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Karandaaz Launches a Study on SME Financing in Pakistan

Karandaaz Launches a Study on SME Financing in Pakistan

Karandaaz Pakistan, working to promote access to finance for small businesses and financial inclusion in the country, has launched a report on the nature and characteristics of small and medium enterprise (SME) financing and non-performing loans in Pakistan. The study explores trends in SME financing over the past decade, and reasons that have contributed to a high ratio of non-performing loans. The economic census conducted in 2005 placed the number of SMEs in Pakistan at approximately 3 million units, constituting more than 90 percent of the country’s economic establishments. In line with this estimate, SMEs account for 30 percent of GDP, generate 78 percent of non-agri employment, and contribute 25 percent of manufactured goods exports. Despite these vital contributions, SMEs in Pakistan suffer from limited access to formal credit. At its peak in Dec-07, SME financing was PKR 437 billion i.e., 15 percent of total private sector credit. By 2013, this number was down to 5.6 percent, compared to 15 percent in India; 25 percent in Bangladesh, and over 30 percent in Korea, Thailand and Turkey. By 2016, SME loans were 7 percent of total private sector lending. Similarly, non-performing loans for the SME segment in Pakistan have remained north of 20 percent in the previous decade. Cross-country comparison indicates significantly lower non-performing loan ratios in SME sectors for most East Asian and South Asian economies. CEO Karandaaz, Ali Sarfraz explained, “Karandaaz aims to reduce the capital constraint faced by small and medium enterprises so that they utilize their latent potential for creating jobs and contributing to national GDP.  This study is an effort to bring greater clarity about the nature of non-performing loans in SME sector so that market players can make informed choice about credit provision to SMEs.” Karandaaz Pakistan promotes access to finance for small businesses through commercially directed investments and financial inclusion for individuals. Karandaaz Pakistan has financial and institutional support from the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID) and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The detailed report can be accessed at:...

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Huawei fosters Technical & Vocational Training in Pakistan

Huawei fosters Technical & Vocational Training in Pakistan

Huawei Technologies is playing a key role in promoting technical and vocational training of the people in Pakistan. Recently, this global technology leader sponsored the inaugural ceremony of an initiative, launched by the Ministry of Education in Punjab, to upgrade and modernize more than 1100 Technical and Vocational Training Schools all over the province. This social-development program will nurture the skills needed for specific jobs and empower the students for higher productivity and brighter careers. This inaugural ceremony was held at the Pearl Continental Hotel Lahore, where a number of training-equipment and tools were also donated to the Technical Vocational Schools. More than 250 distinguished guests participated in this event, including; the Consulate General of China in Lahore – Long Dingbin, Minister for School Education Punjab – Rana Mashhood, the CEO of Huawei – Saif Chi, Deputy CEO – Mr. Ahmed Bilal Masud, Secretary – Dr. Allah Buksh Malik, Mayor of Lahore – Col. (R) Mubashar Javed and large number of School Principals, Academicians and students. The ‘Punjab Skills Development Fund’ (PSDF) is also actively involved in addressing the basic and critical skill-development needs of the youth, through technical and vocational training, thus generating more opportunities for employability and also encouraging entrepreneurship. The youth must realize the importance of having hands-on experience and its benefits in generating sustainable income for them and their families. The Chief Executive Officer of Huawei said: “As Huawei is at the forefront of technologies around the world, we are also nurturing a culture of technological skills and expertise in Pakistan, to play our role as a socially responsible organization. We are working towards high quality trainings aimed at ultimately benefitting young students in...

