prioritizing things. With this cutback we cannot do everything, so we have created a revised development plan, where things have been ranked according to their significance. Therefore, our main focus is on improving the quality and economic development in terms of technology transfer. There can be no further expansion, actually there will be shrinking. Development areas have been cut down (literally), with the shutdown of almost 200 projects. Last year, with a cut of 40% in funding, only those projects were allowed to be completed that had already developed above 90%, all others were stopped. But now that we have some funds, those projects are moving ahead, but they have been stretched. Hence, we are at loss with both time & expense. How important is career counseling for the students? I think it is extremely important. We have been focusing on establishing student centers at the universities for the last two years. At GCU Lahore and at IBA Sukkur, we have established centers that are financed by the HEC and provide student counseling and career placement services. This is the model that we are trying to replicate in all the universities across the country.



versities. A merit criteria has been introduced for the appointment of all faculty and senior positions, including the Vice-Chancellors, so that the political influence is minimized. Are you satisfied with the structure and functionality of HEC? HEC is yet another government organization and even within HEC we have active bureaucracy. The speed of work is not as I expect it to be, but still it is far more efficient than any other government organization in Pakistan, as there are certain government rules and regulations that bound us. We set up committees, task forces and at the same time consult the Vice Chancellors. I believe that we must not impose policies on them rather we should work with a consensus building process. What steps has HEC taken for the development of the faculty and



HEC is yet another government organization and even within HEC we have active bureaucracy. The speed of work is not as I expect it to be, but still it is far more efficient than any other government organization in Pakistan staff? At HEC we conduct professional courses for the faculty and staff. We prefer that all the members of our senior management have post graduate degrees. All professionals must have relevant qualifications because I


Please comment on the brain drain? The economic as well as the security situation in our country is not stable. The financial crisis, that we are facing by non-payment of taxes, makes up a loss of almost a trillion rupees per year. If this money is invested in social infrastructure and higher education instead, then there will be no brain drain. So financial aspect is very important for which we need to have good governance. And second is our security situation, which is beyond our control (like suicide bombings, kidnappings etc.). The people do not feel safe here and leave for other countries that offer much better prospects to excel. So it can be said that brain drain is related to bad governance and the security situation. How do you see HR practices in Pakistan? What are the challenges that HRM is facing in Pakistan and how to surmount them? I am not satisfied with the HR practices here. In this area we lack finesse, regarding our graduates. Our raw graduate finds it difficult to adjust himself in the corporate world, as there exists a gap in the university curriculum. The solution lies in "polishing" the students. We are focusing on that by introducing appropriate workshops in areas of education and training. Please describe the key points of your management style and the most important management strategy that you have implemented so far? I like to take people along, as I am a people’s person. I believe in consensus and team building rather than the authoritarian style. If I have to propose a policy, I will not impose it directly on a university but I would work with the Vice Chancellors. Secondly, I believe in continuity. There should be people trained under you, so that when you are gone, they are able to function far better than you did. You have emphasized so much upon bad governance in Pakistan, what are the fundamentals of good governance according to your perspective? Qualified people should be appointed on merit to all key positions in the country. Transparency should be maintained. Today, in all of our organizations, loyalty takes precedence over merit. These are testing times for the HEC and the universities in Pakistan. Even with the sharpest brain power and earnest intentions, it will still be a struggle, therefore the






community of academics from Pakistan’s higher education institutions has an important role to play here. When it comes to work, what is your philosophy? I think one has to stand up for his principles, and that is what I do. I make no compromise on quality or principles, and I make sure that there is transparency in everything that we do. I am very disciplined and there is no backlog of work. How do you maintain work-life balance? I have been an extremely organized person all my life. I am in my office first thing in the morning. I even go to the office on Sundays. I make sure that my life is well disciplined so that I could get a lot of things done. I stay in touch with remote people through emails on a regular basis and take a lot of input via social media. I even work on it, as I am a people’s person. For the last many years we have been facing the leadership crisis, how can we overcome it? Leadership has to be nourished and flour-




ished. And in order to achieve this aim we have to invest in our youth. We need to create leaders out of them. That has been my focus. Even my most recent book called "The Wizardry of Leadership", is targeted towards leadership in our youth. It uses the mode of story telling for motivational purpose. Please define success? The drive, hard work, sincerity and most importantly uncompromising principles. Last message to our youth. The youth should never give up because the future of Pakistan belongs to them. They have to take responsibility and focus towards building the future because they are the torch bearers of our country. And if our youth does not realize this fact, then Pakistan has no future. Any favorite quote that motivates you when you are depressed? There is a quote from Shakespeare's Julius Ceasar, "A coward dies a thousand deaths, the brave die but once". n

Q: Q:




Leadership Chanakya lessonsfrom

Chanakya’s management ideas haven’t lost relevance even today. If followed properly, his philosophy could have a distinct effect on the way a kingdom and other facets of society are managed.


ost leaders in our country are familiar with Sun Tzu and his book called ‘Art of War’. Many book stores in the country also have derivatives of his book, but sadly not many people are familiar with another great man who lived much closer to home. 2300 years ago, there existed a man in the now ruined city of Taxila who taught at the greatest university of his region and was single handedly responsible for changing the history of sub-continent. That man was Chanakya. A man who, threatened by


Alexander the Great’s ever growing ambitions to conquer the world, envisioned a unified India or ‘Akhanda Bharat’. Till that time India was divided into several kingdoms and most of them were at war with each other. The manifestation of his vision was Chandragupta Maurya, the first person to rule over an empire which stretched across India and into some parts of Afghanistan and Persia. All that came about due to the vision and tutelage of Chanakya. Chanakya, also known as Kautilya,

wrote one of the first books on the subject of governing called ‘Arthashastra’. It outlines the duties of a king and the means by which he can maintain a balance between power and keeping his subjects happy. When I read the Arthashastra, I was struck by some of his concepts regarding kingship that are still relevant for the modern leaders. I have selected and tried to interpret some of these concepts for our modern leaders, who do not rule over countries but organizations. ’When in the court, he shall never cause his petitioners to wait at the door, for when a king makes himself inaccessible to his people and entrusts his work to his immediate officers, he may be sure to engender confusion in business, and to cause thereby public disaffection, and himself a prey to his enemies.’ In almost every organization, we hear the same story, the higher the status a leader enjoys, the less accessible he becomes to the very people who were responsible for delivering results in the first place. Leaders need to understand that sending people to a communication skills workshop does not improve it. Communication improves only when its channels are kept

A good leader realizes that his/her whims and preferences come secondary to the real needs and issues of the organization open, both vertically and horizontally. When leaders are willing to answer people’s queries and take time to explain the deliverables, people also learn the value of good communication and then practice it themselves. In my trainings I keep hearing a complaint from the people that neither the leaders nor the managers explain as to why something needs to be done a certain way. I usually ask that if their managers do not explain, then why don’t employees take the initiative and ask questions themselves? The answer was, ‘Most of the managers do not like it when we ask questions’. It is no wonder that only a handful of managers enjoy the respect and admiration of their team members. Just like Chanakya said that most managers suffer from the disaffection of their people. There is a distance between them and it can only be bridged by direct contact and better communication. No matter how many corporate ventures an organization undertakes or how many training sessions they hold, nothing can take the place of direct communication between the leaders and the team members. ’All urgent calls he shall hear at once, but never put off; for when postponed, they will prove too hard or impossible to accomplish.’ The most malignant of corporate diseases is the delay in making decision. I have yet to figure out the mysterious source of this malaise, as it seems to be plaguing many organizations. There are several reasons to it: 1. A lack of empowerment is the one reason why all decisions get passed up along the hierarchy, which then results in a bottleneck. People, who are supposed to solve the problem, are held accountable for it instead because the corresponding authority is not given to them. I can understand that the rule of checks and balances is prevalent here. But does a problem ever wait for its resolution? Of course it doesn’t! Rather it becomes more complex with the passage of time. 2. Processes are followed more in letters than in spirit. I’ve always maintained that good processes make a good organiza-

tion. But these processes need to be re-visited from time to time. If certain issues are cropping up within a process, then it might be the time to redesign it. We make a process and train our people to follow it but we fail to teach them as to how to deal with its deviations. So when a problem arises, most process operators have no choice but to look up for a solution. 3. Decision making is centralized. It is solely the custody of key personnel in an organization and these people are always busy. The priorities of the people, who face a problem, may not be the priorities of those who take the decision. ’In the happiness of his subjects lies his happiness; in their welfare his welfare; whatever pleases himself he shall not consider as good, but whatever pleases his subjects he shall consider as good.’ Wise words indeed! Many times I’ve heard the helpless HR manager complain about what he recommended got pushed to the side because the CEO had a completely different opinion on the matter. Every organization is different. Though an intervention may work most of the time yet the timing of initiating a new intervention varies. A good leader always realizes that his whims and preferences are secondary to the real needs and issues of the organization. ‘Whoever imposes severe punishment becomes repulsive to the people; while he who awards mild punishment becomes contemptible. But whoever imposes punishment as deserved becomes respectable. For punishment when awarded with due consideration, makes the people devoted to righteousness and to works productive of wealth and enjoyment; while punishment, when ill-awarded under the influence of greed and anger or owing to

ignorance, excites fury even among hermits and ascetics dwelling in forests, not to speak of householders.’ Holding people accountable for their results is one of the most important tools for a leader. Unfortunately, it is seen that performance becomes punishing and non-performance is rewarded. Those who perform well are burdened with even more responsibility and those who show a lack of performance seem to get away with minimal work, simply because we do not trust them with it. It gives rise to resentment in the high performers as they see themselves being loaded with more and more work, while the non-performers slack off. The modern-day kings and queens do not reside in palaces but are found in corporate Boardrooms, and these words of ancient wisdom were useful thousands of years ago and have not lost relevance even today. Although wise people have been guiding us for centuries, but it seems that only a few have heeded their advice. n SUALEHA BHATTI

is the Chief Consultant and CEO of Winning Edge. She is one of Pakistan's leading names in the field of training and development. June - July 2011 | MANAGER TODAY 29





