INSPIRE Jan-Mar 2011

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Issue 9 Jan-Mar 2011

A Quarterly for Telenor Pakistan Employees

New Year, New Beginnings Tales of change and progress

Jon’s Journey

Fondest memories at TP


Credits Editors-in-chief:

Editorial Board:


Pool of Contributors

Anjum Rahman Affan Haider

Adil Waheed Farhan Uddin Muhammad Khan Hina Iqbal Mohsin Hassan Ansari Mariam Hussain Randhawa Maira Zaheer Saman Saleem Farooqi

Ayesha Sajid with Vantage

Ahmed Anas, Deena Khan, Iram Umair Akhtar, Memoona Qadeer, Omar Moeen Malik, Palwasha Sherin Khan, Sohaib Mustafa,Tania Khan, Umair Altaf, Umer Jamal, Uzair Alvi, Waseem Ahmed Khan


Salim Khan Associate Editor:

Ayesha Sajid

Letter from the

Editor Hi there,

Anyone can make a fresh start anytime of the year. Traditionally though, New Year’s Day is when most of us wake up to the beginning of a whole year, allowing us to chart our careers and personal lives as we would want. And so it is with this year’s first issue of INSPIRE. Whereas New Year’s resolutions may not excite us anymore – trite as they may sound – the INSPIRE team has tried to go beyond only publishing excited pledges of exercising or eating more organic food. The result is our cover story.

The stories provide for a fascinating insight into this year’s plans of some extremely talented individuals. These are people who have decided to build on what they started out to do, and to move on to the next level. That they may be a notch better than the rest of us shows in their clarity of purpose and long-term commitment to their year-long plans.

Win an iPod Shuffle!

To celebrate our second birthday, INSPIRE brings to you an opportunity to win exciting prizes!

But to those of us who would prefer to read what their colleagues’ New Year’s resolutions are, go straight to page 17!

Here’s what you need to do. First, identify ten words which have been highlighted in this issue. And then, use any one of them to describe yourself in a sentence. Make it funny, creative, inspiring or just plain different.

Till the next issue,

That’s it!


Remember, both steps are necessary to participate. All ten highlighted words must be identified and a one-liner describing yourself emailed to us at

Salim Khan

The five best entries will win iPod Shuffles, and pictures of the winners and their entries published in our next issue.

Editor PS: This issue also marks INSPIRE’s 2nd birthday. To celebrate we’re running an exciting competition. Check out details on how you can win.

So hurry! Write in, right now for your chance to be a winner! Competition closes May 1, 2011.



Adil Waheed

Sana Rizwani

If you are looking for the biggest fan of ‘Transformers’, you must meet Adil Waheed. A die-hard fan of Jessica Alba and Megan Fox, Adil calls himself a movie buff. A regular INSPIRE contributor from Finance, he keeps his worklife balance tediously scheduled between office and an Executive MBA program. He often surprises friends with home-made pasta when they are visiting. For Adil life begins at 40, and a Ford Mustang is the ride he dreams of.

Known for her easy-going personality, Sana Rizwani is a regular contributor to INSPIRE. A food lover and proud of her taste buds, Sana has tried nearly every restaurant in Islamabad, Lahore and Karachi. Ironically, she is mostly found trying to diet over a big piece of chocolate cake. In her alone time, she loves to catch up on her reading and watching sitcoms and soaps. Sana believes that the solution to Pakistan’s problems lies in increasing the education ratio. Her support lies with multiple projects such as ‘Teach for Pakistan’ and ‘Parhay ga Pakistan’. Her dream is to open an animal shelter some day.


Rock Star Night

Employees dress

up for the night

The venue was Dream World Resort. The occasion S&SC South Team’s Away Day. The theme Rock Star Night. The result: A Night to Remember. Just getting out of the office and spending a few days off work with colleagues is thrilling enough. But give Arsalan Najmi (the coordinator) to manage an away day for S&SC South and you’ll be blown away. Rock Star Night was unforgettable. Participants were given all the essential attire: bandanas, gothic jewelry, t-shirt, peeloff tattoos -- all the paraphernalia you’d need to be a real rock star. And the line-up was incredible: Zainul-Abadin, Jhoot Band, Rizwan Mirza and Mahreen Sayyal & The Disaster Dance Group (who were a riot!) with comedian Kashif Khan acting as host/MC. A few brave colleagues climbed onto the stage and sang the TP version of ‘Yaro Yehi Dosti Hai’. Dreamworld was such a dream. The entire team participated in all the activities: dirt-biking, horse-riding, boating, and laser tagging being the most popular. “It was one of our best days at Telenor Pakistan,” says a participant. The smiles are bound to last the whole year through.

On air

Muhammad Fawaz (pictured above) is a radio jockey on SACHAL FM 105. For him, there is nothing like the rush that he experiences right before he goes on air. INSPIRE got a chance to chat with Fawaz about his hobby. INSPIRE: What made you become an RJ? (With a smile) I think I have the required personality traits. With a positive attitude, a good voice and a solid knowledge of music, I am definitely cut out for the role. INSPIRE: What is the show about? Is it a live show? Yes, it is a live music show called Better Living Style. People can call in, ask questions and give ideas and tips. The most fun parts are the live calls because you get to talk to so many people. INSPIRE: What kind of music do you play? Themes, requests and moods determine what is played. I have my own selections but these also depend on the weather and the time of the day. INSPIRE: What is the most fun thing about being an RJ? People recognizing you by your voice and being able to share their opinions. Nothing compares to that. INSPIRE: How has becoming an RJ changed you? This is one experience that has brought out skills that I never knew I had! Now I have greater confidence, better social links and so much recognition.



