Friday, December 4, 2009

New pricing formula of Ariel - 60 gms and 1 kgs packs - interesting indeed.

Recently Ariel pakistan has been marketing 2 packs of ariel detergents.

60 gms for Rs. 10
and 1 kg for Rs. 199

As been the practice, the bigger packs cost lesser , however in this scenario , the smaller pack is costing lesser.

if i buy 20 pack of 60 gms @ Rs. 10 / each
this will make it 1200 gms for Rs. 200

while if i buy a single pack of 1 kg ( 1000 gms)
i am still paying 200

so buying smaller packs is more feasable than buying the bigger pack ?

Seems interesting price calculation to me, or am i missing the point somewhere ?

Monday, November 23, 2009

Check your motor vehicle registration details, online in pakistan

check your car motorcycle / vehicle registration details online.
no need to go to civic center
- but this is for punjab only , for now :)

more provinces may be added , may be :)

http://mtmis.punjab.gov.pk/

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Send gifts to Pakistan.Pakistan online florists.

Over the years pakistani online market has seen the emergence of many online gift stores, allowing overseas pakistani to order online and have the gifts delivered to their loved ones back home in Pakistan.

Some of the sites to send gifts to pakistan are:

www.giftshift.com
www.pakistangifthouse.com
www.giftscenario.com
www.madinagifts.com

may be doing a search on "send gifts to pakistan" or pakistan gift, gift pakistan would reveal several search results. Many of the site are pseudo, that is belonging to the same owner, using several names to allow greater search visibility.

Many new sites are coming up day by day, however with recession hitting the west and the competition in the pakistan online gift market, the market is pretty slow and not as it used to be in the early days.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Top 10 richest Pakistanis

1: Mian Muhammad Mansha


Ranking: 1 Worth: Rs 232.4 billion ($2.8billion) Industry: Businessman


Mansha has around 40 companies on board. Mansha, who owns the Muslim Commercial Bank is one of the richest Pakistanis around.

Nishat Group was country's 15th richest family in 1970, 6th in 1990 and Number 1 in 1997. Mansha is on the board of nearly 50 companies.

He could have bought the United Bank too, but then who doesn't have adversaries. Nishat Group comprises of textiles, cement, leasing, insurance and management companies. If Mansha was bitten by Bhutto's nationalization stint of 1970, his friends think he was compensated by Nawaz Sharif's denationalization programme to a very good effect. There is no stopping Mansha and he is still on the move.

Nishat group assets are $4.4Billion. He is sometimes even regarded as the richest Pakistani around by his friends claiming he does not "show it off".


2: Asif Ali Zardari


Ranking: 2 Worth: Rs 190 billion ($2.3billion) Industry: Politics/Business


President Asif Zardari dubbed "Mr 10%" (now Mr 50%) an unknown happy-go-lucky son of a small-time businessman who struck gold by marrying one of the worlds most influential women Former Premier Late Benzair Bhutto.

Taking advantage of his wife's authority he is known to have taken kickbacks from many deals inside and outside of Pakistan. The most famous was a $4 billion deal to buy 32 Mirage jets from the French company Dassault. Documents, which include letters from Dassault executives, indicate an agreement was reached to pay a 5% "remuneration" - about $200m - to Marleton Business, a BVI company controlled by Zardari. Besides these many more kickback deals were taken with companies such as ARY Gold, Société Général de Surveillance (SGS), Cotecna, and ZPC Ursus, a Polish tractor company.

At present, many are claiming that Zardari is getting more than $ 1 billion commission from rental power projects for accommodating his buddy Chairman Associated Group Iqbal Z. Ahmed.

Zardari assets holding amount into hundreds of millions of dollars easily, Having 8 prime properties in the UK, of which once is the famous Rockwood Estate 365 acres in Surrey, worth £4.35m has now been sold and money sent back to the Govt. of Pakistan. Also 14 multi-million dollar mansions in the USA, including owning Holiday Inn hotel Houston, Texas Owned by "Mr 10%" and Iqbal Memon and Sadar-ud-Din Hashwani.

Zardari also has huge business ventures in the Middle East running into hundreds of millions if not billion mark. He also has huge stakes in sugar mills all over Pakistan, which include: Sakrand Sugar Mills, Nawabshah, Ansari Sugar Mills, Hyderabad, Mirza Sugar Mills, Badin, Pangrio Sugar Mills, Thatta and Bachani Sugar Mills, Sanghar.


3 - Sir Anwar Pervaiz UK


Ranking: 3 Worth: Rs 141 billion ($1.7billion) Industry: Businessman


Chairman of Bestway Group. The Bestway Group started in 1976 with its first Bestway cash and carry warehouse opened in London. Today the have in total around 50 Cash and Carry's. Including their recent takeover of rival group Batleys for around £100m. Bestway Group ventured into Pakistan's huge the cement business in 1995 and set up cement manufacturing plant in Pakistan at a cost of $120 million.

Taking Advantage of Pakistan growing economy they also acquired a 25.5% stake in United Bank Limited in 2002. Today, the Bestway Group has interests in cash & carry wholesale, property investments, retail outlets, milling of rice, lentils and pulses, cement production and more recently into banking. The group's total sales amounted to in excess of £ 2 billion. The group provides direct employment to thousands in the UK and Pakistan. The have many interests in Pakistan too. Sir Anwar Pervaiz and his his partners sheer hard work has bought them to outstanding international levels, which definitely makes him an ideal role model for many young Pakistanis today. He still on the move!


