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IoBM hosts a webinar on Cyber Security Challenges in Pakistan

A webinar on “Cyber Security Challenges in Pakistan” was organized by the College of Computer Science and Information Systems (CCSIS) at IoBM. It was held on Wednesday, September 22, 2021. Mr. Sanaullaah Abbasi, DG-FIA was the guest speaker. Dr. Tariq Rahim Soomro, Acting Rector and Dean, CCSIS, was the moderator. Mr. Talib Karim, President IoBM along with CCSIS faculty and students were the virtual attendees.

During his insightful talk, Mr. Sanaullah shared the challenges faced by the agencies with regard to cyberspace. He mentioned that the youth is playing a vital role in their increased online activities. The COVID and its resulting lockdown has also compelled the youth to remain active in cyberspace. He said that cybercriminals demean cyberspace and pursue immoral and criminal activities. When mentioning Cyber Regulations, he shared that Cyber Patrol to spot cybercrimes is done through software to spot malicious people. An investigation is conducted once the cybercrime occurs. He touched upon the 1980 Cyber Regulation covering all crimes such as cyber terrorism, hacking, fraud, etc. that has been amended with changing times. FIA has been arresting and prosecuting such criminals. He also mentioned the Cyber Wing that FIA launched. People can report cybercrimes to the FIA through calls, emails, and post, etc. FIA has recruited 500 people and received over 100,000 complaints in 2020. Nearly 59,000 complaints have been received in 2021. Furthermore, 20 people have been convicted of these crimes. Mr. Sanaullah also shared about the plans to implement Cyber Security. Students had an interactive question and answer session with Mr. Sanaullah following his speech. The vote of thanks was delivered by Dr. Muhammad Shujaat Mubarik, Dean CBM.

Students can watch the webinar from this link:

https://us06web.zoom.us/rec/share/fVHL4fLz92u5br-uDSOj_Aj0-WWOYGr7qp_nCI-KlydOI4YrYXA5N5sn9FsSoYoO.S2H3G0WeNuf18uw1

Experts propose a Regional Conference to prevent Civil War in Afghanistan at a Webinar organized by the GRSC, IoBM

The Global and Regional Studies Center at the Institute of Business Management (IoBM) recently held a webinar on the “US withdrawal from Afghanistan and the unfolding anarchy – Implication for Pakistan.” The panelists included Ambassador Asif Durrani, Ambassador Alam Brohi, and Syed Muhammad Ali, Director, Strategic Affairs, Centre for Aerospace and Security Studies (CASS). Ambassador Ghulam Rasool Baluch was the moderator. Mr. Asif Durrani said that if the Taliban control Afghanistan, the region and the world will anticipate how the warlords will pursue their activities and what will be the fate of the drug money. The US will continue to influence Afghanistan’s politics despite its exit. Amb. Brohi said that the Taliban are trying to capture Afghanistan’s rural areas while encircling urban centers. If the Afghan military secures urban centers, the civil war is expected to be fiercer than before. He called upon Pakistan’s Foreign Affairs and military establishment to curb any possible crisis that may arise.

Mr. Muhammad Ali said that the US is leaving Afghanistan, not because of war fatigue but Biden administration’s objective to return to great power competition. The US will reduce its engagements in the developing world to contain China’s rise as a superpower.  He shared that the Taliban, after acquiring power, should convert their hard power success into political legitimacy and international diplomatic recognition. Pakistan should be prepared to handle a major exodus of Afghan refugees from Afghanistan. Mr. Ali added that regional neighbors should work towards Afghanistan’s nation-building by offering security assurance for their collective interests. Amb. Baluch opined that the Afghan crisis is yet to reach its crescendo. The challenge for Afghan leaderships primarily, and the neighbors and the world in general, is how to prevent this calamity. The world will help Afghanistan once there is internal peace. In his closing remarks, Amb. Baluch said that diplomatic initiatives should engage regional countries such as China, Turkey, Iran, Russia, and even India to ensure they will not exploit any turmoil that transpires in Afghanistan. He asserted that the UN and international communities must be brought into the framework to prevent humanitarian disaster which might occur due to unfolding anarchy in Afghanistan.