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Telenor Microfinance Bank partners with EFU Life to upgrade its mass market product

Telenor Microfinance Bank partners with EFU Life to upgrade its mass market product

Telenor Microfinance Bank has joined hands with EFU Life Assurance Ltd. to launch ‘Kamyab Mustaqbil Plus’, an enhanced version of the Bank’s existing mass market product. The signing ceremony took place at Telenor Bank’s headquarters in Karachi where executives of both organizations were present. ‘Kamyab Mustaqbil Plus’ is a Shariah-compliant term takaful plan. Offered in exchange for an affordable annual contribution, it provides takaful coverage for natural or accidental deaths as well as medical expense reimbursement in case of an accident. “This partnership furthers our inclusion goals where we strive to provide the underserved with easy and effective access to life’s basic necessities and prepare for its uncertainties,” said Shahid Mustafa, President & CEO, Telenor Microfinance Bank while speaking at the ceremony. “With this partnership, we aim to extend the maximum possible benefits of Shariah-compliant form of insurance that Pakistanis demand, securing their futures and helping them better plan their lives,” he added. Speaking on this occasion Mr. Taher G. Sachak, Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of EFU Life, said, “It gives me immense pleasure to sign this agreement as it further strengthens EFU Life’s relationship with Telenor Microfinance Bank. With the launch of ‘Kamyab Mustakbil Plus’, we aim to increase our outreach to even more segments of the society. Inclusive insurance is one of the key strategic pillars of EFU Life & I am happy to witness that both organizations are working closely to enhance the financial safety net for the masses.” ‘Kamyab Mustakbil Plus’ offers highly flexible subscription plans of up to 10 units with each unit costing just Rs. 700. The plan is valid for one year from the date of premium contribution payment. All Easypaisa customers aged 18-64 can avail the...

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Nokia 3310 variant with 3G network launched in Pakistan

Nokia 3310 variant with 3G network launched in Pakistan

HMD Global, the home of Nokia phones, introduces the Nokia 3310 3G. With fresh new colors and a new user interface that lets fans pick a theme to suit their mood, this modern classic is now 3G enabled and can be enjoyed in even more countries around the world, including Pakistan. And yes, it still has Snake. Available from November 13, the Nokia 3310 3G combines the talk and text appeal of the current model with a 3G data connection, meaning you can now enjoy the classic across more countries. The retro user interface has been improved to deliver an enhanced, customizable experience meaning you can now change the icon colors and position to ensure your favorite functions are exactly where you want them to be. “Reimagining the new Nokia 3310 variant with 3G network combines the talk and text appeal of the current model with a 3G data connection, which means that the users will now get more access and faster connectivity with their Nokia 3310,” said Kamran Khan, Head of Near East, HMD Global. “The tremendous response we received ever since the re-launch of Nokia’s iconic 3310 has been just overwhelming, and the users have been asking for this iconic phone to support 3G. Today, we are happy to introduce Nokia 3310 3G to the fans in Pakistan,” he added. Improved retro design and brand new colors In keeping with the series’ bold and colorful heritage, the Nokia 3310 3G is available in four distinctive colors – the ever popular Yellow and Warm Red, and beautiful new Azure and Charcoal hues, all with a matte finish and new silver keypads. Ergonomically redesigned for an even better in-hand experience, Nokia 3310 3G has more spacing between the buttons, letting you dial, text and tweet more comfortably 3G future proofing The addition of 3G data connectivity brings this popular phone to even more fans around the world. The Nokia 3310 3G comes with the dual SIM variant in Pakistan, has up to 6.5 hours of talk time and an impressive up to 27 days of standby time so you’re always able to stay in touch. Summary details The Nokia 3310 3G will be available on November 13 from Advance Telecom and will retail at PKR...

