Farm … to Market

November  6, 2019

(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=elXGOeS8EUQ)

One of the best investments this Country ever made in the ‘90’s was development of the new Motorways in the Punjab.  Let’s analyze what it has produced-

  • Poverty- Whether it’s the “CPEC” development of roads network, rail links or other transport modes or it’s internally developed, tying city to city and province to province will uplift rural areas and give them access to commerce, trade, emergencies, etc.;
  • Commerce – you’ve shrunk the time, eased the availability and given smooth access to farmers and trade from their villages to large towns and cities;
  • Mobility- Punjab has become MOBILE.  With a maximum travel time of six hours, people can work in one city while their home is in another- very much like cities in USA;
  • Transport- network and infrastructure has increased and become better;
  • Employment- you’ve created new means of income & employment- whether new buses ply the motorways, staffing these buses or opportunities for shops, outlets, offices, etc. (more on this below*)
  • Tourism- you give immediate access to develop internal tourism opportunities (more on this below*).  This summer, my brother, sis-in-law and our families drove from Karachi to Nathiagali, in one of the best overland adventures they have had!

*Tourism & self-employment- Local towns, villages and populace on the road network should be helped & encouraged to put up small, clean, 2-3 star lodgings & cottages– the economy of that area is being developed indigenously.  Pakistani hospitality is one of the best the world has ever seen (but few can experience it in the face of negative publicity ☹).  You don’t need the “Avaris” and the “PCs” & “Serenas” – let it be the “Khan Motel” instead.  One, 10 room lodging will give DIRECT income & employment to a family of 5-7 people minimum; they in turn will employ others to help run the show; producers will sell food stuff, cleaning, linen and other items to these lodgings; the benefits go on down-stream and are never ending; and on & on.  The ancillary developments that take place are another story all together – shops , retails, malls, organized tours, etc.

(http://dunyanews.tv/en/Pakistan/416339-Motorway-opened-for-all-kinds-of-traffic)

There may be no international empirical evidence suggesting an increase in road networks necessarily helps an economy but I see actual, on-the-ground benefits we have gained in Pakistan.  If travel time between Karachi and Lahore can be reduced from almost 24 hours to 12 hours, what’s not to like?  If a series of motorways links the length and breadth of Pakistan, what’s wrong with that?

(As I post this, the new M7 – Multan to Sukkar- just opened!)

“Karachi, thy name is Charity”!

April 17, 2019

Blog Harmony in Helping Hands

Karachiites have a fantastic appetite for philanthropy; and many times, it’s not advertised – these are the true “unsung heroes” of the day!

HARMONY IN HELPING HANDS is an informal group started by Rashna Gazder and which includes her piano pupils and guest performers.

Having a large group of budding & talented pianists, she realised she could use their talent alongwith her own in encouraging genuine causes in Pakistan.

As a group, they not only raise funds with concerts but also visit institutions regularly during and after the fundraiser.  As a teacher, she was keen to instill the desire of “giving back” – to give love and care to the less fortunate – in her students.

Rashna’s husband Percy and two sons – Dr. Darayus & Dr. Noshirwan – work very hard behind the scenes in supporting her rehearsals and donation drives, in spite of their own busy work & college schedules.

In all these recitals, Darayus complements each music performance with a befitting & individual video display.  In fact, it was Darayus who quoted “…true charity is the desire to be useful to others with no thought of recompense”… now that’s true charity!

Even the guest performers – the likes of Azad Iqbal, Terence Joseph and Janelle Dias, to name but just a few – give their unflinching time and energies for each practice session, which starts months in advance of the final recital.

Not to leave out her piano pupils, who put in all the extra work, time and energies in spite of their own school classes, schedules and exams!

Harmony in Helping Hands has helped LRBT Eye Hospitals, Chitral Children’s Education Fund, Indus Hospital Children’s Cancer Ward, ABSA (The School And College For The Deaf) and The Parsi General Hospital.

Harmony in Helping Hands … truly, THY Name is Charity!

Blog Harmony in Helping Hands 1

Money Doesn’t Grow on Trees

(Image source courtesy- https://www.google.com/search?q=profit&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjNmpuOvsfhAhUQlIsKHSlmDEYQ_AUIDigB&biw=1422&bih=652#imgrc=DgUdcZ0TJmCpBM:)

Profit doesn't grow on Trees

April 11, 2019

Business and family groups are defined by their philosophy and values under which they operate.

We have 4 core philosophies under which our family operate, one of which I’ll take up here –

We are in the business for profit BUT AT THE SAME TIME, we have a responsibility towards our employees & society.  It is our moral obligation to assist our employees where necessary.

Somehow, here, “profit” is a dirty word.  Why?

If we don’t make a profit, how can we plough our resources back into employee welfare & engagement and social uplift & charity!?

If we don’t make a profit, how can we support our own team members’ genuine issues and society’s charitable endeavors!?

We have a “womb to tomb” philosophy – that doesn’t mean we force “you to work till you drop”.  What it means is that for our Associate & Supervisory cadre, generally, we let them work till THEY want to retire.

Pakistan doesn’t have any safety net for retired people. What do old people do?  Where can they turn?  No government since inception has ever provided or supported them.  It is upto us to look after them – whether by extended employment or pension or medical or education.

But how can we do this if there is no PROFIT!