Global and Regional Studies Center-IoBM organizes Webinar on the Israeli invasion of Gaza

The Global and Regional Studies Center organized a seminar on “The Israeli invasion of Gaza, the unfolding humanitarian catastrophe, its ramifications for the Peace and Security in the Middle east and policy options for Pakistan ” on Saturday, May 22, 2021. Eminent foreign policy experts which included Ambassadors Najmuddin A. Sheikh, and Mustafa Kamal Qazi were the panelists while Ambassador G Rasool Baluch was the moderator. In his opening remarks Ambassador Baluch stated that, since the current crises is connected to complex Middle East Question which has many dimensions, however during discussions an attempt will be made to understand the following five dimensions of the issue. The causes of the latest Israeli invasion.  Why the recently concluded Abraham Accords did not achieve the objective of finding solutions for the lasting peace between Israel and Palestinians. Reasons for continued US inability to device a balanced policy regarding Palestinian question. The response of the world in general and of the Muslim/Arab world in particular to the Israeli aggression. Policy options for Pakistan.

There was a consensus that the present escalation of violence sparked by forced eviction by Israeli authorities, of Palestinians from the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood in East Jerusalem and some other Israeli towns where Palestinians have been living for decades is a reminder to the world community that the Palestine issue remains a tinderbox for peace in the Middle East.  The intense firing by Israel has resulted in 240 civilian casualties including over 60 children and the destruction of thousands of homes, several hospitals, and schools. The Israeli aggression and forced evictions have been termed apartheid and persecution by Amnesty International. The mob attacks on Arab residents of the mixed Israeli neighborhoods is a new brutal dimension of Israeli oppressive policies against Palestinians the experts further opined.  It was underlined that the military jets pounding civilian compounds cannot be justified by any stretch of the imagination to be in “self-defense” by the Israeli state. The travesty of the Israeli judicial system is disappointing as they have issued orders of eviction for decades-old residents violating internationally recognized legal dictum of the historical claim.

The International Community in general and the Muslim/ Arab countries, in particular, did not demonstrate sufficient exigency to bring an early end to the crisis so that precious lives could be saved and hundreds of millions of material loss could be prevented. However, the panelists appreciated the constructive role played by the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Prime Minister Imran Khan for bringing about a ceasefire and finding a just solution based on Two states solution. In the conclusion, the panelists emphasized the need to find a just and sustainable solution to the Israeli-Palestinian problem so that the two communities can live in peace and prosperity.

The US Foreign Policy under President Joe Biden discussed in Webinar organised by The Global and Regional Studies Center at IoBM

As part of the continuing series of monthly webinars on various topics of political and economic significance, a webinar on “The Foreign Policy of the US under President Joe Biden” was held on January 24, 2021. It was organized by the Global and Regional Studies Center (GRSC), Institute of Business Management (IoBM), Karachi. The moderator was Former Ambassador Ghulam Rasool Baluch. Among the panelists were Ambassador Najmuddin Sheikh, Fmr. Foreign Secretary, and Ambassador Javid Hussain, Fmr. Pakistan Ambassador.

During the opening statement, Ambassador Baluch said that days before the election the Capitol Hill was stormed by Trump’s supporters. This affected the soft power image of the US and its allies. He mentioned that bringing political unity in the US will be President Biden’s priority as his regime must address a plethora of domestic and international perils.

Ambassador Shaikh said that President Biden must focus on mending US domestic affairs. He mentioned that time will tell how much faith we can place on President Biden’s claim to rebuilding old ties. He viewed that Europe-US ties will play a fundamental role in determining US-Russia relations. When touching upon the Indo-Pacific Strategy of Trump, Amb. Shaikh said the Kargil episode handled by the then US government in consultation with India created trust between the US and India. He further mentioned that to counter the rise of China in the region, the US choose India as an ally. In this regard India was needed to develop pertinent expertise in nuclear fields akin to China and that it should be regarded as the counterweight to China.