4 - Sharif Brothers Saudi


Ranking: 4 Worth: Rs 132.8 billion ($1.6billion) Industry: Politics/Businessman


Mr Sharif Businessman turned politician the former Prime Minister of Pakistan. He was ousted in a military coup in 1999 and was forced to forfeit $9million dollars and some of his assets including his $5m Mansion is Raiwind near Lahore. Before becoming PM he was a major share holder along with his brother and cousins of Ittefaq Group, having assets well in excess of £50m in the 90's.

However he got richer when he took commissions from foreign companies for construction in Pakistan. He build the first motorway and many new roads and took heavy kickbacks. He then also stole $100m from the Iqra funds, he started a new scheme "Ghar Apna" in which he again looted around $40m, the "Mulk swaaro" scheme involving public & govt. money collections to help pay pf Pakistan's debts also was pocketed.

Today his party is government in waiting, which is looking for apt time to kick the PPP government's ass to get its turn again.


5 - Saddaruddin Hashwani Pakistan


Ranking: 5 Worth: Rs 125b ($1.5billion) Industry: Businessman


Saddaruddin Hashwani is Chairman Hashoo Group is known for his dominance in Pakistan's hotel industry, though Hashwanis are have huge strength in real estate business too.

Hashwanis are involved in trading of cotton, grain and steel and till the nationalization of cotton export in 1974, they were widely being dubbed as the Cotton Kings of Pakistan.

Today, this group has excelled in export of rice, wheat, cotton and barley. It owns textile units, besides having invested billions in mines, minerals. hotels, insurance, batteries, tobacco, residential properties, construction, engineering and information technology.

In 1984, Hashwani defeated the Lakhanis in the bid for Premier Tobacco but was arrested along with his brother Akbar in 1986 for allegedly evading customs duty on cigarettes.

Sadarduddin's brother Akbar and the children of another late brother Hassan Ali Hashwani together manage around 45 companies. Akbar runs the second Hashwani Group. He is one of the most well-known magnates in Pakistan who is a regular invitee at the Diplomatic Enclave. The list of local and international bigwigs known personally to Hashwani is unending.


6 - Nasir Schon & family U.A.E/Pakistan


Ranking: 6 (tied at 6) Worth: Rs 83b ($1billion) Industry: Businessman


Nasir Schon is a prominent business leader of Pakistan and the CEO of Schon Group. Nasir Schon is the son of Captain Ather Schon Hussain, an ex-pilot of PIA.

The Schon family is one of the few striving Muhajir Urdu business families in Pakistan. Starting off in Singapore in 1982, the peek of Schon group was in 1995 when they owned National Fibres, Schon Bank, Schon Textiles and Pak-China Fertizilers.

Famous for the trend-setting roundabout, Schon Circle, Nasir Schon is also known to be one of the first people to have a Rolls-Royce in Pakistan. Directors of Schon group flew to Dubai in 1997 in exile after the dismissal of ex-Prime Minister Late Benazir Bhutto.

The directors of Schon group were known to have close contacts with President Asif Zardari. Many assets of the Schon group were auctioned by the Nawaz Sharif government. Schon Group is the only group in Pakistan who has paid the government over 3 billion rupees ($65m) in order to return from exile. Living in Dubai gave Nasir Schon an opportunity to start businesses there. Currently working on an $830 million real estate project known as Dubai lagoon, Schon group is also fighting to get back the assets they once lost. Currently, the Schon group operates a pilot training center in Pakistan known as Schon Air.


7 - Abdul Razzaq Yakoub & family U.A.E


Ranking: 7 (tied at 6) Worth: Rs 83b ($1billion) Industry: Businessman


Mr Yakoub is a prominent Pakistani expatriate businessman based in Dubai. He is the president ARY group ($1.5Billion turnover) and World Memon Organization (WMO).

He is one of Pakistan's biggest media barons controlling around 7 channels. Besides this he has a huge property holdings in Karachi, Islamabad and Dubai amounting to over $200m. He is major in the gold market also having around 20 outlets in Asia. He has also been involved in paying Asif Zardari $5m in 1990's for allowing him to import/export gold. Which he denies and claim's is government forgeries.


8 - Rafiq Habib & Rasheed Habib Pakistan


Ranking: 8 Worth: £450m ($900) Industry: Businessman


Legend has it that the Goddess of Wealth has been in love with the seasoned Habibs more than anybody else in Pakistan. Most pundits believe that Habibs own at least 100 companies throughout the world, but these content mega-tycoons never boast off, something which has made it uphill for most to predict about their financial standing.

This industrial group was founded by Seth Habib Mitha, born in 1878 to Esmail Ali-a factory owner in Bombay. The financial strength of the Habibs can be gauged from the fact that Muhammad Ali Habib gave a cheque of Rs 80 million to Quaid-e-Azam in 1948 at a time when Pakistan government was penniless owing to delay in transfer of Pakistan's share of Rs. 750 million by the Reserve Bank of India. They had offices in Europe in 1912. They incorporated the Habib Bank in 1941.