Undoubtedly the effective onboarding of new employees takes time and effort, but it will pay big-time for both the employer and the new hires in the long run. ‘Onboarding’ is a fairly new term in the world of talent management. This idea used to be known as ‘new employee orientation’, but in today’s business world it is more about retaining talent than just a process for the people to settle in their new office. Firstly, I will set the context by explaining the three terms used in the title i.e. ‘onboarding’, ‘jump-start’ and ‘grow’. ONBOARDING Onboarding can be best defined as a “…systematic and comprehensive approach to engage and connect new hires with the organization from day one so as to create a lasting impact…”. The high-level goals of this process are to: l Make the new employees feel welcomed and comfortable in their new surroundings. l Minimize the time before new employees are productive members of their new group. JUMP-START It is generally believed that it is neither the capital nor the technology but the competence and motivation of people that act as the growth factors. So the companies have come to realize that onboarding can help minimize the downtime, especially when brining new employees in. By sharing company values, goals, pertinent challenges and performance expectations, a significant upside on the learning curve can be attained. GROW The word ‘grow’ has been used here to highlight that the new hires: l Feel welcomed l Experience connectivity l Have clarity in terms of organizational goals This will help new hires build up knowledge and skill, thus contributing towards their own 30 | MANAGER TODAY |

growth. This skill and knowledge will help enhance personal value proposition and employability, which should be the hallmark of career building for every employee. It is an established fact of talent management that ‘…growth of people in knowledge, skill and experience leads to the growth of business’. Another view supporting the onboarding process highlights that it helps the employees, but it is the company that ultimately reaps benefits from it. There could be reduction in the costs associated with on-the-job learning, saving time of co-workers and supervisors in training the new employee, thereby increasing productivity and raising his morale by showing that he is valued. Now let’s turn to building up onboarding as a process that acts as value enabler for both the company and the employees. According to Erin Perry, the Director of client solutions at Pinstripe, Wisconsin ‘… a successful onboarding program actually begins during the recruitment and hiring process…’, and also that this process is linked to the brand that you create to attract people who are right for your company. There is a view that onboarding process begins even before a candidate is formally hired, by providing ample information about workplace and culture in careers section on company’s website. Richard Jordan, a business coach, states that “the orientation should begin at the first click of the mouse, when someone first goes to the company’s website. And by the time the person comes in for the interview, he already knows quite a lot about the organization”. Moving on, I would suggest the following key points to be practiced while laying down an onboarding program:

1) Onboarding Process Formal but Fun Research shows that during the on-

l l l

l l

boarding process employees don’t understand all the things that they need to know. So while making this program, make sure that the contents include the sessions on: Corporate history Values of the company An overview of the strategy and corporate goals Fiscal goals and overview of the finances Examples of performance reviews with the concerned manager, so that the initial expectations of the employees could be discussed, agreed to and written down.

2) Extended Onboarding Program After an intensive one or two-day session in the beginning, subsequent activities may extend over several months at periodic intervals. Some programs can include rotational assignments, others may include special projects that are designed to expose the new employee to parts of the company that he would not normally have any contact with. This way he will see how other employees work and will also get feel for the culture in action. Another way to build up effective as well as interactive program could be to arrange a gettogether of all the employees hired in a particular month. It would help build a network that can be used to get the work done and to learn about other parts of the organization.

3) Use E-learning and the Internet Extensively With the drive to work towards creating paperless work environment, every employee needs to use the corporate intranet and become familiar with technological tools. A portion of onboarding should have e-learning modules that can be offered to the employees before

they even start their job. In some cases this could also help in getting spouse involved at a very early stage by learning about the company and its history and thus enhancing connectivity with it. Latest research shows that more the spouses become a part of work life, less are the chances that someone will leave on a whim. Usually when a spouse feels connected to the workplace, decisions will not be made hastily but after some discussion and conversation.

4) Line Managers to Provide Meaningful Discussion and Reflective Work Experience. The relationship with the manager is one of the most significant factors in an employee’s work life. Generally, the turnover is caused by this relationship and that makes the ability to assimilate new employees a core competency of managers. So a manager, who takes time to discuss issues with the new employee and shows concern over a person’s assimilation, will make wiser decisions and build loyalty over time. Thus it is critical to include the manager in the onboarding process. Moreover, the inclusion of line manager in the team building exercises or luncheon sessions with the new employee can help build a rapport beyond focused business. At executive level, a dinner and reception with the CEO could be setup.

5) Mentors Research shows that providing a mentor, who can offer insight into the corporate culture and explain the structure of organization, will increase productivity and result in a lower turnover. While choosing mentors, look for the individuals who are kind and result oriented. These mentors should have lunch with the new hire, at least once a week, to show him the ropes and transmit some of the tacit culture. They should have good listening skills and should be able to intervene if an issue arises with the manager. They need to be well respected and well-networked in the organization. List of the Things That Will Have a Lasting Impact When the New Employee Joins In The following steps are really important, as they will create high engagement level from day one: l Get the new hire a security badge l Provide a name plate on his worksta-

Effective onboarding has a positive domino effect. The new hires feel welcomed and prepared in their new positions, hence giving them the confidence to make an impact within the organization

tion/office door Set up the computer l Configure the new hire’s e-mail address l Arrange to have guides for any necessary software he will need l Set up his phone system and other associated facilities like voice mail etc. l Get business cards ready on the very first day l Get all the people in the company ready to welcome the new hire Now I will suggest tools that can act as test agents to evaluate the effectiveness of an onboarding plan. 1) Employee Feedback After six months to a year of hiring, feedback should be sought from the new hire. This would help gauge effectiveness of the onboarding program. It will confirm if the onboarding program has been: l Helping employees to form a connection with the new employer l Allowing employees to understand some of the company’s values, mission and priorities. l Building an optimistic attitude towards the company l Avoiding misunderstandings l Helping employees feel valued l Encouraging socializing l Reducing employee anxiety l Setting performance expectation l Decreasing the learning curve l Crystallizing job expectations l

Familiarizing employees with policies and procedures l Familiarizing employees with administrative housekeeping items like – normal work hours/days, over time pay 2) Retention and Growth Another tool is to check, over a period of 18-24 months, the number of new hires that are still around and how many of them have been performing well. Undoubtedly, the effective onboarding of new employees takes time and effort, but it will pay big-time for both the employer and the new hires. It will act as an effective retention tool and contribute towards making the new hires productive. Employees tend to establish good or bad patterns in early stages of their employment. Once bad work habits are tolerated, they become ingrained. Onboarding provides an opportunity for the new hires to connect with the company, understand business scenario, cope with challenges, understand the work culture and share their expectations. All this is important for them to jump-start and make positive impact at an early stage. n l


has 20+ experience in HR, both in Pakistan and international circuit. Helping people to grow together with business is his passion. | MANAGER TODAY | 31



Shedding extra pounds does not mean building a negative relationship with food. It is also important to exercise and have balanced eating habits. e live in a world that is very much appearance conscious. People go to extreme lengths in order to look good. Everywhere you go the one topic that always seems to get attention is ‘weight’. Either a person needs to lose weight or there is someone with a triumphant story of losing it and everyone wants to know how he/she did it. Usually what’s revealed is a long story of a rigid exercise program or a morbid tale of self-starvation. Unfortunately, rapid weight loss is not healthy at all and the pounds shed once may come back even faster. Now this fact would raise a big question in a person’s mind who is weight conscious, ‘Do diets work long-term?’ I would like the word ‘diet’ to be eliminated from our social vocabulary. Instead the introduction of the phrase ‘lifestyle change’ is necessary for a clear roadmap to a permanent weight loss. Diet is temporary, for a ‘limited’ time only, while the lifestyle change is ‘forever’. As soon as you drop the diet, the weight comes running back because you fast track to your pre-diet lifestyle that led you to diet in the first place. Stop the Diet Cycle ‘IMMEDIATELY’ I believe that there are no shortcuts in life and the same thing could be applied to weight loss. I view diet as a shortcut to a healthy lifestyle which, like everything else, never works out that way. It will take more than



some well-devised plan of sound nutrition to solve the weight problem. As a matter of fact, it calls for a major lifestyle reformation. Most overweight individuals have a lifestyle that is different from their body’s metabolic and hormonal design. In other cases, most of the people are so much exposed to such information through media that they already know which foods are good for them and what they should do to maintain a healthy

lifestyle. But I find that many of them don’t know how to use this information to their advantage. We come across advertisements that make tempting promises of fast and easy weight loss, when they should really be prompting you to ask yourself, ‘How can I get rid of excess weight without harming myself?’ World Health Organization advises that it is enough to decrease your body mass by 510% during the first 6 months of losing

weight. Not only is it important to lose pounds, but it is also vital to prevent them from coming back in the future. When weight comes back again, it is called ‘weight cycling’, which can be very frustrating to cope with. Usually, this is the result of a sudden change in the nutritional system and body's reaction to the stress caused by fast metabolism change and quick weight loss. The proof is in the pudding…Diets just don’t work! Those who try to count calories should remember that all this is useless if oxygen does not reach your cells. If this happens the metabolism slows down and the fat does not burn. Could this mean that our bodies need more oxygen? Yes! So how can we get it? Can aerobic trainings help? The answer is ‘yes’. But it is important to note that such an exercise load is not recommended to the people who are overweight, as they may not be ready for it physically. Overweight people often suffer from the shortness of breath and other respiratory problems. So when talking about metabolic normalization in people with excess weight, we should remember some important factors such as ‘oxygen exchange’. And in order to improve oxygen exchange we must improve the lung functioning first. Lifestyle Change 1. The first and foremost rule of lifestyle change is ‘commitment’. Promising that every change that you make is not temporary but for the rest of your life. Tell yourself that you deserve to live the ‘quality life’ that these transformations will bring. 2. Patience is a virtue! Know that you can’t change your poor eating habits overnight. Bad eating habits are easy to develop but not easy to change. It will take time to accustom yourself to the ‘new’ approach towards food and exercise. 3. Prioritize! There will be times when you will experience setbacks and feel discouraged. If you are truly committed then stick to your plan. Make health and physical fitness a priority. Now that you have made up your mind about changing your life, let’s discuss how you can really get there. Say Goodbye to Processed Food Life is becoming very fast with the passage of time. People are always looking for ways that require least of time to prepare food. Readymade frozen food, fast food and eating out have become a convenient option. Con-

sequently, there is an increase in the number of overweight men, women, teenagers and children, who have no clue as to how these easy treats are affecting their bodies, self-esteem and daily life. You have to start by setting your eating habits right. Processed foods are a big NO! Natural foods are always the best choice. Our body requires iron, glucose, proteins, fats, vitamins and minerals to function optimally. The best sources for all of these components can be found in foods like fresh fruits and vegetables, fish, lean meats, poultry, beans and raw nuts etc. Even multivitamin tablets or capsules can’t replace the value of fresh foodstuffs. Of course this does not mean that you can never eat out. You should condition yourself to always find the best option for ‘yourself’. When you eat out, always remember to replace a few unhealthy foods with healthier menu choices. This will give you the power to keep a balance between the good and the notso-good food options. For example, while ordering your meal have some salad with it instead of fries. Make minute changes to your diet every week and keep doing it until your unhealthy eating habits become a thing of the past. Make Time for Breakfast Breakfast is perhaps the most important meal of the day. Rushing to work without eating anything or grabbing something on the way is not a healthy choice at all. Taking time out for breakfast is a must. If you start your day with an empty stomach, within a few hours your blood-sugar level will drop, which will force you to find an instant sugar fix like a pastry, brownie or some other sugar treat. Give yourself a fresh start by having a nourishing breakfast. Fresh fruit salad, eggs, milk, oatmeal, bran bread, almonds, yogurt, granola, grapefruit and cottage cheese are all great options. Have a cup of tea or coffee (with brown sugar of course). You will be surprised at how different your day will become after making these slight changes to your routine. Practice it regularly till it becomes a habit. Exercise Being overweight takes a toll on your body. The risk of high blood pressure, diabetes and heart disease is much higher in people who are overweight or have a sedentary lifestyle than those who are active and conscious about what they eat. Therefore, eliminating processed foods from your diet and making

