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06
Jul
2009

It was right back in the end of 2007 and the beginning of 2008. Dubai Properties were having rocking moments. My group “M One International” opened a new wing in properties i.e. a registered realty company in Ajman to cater Emirate of Ajman market. We used to discuss shortage of quality human resources for our business all the times. When we interviewed some people in Dubai, we thought it is better to hire some people from Pakistan and trained them. In this regard I came to Pakistan to interview some folks for management posts in sales and marketing.

Today I just want to write some conclusions that I have drawn from these interviews. All those folks were MBAs from various institutes of Karachi in Marketing and other disciplines. I want to make sure one thing before going ahead. I am sharing the experience of majority of worst candidates. There I found couple of guys also, who had sound knowledge and excellent presentation.

The first thing that I observed from the appearance of these guys was commercialism. They bought their education like some one buys shoes from the stores. The way they were defining their prestigious institutions, I was thinking they were talking about Mall of Emirates or Ibn e Batuta Mall or City Center Shopping Mall.

They spoke really good English but whatever they were speaking was not acceptable to me in Urdu even. It was their misperception that Good English, Gucci and Armani tagged dresses, the keys of Honda Accord; Nokia N 91 can impress a core entrepreneur who is working in international markets like Dubai. Yes, it can be acceptable for banks, private companies, government institutions and business schools in Karachi but any where in the world where human resource selection is objectivity oriented, they are unacceptable.

The thing that frustrates me a lot at that time was thinking about our next generation of business professionals. I saw the intellectual caliber of these guys absolutely zero (in my business language SIFAR BATA UDHAM QISIM KA SANATA – only for guys who speaks Urdu and Hindi). I don’t know who fostered these good students about business management. There is no concept where you can be good business professional by only equipping yourself with branded dress, mobile phones, sun glasses and good English. Who says our girls that see through dresses and silly talks can create a corporate culture. If anyways all these things gona count so it will be after your knowledge and skills of understanding and executing business.

I remember, when I visited Bangalore (India) for International Management Precipice (2005), I saw our people tumbling by nerve breaking pressure of working corporatism in the environment. I stood second in Best Manager Category, just because of one thing i.e. sheer core knowledge and skills to drive business. I must say one thing with a lot of believe that a business professional who can make money and worth for the company can be acceptable in Shorts and T Shirts even. The dress codes are not God commandments, if we decide it to be change in any type so we can. The constant attributes that are required in business management are knowledge, skills, creativity, leadership and innovation.

The basic fault is even not on the side of students only. Our business schools and parents need to be trained first. The objective of business education is missing. We are not seeing that we are unable to produce big names in business and industry in the country for long. Our schools are way behind to produce second Dr. Mehboob ul Haq. We are growing in number of Ph.Ds but there is no noticeable research activity in the country in field of business, finance, marketing and management.

The matter of the fact is we are slaves of foreign authors in concepts and thinking. In last 60 plus years we were unable to produce one good book in Finance, Marketing or Management that covers Finance on I.I. Chudriger Road, Sales in Judia Bazar, Marketing in our environment. Why is it so???? It is just because we are following the SOPs of West and Americas. We are following their business and financial models for our economy and industry. The result is, we are having a hard time in business and economy.

It is a mere shame that economy's team head of the country is a banker who don’t know the ABC of an economy. Isn’t that a shame for all our universities, colleges and institutions that we are unable to produce ONE finance minister and economic manager for this country? The current slots of economist who can work are foreign qualified but they have no cluster research on our environment. They are just sitting in big offices and making policies. It is just pilot project for them. It is the mega pilot project for all researchers from abroad i.e. PAKISTAN’S ECONOMY. Do whatever you want. Experiment your theories here. Let a common man pay for it. If our own institutions and universities have a capability to produce good researchers and managers, we would be in really good shape. But what we can do??? At least we made our students speaking good English, wearing branded dresses and doing lot of fun and enjoyment. This might be SOCIAL LIVELINESS but INTELLECTUAL DEATH.

The time is running very fast. The current crises in the world give opportunities to the whole world to learn more than they learned in good time. The way Research and Development is going on in the modern world; they will come up with really sound business and economic models. If we will waste this time in our national stupidity so we will be the real looser.