They own the Habib Bank A.G Zurich, Bank Al-Habib, Indus Motors assembling Corolla cars and many dozens of units in sectors such as jute, paper sack, minerals, steel, tiles, synthetics sugar, glass, construction, concrete, farm autos, banking, oil, computers, music, paper, packages, leasing and capital management.

Habibs today are headed by Rafiq Habib and Rashid Habib in two distinct groups. What makes them extremely influential players of all times is the fact that for dozens of top businessmen today, Habib were a myth once.


9 - Tariq Saigol & Nasim Saigol


Ranking: 9 Worth: £425m ($850) Industry: Businessman


Hailing from Jhelum. The pioneer of the Saigol dynasty in 1890 was Amin Saigol who established a shoe shop that eventually transformed into Kohinoor Rubber Works. And then times saw them shining literally like the Kohinoor until their progress was halted by Nationalization in which they lost two-thirds of their wealth. Saigols got trifurcated in 1976 and 15 descendents of Amin Saigols four sons got a share.

The name of the Saigols has been used in this part of the world as similes describing quantum of wealth. Yousaf Saigol, along with his brothers Sayeed Saigol, Bashir Saigol and Gul Saigol then nourished an excellent crop.

In 1948, Saigols established the Kohinoor Textile Mills with a cost of Rs 8 million and this group happens to be the first to open an LC with the State Bank of Pakistan. They bought the United Bank in 1959 and then witnessed five of their units getting nationalized. They lived in Saudi Arabia during the Bhutto regime.

Today, cousins Tariq and Nasim are holding the family's fort together and have risen to unprecedented heights in individual capacities. NAB did haunt Nasim but Tariq spent more time either accepting or refusing prized slots everywhere. Tariq is the one of the finest business brains around.


10 - Dewan Yousaf Farooqui


Ranking: 10 (tied at 9) Worth: £400m ($800) Industry: Businessman


Mr Farooqui. The mentor of this group has been the Sindh Minister for Local Bodies. Industries, Labour, Transport, Mines & Minerals.

Dewan Mushtaq Group is one of the Pakistan's largest industrial conglomerates in sectors like polyester acrylic fiber, manufacturing and automotives. Six of their companies are listed at the Karachi & stock Exchange and one at the Luxembourg bourse. Dewan Farooqui Motors assembles around 10,000 cars annually under technical license agreement with Hyundai and Kia Motors of Korea.

The Dewan Salman Fiber is the pride of this empire as it ranks 11th in the world in total production capacity. The group owns three textile units, a motorcycle manufacturing concern and the largest sugar unit in the country. Dewans also have business interests in India. They possess dozens of millions of shares of Saudi Cement and Pak land Cement. They also have the franchise licence for BMW in Pakistan and now Rolls Royce showrooms.


10 – Sultan Ali Lakhani & family


Ranking: 10 (tied at 10) Worth: £400m ($800) Industry: Businessman


The Lakhanis are currently having a hard time at the hands of NAB. Sultan Lakhani and his three brothers run this prestigious group and the chain of McDonald's restaurants in Pakistan.

NAB has alleged the Lakhanis of having created phoney companies through worthless directors and raised massive loans from various banks and financial institutions.

NAB had reportedly demanded Rs 7 billion from Lakhanis, but later agreed they pay only Rs 1.5 billion over a 10-year period. Lakhanis, like their arch-rivals Hashwanis, are the most well-known of all Ismaeli tycoons. Their stakes range from media, tobacco, paper, chemicals and surgical equipment to cotton, packaging, insurance, detergents and other house-hold items, many of which are joint ventures with leading international conglomerates.

They have rifts with large business empires despite being known fur their genteel nature. Whether it is any government in Sindh or at the Federal level, Lakhanis have had trusted friends everywhere, though the present era has proved a painful exception.

Unfortunately, our extensive research does not currently include the names of a few stars that shone brightly amidst the galaxy of the influential creed of yesteryear like C.M.Latif of BECO- the Steel Man of Pakistan- who did make a lot of name once, but then got gifted with contentment somehow, although the late business wizard got very badly hit by Bhutto's nationalization of 1970 which had inflicted an astounding thud to everybody in business then. Had it not been the case, many of our tycoons may well have managed to gain the kind of status greeting the likes of Birlas and Tatas in India today, if not the one saluting Bill Gates or Warren Buffet.
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Monday, October 5, 2009

Umpire 0 Umpire - save our empire.

ICC should adopt a new policy of not allowing the umpires whose countries have reached the semi final to umpire in the other semi final. So if four countries have reached the semi finals, then none of the umpires from these 4 countries be allowed to umpire in the semi finals.

Umpires are also human and sometimes favortism and preferences might creep in when making a decision.

This might have also been the case in the Pakistan's semi final against NewZealand. No doubt Simon Taufel is an excellend umpire, but at times umpires may make a decision to favor their own team ?

Monday, September 28, 2009

How Many mobile Connections are Issued against Your CNIC ?

Following service has been launched by PTA. Through this you can get to know number of connections registered in your name with different mobile operators. In case the number of connections is more than you have in mind, then its better to contact the Service Center of the concerned mobile operator, and get the number blocked, to save yourself from any unpleasnt surprise in future.