Seventeen pit-stops around the world St. Augustine once said that the world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page. Passionate about travelling and insatiably curious to discover the world, Muhammad Moosa decided that he wanted to read the book. And so began an extensive travel plan. Seventeen countries on the map were marked out, and once the visas were stamped and the tickets booked, Moosa took off on the journey. He remembers his flight to Makkah as a journey of excited anticipation. “My stay in Makkah was the most soul-refreshing experience of my life,” he recalls.

Next up on Moosa’s list were Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore, a journey that he laughingly named ‘The Beach Trip’. Phuket, Phi-Phi Island, James Bond Island and Maya Bay are great for relaxing, he says. Thailand is also a fantastic place for shopping as you can find excellent bargains. “I also got a chance to see Cyprus, the third largest island in the Mediterranean, also an amazing lesson in history for those interested,” he adds. “Europe was a completely different experience. In one go, I visited the UK, Germany, Italy, Luxemburg, Switzerland, Spain, France,

A man of courage

Ireland, Austria, and Turkey. It is quite something to see the parks in Europe as they have so much more to offer: their rides, thematic areas and restaurants are such a great pull.” After Europe, Moosa flew to North Africa and the Middle East. “Sandy beaches in Egypt and Dubai after Europe! Imagine the contrast,” he grins. “Makes you appreciate the wonders of the world so much more.” “It was the perfect end to my adventure as I basked in the weather and enjoyed plentiful camel rides,” he says. “A truly memorable trip. I am definitely ready for more!”

Waseem Ahmed Khan (pictured left) had just cleared his army ISSB exam with flying colors. He was also playing cricket for a local club. And then he lost his right arm in an accident of fate.

“I can only marvel at his courage and will to go on,” she says. “He can joke about just anything; he loves making people laugh.”

Running a little late for an evening practice session, he had taken the train that day. Hurriedly trying to catch up on lost time, he had jumped off as the train slowed down near the station. A slight slip of balance and he had fallen on the track. As his reflexes kicked in, he pulled himself up, but only seconds too late. His right forearm had been completely crushed.

Waseem does not appreciate it when people give him special treatment. For him, will power and dignity are his biggest assets, and he believes in himself now more than he ever did.

The doctors had told his father that the arm had become septic and they would not be able to carry out the much-needed micro surgery. Amputation was his only hope.


With dreams to join the army and a passion for sport, Waseem has emerged from this unfortunate incident with so much positivity that it is incredible, says his colleague, Tania Khan.

“I taught myself to write with my left hand within a month as I had exams to take,” he says. “The experience has taught me that great things are possible only if you believe in yourself.” One year on, recovered, and with an eye on the future, Waseem is set to go places.

h2h speaks


Salman Saleem (pictured right) is one face behind h2h who has plenty to say about the application that is the lifeline for most of our business requests.

Aye Captain! You cannot discover new oceans unless you have the courage to lose sight of the shore. It was December 3 when the S&SC Segments & Postpaid team lost sight of the shores of the Arabian Sea. It was cold but with their life-jackets on, the team was ready to rock ’n’ roll. “Team! You can do this!” shouted Gauhar Hassan over the wind as they sailed out. “Remember we have always been second to none, we will continue to set trends!” They sailed out and then began a roll of water sports activities that lasted two days. “We jet-skied, we rode the banana boat, we sailed the skies. We did it all,” Memoona Qadeer recalls with a smile. “And then we experienced some frights along the way,” she remembers. It happened when they were taking turns in the banana boat. Suddenly, one

Noman Jabir, Ali Ibad, Farrukh Sheraz

of the speedboat riders pointed towards three team members and shouted, “Look! They’re sinking!” And yes, they were. Noman Kabir, Farrukh Sheraz and Ali Ibad had been under for no longer than a few seconds before they were pulled out. Wet and cold, they laughed as they got out of the water and were instantly ready to go back for more.

“With every passing day, h2h is becoming our identity, our brand,” he says. “A lot like adrenaline -- the hormone that helps to increase heart rate – so is h2h, which keeps our daily operations running smoothly.” h2h is immediately recognizable. “The moment we introduce ourselves as members of the h2h team, the recall is instantaneous. We often hear from employees who want so much more out of h2h.” Salman loves contributing to the application but at the same time, it is also a challenge. “We are always

Salman wants to see h2h grow beyond Telenor Pakistan and

Zeeshan Abbas and Abdul Qadir Kharadi were the most successful aboard the banana boat, and were met with applause once they emerged from their grand cruise. Memoona loved parasailing of everything she did. “All of us sailed 300 feet high. Imagine the rush!” she says smiling. With a captain steering them through it all, they believe that without his timely shouts, they could never have done so well. running against time; launching a module is one of our biggest challenges. It’s like sending your child for the first time on to a stage, and then worrying how well he or she will perform,” he says with a laugh.

a ir Kharadi, Memoon Clock wise: Abdul Qad , Ali Ibad, Noman raz Qadeer, Farrukh She as Jabir, Zeeshan Abb

“Our purpose is to enable people, and in our constant quest for excellence, we will continue to help them do their jobs better through improved business ways. And Employee Services is the gateway to that goal.”

Salman believes that h2h is headed toward greater things, under the umbrella of Employee Services.

spread to other OpCos, to bring them greater benefits. “With h2h, my dreams have also grown bigger as I realize the kind of things that can be made possible.” Kudos to Salman and h2h for making our lives so easy!