Ambassador Javid said that Biden has a gigantic task of initiating economic recovery especially in the era of the Covid-19. When commenting on the US foreign policy, he shared that the China-US rivalry will continue as the US will challenge China’s economic rise. This will strengthen US-India strategic partnership. The US will also fortify its relations with Japan, South Korea, and Australia. Amb. Javid said that President Biden will focus on multilateral decisions such as re-joining the Paris Agreement, issues of disarmament and is expected to take a tougher stance with Russia.

Amb. Baluch thanked Amb. Shaikh and Amb. Javid for sharing pertinent diplomatic insights on the topic. He was hopeful that these recommendations should be taken up by the government to develop a diplomatic course of action.

Hult Prize 2020 held at IoBM

The Hult Prize is a global competition that crowd-sources ideas from all universities and college students. Recently, this event was held at the Institute of Business Management (IoBM), Karachi. The theme was ‘Food for Good.’ The participating teams of IoBM students shared business ideas to reduce food wastage.

Mr. Talib Karim, President IoBM delivered the welcome note. He praised the initiative and said that it will add value to IoBM’s efforts in developing entrepreneurs. The 10 student teams from IoBM selected to present their ideas for the Hult Prize were mentored by leading corporate icons of Pakistan. The Keynote Speakers were Ali Mukhtar (CEO, Fatima Gobi Ventures) and Shaista Ayesha (CEO, Seed Ventures). The judges included Dr. Owais H. Shaikh (Startup Mentor, Founder Institute), Tehmina Chaudhry (MD, INSTA Foods, Canada), Muhammad Nabeel (Founder, Edvon Robotics), Syed Azfar Hussain (Program Manager, National Incubation Centre- Karachi), Madiha Shamim (Co-Founder, HR Ways), and Rehan Muzammil (HoD Entrepreneurship Department, IoBM).

Anum Shakeel (HoD PR & Communication- Golootlo) Sohaib Amir (VC, Global Shapers, Karachi- Global Shapers Community), Talha Bin Afzal (Acting Secretary-General, P@SHA), and Naureen Hayat (Co-Founder, Tez Financial Services) were the Guests of Honor. Dr. Shujaat Mubarik, Associate Dean, IoBM, presented the closing note and appreciated the organizing committee’s efforts to present such a thought-provoking online event during challenging times.

IoBM participates in The City School Virtual University Fair

The City School, Karachi hosted the Virtual University Fair on Thursday, November 19, 2020. Representing IoBM was the Marketing and Communication (MarCom) Department (Ali Abbas Mirza and Omar Iftikhar). During the Fair, well-attended virtually by students from O and A level tracks, IoBM’s MarCom department shared IoBM’s history, milestones, undergraduate programs with a focus on BE Electrical Engineering, BS Education, BS Entrepreneurship, and BS Social Entrepreneurship programs. The students were also informed about the online admission process, scholarships, financial assistance, student societies, and facilities available at IoBM. A special mention of the Hybrid Teaching Method was made along with sharing pertinent information about Capstone Projects and industry linkages.

This Virtual University Fair was hosted by Ms. Samia Ayub (PAF Chapter), Ms. Yasmeen Ahmad (Student Counselor, Gulshan Campus). During the Virtual University Fair, Ms. Yasmeen specially mentioned her visit to IoBM in October 2020 along with other City School student counselors Ms. Beenish Hasan (North Nazimabad Campus), Ms. Yumna Shoaib (PAF Chapter), Ms. Sonal Arshad Siraj (Darakhshan Campus DHA), and appreciated the state-of-the-art facilities it offers to students and faculty. The other universities that participated in this Fair were Habib University (HU), Indus Valley School of Arts and Architecture (IVS), the Institute of Business Administration (IBA), the Institute of Chartered Accountants Pakistan (ICAP), The Aga Khan University, Ziauddin University, LUMS, Barrett Hodgson among others. Ms. Naheed Zehra, Phase Leader/Manager O and A Level, The City School, Southern Region, Karachi, presented the welcome note. The City School appreciated the patience IoBM MarCom showed by being online throughout the session and for delivering a to-the-point, holistic presentation.

