Karachi, October 09, 2020 (PPI-OT): On October 3rd, 2020, Habib University hosted corporate leaders for a panel discussion, titled “The Transitional Role of Corporate Leaders in Times of Crisis”. Leading members of the corporate sector attended the event to discuss the challenges faced and the measures taken to alleviate pandemic-caused disruptions.
(L-R) Mohamedali Rafiq Habib, Chairman, Habib Metropolitan Bank, Khalid Mahmood, CEO and MD, Getz Pharma Pvt. Limited, Arif Habib, Chairman, Arif Habib Corporation Limited, Ehsan A. Malik, CEO, Pakistan Business Council, Bashir Ali Mohammad, CEO, Gul Ahmed Textile Mills, Ghias Khan, President and CEO, Engro Foundation, Wasif Rizvi, President, Habib University, Pervez Ghias, CEO, Habib University Foundation.
The panel included Ghias Khan, President, CEO, Engro Foundation, Arif Habib, Chairman, Arif Habib Corporation Limited, Khalid Mehmood, CEO and MD, Getz Pharma Pvt. Limited and Bashir Ali Mohammad, CEO, Gul Ahmed Textiles. The panel was moderated by Ehsan A. Malik, CEO, Pakistan Business Council.
President Habib University, Wasif Rizvi, began with an insightful presentation where he analyzed technological mergers with businesses globally which allowed them to sustain themselves during the pandemic. He also highlighted higher education as one such sector, which could not cope up with the disruptions caused by COVID-19 and faced huge losses due to its dependence upon schedules and in-person interaction between students and faculty.
He asserted that universities globally had to shut down and move to an online method of teaching, and that the locational and intellectual advantage of universities across the world had been equalized. “Universities like ourselves are looking at it very curiously and seeing at how this can actually become a permanent advantage,” remarked President Habib University, Wasif Rizvi.
Acknowledging guests in the audience for their support, President Habib University, Wasif Rizvi, said, “Some corporations have stepped up and have helped our students and faculty directly and that creates a real solidarity, real relationship, in this difficult time.”
The panel discussion revolved around the opportunities and decisions, personal or community-wide, which leaders of major industries had to make in these unprecedented times. Adding to the discussion about what helped leaders make decisions regarding company operations during the pandemic, Khalid Mahmood, CEO and MD, Getz Pharma, said, “COVID-19 must make us realize the truism that man has been destroying the business, destroying the environment”. For this reason, he emphasized on the education of future generations and the contributions all of must make to ensure this.
Ehsan A. Malik, CEO, Pakistan Business Council had similar sentiments. He talked about the managerial practices of the business community in particular. “COVID actually opened our eyes to the ill-effects of bad management but also to the positive effects of when we start relying less on travel, less on automobiles etc.,” he said.
The discussion called attention to investments made in technology due to work from home policies and university closures. Ghias Khan, President and CEO, Engro Foundation, commented that as a result of Covid-19, there would be a push to initiate operations from home and this could only be done when there was considerable investment made in technology.
Guests in the audience asked the corporate leaders pressing questions about the skillset required by employers in the 21st century considering that degree acquisition had been made redundant by the Big 5 companies. There was unanimous agreement among panellists that universities needed to foster patience and resilience in their students in order to succeed professionally. The event was covered local news networks, who took this opportunity to speak to guests as well as Habib University leadership.
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