The winter we Hiking through one of the top ten tracks of the world coupled with a treasure hunt and hours spent in kite flying, Umair Altaf calls his Away Day a wow experience. Deena Khan

Dr. Fatima Raza

Will pink make her think? For every nine women in Pakistan, one will suffer from breast cancer at some point in her life. Whether she survives or not depends on how soon she finds out. Awareness is key. To show support to those affected by the condition, the women of Telenor Pakistan’s Islamabad office decided to wear pink for a day. They dedicated October 20 as Pink Day and invited Health, Safety & Environment’s own in-house Dr Fatima Raza to tell them about detection and prevention.

Over a very informal setting and tea and cookies she told 50 women participants about the common myths and different types of tests that need to be performed. We all gaped at how patients had the highest chances of survival, provided a woman was aware and conscious of the steps to take following detection. Awareness is empowering, and in this case can save a life. To get more information on the disease, please contact the Health Care unit at

MOHAA moment of victory Muhammad Bilal Khattak loves MOHAA – the computer game that needs you to be on your toes when you play. He talks about the game as a passion he cannot usually find time for but is thrilled when a chance presents itself. “It was simply amazing when I got a chance to play the MOHAA championship tournament in RO Peshawar this quarter,” he says. “We were 25 players from different departments with a single goal. And while it was a tough run, we had the time of our lives!” he recalls.


For the first round of the tournament, the players played in teams after which began the solo round called the ‘Royal Rumble’. The solo game was played on a knock-out basis until six contestants

were left. And then began a series of contests among the last six survivors. “We played a Best of Five and there was silence in the room as we challenged each other in a virtual world,” Bilal remembers.

Risk Assurance Management took off for their Away Day to Bhurban and had what they call a winter weekend fiesta. Jam-packed with one fun activity after another, the team enjoyed some great times in the mountains. “As we hiked and looked for clues, the hunt reminded me of our work.” says Umair with a grin. “Digging into nooks and crannies, searching under, over and around places, trying to find a hidden nugget of gold is very familiar, isn’t it?” he says, looking at his team members with a twinkle in his eyes. The hike was 8200 ft high and stretched from Doonga Gali to

“A nail-biting wait for those who were watching. I won the championship 4-1, an incredible victory for me and a great confidence booster. “I cannot forget the pressure during the game. Right in the middle I thought I was going to lose but presence of mind and quick reflexes kept me going,” he says. Kudos to Telenor Social Club for arranging fun activities in the regions. And more power to Bilal!

The Team


eekend fiesta Ayubia and covered four kilometers. Hassan Amjad loved the experience. He likens the trip through mountains, sunshine and trees to a slice of heaven on earth. “I could do it all over again, anytime,” he says. On the last day of the trip, the team went kite flying to Nathia Gali. An ardent kite flyer, Hassan Hafeez thought it was an incredible idea. “I never thought I would fly a kite 7700 feet off the ground! An ‘uplifting’ experience after the usual Basant in Lahore,” he says. Divided into four teams, everyone took a shot at flying kites. As they fought for control in the windy weather and laughed over the kites they lost, they made some unforgettable memories. -Bushra Khurshid Malik

internet.more’s Most Wanted

(From top to bottom) Internet patro l arrives at Rendezvous looking for the five fugitive characters; on the loose; Jack Sparrow has been The five characters are seen; His photographs have been taken by the crowd and are being uploaded to the site; Simultaneously Maula Jat has been spotted and is being captured on camera; The activity continues.

Onlookers are always awestruck at the sight of a new-born baby, but no one remembers the noisy ordeal the poor mother goes through to make it happen. Such was my experience. Although I was not the mother but ‘internet.more Most Wanted’ project is the fruit of the labor of many. I being the kitten among the cats took it upon myself to act anxious all the time. I was pushed into the meeting room (read labor room) by my seniors on the second day of my job a few months back. What ensued involved a lot of running around, a lot of hair pulling, and a lot of meetings. Coming up with a solution was the call and we were to do this with an element of beauty and innovation as is normal for all marketing activities. I wanted to find the person who had told me marketing was easy. Seriously. After much ado, we came up with an idea. And I must say, they don’t lie about the Telenor culture. True to the word, everyone was extremely helpful, especially the ‘big boys’ from Marketing. I don’t believe anyone was expecting the response we received during the pilot of the activation. I showed up late at Civil Junction (an eating hangout for Islamabad youngsters) only to be received by the broad smiles of the team. It was like thunder without the rain and rumbling. Kids were going crazy clicking their cameras, chatting, laughing, and generally having fun. We all felt relieved that night. The idea had become something real. The race is on to get more people to internet.more!

– Ali Raza Syed




awab is a lively, mischievous 11-year-old at the Idara-eTaleem-o-Agahi (ITA) Child Drop-In-Center (DIC) in Rawalpindi. His family was displaced from Swat and ever since he has been ragpicking to help out at his father’s tandoor for the past five years.

Smile with a child

“Promise you will come next weekend?” is the one question he unfailingly asks every Saturday of Palwasha Sherin Khan, who volunteers at the center. The same words are echoed by the children at the other ITA centers in Islamabad, Rawalpindi and Lahore where Telenor Pakistan employees chip in a few hours of volunteer work every Saturday. Muhammad Usman Hasan and Sara Usman have loved their experience so far. “We get the children color pencils and coloring activity sheets which they really enjoy. The most rewarding is when we arrange a magic show for them. We bring back so much with us from our sessions, it would be hard to put it into words,” says Sara with a smile.