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Bank Alfalah Partners with Yayvo.com for E-Commerce Payments & Reward Redemption

Bank Alfalah Partners with Yayvo.com for E-Commerce Payments & Reward Redemption

Bank Alfalah and Yayvo.com signed a Memorandum of Understanding, allowing Bank Alfalah customers to conveniently purchase items from one of Pakistan’s biggest e-commerce stores, further enhancing the scope of e-commerce and digital payments in the country. Yayvo.com will integrate Bank Alfalah’s payment gateway and power Bank Alfalah’s Orbit Mall for the bank’s loyalty customers, account and card holders.  Under this agreement, Bank Alfalah customers will be also able to redeem Orbit reward points and also use Bank Alfalah Accounts and Credit Cards on the revamped Orbit Mall. In addition to providing ease of payment and quick delivery, this will greatly enhance the range of items customers can purchase with their reward points and other payment instruments, as well as opening up many more avenues of collaboration in the future. Speaking at the signing ceremony, Nauman Ansari (CEO, Bank Alfalah) said, “This partnership highlights how both organisations have effectively capitalized on their strengths, increasing the range of choices that customers have. With Bank Alfalah’s payment gateway integrated into Yayvo’s e-commerce space, customers now have access to thousands of products which can be purchased via easy e-payment options.” A. Mannan (President & CEO, TCS Holdings) said, “Yayvo.com is one of Pakistan’s fastest growing ecommerce companies which is utilising TCS’s delivery expertise and reach to make our customers live easy, simple and convenient for all their purchasing needs. Our partnership with Bank Alfalah will mark an important step in making online purchasing a trusted and secure option for all...

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Telenor empowering Pakistan with its fastest 4G rollout ‘Jo Har Pakistani Chahay’ celebrating individuality through digital empowerment

Telenor empowering Pakistan with its fastest 4G rollout  ‘Jo Har Pakistani Chahay’ celebrating individuality through digital empowerment

Pakistan’s leading digital services provider, Telenor Pakistan, has unveiled its rejuvenated brand philosophy ‘Jo Har Pakistani Chahay’ along with forthcoming 4G expansion plans signifying its relentless focus on delivering on the evolving customer needs while ensuring enhanced 4G experience and accessibility in Pakistan. The unveiling took place at Telenor Pakistan’s headquarters in Islamabad where the company’s top management briefed the media about the renewed brand mantra and how it will be supplemented by the imminent 4G expansion strategy. “Telenor Pakistan works tirelessly towards accomplishing its vison of ‘empowering societies’ through various digital and financial initiatives that are designed around the ever changing customer needs,” said Irfan Wahab Khan, CEO Telenor Pakistan while talking to the media. “Customer is at the heart of everything we do at Telenor and our new brand philosophy ‘Jo Har Pakistani Chahay’ portrays that very commitment where we make the product and service adapt to customer lifestyle rather than the other way around. We have also planned heavy investment to further enhance our 4G/LTE footprint in Pakistan and plan to convert more than 70% of our network to 4G by adding a site every hour,” he added. “We are really excited to unveil Telenor Pakistan’s rekindled brand philosophy ‘Jo Har Pakistani Chahay’, which enables us to connect with our customers to answer their call of “Jo Mein Chahoon” in our journey towards becoming their favorite lifestyle partner.” said Bilal Kazmi Chief Marketing Officer Telenor Pakistan. “’With the power of data, every Pakistani has the opportunity to be the best versions of themselves ‘Jo Har Pakistani Chahay’ celebrates this individuality.  It was time for us to step away from the race of the biggest and the best in Pakistan but rather empower every customer, every Pakistani.” he added. Also commenting on the development, Khurrum Ashfaque, Chief Technology Officer Telenor Pakistan, said, “Today, as we renew our brand mission in continuation of our efforts to empower our customers, we are set to expand the 4G/LTE footprint in Pakistan. We will also initiate building towards a 4.5G network rollout to cater to the ever growing needs of our customers and bring them the benefits of digital technology. Along with being the first telco in Pakistan to have cloud computing services, we also have a high efficiency spectrum utilizing all four 4 bands.” Since Telenor Pakistan’s 4G license acquisition in June 2016, it has rolled out over 3,000 LTE sites across 110+ cities in Pakistan. Karachi alone has received 600+ LTE sites with special arrangements – such as spectrum reframing and dual band usage – made for enhanced user experience of the city’s LTE customers. Recently, Telenor Pakistan received substantial investment from Telenor Group...

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