The best sources for all of these components can be found in foods like fresh fruits and vegetables, fish, lean meats, poultry, beans, legumes, seeds and raw nuts etc. Even multivitamin tablets or capsules can’t replace the value of fresh foodstuffs

healthier food choices instead will cut down your calorie intake and you will eventually lose weight. But this is only the first step towards your goal. There is a difference between being thin and being physically fit. Smart food choices can make you thin but if you want to be fit, physically as well as mentally, then you should get up and start moving because your metabolism makes you shed weight and exercise will set your metabolism on fire. Your body will then utilize your food more efficiently. But if you don’t exercise, your metabolism will slow down and after losing a little weight in the beginning, you won’t see any further results. People usually think that exercising means spending several hours at gym! This is not necessarily true! But if this physical activity is more than what you normally do, you are good. Keeping weight off requires commitment, so you have to be regular with the activity that you choose to keep yourself in shape. It is important to remember that ‘lifestyle change’ is forever! You should make these changes a part of your second nature. Sticking to this principle will never let you worry about gaining weight again. Instead you would turn away from the notion of going on a diet. n DR. MARYAM ARIF

is a medical doctor with experience in Clinical Research in Endocrinology in the US. | MANAGER TODAY | 33



PROFILE Sidra Iqbal is the Founding Managing Director of Statuspro Inc. Her capacities range from being a Youth Ambassador, PR Practitioner to an Anchorperson. In 1999, she became the first Pakistani to win the International Public Speaking Championship in London, UK. She has made an important transition to youth development training and has projects with Zayed University (UAE), Honolulu University (US), British Council Pakistan, Aga Khan Education Network and many others. She has remained the Vice President of Public Relations at Ogilvy & Mather (Pakistan) for almost 2 years. As a freelance anchorperson most of her work relates to current affairs and corporate issues.


Sidra is the most talked about media personality and a champion of some Herculean achievements. She is a silver lining and an inspiration for every Pakistani woman indeed! In her exclusive interview with Manager Today she tells us how she was able to pull this amazing career off and her own company, Statuspro Inc. Tell us a little about your professional life, as to how it all started as a media person?


Well! Not a lot of people know but my father, Iqbal Latif, had been affiliated with the media industry for the past 30 years. He was the Senior Director and Producer of PTV. So you can say that I had it in my genes and growing up in PTV had a great influence on me too. But coming into the media industry was a big question mark. I knew the ins and outs of it because of my father but I was not ready to deal with any unexpected situations that our industry had to offer. However, as fate would have it, when I was working at Interflow in the Strategy Department as a Management Trainee, Tahir Khan was launching TV One & I went into the marketing department there on his recommendation. After some time he put me in charge of the Morning Show, hence making me its producer as well. But there was a problem with finding someone to host it, so he offered me to take it up as a presenter too. That is how it all began and you can say that my two mentors, Tahir A Khan and Seema Tahir, pushed me into the media directly as well as formally. So academically speaking, what was the area of your specialization?


I did my MBA in marketing from Karachi. My first love was not business studies. I took it up only because my scholarship to Boston University got deferred after 9/11, so I had no choice but to stick around. But at the same time I continued working as a Communication Skills Trainer and a freelancer through-out my undergrad years. During that I got affiliated with the British Council and did my International Relations Program from Oxford. Has marketing always been your passion or did someone guide you to pursue it as a career?


I love marketing and advertising itself. The Pakistani media does not give you much 36 | MANAGER TODAY |

chance to grow. So I got bored while working in TV One and told Tahir that I cannot do it anymore. That is when he offered me to join ‘Ogilvy and Mather’ in the PR department. I joined it as the Vice-President of PR. It was my training at Hong Kong and Singapore that enabled us to start with the PR department at Ogilvy in a true sense because initially we had no idea how to go about it. Then in February 2010, I started my own company called Stauspro. Although the company is only 18 months old yet a lot of people respect the understanding of brands that I have. We have always pointed out that we do not merely publicize or media manage the events, rather we do brand PR. And that is the reason why we call ourselves the Communication Strategists for any brand. You have proficiency over diverse areas like public relations, marketing and anchoring, what do you think you are best at?


I leave it to the people to decide that. All I know is that I am a very energetic person. Monotony does not enthuse my imagination. I need to be pushed to my limit to do the best. For example, if I am a good marketere for Coca Cola or any youth brand, it is just because I am a youth skills trainer. The time we are finished with college, our connection with youth is severed. But as I am a trainer and I keep interacting with young people, I think I can help a brand in devising a better plan to connect with them. What was your experience like when you were representing Pakistan at the Buckingham Palace? How did that come about?


There is an Annual Public Speaking Championship that is organized in London each year and in order to represent Pakistan you are first selected from one city. After that you have to compete with all the schools from Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad. Every year two people are selected from here. I am the first and only Pakistani to win the International Championship that took place in London. Back in 1999, they invited me to Buckingham palace to receive my certificate and that put me on a journey I could not have even imagined. Describe some of the key points of your management style and the most important management strategy that you have implemented so far?


It is a struggle to be taken seriously. But whether it is a man or a woman manager, the most important thing is your listening skill. True communication is a two-way thing. When only one person does the talking and the other one is no more than a listener, it cannot be called communication at all. In my job, not only do I have to deal with high profile clients but I also have to deal with the vendor and the cameraman. If I do not communicate properly with both parties, regardless of their status, then they won’t be able to perform well. And lastly I would say that give respect and get respect, as everyone has a sense of self-worth. What is your personal management style?


When you want to start off with something you need to have very clear objectives and an understanding of the industry that you are stepping into. I always knew that PR business had a lot of potential but there were two kinds of PR companies working at that time. One was the old age giants i.e. the big companies and the other was the fashion PR. I observed many loopholes in internal communications and brand PR. The most important thing for me was to pick the right kind of team. Hence, I made two rules for that. Firstly, I only worked with the fresh graduates. We do not try to hunt for the Heads of different companies, instead we take people as raw as they come. Our core team is very small but if you give us an event that requires a team of hundred people, the database of student management trainees is so extensive that we will come up to the expectations very well. We have developed a model in which the students of the key universities are our management trainees. Every month we give them a brand related task that in turn results in a meaningful internship. The aim of this exercise is to help the students polish their skills in their final year of graduation and to have a regular stream of people who are ready to work with us on a single shout-out. They also get certificates, personal reference letters and knowledge about PR and event management. Presently, we have thirty-eight different universities from Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad and Faisalabad on our panel. Being a woman, what were the initial challenges and constraints that you had to face in order to come forward in this field?


Growing and developing business was one hell of a challenge. The cost of doing business in Pakistan is very high, that is why the profit margins still remain squeezed. But with the grace of Allah our turnover has doubled since our company came into being. We have managed to come forward as we have worked with many multinational companies. To be a successful entrepreneur you need to have a big heart, courage and most of all good intentions. So how do you see the future of women workers in Pakistan, considering the fact that it is a gender biased society?


I have noticed some usual trends. Firstly, with an increase in the rate of inflation it would be impossible for a family to survive on the earning of the male members only. Women would have to come forward too. If you want a good way of life, you cannot have that in one person’s income. Secondly, there is social pressure on women to start a family and settle down. The trend becomes aschewed when a woman, after having spent so much on her education, is forced to do so. But I think that, whether it is a part-time or a full-time job, a woman’s share in the earning will prove to be a huge economic factor. Would you recommend people to follow courses in public speaking?


I think that everyone needs to be a public speaker, it is our responsibility as a Pakistani. What Pakistan is suffering from is the lack of perception. We assume that we have gone through a media revolution and now the world is listening to us, but the reality is altogether different. The world still does not know the real story of Pakistan, the great talent still has not been revealed. It is the responsibility of every good Pakistani to be a good communicator, so that they can stand up and convey their message clearly. Another dilemma is that we neither analyze things nor reflect, rather we plagiarize which does not make us good thinkers. Being the founder of Statuspro, what are your goals in this role?


People here are not fully aware of the scope and meaning of PR, they are only familiar with the conventional ideas. However, PR is about managing perception. Unfortunately, this is a very negative status quo which Statuspro is going to challenge and

A lot of people will tell a lot of different things. But whether it is a man or a woman manager, the most important thing is your listening skill. True communication is a two-way thing. When only one person does the talking and the other person is no more than a listener, it is not communication at all

this is our philosophy as well. We want to change the understanding of PR in people. Secondly, we do not indulge in selfish PR. We tell our clients that if they want the qualities of their product to be communicated to the general public, then they should develop an understanding of public’s needs as well. That is the paradigm shift that we want to bring about. The TV programs today direly lack substance. Extra emphasis is laid on flashiness and ostentation instead of the content, what is your take on that?