(From left to right) Muhammad Usman Hassan, Chaudhry Shahid Ali, Sara Usman, Ahsan shamim, Palwasha Sherin Khan, Ahmad Amin and Fahad Ali Shah

INSPIRE talks to the volunteers from North and Central who have been spending their time with the street children at the Agahi Drop-In-Centers. Their experiences have changed for good the way they looked at the world and have left them with the will to do more. 8

Atif Sheeraz Khan Lodhi, another volunteer at one of the centers, did not expect the children to be so talented. “I am surprised to see how brilliant these kids are! All they need is a bit of support to become a valuable part of the community. It really is that simple,” he says.

Karl’s Top Five Karl Erik Broten likes to eat at Cave, BBQ Tonight and Monal.

Karl’s top five meals are: 1. Biryani

2. Karahi Chicken 3. Tikka Boti 4. Nihari 5. kheer

GET TO KNOW Their innocence is lost and, in turn, all hope. “We must come forward and play our role to bring back the childhood that all children deserve, especially those who live in our own communities,” he says. Extending a little help in his own capacity is Sheikh Basit from Telenor Pakistan who volunteers at the Agahi Drop-In-Center in Lahore. p-In-Center

h at the Lahore Dro

Abdul Basit Sheik

Ahmad Amin, a volunteer at a DIC, spent the first day of 2011 with the students, organizing a Picture Day, showing them pictures of famous buildings and teaching them history. He calls it a beginning he will remember for a long time. “What do you want most for 2011?” asks Palwasha of the children at the Rawalpindi center. “To visit Islamabad just once,” says Neelum wistfully, a 10-year-old who helps her grandmother clean houses after the center closes each day. Chaudhary Shahid Ali, after his experience with volunteering, has realized that children lose out on a normal life when they are compelled to work for a living.

“My aim is to act as a guiding figure and help uplift their morale using informal storytelling sessions. Just looking into their eyes and giving them a compassionate smile fills them with hope. That in itself is my reward,” he says. Ahsan Shamim sums up the experience of volunteering best when he says, “Initially, my wife and I had considered this as an opportunity to give back to society, but this whole experience has changed the way we think. We thought we would teach them something. In reality they taught us about how simple acts of kindness add value to society. We thought we were there to boost their morale. In fact, it is them who bring the good to us. We realize all this only when we reach out; when we extend a hand and with that some hope to the children of our community.” It costs about Rs 10,500 per month to support a center. If you wish to contribute toward this cause and ensure these children continue to get an education, please email

INSPIRE chats with the Network Operations Center or NOC who call themselves the eyes and ears of Telenor Pakistan. We asked them: 1. What does the department do? NOC is responsible for smooth operations of Telenor Pakistan’s network 24/7. It monitors the network using remote access to all network elements via various fault- and performancemanagement tools. The team’s responsibility is to ensure that real-time network issues are addressed and resolved on time. They do this in coordination with field and backend teams. Needless to say, the task at hand for NOC is enormous and highly sensitive. In addition to real-time fault management, the NOC Quality team ensures that our network sustains its quality. NOC Customer Support Services (CSS) works in parallel with the NOC team and is responsible for handling user complaints in the IT and Technical domains. It provides first-line maintenance to all single user and bulk complaints that escalate from CRD/ S&SC’s and Franchise Support. NOC CSS works 24/7. 2. How is it important for the company? NOC is a business-critical unit. It is responsible for fault

management of all networkrelated issues. In many cases faults are rectified even before the customer realizes degradation. Telenor Pakistan’s network stability largely depends on timely resolution of issues from NOC, which in turn results in customer satisfaction. 3. What is the immediate goal? NOC’s immediate goal is flawless network surveillance round the clock, real-time fault escalation and proper follow-up of issues till resolution. NOC is also the owner of change control management for all network elements. Over the past two years we have been able to reduce half the workload through automation; our target is to reduce it further. 4. What is the biggest challenge? The biggest challenge is to maintain high network quality during the current power crisis and the prevailing security challenges in the country. We believe that this is only achievable by balancing our workload through continuous process optimization and 9 system automation.

STRATEGY For this they carry out: • Assessment of competence gaps • Execute training courses

Another first for TP: Technology Competence Development makes waves

INSPIRE catches up with TCD to ask them about their achievements, exciting beginnings and future plans. Technology Competence Development (TCD) has only recently become part of Organizational Excellence but since the very beginning the department has been setting precedence for excellence. A testament of that is the recently awarded recognition of ISO 10015-1999, a quality management standard for training. Telenor Pakistan became the first company in Pakistan to receive this recognition. Having begun operations in August 2009, TCD are proud of their successful run in a year’s time. And what a run it has been.

A sneak peek behind the scenes TCD has been busy for the past one year. Looking at process improvement and system development, ideas have become projects and then initiatives. What does the TCD team do? To answer this, we took a sneak peek into their responsibility functions. One key area for the department is Functional Competence Development of divisional personnel.