Senior Ambassadors discuss China-India Military Stand-off & Security Implications for Pakistan

The Institute of Business Management (IoBM) hosted a webinar on “China-India Military Stand-off & Security Implications for Pakistan”. The moderator was Ambassador Ghulam Rasool Baluch. The panelists included Ambassador Hussain Haroon, Ambassador Najamudin Sheikh, and Ambassador Shahid Amin.

Ambassador Shahid Amin said that China’s concentration is to increase its economic strength while raising its military profile. He mentioned that China or India do not want to enter in a war because both countries are focusing on their economic growth. Commenting on the China-India military standoff, he said that China has given India a proof that its military is stronger. Furthermore, China has signaled to India that no disruption in CPEC will be acceptable. Talking about CPEC, he said that its scope is broadening as more projects are being completed. However, Pakistan must not become dependent on China and should focus on its sovereignty and security.

Ambassador Hussain Haroon said that while the West has put the world into colonies, China is using its economic might to elevate its status. He said that the Western era is dawning and India does not want to be a part of this equation. Mr. Haroon said that China showed an aggressive stance by building islands in the South China Sea but the intent of the US against China is also not suitable. Ambassador Najamuddin Shaikh said that the US and especially the Trump administration are trying to neutralize the US relations with China for Trump’s chance for re-election. He said that terrorism has been a long term adversary of the US. China, according to Mr. Shaikh, is the next adversary for the US but a much less belligerent one. The panelists were of the view that Pakistan needs to work on improving its good governance, fortify its economy and enhance its foreign policy objectives so to counter any security implications that may arise because of China-India military standoff.

Digitisation of Retail Supply Chain in Pakistan

Industry experts provide insights on the digitization of supply chain dynamics
Zoom Panel Discussion held on Saturday, July 25, 2020

The Department of Supply Chain at the Institute of Business Management (IoBM) organized an online panel discussion via Zoom on Saturday, July 25, 2020. The topic of this discussion was “Digitisation of Retail Supply Chain in Pakistan.” Dr. Mahmood Ali, HoD Supply Chain Management, IoBM was the host while Muzammil Ghafoor, Unilever E-Commerce Manager was the moderator.  The speakers of the discussion were Dr. Syed Irfan Hyder, Rector IoBM, and Dr. Mahmood Ali. The panelists included Noman Lutfi, Group GM Integrated Supply Chain, English Biscuit Manufacturers (EBM); Mugheer Atif, E-Commerce Operations Head, Daraz; Rizwan Tanveer Malik, HoD Supply Chain Aga Khan Health Services, Pakistan, and Kinza Shaik, GM Karachi, Cheetay.

While talking about how the digitization process has affected universities, Dr. Syed Irfan Hyder mentioned IoBM’s Learning Management System (LMS). He said that nearly 50 faculty members were already using LMS since Spring 2019 and were taking classes of nearly 100 sections. However, when the lockdown hit Pakistan, these 50 faculty members became the early adaptors of LMS and the new mode of teaching. Dr. Hyder said that the early adaptors played an instrumental role in enabling HoDs and other faculty members to become acquainted with the process of using LMS as an online teaching tool. He pointed out that the implementation of the LMS at IoBM predates the lockdown. He said that because of the lockdown, as IoBM had to be turned from a physical campus to an online campus, the three-year rollout period to implement LMS was completed in a matter of three months. He was pleased to share that 100% of faculty at IoBM has been teaching through LMS along with using Zoom and Google Class during the lockdown.

Rizwan Tanveer Malik said that the retail sector in the healthcare industry is facing a transformation. OPDs are now being replaced by telehealth products. Moreover, pharmaceutical industries are establishing channels in integration with healthcare set up to provide home delivery of medicines. Mr. Malik said that students need to understand supply chain terminologies and have to keep themselves updated once they enter professional life. The placement department of universities, he emphasized, will play a key role in facilitating students to avail internships at an organization’s supply chain department. He also mentioned that existing managers in the supply chain departments must exhibit temperament and patience especially in the industries that are not working 9-5 and are purely online and active round the clock.