In the present scenario I have observed that the cultured people are disappointed. As far as television is concerned, we severely lack innovation. There are a few names who rule the screen and people have had enough of them. We can take the example of the comedy that we have today, it is merely slapstick and very superficial. No one is able to put together something that reflects true humor, like that of Anwar Maqsood. What our media needs is to create heroes. The people who are achievers in their respective fields should be brought into the limelight. Secondly, it is very unfortunate that the producers of our media industry do not trust their audience with the ability to take in a truly meaningful idea. | MANAGER TODAY | 37

They treat masses like sub-humans, when they should really stop doubting their abilities and start providing them with quality content instead. Does blogging and online broadcasting play important role in terms of Public Relations.


Fortunately the tools of modern age have proved to be favorable for us as we are not relying on the traditional media only. The Pakistani media boom has helped PR very much. At present, there are so many new channels and publications coming on. The increase in the number of Pakistanis at Twitter, Facebook and Youtube has also helped us. But I have one reservation at this point that on one end this development has helped us and on the other it is also responsible for the deterioration of our language and ethics. This situation is extremely alarming. All of us have become Facebook activists. Instead of taking practical steps, we only join a group there. What do you think is the biggest ethical question facing PR professionals today?



I think that ethics are very significant. Unfortunately, our market is dominated by the buyers. There is a large number of people who want to start out with their ventures but a very small number of companies is ready to do the business with them. What people do here is that they steal someone else’s idea and get it done by yet another person. It is a highly unethical practice, which is very regular here and a firm stand should be taken against it. We should push a muscle and request our clients to sign a non-disclosure contract, so as to put a stop to it. Undoubtedly our youth is endowed with many skills and abilities but the one dark aspect that I see here is that after completing their education they just jump in and want to make money. What is your take on this?


In fact, it is a trickle down effect. Our problem is that we do not promise durability, we do not think long-term or trust each other. This behavior is giving rise to uncertainty. Nobody wants to take the pains of starting

a company and then struggle with it. Instead everyone is looking for a better opportunity in a multinational company or to go abroad. As long as we continue having that perspective, we will fail at burgeoning. How do you keep your work-life balance?


I have a very hectic schedule, which makes my work-life balance terrible. But I am happy with that, as I am a workaholic. Besides, my family structure has been of great help to me. I believe in self transcendence. One should have the perseverance to face challenges in life. Who is your role model?


My mother has always been my role model. I look up to her as my teacher, my friend and my mentor. How would you define success?


Success can be defined as the absolute persistence in the face of hardships. Not giving up is the essence of accomplishment. n



ow many times did you personally suffer from a bad customer service? If you have, will you go back to the same company or even recommend that specific product to your friends? I guess the answer will be a BIG NO! During my brief stay in Canada, I worked at a fast food outlet as a counter salesperson. I goofed up the very first day by serving a wrong order. My sales manager called me to explain the situation and told me that he had given the customer a coupon for a free meal because of my blunder. His in-

Many companies do not realize the significance of customers’ expectations. Paying attention to this area can make incredible things happen.


structions were that I should serve the customers in a best way possible. My manager did not want to lose the customer and he wanted to give me a chance to re-build the relationship. Let me ask you: How many time have you changed your cell phone carrier or bank due to a poor customer service? Did they ever come back to you asking, ‘Why did you leave?’. My question is: How can you improve your service if you do not even know what your customers expect, particularly those who have left you? Generally speaking, the concept of


effective customer service is absent in Pakistani society. With the passage of time the companies will realize that ‘customer is their king!’. And mostly, once the sales are made, this KING is severely neglected. Customer service team is not considered to be a part of sales team and it is often forgotten that only their services are bringing the customer back and fetching referrals too. Customers are a pain indeed! If not impossible, they are hard to please. They endlessly whine about the quality of the company’s service, the price of the product and the complimentary features they think they are entitled to. And why should they not? They are burning their hard earned money in buying the products and every piece sold brings in more revenue to your company. Now isn’t this pain worth taking! Technology has worked wonders, and one of its wonders is the speed with which it can spread the word around! Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn are making it really difficult for the companies to avoid reputational damages. Customer’s influence and expectations have never been greater than in today’s round-the-clock web-connected world. Comments and opinions, whether positive or negative, spread across the internet and its many channels, communities, blogs, discussion groups and trusted business and social networks with a speed we cannot even imagine! In Pakistan, our society is largely connected via social media, which can now be accessed from simple cell phones too. The reputation and brand image can go down with just one tweet or a Facebook update. In my opinion, the people who do not believe in the power of social media are still living in the Stone Age. In Pakistan, there are over 5.5 million people on Facebook. Just consider if someone with only 1000 followers on Facebook, sitting at

Remember that your customer is busy, he would call you only if there is an issue and your careful listening and reacting can make a significant difference to your brand perception, hence resulting in customer loyalty and retention

a restaurant, updates, ‘What a pathetic service at xxx restaurant!’ and the same is liked or commented on by only 10% of his followers, its multiplying effect could be 700 times! And it is even more viral and damaging on Twitter. Remember that writing a letter can no longer inflict harm, damage can be done in only 140 characters on Twitter! Undoubtedly, the customers need more attention, quick response and a personalized service nowadays. And most customers do not complain, they just stop coming back! Since a regular customer reduces the cost of doing business, so he is very important. The companies today need to invent new ways to retain customer’s loyalty. Let us think on how you can keep the customer coming back to you or how you can add value to your current customer service. At times it is as simple as listening to your customer– yes so simple. Many companies and brands put their reputation at stake only by the lack of listening or prompt responsiveness. Remember that your customer is busy, he would call you only if there is an issue and your careful listening can make a significant difference to your brand perception, hence resulting in customer loyalty and retention. Also you can build your brand value by engaging your happy customers through social media network for a viral impact! With an ever-increasing cost of doing business, only those companies will be profitable and successful that are able to keep the cost of sales at the lowest possible level and are still able to generate exponential sales. The cost of sales includes advertisements, promotions and reduced price sales.

All these ways to attract new customers are expensive as compared to retaining an existing one, but they generate more sales through effective referral programs with him. The fact of the matter is that only a satisfied customer will bring referral sales. I have observed that the service sector of the travel businesses, educational institutions and financial sector often get referred customers. These companies need to realize the importance of recognizing and rewarding the referring customer, who can bring more sales with hardly any efforts on the company‘s part. In my conversations with sales and customer service people, I usually come across an argument that we do not have a proper customer service policy and I tell them, ‘Regardless of the fact that you are selling a product or providing a service, if a company is

struggling to keep it’s customers satisfied, the suffering at your end will be unprecedented! It is the responsibility of sales leader to prepare an effective customer service policy and train the professionals by giving those tools that are required to provide the best service possible’. In the end I would like to share two quotes with you, ‘If you do not take care of your customers, someone else will.’ – Clark Harley. ‘Choose to deliver amazing service to your customers. You’ll stand out because they don’t get it anywhere else.’ - Kevin Stirtz. n HAMMAD SADDIQUI

is working as Deputy Country Director at the Center of International Private Enterprise (CIPE). | MANAGER TODAY | 41



ORGANIZATIONAL RESILIENCE A Positive Adjustment under Challenging Situations e frequently hear the word ‘resilience’ which means ‘to rebound’, but in fact it expresses ‘the ability to absorb change gracefully and remaining stable in a turbulent environment’. However, it certainly doesn’t mean dealing with turbulence just once, in fact it is anticipating and adjusting to the trends continuously. In organizational terms resilience means ‘the maintenance of positive adjustment under challenging conditions’. A resilient organization is the one which has the capacity to achieve its core objectives in difficult times, while being able to maintain its productive power simultaneously. This ability can be developed over time with repetitive experiences related to managing issues. Of course one requires personal and organizational support to deal with challenging situations effectively. We live in a world that is changing constantly at an unpredictable pace and our skill and knowledge are the only effective tools to resist disintegration. According to a recent report by The Royal United Services Institute, ’Corporate entities are facing a dazzling array of fast changing conditions from technology to terrorism, social responsibility to social unrest…all these considerations now exist in a quickly evolving and mutating context ... a company that is un-



able to respond to change will not survive’. Usually, it has been seen that the organizations that flourish over long periods of time show a stable pace of resilience i.e. they immediately bounce back from the harsh conditions and keep moving on. Interestingly, the features that strengthen an organization’s resilience are the same as those of personal resilience. These features are intangible and are found in organizational values, attitudes and culture. It is very important to understand that the resilient organizations are made up of resilient individuals. So we need to understand the ways in which organizations can encourage resilience in their workers. Let’s examine some of the common features between personal and organizational resilience: • Individuals need to have a clear sense of identity and direction, enabling them to know their strengths and weaknesses and acquiring the ability to take up challenges in life. Similarly, organizations should have a clearly defined set of values and guiding principles • Individuals make effort to take initiatives. They focus more on their personal strengths instead of thinking about the control on environment. Successful organizations have a vision to develop a sense of ‘ownership’ and ‘commitment’ towards organizational goals in their employees.

• Individuals seek to have a support group (family, friends) for encouragement, sharing, high self-esteem and dependence. Research indicates that the employees deal with the external clients in the same manner as they are dealt within the organization. A supportive organizational environment enhances organizational resilience and contributes towards trustworthy relationships. • Individuals have a natural tendency to adapt to the changing environment. This flexibility helps in adjusting with new ideas and challenging situations. A good organization is always flexible in adapting new ideas, innovations in management practices, systems and policies.

