Sunday, June 28, 2009

Heal the World by Michael Jackson

It is said that Thriller was his best. I am no Michael Jackson fan but this song is a real contribution as far as I am concerned.

Monday, June 22, 2009


Last night was simply crazy. It reminded me of the old days when we used to be glued to the TV screens because of the good ol' cricket match. But with time as our team's performance graph slummed & the frequent changes made in the team made most of us just drop out from the game....

However, last night the glory had returned after 17 years. Not a single shot was missed. I had the added responsibility of a friend who had to go for a dinner at the Golf club last night. She was being given updates after 2min. (Thank God the sms package still worked).

This was a victory we all were so desperate for & it was celebrated to the perfection. The people had forgotten about the miseries that engulf our lives in one way or the other. There was no hatred, no ethnic rivalry even the IDPs were celebrating. I just hope that as the international media covers the insanity that goes around us; it covers our celebration in the same manner so that the world knows that we are capable of celebrations as well.

As for our team WAY TO GO, the nation is proud of you. It was a perfect gift(as Younas Khan said that the cup is a gift to the nation from the team) in such times. AND yes who can ignore BOOM BOOM AFRIDI.......

Before going to bed I was tempted to complete the chapter of "The Rainmaker" by John Grisham. As my mp4 was laying with the book I tuned in to the Radio & almost every station was playing our patriotic numbers:

Dil Dil Pakistan

Jazba Junoon

Hum han Pakistani etc.


Sunday, June 21, 2009

Lahore Management Summit 2009

Fortunately I got the chance to be in the organizing committee of Lahore Management Summit 2009. This event was hosted by Nutshell & TIE. The theme of the conference was “Management in Turbulent Times-The Way Forward”. All the speakers had a chosen a topic which revolved around this main theme. It’s not possible to write about all that was disused there, however I am going to try & narrate the crux of the 9hr long event.

One thing on which everyone agreed & believed was that we should not give hope in any case. Yes, these are difficult times but then these are the very times when success is available if you are able to provide solutions.

Another focus point was the leadership. Here again examples were quoted about some of our great cooperate leaders which made me realize that we need to stop whining about the lack of leadership qualities of our people. A bit of organization is required to bring this talent to the for-front.

The role of a positive media was also discussed & during different presentations specially that of Badar Khushnood, Country Consultant Google Inc. Pakistan we got some very positives aspects of our country which I believe that our media has failed to promote. For example the fact that we are at number 3 when it comes to the usage of the internet even with one of the lowest literacy rate.

These were the three main points which turned our pessimistic approach to a more optimistic one for which I was personally quite glade…;-)

Now for small summaries of the topics which different speakers spoke on.

As the summit was divided into three sessions. I was not able to attend the first one as I was at that in the team which was handling the registration of the guests. The topics of that session were:
Recession, Survival & an Opportunity.
Managing in Turbulent Times-The way forward

The second session was a panel discussion on “The Leadership Challenge-Sustaining Growth., Expanding the Boundaries”, The panelist talked about different challenges that we all are facing not just in Pakistan but the world over & how with innovation these challenges should be faced. Every company will go through the cycle of good & bad times but it’s the way that these companies specifically their leadership’s reaction to such circumstances, that determines whether they are to survive of perish just like some of the very grand names that we have witnessed collapsing. During this session emphasis was also given on the use of blogging for discussions.

Mr. Haroon Bhatti (Director People Excellence & BPI, Telenor Pakistan) presented on “Why Change is Bad”. His main point was that most of the time change does not produces the intended results & also the company does not reviews whether the change introduced has been approved by the customers or not. He said that his statement was not to be taken as a thumb rule but that according to his observation & experience, as in organizations personal interests exceed the organizations interests.

This was followed by Mr Tahir Basharat Cheema (Managing Director, PEPCO) who talked on “Efficient Energy Use in Turbulent Times”. He gave a much elaborated presentation loaded with statistics about the past & present situation. He also told the audience as to what are the measures that he is taking to improve this situation & what potential exists.

Mr. Fredrik Nillson (Managing Director, Oriflame Pakistan (Pvt.) Limited was the first speaker of the third session. His topic was “Harnessing Sustainable Growth in Emerging Markets”. He took the example of his own company & explained that it is not compulsory to follow the pattern which everyone is following. Being a cosmetics company their main marketing style is by the word of mouth & their stronghold is direct sales. Adopting this approach has proved fruitful for them & they have invested happily in Pakistan & don’t regret the decision.

Next was Miss Sheeza Mohsin Dhanani (CEO, Complete Solutions & Leadership Strategist, USA) & her topic was “Managing Talent & Organizational Conflict during a Downturn”. In her interactive presentation she first laid the ground work by discussing the common patterns which we adopt for conflict management. Then she cleared the difference between what’s the right strategy & what’s the wrong one. The conclusion was that you should not just be depending on one individual which in the most cases is the boss to look after the conflicts. Instead every individual should develop this habit to become a conflict manager. Adopting this patter will help in the efficiency of the work.

She was followed by Dr. Khalid Javed Chawdhry (Member; Board of Trustee, TiE Global Inc). His topic was “Entrepreneurship opportunities in the Downturn”. He’s a MBBS doctor & a banker as well. He served in USA for 26 years & then came back to Pakistan. His focus was how to exploit the opportunities which still exists it’s only the matter of exploiting them. Answering to a question he said that his concern was that we have a lot of talent but the problem is of financing & he is concentrating on this aspect.

Mr. Badar Khushnood (Country Consultant, Google Inc., Pakistan) presented on “Marketing in Challenging Times”. He was the one who gave the figures on where Pakistan stands on internet usage etc. Focus on blogging & other tools related to the IT were his focus as new mediums for marketing as the trends are changing.