A well wanted service is being introduced by PTA in collaboration with all companies. Now you can know the amount of connections issued against your CNIC.

Simply write your CNIC (without dashes) and send it to 668

For instance
Write 3749127299334 and send it to 668.

You will get a reply with number of connections issued against this CNIC for 6 companies (Mobilink, Warid, Zong, Telenor, SCO and Ufone).
Service won’t tell you cell numbers, instead it will actually tell you amount of numbers –

for instance, Mobilink 3,
Ufone 3,
Telenor 2,
SCO 0,
Warid 0
Total 8.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

DHA Infrastructure Charges

Recently DHA has imposed infrastructure charges on its residents on the pretext of laying new storm water drain, claiming to have spent millions of Ruppees on laying new storm water drains.

DHA has not mentioned the loss its residents had to face when they were putting down these drains.

When DHA started to put the storm water drain in our street ( Q street), the digging and drilling staff was unmindful of the underground utilities like electricity wires, gas. sewerage and water line and kept on digging without caring for the damage the digging would cause to the underground utility. Also the crane and drilling machines was inconsiderate about the overhead electricity and phone wires.

As soon as they started digging the road with the help of the machines, our underground electricity wire was damaged. Just a few meters away from the electricity wires was the gas pipe line which was uprooted. Just overhead was our telephone and cable tv wires, which were being badly stretched and pulled by the elbow / arm of the crane.

The road digging staff was without an engineer and did not have any idea of the under ground utilities that they may damage thru their mindless digging.

It was soon the neighbors intervened that the digging was stopped and the labour was forced to stop work, as they were about to damage every cable and every gas line if they continued to do so.

Till today, my underground electricity is damaged and urepaired, and I have been give a temporary overhead connection by the KESC , and to have a regular over head connection I have to submit a new application with the KESC and have to pay charges for wire and pole which would amount to approximately Rs. 25000.

One of my telephone is still out of order and unrepaired till todate.
Our family had to go thru severe mental torture as result of damaged electricity cable, damaged gas line and damaged phone line.
Who is going to pay for the losses which we have gone thru both financially and mentally ?

kesc and tax due date

The recent electricity bill's due date is 19th September 2009.
This would be the last working day before Eid. It is observed that banks are over crowded and over loaded on the last working day before eid. Also the bank timings are very short during the month of ramzan.

KESC is requested to increase the due date by at least 10 days.

Further, the last date for filing income tax return is 30th September 2009.
Since many people perform umrah, sit in atekaf, and have to offer prayers at night in laila tul qadr
its becoming tedious to file income tax return.

Like last year FBR should increase the date by 15 days to allow effeciently filing of tax.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Control of KESC should be given to the government ?

For all of those people who are the supporters for handing over KESC to the government so that its performance improves should think twice.

How many government run companies and organizations do we know that are being run effeciently by the government machinery ?

Pakistan Steel Mills, Pakistan Railways, Pakistan International Airline (recently privitized) - all are making massive losses and are as good as being bankrupt.

So how can we expect the government to perform any thing extra ordinary to KESC ?
Just like all other government run organizations, KESC, if taken over by the government, could face the same fate after a little while.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Haj - First timer experience





Haj is a spritual journey, which every muslim should perform at least once in his lifetime, providing he can bear the expenses and has the physical strength.

Almost 3 million people perform Haj every year - which is performed between 8th to 12th Zilhaj of the Islamic Calendar.

I had the honour and privilege of performing Haj in the year 2008.
To be honest I was not so excited and was a bit worried as to how the things will go and how i will be able to cope up among the crowd of 3 million people coming from almost from every part of the world with various backgrounds.

The logistics, the transport, the hotels, the people I will have to cope up with.
The time and duration it will take to perform certain tasks as i would be in a crowd
of 3 million people performing the same task at the same time. The tawaf, the Saii, and all other religious duties.

I was to land in Madina , and from there had to go to Mekkah to perform Haj and then back to the country.

I have heard many stories from people who have already performed Haj and Umrah about the problems they faced and delays and people they have encountered.

This added more to my woes, being a first time visitor to the hold place of Mekkah and Medina.

AS i landed In madina, all the things I have heard and listened seemed to be stories only.

ARRIVAL IN MADINA

I was told that as we will land in madina airport, we would have to wait at least 6hours for the immigration and customs and to reach our hotel destination.

This turned to be otherway.
The only wait we had to do was in the immigration line , which was very much usual and normal - the way we would have to wait in any other country -

It took around an hour to clear the immigration process.

After clearing that we were out of the airport , caliming our baggage and waiting for our bus and to board on it.

From landing to reaching our hotel it took almost around 3 hours -
But all the wait was usual and normal - and perhaps we would have to wait the same amount of time , if we were to visit any other country.

The ride from the airport to our hotel in madina was about 25 minutes. Again this was a smooth ride and the city was not showing any hectic sign as at this time around in madina it was estimated to have around 1.5 million people.

We reached our hotel , which was next to haram - movenpick anwarul madinah , which was just next door to haram / masjid e nabwi.