A supportive organizational environment enhances organizational resilience and contributes towards trustworthy relationships

Some of the basic characteristics that we can relate to a resilient individual can be as follow: • Strong support system • A clear sense of direction in life • Sense of control over life • Focused and flexible • Manages stress and finds work/life integration • Imagines future professional roles in the company for himself According to an old saying, ‘Into every life a little rain must fall’. It suggests that no one leads a simple life without encountering challenges, we need to build capacities to adjust with occasional rainstorms. Resilience is an ability that empowers us to get up and try

again, no matter what the circumstances are. It has been seen that successful businessmen are those who are resilient enough to bounce back from any crisis. Let’s consider the following methods to increase organizational resilience: 1. Having clearly defined core values that are customer-focused 2. Developing genuine trust in leadership 3. Practicing open communication 4. Supportive management Steven Covey recommends, in his article ‘Leadership Now’, that the leaders who wish to be trusted must follow these 13 actions of highly trustworthy leaders worldwide: 1. Talk Straight

2. Demonstrate Respect 3. Create Transparency 4. Right Wrongs 5. Show Loyalty 6. Deliver Results 7. Get Better 8. Confront Reality 9. Clarify Expectation 10. Practice Accountability 11. Listen First 12. Keep Commitments 13. Extend Trust There are more chances that the employees will share their problems and discuss the opportunities with the management when they feel at ease with them. A strong effort should be made to increase the amount of positive interactions and supportive communication between the managers and the employees. Some of the tips are as follows: • Guidance and support from the managers and coworkers should be accessible on regular basis • Sharing the organizational culture • Regular and frequent staff meetings, which bring all of them together and foster a feeling of belonging • Respect for confidentiality, so that the people can feel safe in requesting help • Creation of peer support system In all these instances, resilience is best understood as a process. However, it is often mistaken as the trait of an individual. Research shows that resilience comes about when an individual interacts with his environment and those processes begin which either promote the well-being or protect them against the risk factors. It could be an individual managing himself or helped along by family, community and social policies. In this sense ‘resilience’ occurs when there are cumulative ‘protective factors’. The greater an individual’s exposure to the cumulative ‘risk factors’ is, the more important the role of these factors would become. The phrase ‘risk and resilience’ is quite common. Where taking steps towards organizational resilience helps you and your organization achieve long-term success. n SAIQA RAZIK

is a Psychologist and a Trainer with expertise in Trauma Counseling, Stress Management and Conflict & Negotiation Skill. | MANAGER TODAY | 43





Decision-making can be a mind-bending exercise, but the rewards are worth it. So why not choose excellence for yourself and your performance would improve exponentially.

ast week one of my colleagues resigned from his job. But prior to the submission of his resignation, he seemed quite perplexed. Ultimately, under the pressure of his Manager, he took it back. But now he is in the search of a new job opportunity, yet again. Although I had been in touch with him all this period yet it kept bothering me as to why don’t we commit to our decisions ? After thinking about it and dedicating a good number of hours to sort this dilemma out, I have summed up the following points. Use the Power of Decision We have the power of decision making within ourselves. From choosing the clothes that we are going to wear to what we want to have for dinner, we make a lot of decisions in our daily life. There is a need to use this power in a right and effective manner. As Henry Ford has said, ‘Whatever you do or can’t do, you 44 | MANAGER TODAY |

WITHIN YOURSELF are right’. Acquire the Hardest Step towards Achieving Your Goal i.e. The True Commitment It is the hardest task to build an honest and true commitment with your goal. It is like a fuel to any decision. Once you develop a true commitment then decision making would ease down. Decision are affirmed by the commitment in our mind first, then we roll it into action. A firm resolution is very important. Make Decisions Frequently Decision making is a prime skill which is inherent in oneself. We should harness this power by making frequent decisions. Repetition is the mother of skill, so take quick and frequent decisions. You may make some immature decisions in the beginning, but you should not falter because it is an art and art could be immature but not wrong. Doing it re-

currently would eventually make you perfect at it. Learn from Your Decision It is not your conditions but your decisions that shape your destiny. So every time you make a decision, whether mature or immature, it gives you a sense of achievement and sometimes it is a learning experience as well. Whether it is an accomplishment or an experience, you must evaluate the lesson that you got from your decision. Success truly is the result of good judgment. Good Judgment comes from experiences and experiences are often the result of bad judgment. Stay Committed to Your Decisions and be Flexible in Your Approach Studies show that successful people make frequent decisions and remain flexible in their approach to achieve their goal. Quite conversely, unsuccessful people make rare decisions and change their goal frequently i.e. they posses lack of persistence. Successful people focus on long-term outcomes, whereas unsuccessful people focus on short-term results. It is as if we have an aim to reach some destination and we have already planned the route on the map as well, but don’t have a plan B in case our original plan does not work. Hence, not only must we have an alternate route to reach our destination, but we should not change our destination as well. Enjoy Your Decisions Share the outcome of your decisions with others, it will enhance your self-confidence. Your decisions should be enjoyed equally. Never get influenced by anyone, whatever choice you make just stick to it because it is your own judgment. And finally, my advice and slogan would be, ‘Practice, practice and practice until you master the art of decision making perfectly’. n SYED SHAHZAD ALI

is a motivational keynote Speaker and HR Practitioner.



Mian Iftikhar introduced and revolutionized the tyre technology in Pakistan. His contribution to the Pakistani industry is bound to take us beyond success. The conviction of his aims and mission thoroughly defy what doubters believe about our nation. When fiscal and energy crisis have become signs of the times, people like Mr. Iftikhar have become the power of nation.

head-on TakinG challenGes

MIAN IFTIKHAR MD,Mian Tyre & Rubber Co. Kindly share with us your professional background?


I did my intermediate from FC College. After that I took admission in Engineering University. There I realized that engineering was more than just a study for me, so I went to the US to pursue it further. That academic experience was so fulfilling that when I stepped into the work world, I was really satisfied with my educational background. I worked in the US for almost two years and then came back to Pakistan. After working for more than two years here, I started my very own company. With an educational background of engineering, I decided to open a rubber factory. The initial three years of business were really tough, but after overcoming all the setbacks we started picking up and then there was no looking back. My company introduced beach sandals here for the first time, but soon every run-of-the-mill company started making it. I soon realized that dealing in this area had no 46 | MANAGER TODAY |

depth and therefore conceived a tyre manufacturing company in 1982. Tyres were imported at that time. Then in 1982, I eventually set up Mian tyre and Rubber Company. I personally visited different companies in Japan, Taiwan and Far-East in order to get hold of the technicalities and knowledge of tyre manufacturing. Then in the same year I introduced Panther Tyres here. Later, I came up with another line of ‘wheel barrow tyres’ in this business. My business has been flourishing so well since then that we also started exporting these tyres to Europe. And for this achievement I have been getting export trophies consecutively for ten years from the government of Pakistan. With an increase in the number of rickshaws in Pakistan since 2000, we had to increase our capacities as well. I am proud to say that the local demand for motorcycle tyres is all met by our company and I have made this contribution to the tyre technology. In 2005, we started manu-

facturing tractor tyres. Moreover, I have offices at Dubai, which is the hub of diverse buyers, and Egypt, which is the biggest consumer of tyres. And I want to expand it to China as well. Please describe the key points of your management style and the most important management strategy that you have implemented so far?


I have a democratic culture at my company. I listen to the people from every sphere. I let them voice their suggestions and recommendations. I accept it if it suits our vision and requirement but I also give reasons for turning down an idea too. This approach has helped me a lot, as everyone participates and we work as a team. How does your company ensure employee retention?


ProfIle Mian Iftikhar is the founder and MD of Mian Tyre & rubber Co. (pvt) ltd., which is an illustrious name in tyre industry and is striving hard to expand the scope of Pakistan's motorcycle tyres/tubes exports around the globe. Under his leadership, the dedicated team of this company has been winning the Pakistan export trophy consecutively for the last ten years. Mr. Iftikhar also has a hand in the large technological advancement in the tyre industry and it is the result of his eorts that 90% of the tyre demand in Pakistan is all met with locally.

This is the most difficult front that we have to struggle with. People here are not careeroriented but money-oriented. They keep changing companies for monetary gains, and end up having a zilch of knowledge about their product. While the people who spend considerable time in a company, become its biggest asset. They may start small but their learning multiplies exponentially with the passage of time. Secondly, I think that the legacy of British Raj has still not left us. People get over-awed by the authority, which I do not like. I try to be very friendly with them because this is what I have been trained like. Brands need to reach the consumers, has your company been taking effective steps towards advertising in this regard?


As far as advertising is concerned, we do not focus on it too much, rather we are always busy adding new products to our portfolio. Undoubtedly advertising is vital for a company’s profile, but what we do not indulge in it as much as we should. We make sure that we keep at the consumer advertising instead of the public advertising. What has been the contribution of Mian Tyre towards CSR so far?


We regularly contribute to Shaukat Khanam Hospital and TEDS, which is a school for brilliant students. I strongly believe that CSR should be about helping people and not projecting your company’s profile, so we are rather complacent in this regard. Publicized charity would neither be service to God nor to mankind. | MANAGER TODAY | 47

Pakistan severely lags behind in HRM what are the core competencies that our CEOs and managers must acquire?


The main thing is stability in a line. One should have a substantial career in a specific profession. You cannot expect to become a CEO overnight, but you have to have expertise over three or four jobs for that. And most importantly you should posses the drive, dedication and honesty. Has the economic recession affected your company in any way?


The local conditions do not affect us at all, as a person cannot do without tyre for long. The only thing that affects us is fluctuation in international prices of raw material, since the raw material is imported. International variables are important in this regard. We manage to come out of local pitfalls very easily. Like for the electricity shortage, we have our own power generation system. Please tell us of your own goals and aspirations as CEO.


Sky is the limit, that is what I believe in. It is not just Pakistan but my company has started exporting our products abroad e.g. our products have started reaching Africa now. We have diverse range of tyres except the passenger car radial tyres, which are not being manufactured in Pakistan due to some Government policies that seem to favor the importers, plus it requires an investment of almost 100 million dollars, therefore I think that it would not be worthwhile for our company to ponder over this idea for now. And lastly, I would say that if you are providing high quality products then you can surely run your factory 24/7 in a year and secure substantial profit margin too. How do you keep your responsibilities balanced with your family life?


Since my stay in the US, I have had a habit of working from nine to five and that is still what I do. But the time after five is strictly family time, I make no professional engagements then. What core competencies do you expect to see in our future managers?


What I have seen is that after the captain leaves, the whole a company collapses. What we need to do is to find honest and brilliant people, who are suitable enough for the delegation of power. We can take the example of Dunlop Company, which has been running the business for two hundred years, only because 48 | MANAGER TODAY |

the legacy of business was handed over to worthy people. Therefore, what we really need are professional successors. So have you chosen your professional successor to take over and carry your legacy forward after you?


I think my son could have been my successor, but he is studying business not engineering. However, I am seeking someone who is worthy enough to fit into my profile of growth and success and carry that vision ahead. Define success.


Success is the strength that you possess to reach your aims. Making more friends than enemies in that journey is one’s success. Keeping yourself fit enough to enjoy your accomplishments is also an achievement. Inspiration keeps the struggle alive. Who and what inspires you to keep going?


I think it is the coaching and the guidance from your parents that does not let you quit. And this is the only thing that takes you from good to better and eventually the best. Who is your role model?


There are numerous personalities from different spheres that inspire me. Speaking of philosophy, my mother’s teachings have always inspired me, as she has always taught me to be modest and down to earth. And in the business, I am deeply inspired by Lee Iacocca’s style and progress. n


LEADERSHIP CRISIS 2 0 1 5 Leadership is neither an inborn quality nor can be acquired but it is a choice of any individual who decides to lead his people in a given situation.