It is necessary for Business Schools to have sound research desks. The students must need to complete research activities to attain their degrees. I have seen many times the business institutes invites guest speakers from the corporate sector. They are the people who are mostly Vice President, Gen. Manager Finance, Directors of the State Bank, ABCD etc. This process need to be restructured for betterment. Many guest speakers are mere employees. They even have not taken a RISK OF 1000 Rupees in their life and they use to tell students, the in and outs of business.

If you can not make 1,000 from 100, 10,000 from 1,000, 100,000 from 10,000 so what business you are studying? Dear Business students, stop your teachers telling you bed time stories. If you are hundred in numbers, share rupees 10,000 each, start your own business. Make a company. Launch a strategy. Do marketing. Start decision making. Kotler, Erven, Bermen, Coulter, Prasana Chandra, James C Wane Horne etc are the past. You are the future. The best you can learn is from doing your own business or companies. Business schools have to facilitate students in this. The best they run strategies, the best they will prepare for challenge. I dream for the day when our business school’s students can write to JP Morgan, Meryl Linch, Tata, Reliance, Kingfisher, Microsoft or any big shot that your strategy is not as good as we have developed. If that day will come so believe it that the companies of your country would be far bigger than these names.This dream can come true only once we change our focus from show off to core knowledge, skills, leadership, creativity and innovation. We need to develop models in our business schools so students can think Business as their life.

Last but not the least; it is really unfortunate that we forgot one greatest business and commerce professional of ours. He is none other than Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.) He (S.A.W.) is my business leader. Today the world is more talking about corporate social responsibility, business ethics and many things. It is none other than but my Muhammad (S.A.W.) who showed the world 40 years before his announcement as a prophet hood that what exactly business and commerce all about. There is no Business School and University in the Muslim world who organize classes of teaching Muhammad (S.A.W.)’s way of business. If we made a sound research on His (S.A.W.) age of business, we can find the bundle of strategies that today’s Muslim World of Business need. The time when we followed His (S.A.W.) in business till Banu Abbassia, we were the leaders in the world of business and economy. So we have to rethink and readjust our concepts in real light.

I am myself Finance professional, researcher, teacher, author and activist. Taking interviews is really an interesting experience; it gives you a real close look in analyzing a sample of people and generalizes the results. I have no doubt that we have some brilliant professionals, students and teachers in our country but the majority is an area of concern. Yes it is a problem but it is our problem. We can resolve it with sincerity and purpose. I have no doubt on the raw talent in our youth but they need to be mobilized. It is our responsibility to mobilize them. We need to mobilize ourselves. It is all about mobilization.


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Muhammad Iqbal Says:

First of all i liked the phrase "SIFAR BATA UDHAM QISIM KA SANATA" this is typical Karachi Urdu... :) It is a fact that Business Ethics is something that was not only spoken but practiced by the Mercy to the mankind Muhammad (PBUH)... The problem is that our youth has not seen the beauty of our Islamic culture and the filthy western culture is beautified and presented to them...but they forget that all that glitters is not gold. Its time that Islam should be taught as a way of life instead of a collection of daily, weekly or annual rituals and beliefs... May Allah guide us all and protect our country Pakistan...


06 - July - 2009 03:20:56 PM

Muhammad Ali Says:

hello man! I feel you are too critical for the ability of Pakistani youth as in the case right from your third paragraph. At one moment you said that youth were projecting their respective institutions as excellent as they can, on the other side you said they don't know much about business and so on. For me its too critical and conflicting. Have fun!


07 - August - 2009 11:11:02 AM

Saqib Omer Saeed Says:

Thanks for your comments. First of all you misperceive here. I am the fan of our youth’s ability. But the way they are utilizing their ability is really not good. This was the point in article. If you read the phase by phase flow of the article you will find that I said some people were good also. Now I will ask you, are you satisfied with the capability utilization of our youth? Do you think our youth is exactly doing what they are highly capable of? What I feel, we want to change our youth’s thinking and set real direction that can produce big names. They have to be rock solid. There is no contradiction but contradiction is our talent and its utilization that indeed will reflect if anyone will write about our youth. Cheers SOS


07 - August - 2009 11:26:50 AM

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Mr. Omer

Mr. Omer [1982 born] started  his professional career as a commercial / investment banker after achieving Gold Medal in Finance at master level from University of Karachi in 2006.

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