TCD looks into the development of motivational initiatives and sets rewards for top performers. They build custom-made personnel development plans. They also formalize employee profiles and job descriptions for development plans. Sounds fun but also challenging? Ahmed Anas, Competence Development Specialist, agrees. “I have seen ideas become reality and it has been so rewarding.” TCD portal: Evaluating, rewarding and knowledge sharing The initiatives launched by the department include the Technology Competence Development Portal, an intelligent online management system. “It has only been completed 30% while the rest is under development,” says Anas. An important function of the TCD portal is maintaining employee profiles and hierarchy. Another is the Telenor Employee Recognition Program (TERP) which rewards employees based on their performance and achievements. Last but not the least, is the Technology Knowledge Sharing Program. The program helps develop a team of specialist trainers who can provide customized courses whenever required. The first batch of 18 trainers has already been certified internally for 16 functional courses. So what’s next? Umair Akhtar, Assistant Manager TCD believes that the unit is headed towards synergy of the framework at the Group level. “The vision behind the move to Organizational Excellence is to spread out the TCD model across the organization. Once fully operational in Telenor Pakistan, we can take the framework to the Group level, ensuring synergy in human capital development across the board.”

The brainchild of Khalid Shehzad, Chief Technology Officer, TCD came together with the vision to take capacity, performance and development to new heights. Not willing to fall short, the strategy of the department focuses on competency framework, and a knowledgerich environment. A big claim for most but one that has already been set in motion for TCD. A wide-range of training courses has been planned for 2011 through the Technology Knowledge Sharing Program.

• Evaluate effectiveness and return on investment

Technology Competence Development Team


INSPIRE asked Jon about his time at Telenor Pakistan and some of his fondest memories

Your funniest moment at TP… When we played a prank on Lars Christian and saw Ahmed Jawad get the full force of Lars’ fury before he found out, it was a joke! Biggest challenge at TP… To keep a positive and ‘can do’ attitude in the face of relentless hurdles and challenges. Favorite Pakistani dish is… Chicken Biryani Pakistan is.. …full of potential


pic First

Proudest moment in TP… When we won the ‘Best Performing Group Company’ in 2010 recognition for the team that had performed in tough conditions.

Speak in Wome g at the De v n event of Tomorro eloping w

at TP

One thing you would like to go back and change... I would visit the gym more often. I had a chance to improve my health and found endless excuses not to. Celebrating easypaisa launch

Having lunch with employees in the café

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re y Ca bad a e Da of th za Islam h c n e lau Paris Pla h t t t A er a Cent

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A song that sums up your TP experience… ‘Home’ by Michael Buble. The lyrics are more about my feelings being away from my wife and children. Most awkward moment… Launch of easypaisa and giving a statement in front of 30 microphones. Speaking in English in a fully Urdu environment. My TP colleagues should… …continue to leverage the culture and way of work we have. We have proven it is the sustainable difference.

Getting to know the faces behind a Sales & Service Center

The one thing you will miss about Pakistan… Never-ending challenges and opportunities. Most memorable moment at TP… Launching easypaisa. What a blitz in the media and market we had! One of a kind! The Urdu words you like saying the most… Karo Mumkin

With his driver

Telenor Pakistan is… …firmly embedded in my heart, soul and memories. I will miss my TP family. 11


New Year New Beginnings

INSPIRE talks about new beginnings in the company and finds out

Kashif Hafeez leaves for Oz

In his sixth year at Telenor Pakistan, Kashif was recently admitted to the University of Melbourne, Australia for a two-year Master’s degree, fully-funded by the AusAid Scholarship Program. With firm belief in corporate responsibility, Kashif has taken a new step in his life. How do you feel about getting the scholarship? “I remember going to the Australian Education Office around eight years back, and wistfully picking up the University of Melbourne brochure. The AEO officer had dashed my hopes when he had said that I could not afford it. Little had I known that, a few years later, I would be able to fulfill this dream -- on a scholarship! It is truly humbling to receive this opportunity.” What kind of a future do you foresee? “I believe this will be a daunting challenge that will reinforce my belief in myself. I will definitely come back to Pakistan as I am a strong advocate of community development and want to bring back international expertise to my country.” 12

Tughral Turab Ali finds meaning

Tughral works in the very happening Financial Services Division on an exciting new business opportunity. With training from Bilingual Acting Workshop in Paris, he has been doing theater for 14 years and has to his name 25 plays performed in the UK, France and Pakistan. 2011 has brought Tughral a new purpose in life. What is different about your plan for 2011? “My plan includes doing a few plays this year in Urdu, with each play highlighting social issues. The first is going to be La Tartuffe. We have already begun the groundwork and I am really grateful to Alliance Francaise d’Islamabad for their support. The play is scheduled to be in theaters in April.” What brought this about? “The political and social turmoil in Pakistan has convinced me to adopt theater in 2011 as a means of a social message. I believe theater is a means to communicate with people, and I really want to reach people and bring them a sense of relief, a smile and some hope.”


what the plans are for 2011. Shahshams Zaheer plans a run Shahshams is with the internet. more team in VAS. With 30-plus concerts that he has arranged in Islamabad and Lahore, it is obvious the he harbors a love for event management. He was president of the Music Society at LUMS, and was also the founding member of LUMS Olympiad. Shahshams has a plan for 2011 that he calls ‘The Run of a Lifetime’. What are you planning to do? “The plan is to organize a ‘relay marathon’ in Islamabad. Anyone can join our Facebook page. Through the page, we are looking to gauge public interest and the most suitable distance. Once entries are in, a course will be created where each person will run the required distance with a flag of Pakistan, and upon completion will pass the flag to the next participant. This relay would continue till the entire course is completed. I am working on funds and have planned this in April 2011.” Why a marathon? “I believe in collective action. Collective action is what the country needs most at the moment. I want this to be a strictly nonprofit venture, to be built by the investment of time and effort of citizens.”