When the whole young generation was busy discussing the future of the world after 2012, the big guns of business were talking about the leadership crisis they will face in 2015. Those who lead the market during the 20th century, and even in the first decade of 21st century, would have retired from their respective organizations by then. The question is: Who will replace them? And how will the new lot respond to the crisis that they have never faced before? Whether it is a nation or an organization, only leaders decide the future. Organizations from the whole world have started working on it. There is news roaming around that a few of them are thinking about extending the contracts of the existing leaders, while others are searching for the replacements and energetic backups. Sooner or later, the first ones will also have to change their existing strategy and groom leaders. Only those, who are ready to face this challenge with a better plan, will be able to handle it successfully. Is leadership an inborn quality or can it be acquired? This question has been an old debate and it sounds quite logical this time around. In past, organizations had born leaders only, but the challenge at hand is altogether different now. Organizations do not develop strategies to survive in the market now, instead they are busy acquiring leaders for the future. They 50 | MANAGER TODAY |

develop replacements. But the question is: Who will come forward to fill the gap? Who would like to be trained by the existing leaders? Born leaders do not need formal guidance, but the problem here is that the organizations cannot wait for the born leaders to come forward. Therefore, they will train those individuals who, according to the latest theory, have made a CHOICE to be the leaders. “Leadership is neither an inborn quality nor it can be acquired, but it is the choice of an individual. He who dedicates himself to learn the techniques of leadership and implements them at his workplace, is eligible to be a leader in any organization”, they say. Companies all over the world are investing heaps of dollars in developing leaders. Here are a few highlights: Annual investments by the multinationals: Accenture: $800 million IBM: $700 million McDonald's: $480 million General Electric (GE), $400 million Coca-Cola:$14 million Multinational organizations of Pakistan have also started investing in the development of the leaders. However, they do not have a separate budget for that, so they are investing money in leadership development from the training budget. But what they really need to do is to allocate a separate

budget to develop leaders so that the people and the organizations could make conscious efforts to improve their leadership skills and be fully equipped to handle the expected crisis. They must know what is expected of a leader and what traits he must have in order to get the best out of people. The leaders from the corporate sector of Pakistan are still unaware of these traits. Most of them have a bossy attitude towards their subordinates and there is hardly any point of disagreement between them. They do not exhibit the essential traits of the leaders and carry only one style in all situations. If you CHOOSE to become a leader, then you should be well-aware of the traits of a leader and styles of leadership as well. Traits of a Business Leader: 1. SELF-KNOWLEDGE A leader knows himself well. He is aware of his strengths and weaknesses too. He is clear in his thoughts and the road map. He is self-motivated, positive and optimistic but at the same times he avoids illusions and mysteries. He takes responsibility of his decisions and is accountable to himself first. He analyses the areas that he needs to work on and improves them in a structured way. 2. LEADING FROM THE FRONT Organizations encounter different issues and change the strategies accordingly, they cannot share the reasons to do so with all the employees. Here comes the role of a leader. He needs to come forward, gather the information and share it with the team. And if there is any unexpected change, then he handles that even before the team. 3. FAIR AND FIRM If you are not influential, then you are not a leader. A leader’s presence and words motivate his people to perform well. But those who are popular in their respective teams, they normally hesitate in taking unpopular decisions. A team leader must know the rules, regulations and values of the organization. He should be brave, fair and firm in taking decisions. If any of his subordinates is found guilty, he must refer the case to the Human Resource department. Such decisions convey a very strong message to others and increase

LEADERSHIP STYLES: They do not know the difference, in fact. If you want to make a CHOICE of becoming a leader then you must know the traits of a leader and styles of leadership

According to Kurt Lewin, there are three different leadership styles which a leader needs to practice in a business organization. The descriptions, and where these styles fit best, are discussed below: Authoritarian leaders give a clear outline of what needs to be done, when it should be done and how it should be done. Decision making is less creative under the authoritarian leadership. Abuse of this style usually comprises of controlling, bossy and dictatorial behavior. Authoritarian leadership is best applied to situations where there is a little time for group decision-making or where the leader is the most knowledgeable member of the group.


Participative leaders (also known as Democratic leaders) offer guidance to the group members. They participate in the group and also acquire input from other members. Participative leaders encourage group members to contribute but they retain the final say over the decision-making process. Group members feel engaged in the process and get even more motivated and creative.


a leader’s credibility. 4. NO DEPENDENCE ON RESOURCES OR OTHER AUTHORITIES Leaders never rely on resources or ask for any other authority to perform their duty. They influence people around them and get the required results. Organizations seek to have such leaders who can perform even in unfriendly circumstances. Everything cannot be written in the books and charters. A leader has to understand the need of the hour and perform according to the company’s vision, instead of waiting for the authority to allow him to perform his duty. 5. DOESN’T WAIT FOR THE BEST TEAM Organizations do not hire the people who are unfavorable for them. The hiring criteria and authorities may have flaws and need improvement, but it does not mean that the whole team cannot perform. If the team is unable to give the best performance, then the leader needs to improve first. People are blessed with different strengths. A leader must know what those strengths are and how to utilize them effectively. He defines their roles according to their strengths and works to improve the weak areas too.

6. HELPS THE EMPLOYEES ACHIEVE THEIR DREAMS Employees are more satisfied when they discuss the possibilities of their growth in organization’s hierarchy. They always aspire to go a level up. Help them, guide them, share the possibilities and challenges, strengths and areas of improvement and materialize their dream by implementing the SMART Goals formula. This will help the organization and the leader grow together. 7. KNOWS DIFFERENT LEADERSHIP STYLES FOR DIFFERENT SITUATIONS A common error that the leaders make is that they only have one leadership style in every situation. Not only are such mistakes detrimental to a leader’s image, but they are also against the organization’s benefits. Leaders must know different leadership style and they should be aware of the situations to exhibit them accordingly. AHMED FUAD

is working for Pakistan's largest cellular company, Mobilink, as a Corporate Training Specialist.

Delegative leaders offer little or no guidance to the group members and leave the decisions up to them. This style can be effective in situations where group members are highly qualified in the given area. However, it often leads to poorly defined roles and a lack of motivation.


Neither these leadership styles are good nor bad, but it is the situations which make them so. Leaders should be careful in responding to the situations because their responses have a great impact on the people. The organizations need to focus on training their leaders in order to deal with the expected leadership crisis in 2015. They should also find people who choose to be leaders and train them on different leadership styles to be an effective leader. Handling the crisis in 2015 will not be a difficult task then. n | MANAGER TODAY | 51


Recruitment practices in Pakistan Through online integrated management and clear coordination between HR and other divisions, much of the unsaid troubles could be mitigated. ore or less all businesses in the world are incessantly looking for better ways to recruit smarter brains. Much has been said and written about the factors behind the HR snags. Many companies are considering some innovative ways to impart skills, train, and motivate the employees. Then why are recruitment practices looked up as exalted events in Pakistan, while the turnover for every quarter in the companies, whether engaged in retail, construction, engineering or manufacturing, is much higher. ‘The right man for the right job’ might be the HR hymn then. Candidates are interviewed on the lines of this particular saying. The good or better among the brain pool is offered with the letter. All goes well for the first few months. But slowly, out of nowhere, a pungent smell of dissatisfaction starts to spread across the corporate floor. The functioning style of management, the impressive delegation of work, the manner in which constructive utility of manpower is exercised and the sense of job satisfaction and security are the reliable factors for a lasting cordial relationship with the employer. The distaste initially starts with absenteeism. Staying away from work without permission and the renunciation of bondage with one’s company, both result in discontent. The recruitment team, that had relaxed for a while, suddenly gets into a feverish action and does not stop till the goal is achieved. It has been seen that, on an average, an employee with a rich experience in Pakistan or abroad also shows low enthusiasm and the heat is on the downbeat. Since Pakistan is emerging as a successful entity in the global arena, it has




been an improvement on the economic status of an individual (billing wise as well as growth wise). Many strategies were evolved over a period of 8 to 10 years, but it has not been easy to analyze the psychological changes and attitude of an employee in the long run. A serious thought has to be given to support the human capital more effectively. How good is our Pakistan’s HR system? It is high time that the delivery model was revamped. 90% of the HR activities end up in the routine papers, interviews, reference checks, hiring and firing letters. As these activities swallow a lot of time, HR professionals have little or no time to concentrate on other strategies or to keep abreast of the latest trends in HR. Hence, after a short time, they get stamped as ‘obsolete’. ‘Online integrated management’ is a better remedy as it involves transparency, cost-effective and paperless atmosphere. If this system is put to use in all the organizations in Pakistan, a sound coordination would be achieved among the employees, heads and organizations. Through online integrated management and clear coordination between HR and other divisions, much of the unsaid troubles could be mitigated. With this our HR professionals can progress in redefining HR intelligence. That is when the analysis to identify explorable skills in the employees and to deploy them in the appropriate positions comes in.

This is also the prescription to cut cost, boost performance, motivate and retain employees. Whatever the advancement be, the so called human factors still remain a mystery and cannot be gauged through any profiling tests. The HR professionals also fall in this category, without exemption. They go to extreme lengths in order to set the ball rolling. The mentality of the quitting employees happens to be contagious, but the HR people are caught in the quick sand and still they keep from falling sick and emerge like a ‘phoenix’. Recruiters can only supply the manpower, where the satisfaction that a new employee derives in his work purely rests in the hands of his group mentor. HR builds up a healthy atmosphere in every company, but it cannot always detect and eradicate the latent politics which are the ubiquitous characteristics of human beings. So, are we heading in the right direction? Being proactive in the matters of salary and compensation alone is not the solution to employee turnover, but there is something else beyond it. What is behind the trends of boom, crash, survival, recovery and growth map in the industry? Perhaps it is the human satisfaction that matters ultimately. n HASSAN RAZA

is the Manager of HR at HKB and a member of Board of Trustee at Lahore HR Forum.



