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Leading Business Summit in Islamabad Sparks The BIG Rethink for Sustainable Progress


ISLAMABAD: A collaboration between the Nutshell Conferences Group, Martin Dow Group, Overseas Investors Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and Unity Foods Limited marked the commencement of the 6th Edition of the Leaders in Islamabad Business Summit. Centered around the theme “The BIG Rethink,” the summit provided a platform for thought-provoking discussions on the necessity of reevaluating strategies, navigating leadership challenges in the era of disruption, and fostering innovation for the future.

Key speakers included Prof. Ahsan Iqbal, Federal Minister for Planning, Development & Special Initiatives, who emphasized the importance of collaboration and outlined five key areas for a sustainable future. Khurram Dastgir Khan, Federal Minister for Power, highlighted the indigenization of electricity generation in Pakistan. Muhammad Azfar Ahsan, Founder & CEO of Nutshell Group, emphasized the need to uplift education, health, and digitalization for progress.

Khurram Dastgir Khan, Federal Minister for Power, highlighted that due to the disruption caused by the Ukraine war, Pakistan’s electricity generation is undergoing indigenization for sustainable growth. He emphasized a shift towards five sources, with four being domestic and one semi-domestic. Despite significant devaluation, they have maintained the base tariff for electricity since September 2022, thanks to the new energy source from Thar Coal.

Muhammad Azfar Ahsan, Founder & CEO of Nutshell Group and former Minister of State & Chairman Board of Investment, addressed the theme “The BIG Rethink” for progress. He attributed the current state of affairs to incompetence, lack of political will, limited collaboration among stakeholders, and a lack of policy continuity. Ahsan stressed the importance of uplifting education, health, and digitalization to drive Pakistan’s progress. He also urged looking to ASEAN and the Central Asian Republics as models for expediting progress.

Ali Akhai, Chairman of Martin Dow Group, emphasized the importance of embracing transformation and the constant need to reimagine and rethink. He urged leaders to embrace “The BIG Rethink” with open minds and hearts, envisioning a brighter future and seizing infinite opportunities.

Dr. Zeelaf Munir, Managing Director & CEO of English Biscuit Manufacturers (Pvt) Limited, called for a collective rethink in the face of Pakistan’s collective failures. Using the analogy of a ship, she encouraged everyone to rise like a phoenix from the ashes and not sink.

Faisal Rehman, Managing Partner Middle East at SoftBank Investment Advisers, highlighted the urgency of digital transformation and praised NADRA’s role in this regard. He emphasized the effective utilization of unique data for economic growth through analytics.

Kaan Terzioğlu, Group CEO of VEON, emphasized the need to transform data into valuable information for the creation of value-added services. He called for ensuring that every Pakistani has access to the Internet for personal and professional development, emphasizing the importance of 4G for all.

The event featured a soft launch of Dr. Ishrat Husain’s new book on economic challenges and solutions for Pakistan.

The day concluded with a closing address by H.E. Nicolas Galey, Ambassador of France to Pakistan, highlighting France’s potential to support Pakistan’s journey towards green energy.

Overall, the summit aimed to foster collaboration, rethink strategies, and address the challenges of disruption in the business landscape.

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