Memoona Qadeer ‘makes a wish’

Memoona is with the Sales & Service Center team. She joined ‘Make A Wish Pakistan’ to extend hope to those children battling disease and death. ‘Make A Wish’ granted more than 100 wishes in 2010. A senior volunteer, she finds life in the smiles of the children who are terminally ill. She, too, has a plan for 2011. What are your plans in 2011? I will continue as a senior volunteer with MAW, host their events, and train the new joiners voluntarily. I also have plans for promotion and PR. For this, I am approaching publications and writing about the NGO. I also have a musical event planned in October for fund raising and media hype. I am currently working with donors to arrange the funds for this. What made you want to do this? “Imagine the joy a granted wish could bring a terminally-ill child! It made me cry and it made me laugh when Abdul Basit, a patient of thalassemia major, was doing tough drills with Punjab Regiment, a wish that he had, a wish that was granted, the wish that he wanted to join the army. Gen. Ashfaq Pervez Kiyani let him join Pakistan Army for a day with all due benefits. How can I not want to do something like this?” 13


Saad Zaman, the author, again

Saad is part of the Technology Strategy team and has been working with telecommunications for the past 12 years. He has been one to keep an eye on upcoming trends in the industry and recently shared the knowledge he has acquired by writing about it. He has published two books: ‘Wireless Communications Evolution to 3G and Beyond’ and ‘Next Generation Mobile Communications Ecosystem.’ 2011 brings continuity to his newfound passion for writing and so much more.

Muhammad Ayub Khan reaches out

Ayub works with Safety & Security South. He is a martial arts taekwondo expert and has also worked as an instructor for the army, police and Rangers. Last year, Ayub devised a plan with his colleagues Tania Khan and Tooba Zafar to work on a major project: Educating children in his community. How did you go about it? “We took the lead and got in touch with private and government schools in Shah Faisal. After a detailed assessment of the needs of the children, we decided to work on a number of fronts. There are multiple issues -- theft, poor maintenance and poverty being the main ones. Children cannot even afford stationery.” What’s the plan? “We are providing stationery to the entire student body of 100 for the whole year. We are also in talks with donors to sponsor 15 children who are unable to afford the Rs350 school fee; so far the response has been encouraging. We are also in talks with the local town Nazim for support and will be visiting the schools three times a year to keep a check on how they are doing.”


What made you become an author? “I have a desire to seek and share knowledge. I enjoy research, primarily outside the boundaries of academia, and am planning to continue writing technology papers and books as this helps me reach a wide audience that one cannot even imagine doing otherwise.” How do you go about it? “Long-term thinking and passion for technological advancements are essential for writing technologyoriented books and papers. I research and survey the trends before I begin writing, and try to keep up-to-date to foresee future patterns.”

TalkShawk gets a new tagline The TalkShawk team relaunched the brand with a new tagline: ‘Baatoun Baatoun May’ which hints at the joys of life that come from little things; the comfort you get from a tiny pat on your back, the love you feel from a hug, the smile that lingers on after you have laughed hard at a joke. 2011 is about setting off on a new direction and creating an even stronger brand image. Where is TalkShawk headed in 2011? “To become the largest and most loved prepaid brand of Pakistan. The relaunch was just the beginning; we don’t intend to stop until we have achieved the emotional connect that we have our eyes on. A lot of communications are planned for this year, and you will see sharper strategies, more touch points, and advertisements that will continue to move hearts.” What’s different about this new brand identity? “The telecommunications industry is at a point where catering to functional needs of ‘price’ and ‘coverage’ is not enough. It is time that brands work on building an emotional relationship with people -- which is exactly what TalkShawk is doing through its new look.”


How is 2011 going to be different for you? “With my job at People Excellence, I have learned through constant challenges. Recently, we have been moved into a business partnering model, and the contrast is quite stark from what we were doing before. This means we will now provide tailored solutions to divisions to help them achieve their targets. While this means settling in with a new set of people and leaders, it also means a greater opportunity of learning.”

Umer Jamal finds change his only constant

Umer works in Human Capital Division. He has recently gone through a team change as People Excellence Central was restructured in the wake of the company structural changes. With newfound challenges, Umer

How do you plan to go about it? “Adjusting to change and bringing in new, exciting initiatives is the best way to counter change. I am all geared up! I will be busy training individuals to accept change as an opportunity to prove their potential. My colleagues who have taken rotations after this project are very happy in their new roles. So the plan is to make it interesting and motivating for everyone around.”

Mahreen Irfan talks about 323

Mahreen believes that while a serviceoriented job is tough, it is also one of the most rewarding experiences. She has learned the tricks of the service trade with OSS and has been very excited about the integration of h2h and OSS into 323 – and, more recently, Employee Services. She believes 2011 will bring the Employee Services team even better integration and a more unified purpose.

has decided to take change head on and looks forward to 2011 as a year of exciting times.

responsible for the automation of many of our processes, will gain higher visibility. For me, the change has meant faster services for employees and quicker resolution of issues. By uniting intensely employeeoriented teams on a single platform, we are now able to work toward a single goal without going into different directions.” What do you see in 2011 for the team and yourself? “2011 is a year which I hope will bring an even wider exposure for my team and myself. We will continue to add employeerelated services to our ever-expanding portfolio. I am very excited to watch this fledgling team grow into the potential I know it has, and to have a part in its maturation.”