EFFECTIVE C COMMUNICATION The hand movements and the clenched fists are the gestures that have universal meanings.


ommunication is around us everywhere and it is the lifeblood of every organization. It is an interpersonal process of sharing knowledge, opinions, expressions, emotions and many other things in the form of speech, symbols, thoughts, signs and body language. Communication involves transmitting information from one person to another. Speaking, listening and the ability to understand verbal and non-verbal meanings are the main skills in it. But most of all, it is the foundation of everything that we do,

we would not be able to perform the everyday tasks without it. When it comes to the work world, whether it is a small or a giant corporation, communication is the only way to run a business smoothly. Without effective communication, messages can get mixed and information can become skewed. Whenever communication occurs between the employees of an organization, we call it ‘internal communication’ and when it is with the people of other organizations, we call

ally ‘communicating’ with such abundant tools? Are we really reaching our listeners or making the difference that we should? How can we actually communicate effectively? The answer to all these questions lies in understanding the difference between communication and effective communication. Out of many types of communication, the two fundamental types are verbal and nonverbal communication. Verbal and Non-verbal Communication There are different modes of communicating like words, voice, language, tone and non-

Whether verbal or non-verbal, good communication is the building block to all human interactions and relationships. Therefore, it is extremely important to develop this skill as much as possible, since your happiness and success depend on it

it ‘external communication’. Effective communication links together all the different activities involved in a business and ensures that all the employees are working towards the same goal and know exactly what they should be doing and by when. Therefore it is a key to successful business. There are thousands of ways to communicate fast like emails, fax, telephones, messages, website, web portals, webinars and podcasting. Today, technology has made it even faster and easier, and yet myriads of ways are emerging every day. But are we re-

verbal cues. Verbal communication is an inseparable part of business communication. According to a modern research: Words are 7 % effective Tone of voice is 38% effective Non-verbal cues are 55 % effective Non-verbal communication includes body language, gestures, facial expressions, eye contact and body postures. Even the way we dress up or stay silent is a kind of non-verbal communication. It is vital for business professionals to realize that most of our communication occurs non-verbally. Because what we say is not as important as how we say it. We need to have knowledge of nonverbal cues, so that we may respond to someone in a way that is suitable to their style and it may enable us to prevent any hostile situation from getting intense. As Indira Gandhi has said, ‘You cannot shake hands with a clenched fist’. Our static features, which include distance, personal space, orientation, posture and physical contact, also provide information. The distance at which we stand from someone conveys a cultural message e.g. it may convey a message of attraction and in some cases a message of status. Personal space is the boundary that we set between ourselves and the others. It reflects our level of

comfort while sending and receiving messages. If we are competitors or co-operators, we may position ourselves face to face or side by side respectively. Our postures convey the degree of formality or relaxation while communicating. Our physical contact of shaking hands, patting or embracing, all these give away a message of intimacy or the lack of it. There are some dynamic features of nonverbal communication. Our facial expressions i.e. the yawns, raised eyebrows, smiles and frowns are continually monitored by the recipient. The hand movements and the clenched fists are the gestures that have universal meanings. The eye contact may signal when to talk or when not to, where its frequency may signal boredom or interest. It may also convey emotion or the lack of it. As a communicator one should be sensitive to the non-verbal cues like tone, pitch, the quality of one’s voice, the dynamic and the static features. Our communication and cooperation improves as we learn to recognize and respond appropriately to the non-verbal cues. Communication Process The communication process starts with aperson who wants to connect with the other person i.e. the sender. The sender interprets the thoughts into various symbols and words, that the receiver can understand, and then transmits the message. The message is then transmitted through a medium such as e-mail, oral or any other written/visual media. Then there is a receiver for whom the message is intended. The last step is the feedback, where the receiver responds to the message conveyed by the sender. Wilbur Schramm (1955) developed the commonly known model of communication process, which broke the process down into five clearly defined consecutive stages or dimensions. These are as follows: 1. The sender has the need to communicate. 2. The need is translated into a message (encoding). 3. The message is transmitted. 4. The receiver gets the message (decoding). 5. The receiver interprets the message and provides feedback to the sender. 6. The critical part of communication is the information which is being transferred. Effective Communication Skills | MANAGER TODAY | 55

‘To communicate effectively, we must realize that we are all different in the way we perceive the world and use this understanding as a guide to our communication with others.’ -Anthony Robbins. Whether it is interpersonal, intergroup, organizational or external, effective communication is an essential component of success. Communication can be simple as well as complex, easy to perform and easy to mess up. In her book called ‘Communication Basics’, Kathy Walker says, ‘We hear only half of what is said to us, understand only half of that, believe only half of that and remember only half of that’. Effective Communication helps build trust and respect, encourages learning and helps in accomplishing goals. To be effective change agents, communication involves the use of following four skills: 1. Leveling 2. Listening 3. Validating 4. The ‘I…’ Statementsement 1. Leveling It is wrong to expect that the other person should know what is in your mind. Misunderstandings or conflicts occur only when one party does not know the importance of information. Effective communication occurs only when both parties know the relevant information. Leveling means to give the other person some feeling instead of expecting him to read your mind. We need to develop a level or uniform playing field in all interpersonal interactions. 2. ‘Listening’: With Relaxed Attention Not only should we hear what is said to us, but we should also process it actively. We should not think about what we are going to say next, rather attention should be paid to what others are saying. When we confront difficult issues, listening becomes more important than speaking or any other form of expression. It is an art and everyone can learn the art of active listening. The key to active listening is ‘relaxed attention’ i.e. listen with your whole body by using verbal and nonverbal skills. Avoid interrupting the speaker. 3. Validating This skill is about acknowledging the thoughts, ideas and feelings of the other person. It is about letting him know that you have heard their opinion and you recognize their thoughts and feelings. 4. The ‘I…’ Statements Half of the effective communication is active 56 | MANAGER TODAY |

“To effectively communicate, we must realize that we are all different in the way we perceive the world and use this understanding as a guide to our communication with others.” Anthony Robbins

listening and the other half is expressing what you think, in a non-defensive and nonoffensive way. And that way is expressing with an ‘I’. It makes you responsible for your wants and feelings, without sounding like you are blaming or attacking the other person. Effective Communication for Leaders ‘The art of communication is the language of leadership’. - James Humes. We think of a good communicator as a good speaker, since they can express themselves clearly with confidence. But this is only half of truth. The key and oft-forgotten component of effective communication for the leaders is listening. If you cannot make an impact

and communicate effectively to your people, then it doesn’t matter if you have information about something. In that case not only you have failed but you have not been felt there too. Communication takes place when others understand what you are trying to get across. And if they don’t understand it, then you are just wasting time. Communication underpins effective leadership and leaders need to be aware of what and how they communicate to others. The most important skill a leader can develop is the listening skill. As F.J Roethlisberger has said, ‘The gateway to communication is to listen for understanding’. Listening for meaning is one of the key components of emotional intelligence. To understand someone else means considering their perspective and their needs, it is only then that the leaders and their followers can move forward and build a solution, a path and a committed partnership. n SANA ALAM

is the Assistant Manager Human Resources at Naseeb Networks, Inc.






herever you work, whether it is private or semi-public organization, small or a large enterprise, regardless of your industry or company, there are people who consider you to be their competitors and all the time they are busy finding ways to rise above you. Sadly, there are no safe havens. As a matter of fact, in business practically nothing goes according to the plan. Strategy dissolves when the first bullet is fired. Expenses shoot up and profit margin goes down. The real aggregate profit margin of the company then lies dangerously close to zero. The phenomenon, such as global competitions, over capacity and decline in demand, help explain these depressing results. The unique edge of most of their products is lost. Competition becomes fierce and the customer can switch easily. But the question is as to how the organizations keep their profit margin? What are the reasonable options available for managers to undertake? Well! Managers undertake three initiatives, usually in parallel.

They cut cost. Invest in innovations and new product development. n Change their marketing strategy. Yes! Cost cutting is the most obvious choice and one of the widely practiced options because it provides the most immediate benefits. But what happens when, as a source of profit growth, cost reduction reaches its limit. How should a company respond when it reaches a level similar to their competitors and even a roughly similar cost structure too? It means that you have done all on the cost side. So, good job done. There is no doubt that innovation accelerates a company’s resource and profit growth and thus helps in escaping from cost and price pressure of the real world. But you cannot always have the kind of innovation you desire. Your in time delivery or product/services innovation requires years to become stable and even then guarantee no success. You do not need to work on it seriously and rigorously. n n

In fact, managers have realized that their revenue and profits will come by redirecting all marketing efforts with an objective to earn more money rather than selling greater volumes of the product. Let’s change our marketing strategy and belief, according to which greater market share will always lead to success in business. We should stop seeking market share achievements at the cost of profit margin. Keep charging premium price while giving excellent quality at the same time. Finally, create synergy among all the departments. Get hold of the statements like, "We can't pull together, we're always pulling separately. There's too much internal friction around here." Get rid of these speed breakers. Bring your company close to peak performance by hiring the peak performers. n GHULAM HUSSAIN is presently associated with COMSATS institute of information technology, Lahore and looks after Development & Placement office. | MANAGER TODAY | 57



akistani society is predominantly marked with sexual dichotomy. There are strict compartmentalized gender roles assigned to both men and women. The traditional patriarchal social structure is embedded in gender bias, which in turn results in gender disparity in literacy too. This strong dichotomy may not be a hindrance to the social freedom of men, but it certainly restricts the access of women to the equal opportunities of education and employment. The social, cultural and traditional taboos on women limit their growth towards their economic development and independence. Women are a vital segment of any society. In a developing country like Pakistan, where women make up 53% of the aggregate of population, one cannot undermine the potentially vital role that they can play in the economic sphere. Pakistan is a country where women possess strong potential for entrepreneurship. This suggests that there exists a huge opportunity to tap the potential of would-be women entrepreneurs, who otherwise face a volley of troubles and criticism when they dare to enter into a business. It has become a pressing need of the hour to empower women economically by creating such employment opportunities which would help generate income so as to enable them to survive and prosper not only for themselves but also for their families and their country. Entrepreneurship is the process of exploring the opportunities by arranging resources, which are needed to exploit these opportunities for a long-term benefit. It is a lengthy process and requires a lot of patience along with the proper use of planning, organizing op-



