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Importance of leadership stressed

Updated November 28, 2014

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— Reuters/File
— Reuters/File

KARACHI: Pakistan offers a slew of opportunities to businesses, and if its people are properly guided they have the potential to make the country a developed nation, agreed speakers at the 8th CEO Summit Asia 2014 held on Thursday.

The participants discussed the pivotal role of leadership and human capital in driving the economy of a country. The summit, whose theme was ‘Pakistan: a land of opportunities’, also included launching of a book ‘100 Performing CEOs and Leaders of Pakistan’.

Speaking as a chief guest Governor Sindh Dr Ishratul Ibad Khan said that a clear vision and a sense of ownership not only brought up good leaders, but also helped in building great institutions.

He said that institutions were beyond individuals leading the institutions, and true leadership was vital to the entire socio-economic growth of the country.

Later in a panel discussion, Bank Alfalah President and CEO Atif Bajwa said, “Pakistan is a land of opportunities but it is also a land of great challenges.” He said it was worrying that only 10 to 15 per cent of the entire population holds bank accounts.

Stressing investment in human capital, he said getting financial capital becomes much easier if a business has a good human capital.

Highlighting the role of leadership in economic growth, Usman A Ghani, chairman of ConfluentC-USA, said leaders’ work is to create more leaders and not followers. Citing a survey, he said around 17pc to 22pc of CEOs in the United States showed their desire to learn more and increase their skills.

Khalid Nawaz Awan, chairman of TCS Express and Logistics, said financial investment contributes little to the success of any business; it is the people who make it successful.

Quoting the example of China, Habib Metropolitan Bank President and CEO Sirajuddin Aziz said that through effective leadership and with a proper vision the country was taking advantage of its geographical location by establishing special economic zones to bring investment and foster businesses.

Published in Dawn, November 28th, 2014