– Hina Iqbal, Ayesha Sajid, Sohaib Mustafa, Palwasha Sherin Khan, Sana Rizwani, Tania Khan, Farhan uddin Muhammad Khan, Mariam Hussain Randhawa and Memoona Qadeer contributed to the research and writing of this article.

How has the change affected the team? “With 323, an idea that had been in the making for years has finally found its place. Through the consolidation of Employee Services, the h2h team which has been 15


For the love of writing

Writing is an art that needs to be molded and shaped to really make a difference. My writing has gone through a number of pit-stops and mentors. Be it reporting for an English daily like The Nation, an editorial position with a fashion magazine like Niche, feature writing for Dawn or the column of the Sunday Magazine, I have learned from experience how to take on different styles of writing and express myself.

A writer at heart, I believe that expression is a need that everyone is born with.

One of my learning grounds for the past seven years has been the forums of, a community of South Asian writers that sprouted from a chance meeting of like-minded people on an Orkut writing community. Later, the community took the shape of the website where forums of discussion and registration processes for memberships were introduced. Ever since, the expertise of the writers at Desi Writers Lounge (DWL) has grown, and with it the hopes of the founders who had set the idea of an online writing community in motion. With 350 writers from South Asia as members, DWL is a place where you build writing networks and learn to bounce off concepts for poetry, drafts for short stories and learn about other genres of writing. As a founder of the website, I have been involved with the establishment of the community and have also recently taken up the position of Associate Editor for its e-zine, Papercuts.


Writers from the Lounge gather for a picture at Kuch Khaas, Islamabad reading out their work afte


The bi-annual e-zine, Papercuts ( highlights the work of its writers and poets after carrying them through the editing processes. DWL is one place where writing is taken just as seriously as one would hope, and online editing workshops are offered, free of cost. Constructive feedback and a diversity of writing and editing are just some of the strengths of the community. It is here that I have learned that a good piece of writing is made up of a beginning, a flowing middle and an end that leaves an impression. In a time where literature and the written word is dying, DWL through its editing workshops is trying to revive the culture of reading and writing. It is a small effort with a big idea but it is the effort that really counts. – Ayesha Sajid


What’s Your New Year Resolution? INSPIRE asked and you said:

Sana Khan Anjum Rahman Hina Shaukat

To lose 40 lbs, to maintain a work-life balance, to take dance classes and to publish my cookbook.

Live, laugh and stay happy.

Sunila Saqib Drink more water, be more punctual, stop ignoring SMS’s and start replying, stop missing weddings, wishing people birthdays on time and a lot more.

Ozair Ali Dogar

Sarah Nasir Live each day as if it’s my last, smile more often , forgive and forget.

Saba Farhat In 2011, I will exercise more!

Palwasha Sherin Khan My director set the direction for me this year. I will not stress about work – ever!

To get closer to God.

Saad Warraich To win the Telenor Football Tournament and not drop a single set in tennis in 2011.

Sana Rizwani

To push myself out of my comfort zone.

Bushra Dawood I have decided to give my tailor a whole new perspective and fill his head with such innovative and amazing ideas that he will be a certified designer of “unthinkable clothes” by the end of 2011.

Spend at least a month away from all ‘smart’ devices and iStupidity (essentially anything that starts with an ‘i’). Live a social-networkfree life.

Zunaira Elahi Work on the introvert in me and socialize more. Still need to figure out how to do this though!

Maha Ali

To spend more time with friends and family Noman Ahmed Khan

Umar Jamal Quit smoking (every New Year’s resolution), stop exercising (it’s a waste of time and energy). And stick to my resolutions for more than a week.

Iqra Rehman Getting a job with Telenor Pakistan was my New Year’s gift. I want to grow and progress in the coming year.

Score more goals in football, fly to Mars, listen to Mom when she says I should marry now, kick my job and become an entrepreneur, organize my socks, give more hugs, read the directions first, date Katrina Kaif, be innovative with excuses and count my blessings.

Salim Khan To get more involved in photography, read more books, watch more movies, spend more fun time with the kids -- and achieve a better work-wife balance!




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Scenic New Zealand

A calm evening Auckland

Saquib Ahmed travelled across New Zealand in the summer of 2010. He calls it “a massage for the soul”. “I travelled through dense forests, grassy plains, seaside, snow fields and a 60km desert. It was a wonderful trip and I came back home humbled and grateful to Allah for this great opportunity.” “After staying in Auckland for two months, I travelled to Wellington through a desert road. It was really easy to interact with people in Auckland as many of them can speak Hindi/Urdu, which is the most commonly spoken language after English,” he recalls.

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Attractive aspects of Auckland are its mild climate, plentiful employment and educational opportunities -- and numerous leisure facilities. For quality of life, Auckland currently ranks 4th in the world.

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An explorer by nature, Saquib found New Zealand a delight for the senses. He speaks with a lilt in his voice of the long evenings on the beaches, the soothing environment, and the small music concerts in the park.


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“I loved their excellent libraries. The clear blue skies, rolling green hills, widely spread pastures, and the bush areas make for a treat during your time out,” he says. “You will be blown away by the incredibly cheap high-quality eating-out options available across the country.” “New Zealand is definitely one place you must take time out for.”

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INSPIRE spoke with Mahmood Zafar, Director Business Planning and asked him: If given a choice, where would you live in the world, why? Terengganu in Malaysia, because of the simple life it offers.