As like in any other country , facing high toruist season with lots of check ins and check outs hapenning every time - WE face the same situation.
As we were in a group of 52 people - and many more people were to check in at the same time - It took us another 30 minutes to check in -

Once we were in our hotel room , it was like anyother 5 star hotel room anywhere in the world - with every thing in order and fixed.

Normally you would experience not so good service in the hotels which are having high toursit season, and at times some fixtures in the room not in order .

But that was not the case - Hotels and rooms were in top mint condition and in order - clean.

Accomodation was one of my big concern , and I was very releaved to have a good nice cozy room, with access to haram just less than 2 minutes walk.

The first picture is the view of the hotel buidlings from inside in the haram - And was taken at sunrise - one of my favorite photograph.

Acessing haram was easy - just walk down the hotel and you are there in the haram - Just a few more steps and you are inside masjid e nabwi.

Finding a nice place in masjid e nabwi is tricky. As people tend to occupy the first available space as soon as they enter the masjid.

This leave the middle section of the masjib empty. So when you enter the masjid, you might find it occupied and filled -this is mainly because majority of the people take their place as soon as they enter the masjid.

So in order to have a nice place for your self , just start walking inside the mosque, as as you will find and feel that you are in the mosque you would be able to locate lots of empty places. So take a nice place for your self -

I had a few difficulties in finding agood place for my self for the same reason , but as i explored more , I was able to find a suitable place for myself.

Just a word of caution is to take an extra ja-e-namaz (prayer mat) in case you still cannot find a place, you can occupy the lobbies.

The market around haram is developed and spacious - you can find every thing you require, from food to medicine to mobile cards and road side shopping.

Since we were in all paid for tour , we did not have to que or wait for lunch and dinner and were provided pre packed lunch / diunner boxes - so this saved us a lot of time from standing in que for lunch and dinners -

Madina has well developed malls which cater all type of items from jewellery , perfumes, itar , dresses etc - so in case you get some time out from prayers - you might want to check the malls which are just next to haram and majority of them in the hotel building.

Madinah it self is stunning, spectacular views, very peaceful.

And yes, once you starts adjusting you will know that it is not very difficult to adjust your self in a crowd of so many , as they are there for the same purpose as you are - and tend to have a soft corner for every one - which makes life very much simpler and easier.

You are easily accomodated in the saf / prayer area - people offering you to sit next to them - Everyone seemed to patient and at ease - it felt as if i was not in the same world :)

The same thing could be seen in the markets and bazars and about -

Madina it self seemed and felt very peaceful and quiet.

Coming up next - Mekkah and Haj Days

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Published in Dawn - 26th April 2009

A post of mine, which I also sent to Dawn Newspaper got published on 26th Apirl 2009.
The link for that blog post is :
http://waqas.com.pk/blog//index.php/2009/04/22/pakistan-stripped-of-cricket-world-cup-a

The link for my post, published in dawn newspaper is :
http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/the-newspaper/letters-to-the-editor/plea-to-include-icl-players-in-pakistan-squad

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Doctor's Number 1 Choice ?

A soap brand which says to guard us from 5 types of germs or illness, claims to be doctors' number 1 choice.
The study they say was conducted among 1000 doctors in Pakistan.

According to the website of Pakistan Medical and Dental Council's statistics, till March 2009 there are 145960 registered doctors in Pakistan.
In a population of 18 crore people, one can easily find 1000 doctors in a small region of Karachi, let alone in the whole Pakistan.

Can the product be termed as number one choice by just conducting a survery study among 1000 doctors which are not even 1% of the total doctors' population of Pakistan ?

If this trend is followed, every product of Pakistan will become a number one choice.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Car AC not working when stuck in traffic jam, traffic signal or idle

Recently I faced a strange and unique problem with my car AC.

IT seems to be working fine when at speed, but when I got stuck in traffic jams or at traffic signal or if the car is just idle, the AC would stop working and would blow warm / normal air and not chilled air. Also, I noticed that the RPM would start to increase it self.

I took it to the AC tehnician and he said that it was related to AC service, and I should have the car ac serviced, which I did.

Even after ac service the problem remained there. I visited him again, and he told me that I should visit him as and when the problem occurs.

I then visited him as and when the error occured. On inspecting further, he told me that it is related to some MAGNET under the compressor of the AC. So when the magnet heats up , it stops working and which in turn causes the compressor to stop working.

So I had that MAGENT repaired and the AC seems to be working fine.

So next time when your car AC stops working, may be its not the time to service the AC but to have its magent checked.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

What is the future of technology and IT business in Pakistan ?

Being in the IT business for more than a decade, I am often confonted with the question if the IT business is really worth it in Pakistan ?

I am running a small web development , designing and hosting business for about a decade now.
Looking back i think i have come a long way, but looking again makes me feel i have gone no where.

I have seen many IT business come and go. I have seen many portals and ISP who came , who saw, who conquered and then they disappeared.

I have seen big IT businesses coming in with a bang with much fan fare and disappearing with a blink of an eye.

I have seen many programmers and developers spending sleepless nights to complete their codings and projects, only to find it that the client did not like their concept or the product that they delivered.

I my self have spent long hour with the client to make sure that the design is as per his requirement and wishes. However, at many occassions client seemed unsatisfied with any thing i would deliver.