portunities and assuming them. In a developing country like Pakistan, where women lack the opportunities to prove their business acumen of transforming innovations into economically beneficial ventures, there are a very few organizations to support them financially. Most of the women’s support organizations in the philanthropic sector only offer microcredit and supporting subsistence activities. A few of the NGOs, related to economic empowerment of women, support commercial business but with limited outreach. The financing for women is linked with the founding of enterprises and the improvement of income. NGO programs offer micro-credit to women much more frequently than the RSPs but their overall coverage is very small. However it should be the policy goal of the government to develop a culture of entrepreneurial thinking for women. This can be done in a number of ways: by integrating entrepreneurship into education systems, by legislating to encourage risk-taking and by spreading the message across through national campaigns. An example of the latter is the United Kingdom's Enterprise Week, which launched in 2004. The government should come up with such projects which would enhance the avenues for the elevation of their financial status. Moreover, the government should plan to provide public banking facilities and small scale financing programs for the women with low income in rural areas. Projects to implement training for the management of smallto-medium sized enterprises for illiterate women will support women to build their capacity. The poor gender equity record of Pakistan,

at national, regional and international level, is an outcome of the disadvantaged status of women in our society. The national gender planning in Pakistan has remained hostage and devoid of any true commitment to the welfare approach of women. As a result different factors have restricted them from gaining training in strategic business development, access to credit funds, and assistance with marketing skills. Interestingly, Article 25 of the Constitution of Pakistan (1973) guarantees equality of rights to all citizens irrespective of sex, race and class, hence empowering them. But there is covert discrimination against women’s economic activity as producers and providers of services. Today, women in Pakistan hold high ranking positions as the CEOs and executives. In the recent years there are a number of such women who are setting their footprints to be followed by other females. A few years ago, Dr Shamshad Akhtar has been appointed as the first female governor of the State Bank of Pakistan. Two lady doctors of the Pakistan Army have also risen to the rank of major general. The First Women Bank was founded in 1989 by the Pakistani Government as the first financing organization for women. Women entrepreneurship can prove to be a pathway to prosperity, as it would accelerate economic growth. And there is no doubt that this influx would take Pakistan to a next level. n SADIA WAQAS

The writer is an academic and a journalist.


How a


doctor can multiply his/herPractice There are several ideas that doctors can carry out to increase the traffic of patients passing through their door. All this starts by focusing on customer service and projecting one’s profile appropriately. Question: “Hi Ashraf , I am a gynecologist by profession and presently I am serving at a Government hospital as a Registrar. My family and I have invested substantial time and money in making me a doctor. Although serving ‘dukhi insaniant’ still remains the main objective yet the fact that I have to earn a living for my family cannot be overlooked. I remain at the hospital for 8 hours straight. I spare 6-7 hours in the evening for my private clinic but unfortunately I am unable to attract enough patients. Rest assured, I am a fully competent doctor. I would deeply appreciate it if you could help me in growing my medical practice. Regards Dr. Uzma Butt.” The Answer: “Dear Dr. Uzma, Greetings from Manager Today! I am glad to hear that your passion to alleviate the pain of the people is still intact and I also agree when you say that you want to utilize your spare time and expertise to earn more money for your family. Your problem is not unusual because almost all young doctors face the same challenge in the beginning. I would recommend a two-point formula to multiply your medical practice. i. Get famous ii. Think like an entrepreneur You need to work on your promotional strategy immediately. The more people get to

know you, the more will be the number of patients consulting you. Secondly, think and behave like a businesswoman. It is imperative that you undergo a paradigm shift so as to morph into a businesswoman from a doctor. Medical skills are your product, so treat your patients like clients. Start focusing on the customer service. Attend to their calls no matter how busy you are. Try to convert a patient’s plight into pleasure, so that they start endorsing you to their family and friends. When you will think like a businesswoman, your staff would give a follow-up call to the patients themselves, hence making sure if they have been alleviated or not. I will suggest the following actionable points for your promotion as an expert gynecologist. 1. Sign up for an account on Facebook, make your own page and start building an online community. Always respond to the queries of the members of your community. Share the latest information about your field there. 2. Start blogging immediately. It will give you an edge to be established as an authority on gynecology. 3. Visit girls’ colleges as a guest speaker so as to talk about the career, personal hygiene and their particular problems. Every girl is your future client. 4. Write to the producers of TV channels/FM radios to invite you as guest on their show. Put the video/audio clips of your program on the internet so that it goes viral. Recordings can be played in your clinic’s wait-


ing area too.

5. Write a short weekly column in some paper on the issues of gynecology.

6. Avail every opportunity to stand on the rostrum and share your knowledge with the audience and junior colleagues. 7. Write a two-page newsletter to educate and inform your patients on monthly basis. 8. Build a directory of emails or postal addresses of the patients to stay in touch with them. 9. Conduct a ‘Personal Health Day’ at your clinic twice a year for the women of nearby community. Have an informal talk as well as free check-ups with the participants. For customer service I would recommend the following points: 1. Make an excel sheet of your patients’ mobile numbers and dates of birth. Text them wishes for special occasions. Make them feel that you care about them. 2. Make a follow-up call after a week of the patient’s visit, so as to know if your prescription has worked or not. You can charge money for the services rendered. If the patient was not alleviated then make the next visit free of charge or reimburse them. 3. Send a bouquet along with a best-wishes card to every couple who is blessed with a newborn child. It will cost you money but the return will last for life. Medical profession is one of the fastest evolving fields. You need to upgrade your knowledge continuously and that can be achieved by reading journals, online newsletters and attending conferences. If your knowledge is not updated and your patients are not getting the value for money, no matter how famous or caring you are, things will not work. The sustainability of your business depends on how satisfied your patients are. Raise an army of one hundred satisfied clients in just one year, its chain reaction will be ginormous. My best wishes for you and your clients.” n ASHRAF CHAUDHRY is Pakistan’s renowned Sales Trainer. He has worked for more than 15 years for multinationals and local blue-chip companies in sales & marketing department. | MANAGER TODAY | 59

60 CORPORATE EVENTS 'JUNIOR WORLD ENTREPRENEURSHIP FORUM' Lahore School of Economics hosted 'Junior World Entrepreneurship Forum', held on November 5, 2011. The Forum focused its reflections on our world issues, identifying best practices and innovative solutions implemented by entrepreneurs. It mobilized entrepreneurs of all kinds, willing to address our world’s challenges with an entrepreneurial approach.




TIME & STRESS MANAGEMENT Mr. Ijaz Nisar, a renowned Corporate Trainer, successfully conducted his 50th Session on “Time & Stress Management” on October 22, 2011 at Royal palm Golf & Country Club. It was a Customized Training Program for Azgard9, a vertically Integrated Textile Company specialized in manufacturing yarn, denim fabric and garments, which are marketed at global level.

Mr. Ijaz Nisar moderating the session

Participants keenly listening to the presentation

Ms. Fazeelat, Irfan Aslam, Zahid Zaffar, Allah Nawaz , Azeem Qureshi, Faheem

Group activity

Adnan Faiz, Khalid Usman, Tahir Ali Khan

Group photo of the participants with Mr. Ijaz Nisar



Syed Jibran Ali (Chief Commercial Officer), Naeem Zamindar (Chief Executive Officer)

Tahir Malik Chairman Trafco elected as a Chairman of ACAAP

Sohaib Shaikh (Head of Marketing)


Public Speaking & Confidence Building Workshop with

SIDRA IQBAL Manager Today collaborated with Blinck (a Youth Resource Group) and had an Exclusive ‘Public Speaking and Confidence Building Workshop’ with internationally acclaimed speaker and trainer Sidra Iqbal at Avari Hotel, Lahore. This particular workshop was designed to encourage the participants to banish their fear of audience or public speaking and face them with poise and style so that it could help open doors to wondrous career opportunities and a brighter future for them. The workshop proved to be really valuable and meaningful under the perfect moderating skills and creative fire power of Sidra. It had some activities and thinking exercises for the participants, which served to engage them mentally while facing the public at the same time. Participants were given individual as well as group activities that were very different from those of other run-of-the-mill workshops. Manager Today aims at the development of youth in corporate area whereas Blinck aims to initiate programs and activities of substance for youth training and development, and this collaboration provided a point that was worthy to start with. n


64 CORPORATE EVENTS 2011 WORLD BUSINESS FORUM Navitus, a leading management consulting firm in Pakistan, joined hands with HSM last year to represent the World Business Forum (WBF) in the Pakistani Market. WBF is the largest gathering of Senior Executives in the world. Every year 5,000 executives from 60+ countries access the brightest minds in Leadership, Management, Politics and Economics. The event takes place annually in New York City during the month of October. The World Business Forum has been ranked Number One among the world's top five most influential venues for CEO's and C-Suite executives. It has also been acknowledged as the #1 best new forum by Burson Marsteller, a leading global public relations and communications firm. Kamran Rizvi, founding director of Navitus, attended WBF last October and also this year, with his colleague, Shireen Naqvi. Inspiring ideas and leadership lessons from global thought leaders like A. G. Lafley, Howard Shultz, Al Gore, Martin Lindstrom, Daniel Lamarre and others made the experience enriching and highly rewarding.

MAH-E-TAMAM POETRY RECITAL “Mah-e-tamam�, an international Urdu poetry recital, was organized in Bahrain recently. Mr Khalid Sharif, who is an internationally renowned Urdu poet from Pakistan and the founder of Mavra Publishers and Mavra Books, was also present at that gathering of poetry and discussions. Besides interacting with many intellectuals he also met Mr.Saeed Qais during his visit there, where Mr. Saeed is a celebrated and senior poet from Bharain.




Ijaz Nisar, The Facilitator

Developing Manager & Leader in you Leading Edge, a renowned corporate training firm, is a project of Manager Today Magazine and is actively engaged to bring a “Transformational Change” in Pakistan. “Developing Manager & Leader in YOU” is an Intensive Training Program, which is regularly being organized by Leading Edge Consultancy for the last 4 years. This twoday training program was last conducted on September 29-30, 2011 at Royal Palm Golf & Country Club. Mr. Ijaz, the facilitator of the training session, successfully covered the whole contents and focused on SMART Goal Setting, 10 ways to Set Effective Goals, Conflict Resolution Skills, Emotionally Intelligent Teams, Grooming the Replacement, What should you Delegate?, Manager vs Leader, Discovering your Managerial Leadership Style, Laws of Motivation, Techniques to Control Stress & Anger, How to Motivate Your Staff? and Removing the De-Motivators. The training had group activities, role-play exercises and surprise gifts. More than 15 industry professionals, including Askari Bank, Bank Al-Habib, MCB, Forensic Medical, Allied Marketing, Guard Rice, APSTA International and Azgar9, attended the session.Certificate distribution ceremony was held at the end of the session and a book of “Successful Managers of Pakistan” was presented to the best performer all through the two-day training. n | MANAGER TODAY | 65

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