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If Hollywood were to make a movie about you, whom would you like to see play the lead role? Al Pacino


If you were a billionaire, what would you spend your money on? A yacht, a really big yacht. If you were stuck on a deserted island, what three things would you take with you? My barbecue grill, a solar UPS and my yacht! What are your phobias? I am scared of heights! If you could be a superhero, what would be your superpower? Teleportation! Travelling through the country side,

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If you could be a car, which car would you be? My childhood love - Morris Minor!

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What did you want to be when you were 10? A Chartered Accountant! The one movie you can watch over and over again? The Count of Monte Cristo -- an adaptation of a novel by Alexander Dumas is a hot favorite. I love it because of its old-fashioned quality and irresistible bold undertones.

Mahmood Zafar

You would like to be remembered as… A good son, a good brother, a good father and a good friend. If you were elected the President of Pakistan, what would be the first thing you would do? Relocate Pakistan’s defense budget to education! Make education compulsory for all. If you had a time machine, what time in history would you go back to? Go back to the time before The Big Bang to see what was there.

If you had Aladdin’s lamp, what would be your first wish? A healthy, happy and peaceful life.

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Recommended Reading

Dining Out Where to eat? Mocha Coffee - Street 3, Kohsar Market, F-6/3, Islamabad What to Order? Their Frappes and smoothies are to die for. Another must have are their cold sandwiches.

A Thousand Splendid Suns

For desserts, try Double Chocolate Chip cookies and Apple Pie. What’s the damage? Starts at Rs300 and can go up to Rs800 per person. Depends on how much you order. What’s your say? Mocca Coffee is not the usual spatially constricted, dimly lit cafe. Modern, sophisticated yet unpretentious, you have the option of sitting indoors as well as outdoors. The staff is genuinely

friendly and helpful and you will be at home, right away. With a diverse platter of desserts and scrumptious coffees, the café is just the place to catch up with friends. You can also take your corporate guests there, work on your laptop or just read from their wonderful collection of books while sipping your coffee.

– Marya Javed

1. Vital Signs - Yeh Sham The song is more than 20 years old and it’s still so fresh. Amazing lyrics! 2. Bono & Gavin Friday - In the Name of the Father Reminds me of one of my favorite movies! A must watch for Daniel Day Lewis fans! 3. Strings - Titliyan Every time I hear this song, I’m reminded of one of the best music videos made, honoring our artists from TV and the film industry. 4. Bumbu Sauce - Mojambo Creativity at its best, this is one song that Omar Moeen Malik I have been unable to get out of my head since I heard it first. Needless to say, this song didn’t take more than a few hours to make. 5. Singh Is King - Teri Ore How is it possible to make a list without at least one Katrina song?

Play it again


By Khaled Hosseini. Riverhead Books, Penguin Group; 381 pages; $9.60 Mariam and Laila -- two women who will always hold a special place in my heart. Not only mine, but anyone who has read Khaled Hosseini’s, ‘A Thousand Splendid Suns,’ a book that will grip you until the very last page. Forget about any deadlines or chores you may need to get out of the way if you plan on reading it. Hosseini will cast his spell on you and take you through the lives of Mariam and Laila from the European tourist hub that Afghanistan was to the Soviet invasion and its defeat. Addressing each other as ‘Mariam Jan’ and ‘Laila Jan’, (Jan - a term of endearment often used in Farsi speaking Afghanistan) ‘A Thousand Splendid Suns’ is the tale of two girls brought together by fate under gun smoke, bombs and the struggle for survival. It is said that every woman has a story, but the ones sketched by Hosseini while giving you a feel of their pain and endurance, will also inspire hope in a life of despair. The story revolves around events of these two lives, and sketches the city of Kabul pre and post war. The excerpt from the book says it well: “One could not count the moons that shimmer on her roofs, Or the thousand splendid suns that hide behind her walls.” You will be missing out on a modern day classic if you don’t read this book! – Deena Khan


Word Search Find and circle all of the adverbs that are hidden in the grid. The remaining letters spell a secret message. ACROSS AGAIN AHEAD ALMOST ALREADY ALSO ALWAYS ANYWHERE APART AWAY BACK BEFORE BEHIND BELOW BRISKLY

Tech Byte

great motivating ideas. - Are you looking for a book, a reference, a footnote? Then this is the right place. This is an excellent website where millions of people share resources including books, training videos, operation manuals, business stories and so much more. Stephen Covey is one of the most popular writers of personal excellence books. His extremely famous book ‘7 Habits of Highly Effective People’ has been translated into 38 blog/2008/04/7-questions-to-finding-your-truelanguages and can really change your passion/- According to a recent survey, about life. This website is about the Internet 75% of the population does not know what they community where individuals from around are truly passionate about. Your happiness is the world come together to achieve their always linked with your true passion, so the personal greatness in four areas: Learning; survey claims. Goal Setting and Tracking; Making Friends This article about ‘7 questions to find your true and Global Support Networks, and Online passion’ will help you understand your true Journal Writing. Join today for some great passion. The website also provides hundreds of insights. other articles on self-help. Take a look for some

– Ghazi Salahuddin




Aamir’s Top Five

Five things no one knows about Aamir Ibrahim:

1. Cant sing to save my life 2. Love sun rises and smell of freshly cut grass

3. Still dream of playing professional cricket

4. Ambition : to win “best

dad of the world award”

5. Can live on scottish

shortbread (cookies) alone


High Dynamic Range images represent various intensity levels more accurately that are found in real scenes. These range from direct sunlight to faint starlight. “Shandur Top� by Haroon Mustafa, BSS SLM

Telenor Pakistan (Pvt) Limited Tel: 1 1 1 345 700

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