Web designing and hosting business is still seen by many as having no potential of income or growth. At times i have defied that , but as the time is progressing it makes me sink into the thought tht may be people are right and it has no potential ?

I have seen so many Pakistani isps failing.
There was a time in Pakistan that a new isp was emerging every new week, coming with lot of fan fare and techological gimmicks. And then again I have seen them fail and disappear, a few of them in such a manner that their internet users were left stranded and employees shocked.

Some of the isps i have seen failing or closed down are :

compunet
zoom net
hi net
breeze net
sat net

a few others who did not make it big, but failed big.

Then there was a time when people started having portals, offering online contents, information and even online shopping in Pakistan , at a time when being online was not an essential and people would turn to tv or other international websites for information rather than a local website.

I have seen portals who came with much promises but they then failed miserably.
The Pakistani online advertisement sector was very much in its infancy and untested. People would rather advertise on tv and print, but not on the internet. Those times have changed now and since 2008 we can see many pakistani companies advertising online on yahoo, msn and other website. Google adwords is the catalyst for change for many, as it has delivered the right content to the right user with a fraction of the cost. The adword sector may be covered later.

So there was a time when Pakistani portals failed miserably.

etaleem
sawmwonline
hi star / hi mall

and many such portals came into being but could not deliver , or may be they came earlier in the market, at a time when the market was raw.

I once went to give a job interview for a portal manager and I was asked a question if having portal in pakistan was really worth it ?
My instant answer was NO !

What followed next was a series of question, who would ask me all sorts of question regarding online trends of pakistani, pakistani online population / users, e-commerce spend of pakistan, web traffic of various website of pakistan like geo and jang, web traffice for various international websites.

All in all the prospective employer was impressing upon me that online web / portal business has potential and any new portal would be a hit.

I am still waiting to see that portal come online. May be it has, but i dont know about it.

Though I could not answer any of it, but still my real answer to a operating a portal in Pakistan was NO !
The reason for my answer being seeing so many pakistani isp's and portals failing over the period of time.

Over the period of time, I have seen some very small portal which have made big in Pakistan. These are developed and maintained by young studnets, who started it as a hobby and started making big money from it. They have not marketed their portal with much advertisement, all they have achieved is thru word of mouth.

So of the portals which are doing good are :

apniisp.com
funmaza.com
ejunoon.com

and many such small portals, which have taken a lot of resources and time of these developers.
They have contents ranging from dictionary, translation ,mp3 songs, sms, poetry and muslim names databases.

These sites are doing wonders to these young people, who are just fresh out of school and bagging handsome amounts thru advertisements.

Surely google adsense is the king when it comes to getting advertisements and these people do not have to go any where for advertisements. All they need to do is put a google adsense code, and advertisements start displaying on the website.

As per my information these people are making around US$ 200 / month from their portal.

Then there are some midsized portals, which have huge backings and can sustain, as they are being financed by their parent company.

A few of these are :
apnakarachi.com
hamariweb.com

These are sites which are backed by their principal parent company and have put a lot of effort to market their portal, backed by good contents.

And then there are news portals which are being owned and operated by newspapers and have been instrumental in providing up to the minute online news to the users.

dawn.com and jang.com.pk being the most frequented sites by online users wanting instant access to the news.

However, yet still web designers and developers do not seem to be getting the worth they should be, and web development still seems under prviliged job, where a lot of people ask questions like

Is it really good job ?
is it a good income ?
does it have a potential ?

For years i have been confronted with questions like these and have made me think and re-think.
Either i have been under performing or the general business trend has been.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Free - SMS Sending Software

Just install the software and start sending sms from your computer.
Ever looking for a sms sending software ? and that too for free ?
No trial version , no share ware , no vendor signature.

Just true sms sending software by microsoft.
This is a free sms sending software by microsoft, provided you have genuine windows XP / windows operation systems.

Just install the software and start sending sms from your computer. Connect your mobile to your computer thru cable / bluetooth etc , and start sending sms thru the software.

You can download the software from the following link:
http://www.microsoft.com/globaldev/outreach/dnloads/smsSender.mspx

Friday, June 26, 2009

92 Khan and 09 Khan

When it comes to Pakistan cricket, it seems that 9 and KHAN is the lucky number for Pakistan.

We won the first cricket world cup under the captaincy of Imran KHAN in 1992
Then against we did it again in 2009, once again under the captaincy of Younus KHAN.

Another KHAN.

However, 9 is not a big time lucky number. We lost the cricket world cup final at lord in 1999 :D

In fact Pakistan lost the 1999 world cup final on June 20 , 1999
It was after a decade and a day later that pakistan won it again. No matter this time we won it in the smaller version of the game, but a win is a win - and winning a worldcup is a big acheivement by any means.

The nation needed this win more than the cricket team itself.

When a country ravaged by War, internal conflict , ethnic , politic and all sorts of conflicts, needed this win to unite the people of Pakistan.

The celeberation rightly proved that . People were enjoying and celeberating the win irrespective of their association.

This was one happy moment for the nation , which had lost all hopes and had nothing to cheer about , this was one happy moment after independence of 1947 , and then the world cup win in 1992. This is win is bigger than any , coming at a time when the Pakistani nation was down and under -

We have won many hockey world cups , but those win did not stir the nation as this one trurly has. Cricket is widely followed after Islam.


Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Show us the cup !

Now that Pakistan has won the worldcup - bringing happiness to people around the country and to the exapts living away from home.

Now that we have won it , the Pakistan cricket board should make arrangements to take the cup to every major city of the country -

May i suggest a welcome for the team in karachi from airport to mazar e quaid , where the team pays tribute to the father of the nation ? and in this way people get to welcome and see their heroes with the world cup .

Same can be done in other cities.

Time is short, as Pakistan has to go to srilanka to play test and odi series there, and then the icc trophy and other assignments.

PCB should manage time in b/w to make the cup travel to major cities of the country to allow people to feel the sense of ownership and patriotism.

Show us the Cup !

Welcome T20 worldcup pakistan

Pakistan finally won the T20 worldcup.
The win came at a time when nothing seemed to be going good for Pakistan either on political or sports front.

And a win was needed not just by the cricket team, but by the country itself which has been marred with all sorts of troubles over the last few years.

This was something the nation wanted to cheer themselves up and show the unity, passion and patriotism, and the win could not have come at a better time than this.

It was hearty to see people flogging on the streets and celeberating the win in a big style.

Ironically, Pakistan lost the 1999 world cup final on 20th june 1999. And finally they claimed it against a decade and a day later.

Shahid Afridi showed some character - being patient and taking singles rather than trying to hit out on every ball - which is very much unlikely shahid afridi and very much unlikiely pakistan.

There was no big hicup or trouble, pressure was eased away by the openers giving a decent start in the final and pakistan chased the runs down with 8 wickets to spare.

Never before I have seen Pakistan doing a run chase in this manner - either we would loose early wickets, or loose wickets in the middle and then the pressure would go to the lower order , who would either hit the winning runs in the last ball or last overs.

This time around the pressure was absorbed by the upper order and doing their bits.
Shahid Afridi seemed to play it cool , not trying to hit malinga , when he tried to bounce him , infact he nodded in appreciation about his bouncer , but did not try to hit him out on the next ball , some thing he has done almost thru out his career - he was one of those players who never liked to be bogged down - and always has the attitude for hit out or get out.

Also the team played well, the bowlers did their bit.

The re-induction of razzaq became vital for pakistan , as it was him that played a good role for pakistan against newzealand and then again in final by claiming three big and early wickets.

His presence really gave a boost to the bowling side which was other wise struggling.

All in all this was a welcome win for Pakistan and for the nation.

Also, considering the fact that none of the Pakistan players were allowed to play in the IPL.
My general thinking was that since Pakistan was not playing in the IPL they might be rusty and not in pracitce while other teams were having their players play the IPL and would be having enought practice to cope up at international level.

This proved otherwise.

Experience at IPL did not matter. Infact it was the ICL who was the winner - Razzaq., ex-icl players, being reinducted and becoming a major force for the Pakistani cricket team and doing his bit for the team -

While other teams complained about too much cricket played at the IPL, Pakistani players did their part.

The victory will go a long way for the nation who will have some time to smile ,cheer and talk about the win - and drfit their mind away from the regular doings of life , inflation , electric failure, ecnomic worries, politics and war on terror.

Friday, June 19, 2009

yeh cup kahan jayega ?

Being now qualified for the finals of the T20 2009 worldcup.Pakistan seems so near yet so far from the world cup title.
We have played and lost 1999 worldcup final - that too was in england.We played 2007 T20 worldcup final and lost tht by thin margin - more by luck than performance
and once again , its 2009 and we in the final of the T20 worldcup.
Pakistan fought well in the semi finals to beat south africa by 7 runs.Younus took 2 big gambles, which might have costed Pakistan the match , and would have put a big question mark on younus' decision .
The first was to make fawad alam bowl the 16th over, in which he gave away 15 runs.Fawad hadnt bowl thru out the tournament and he was given to bowl and important over of the match . this could have been make or brake over for pakistan.
and then not letting umer gul bowl his quota of 4 overs.no matter if the spinners were doing a good job ,you should make your best bowler bowl his full quota.
the only reason come to my mind for letting fawad bowl was that he was a left arm bowler , and dumminy was a left hander, his bowling might have worked some leg break for dumminy .
anyhow, all is well that ends well .
We are a nation starved of happiness as long as we remember .War ridden , war on terrorism , frequent disturbances in the country, bomb blasts, suicides -the nation is looking up to one thing which will surely cheer them up for a while and help them forget their woes.
Yeh cup yaheein ana chaiye.
Pakistani nationa needs the worldcup far more than any thing else , in these testing times.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Laptop keys got slow and cpu usage showing high usage

If one day you start you laptop and find out that the laptop keyboard has gotten slow.Not taking any input , or if it takes it takes a long while to appear.
Computer has gotten slow, programs are taking forever to open , maximize , minimize.You some how go to check the task manager and finds cpu usage around 80 % or very high.
DO nothing else , but remove your laptop battery and start running your laptop on power.
It is very much highly that your laptop batteries are worn out.
It took me a long while to diagnose this issue, so writing it up here, incase someone faces the same problems.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Dhoni's gamble did not pay off this time

Dhoni has taken a lot of gamble thru out his captaincy.
This time around his gamble did not pay off.