The ceremony was closed with the address by Sartaj Aziz.

This was the first time that this conference was taking place in Lahore. Before this event has always taken place in Karachi. Hopefully everyone left the Crystal Hall of Pearl Continental Hotel, Lahore full of optimism as when we were entering the hotel the addition of security measures was a sight. The change in the entrance gate, sand filled drums etc. However, after listening & interacting in with people who were full of hope & ready to materialize their imagination the mood changed with a 180 degree angle.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Fasi Zaka

Mal-Icky Security

The Pakistan report card by Fasi Zaka

Mal-Icky heads security in a troubled nation. Gill-Lonely is the isolated premier.

Mal-Icky: I have solved the problem of the lethal drones.

Gill-Lonely: Good, no more needless deaths.

Mal-Icky: Yes, both Sher Afghan Niazi and Wasi Zafar have promised never to speak on television again.

Gill-Lonely: What on earth have you done! I was speaking of the American drones. What incompetence!

Mal-Icky: Sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me. At least what you just called me is not as bad as the name they would shout out at me in England.

Gill-Lonely: What was that?

Mal-Icky: Waiter!

Gill-Lonely: What were you doing working in a restaurant?

Mal-Icky: I was gathering intelligence.

Gill-Lonely: What did you learn?

Mal-Icky: That pakoras don't cook well in canola oil.

Gill-Lonely: Why did you go into exile, was it a matter of principle?

Mal-Icky: Yes, the principles of NAB.

Gill-Lonely: So what are you doing about Pakistan's most dangerous enemy?

Mal-Icky: PML-N?

Gill-Lonely: No! No! No! The Taliban!

Mal-Icky: Oh them, yes I am doing everything right now to defeat them.

Gill-Lonely: OK. So who is battling the Taliban?

Mal-Icky: The army.

Gill-Lonely: And who is fighting the expansion of the Taliban into new areas?

Mal-Icky: The locals.

Gill-Lonely: Where do we get our intelligence about the Taliban from?

Mal-Icky: The Americans.

Gill-Lonely: And pray tell what is it that you can do if everyone else but you are fighting them?

Mal-Icky: I can make you a nice pakora. Wait! Wait, stay still! I see a foreign hand in this room!

Gill-Lonely: Don't worry about that. It's just the president pulling his puppeteer strings on me.

Mal-Icky: Sir, I don't like the tone of this conversation, it seems you are suggesting I have done nothing.

Gill-Lonely: Well, what have you done?

Mal-Icky: I have provided jobs to the poor IDPs.

Gill-Lonely: Nonsense. Give me one example.

Mal-Icky: Sir, I have reinstated all of our displaced illegal appointments to the IB under our previous tenure removed by Nawaz Sharif.

Gill-Lonely: Well done! So what is your long-term policy?

Mal-Icky: Strategic depth.

Gill-Lonely: Explain.

Mal-Icky: I want us to build huge underground bunkers to hide from the Taliban.

Gill-Lonely: We have captured all these terrorists, why aren't you releasing any sensitive information to the public?

Mal-Icky: But I already have, Shoaib Akhtar has genital warts.

Gill-Lonely: Listen, do you have any special qualifications for this job?

Mal-Icky: Yes, in class two I came second in the hundred-metre race.

Gill-Lonely: How on earth is that helpful?

Mal-Icky: It's how I escaped justice last time around.

Gill-Lonely: And now?

Mal-Icky: It's how I escape the anger of the people.

Gill-Lonely: You don't take this security business very seriously.

Mal-Icky: I do, I have 64 guards at my house.

Gill-Lonely: But what about the people of this country?

Mal-Icky: For them I have the most powerful force in the country.

Gill-Lonely: Which is?

Mal-Icky: Allah.

And so they decide not to eat more pakoras, because they will be hard to find in Dubai.

Simply loved it......

(The was originally published in The News)

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Inspiration is the GAME

As i am on vacations & have no plans of taking my summer ,semester this time around. I am watching movies & seasons non-stop. And finally I was able to get hold of a copy of Stepmom. My friends have mocked me at every possible opportunity which made me feel like the only living soul who had not seen it.

Finally, when I got to see the movie two days back I was not at all disappointed as in most of the cases where everyone just loves the movie. It was full of emotions which you could relate to.

However, the thing which is worrying me is that the good old BOLLYWOOD is going to make a copy of it with the following cast:

On the last count(Arjun Rampal)

I guess we all can imagine the results...;-(

Monday, June 15, 2009

What is Rotary?

Following is the link to a video which answers the question; What is Rotary?

Being a part of Rotaract myself this video is not just a nice promotional video but it also revives the spirits of the existing Rotaractors & Rotarions.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

President Jimmy Carter

Rotman School of Management's magazine (Spring 2009) published an interview with Jimmy Carter basically revolving around their edition's theme; Staying Power. I'll quote the last question & lets hope that the right people are listening.

Q-Looking around at the world today,what gives you the most hope?
A- I would have to say it is the restoration of America as a super power, in many aspects of that word. At the moment, we are still a superpower militarily, since our military budget equals the combined budget of all other nations on earth; & despite current troubles,we still have a powerful economic machine. But I would hope & expect that in the future, we will once again be seen as the champions of peace in the world. My goal would be for any nation on earth that had a problem to naturally say, "Why don't we go to Washington to settle this, because the United States is the champion of peace, or the world's leader in human rights, or because that greatest nation leads the world in protecting the environment & combating global warming". These are the kinds of things that I hope & pray will occur in the future. This would make us a superpower in every aspect of the word: for peace, for democracy, for freedom,for protecting the environment, for alleviating suffering & for championing human rights.