While speaking about how digitization has added to the learning of companies, Kinza Shaik said that companies are opening dark stores and many have been set up across Karachi. She said that dark stores are mini warehouses created in high-selling areas. Instead of the rider going to the main warehouse of the city to collect the product, they identify the address where they need to make the delivery and acquire the product from the nearest warehouse to be delivered. This reduces the waiting time at the customer’s end. Noman Lutfi said that supply chain students need to know about the end-to-end supply chain and must acquire practical knowledge by completing internships. He also said that the teachers must also disseminate realistic and practical knowledge.  He said that managers in the supply chain industry need to be empowered and must make on-the-spot decisions.

Dr. Mahmood Ali shared that academicians and universities must continuously evolve their course and syllabus especially when they are teaching about the impact of digitization on the supply chain. He said that students must pursue a proactive approach and learn more about their course by searching over the Internet. According to Dr. Mahmood, professionals with industry experience must be lecturers in universities to make students learn about the dynamics and trends prevailing in the industry. Mugheer Atif said that in such distressing times akin to the Covid-19 and the lockdown, his company, Daraz, did not have any layoffs. The company continued with its operations as everyone kept working tirelessly, round-the-clock to complete all tasks. He said that while traditional FMCGs are stepping up and addressing the needs of the changing market, they need to continuously invest in expanding their digital base to attract retailers and customers.

The speakers and panelists during this session provided key insights into how the digitization of the supply chain is taking place in Pakistan. They shared stories about how their company’s supply chain dynamics were changed and enhanced because of Covid-19 and the lockdown. The speakers shared a common consensus that the retailers, suppliers, consumers, and the companies providing digital services have enriched their learning about how to better use the digital services for their advantage. This live session had a robust online engagement. Over 100 viewers watched the session on Zoom, 70 viewers watched it live on Facebook while the live video had an organic reach of over 11,000 on Facebook.

Digital innovation in Pakistan

A webinar discussing why Pakistan needs a tech disruption and a digital ecosystem
Jointly hosted by EMEC-IoBM and iwant.pk on Saturday, July 25, 2020

The Covid-19 pandemic has exposed a clear digital divide. Companies that already invested in digital operating models have managed relatively well as compared to those who did not have such a strategy. In fact, for many businesses, the continuity of operations critically depends on their digital capabilities.

To discuss this scenario taking over the corporate world of Pakistan, a webinar was organized on the topic “Digital Innovation for Entrepreneurs & Businesses in Pakistan.” The Entrepreneurship and Management Excellence Center (EMEC), IoBM, and iwant.pk jointly hosted this session on Saturday, July 25, 2020. The moderators of this webinar were Mr. Imran Khalil Naseer, former Chairman, Pak-UK Business Council, and Ms. Fariha Shah, IoBM alumnus, and former Regional Marketing Manager, PepsiCo MEA.

The speakers included Mr. Asif Jafry, an IoBM alumnus who is the Founding CEO, E-Ocean, and Momentum; Mr. Javaid Iqbal, CEO, TransformX; Mr. Javaid Ahmed, Senior Fellow, Innovation and Strategy, IoBM, and Mr. Ahsan Jabbar, CEO, iwant.pk, who is also an IoBM alumnus.

Mr. Asif Jafri said that his company has been behind many digital endeavors, the recent one being the Covid-19 precautionary message that we listen to when making a phone call through our mobile phones. He said that digital innovation in the telecommunication sector enabled such a public service message to be disseminated across mobile phones in Pakistan. He shared an interesting insight that nearly 165 million cellular devices are operational in Pakistan. Out of this number, 65 to 70 million devices are smartphones. He said that startups have the advantage to turn these 65 to 70 million smartphone users as their customers. Moreover, according to Mr. Jafri, the 100 million subscribers who do not have a smartphone have the potential of switching over to becoming smartphone users to avail digital services and becoming a part of the digital ecosystem. He said that the government can play a part in enhancing Pakistan’s digital economy by giving a discount to those customers who are buying a smartphone for the first time.

Mr. Javaid Iqbal was of the view that technology disruption is happening in every industry. It is unprecedented to witness how companies related to transportation, home delivery, banks, education, and telecommunication have changed their business models because of technology. He said that all digital tech players are either providing the infrastructure and applications to promote tech-based companies or are educating the customers on how to use such applications. He said that the customers are also accepting and appreciating such enterprises. Mr. Iqbal said that we are observing two trends. The quest to know what digitization means and how to implement it. He said that while banks, healthcare providers, and telecommunication companies have stepped up to digitize their services, they are not exactly sure how to pursue it. This gap must be filled to streamline operations.

Mr. Javaid Ahmed appreciated the intent of holding this informative webinar. During his talk, he pondered on how digital disruptions help new startups and existing small businesses to create new business models. He said that digital disruption in an organization occurs when the business model and the target audience of the organization is changed. Digital disruption also facilitates an organization to become competitively aggressive and agile. Mr. Ahmed said that digital disruptions do create a new target audience and a new model of revenue and cost as a result of following a new approach towards completing business operations. He asked the participants and the viewers to reflect upon the difference between a company becoming competitively aggressive and agile vs. the company experiencing a disruption in its business model.

Mr. Ahsan Jabbar shared that technology disruption is not an isolated event or a one-time occurrence. It is an ongoing process that continues to evolve our lifestyle. While citing the example of MSN Messenger he said that Whatsapp has replaced it as a far superior communications application. Such is the case with all applications and processes that have been evolved over the last decade. Speaking about how tech disruptions changing our lives, Mr. Jabbar said that half of the population in the US carries an e-passport and in China, only 15% of the passports are in book form while the rest carry an e-passport. He asked viewers to imagine what disruption technology can create in other sectors by making all processes to be completed online. Mr. Jabbar said that Pakistan must produce innovation through tech disruption and digital technologies. Such innovation will produce Unicorn as a byproduct. Unicorn is a privately held startup having a value of US 1 billion. He showed concerns over why banks do not provide loans to tech startups. He stressed the need for Pakistan to build its digital ecosystem and envisioned Pakistan’s digital ecosystem to create ten Unicorns in the next decade.

Through this webinar experienced professionals and entrepreneurs imparted upon the viewers’ new dimensions of how digital disruption has been changing business models in Pakistan. EMEC, IoBM and iwant.pk will continue to jointly host such insightful webinars on various topics.

High Commissioner Nafees Zakaria talks about PAK-UK business prospects

Pakistan’s High Commissioner to the UK H.E Mohammad Nafees Zakaria interacted with leading Pakistani businesses through a webinar on “’Exploring business opportunities with the UK” recently. It was jointly organized by the Institute of Business Management (IoBM), Karachi, and iwant.pk, a Pakistani B2B technology platform. The moderators were Mr. Imran Khalil, former Chairman Pak-UK Business Council and Ms. Fariha Shah, Former Marketing Manager, PepsiCo MENA. The webinar highlighted potential business opportunities for Pakistani exporters during the Covid-19 pandemic and beyond. The panelists included Mr. Julian Hamilton Barns, Chairman, Pakistan Britain Business Council (PBBC) and Honorary Consul of Pakistan in the UK; Mr. Rashid Iqbal, CEO PBBC; Mr. Talib Karim, President IoBM; Mr. Ahsan Jabbar, Founder and CEO, iwant.pk and Mr. Shafiq A. Shahzad, Trade and Investment Minister, Pakistan High Commission London.

High Commissioner Zakaria encouraged Pakistani businesses to augment their engagement with the customers in the UK. He said export opportunities for personal protective equipment (PPE) and high-quality edibles must be enhanced. H.E Zakaria encouraged businesses to establish a physical presence of their products in the UK at a designated Pakistan Pavilion. Mr. Roger Bayat recommended marketing Pakistan’s immense tech talent in the UK. Mr. Tariq Ikram, former Head of TDAP, said that the government and the industry could utilize data points to enhance trade opportunities. Mr. Talib Karim highlighted education as a sector where businesses from both ends can come together through virtual collaboration and exchange of talent. The speakers agreed that local suppliers do require a consolidated virtual platform to showcase their products and to connect with potential UK importers.