He included rookie jadeja in the lineup and promoted him up the order at number 4, which was not a good gamble. Jadeja took a lot of time and deliveries and still couldnt score as many runs.

Dhoni is known for his gamble.
One big gamble he took was in the final of T20 2007 worldcup final against Pakistan , where he made the bowler "Sharma" bowl the last over of the final, with pakistan needing just 12 of the final over.

Had Misbah lodged the ball for a six , the captaincy of Dhoni would have came to end, but that time his gamble paid and Misbah got out on a foolish shot, for which he was himself to be blamed.

This time the gamble did not pay off.
Taking nothing away from England, and the way foster stumped Yuvraj Singh ws the turning poinf of the game.

Dhoni is now coming under lot of critisim about team selectio and batting order.
But this was the same dhoni who has achieved India many mileston and winnig t20 world cup final was one of it .

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Super 8, Pakistan 1 , India 1

Now that the super 8 stage is on , pakistan and india have lost 1 each match in the super 8, means that both pakistan and india will have to win the remaining 2 matches to qualify for the semis.

india has to play southafrica and england
pakistan has to play newzealand and ireland.

pakistan seems to be well place and can make it to the semis provided the batsmen live up to the expectation,

india is in a tuff position and are in a do and die situtation.

its any one's game now -

Monday, June 8, 2009

Pakistan may leave T20 cricket world cup early ?

With holland beating England and then England beating Pakistan by a big margin , it is possible that Pakistan may have to leave T20 worldcup early , as now they would require to beat Holland by a bit margin to proceed to super 8.

Had pakistan lost to england by a thin margin , the matter wouldnt have been that bad, but since they lost by more than 50 runs or so , this means that pakistan would have to win against holland by a similar margin, which may not be a good bet by unpredictable pakistani cricket team.

Being favorite for the tournament , it seems that Pakistan may have to leave the T20 worldcup stage early.

This has been the case with Pakistan in the 2003 worldcup and then in 2007 worldcup, it seems this might be the case again with Pakistani in this T20 worldcup.

Being finalist in the last world cup and now on the verge of being going out in the first round ?

Who know afridi and akmal and misbah and shoaib malik will fire from all ends to make a big scrore against scotland ? and then bowling them out cheaply to make it to the next round ?

Fingers crossed, its still some 24 hours to go before it can be assured if Pakistan makes it to super 8s or not.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Women's Sindh games and sports minister for Sindh

The sports minister for Sindh was busy doing commentary in the local Twenty 20 cricket competition held in Lahore, in the province of punjab, for a private TV channel while a major sporting event by the name of Sindh Games for Women was underway in Larkana which is reported to be marred with all sorts of mismanagement and controversies.

It would have been encouraging if Sports minister would have stayed in the province and in Larkana to look after the mismanagements of the organizer rather than doing commentary for a sports channel in another province.

Please keep your priorities right.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

French Revolution: From french fries to french kiss

Sometimes I wonder if french were really innovative in doing things ? or is it just the world which has given the names. We get to see so many things associated with french which are also popular all over the world.
French FriesFrench ToastFrench Beard
and finally
French Kiss - Surely popular all over the world :d

Pakistan spy agencies and involvement in the mumbai terror attacks

Pakistan intelligence agencies need to look at the way they train and equip their spies.Our (pakistani)spies are bringing a bad name to the nation and intelligence agencies and raising big question marks on the way our spies are being trained, equipped and sent to the enemy's land for spying (or so called terrorist activities)
Our spies are always caught (in India) carrying Pakistani passports, or Pakistani ID cards, or either having pakistani origin goods in their possession.
Our intelligence agencies should atlease train our spies (or terrorists) not to carry any thing with them which can proove their identity as a Pakistani.
Is our intelligence agency, like every other thing in Pakistan failing too ?

Future of Ice cream in Pakistan - and electric loadshedding

With summer approaching in Pakistan , and getting ready for another summer of load shedding and tear shedding !
It seems that this time around the loadshedding schedule would be 24 hours electricity - straight24 hours load shedding - straight.
In short you will have electricity every alternate day !cheers !
With country already starved for electricity, the majorly hit business would be ICE CREAM !Ice creams require to be kept in a deep freezer at all times , and with no electricity and high tempterature , they ought to melt quickly !
Hence the buyer wont be willing to buy a melt up ice cream - and that too in scortching temperatures !
Ice creams, like all other businesses are bound to be effected in a big way !
Tearshedding with loadshedding :)

Number of school going days in Pakistan / Karachi

Noticing the number of school going days in Pakistan, ( more relevantly in Karachi ) it seems that there are no more than 120 school going days for school students. This shows the state of our education and the importance of school.Just calculate it how
Total number of days in a year : 365
Total number of saturday and sundays [52 Sundays and 52 Saturday] : 104Summer vacation holidays [if schools are to open from 15th august] : 75Winter vacation holidays : 15Eid ul Fitr Holidays: 4Eid ul Adha holidays: 4Miscellaeous / other gazetted holidays: 20Strike / Rain / riot holidays [avg]: 5Exam days [ calculated as 7 days exams per semester / 2 semesters]: 14
Total number of [non academic] days: 241
365 - 241 = 124
So in reality the students are studying only for 124 days -

Presidential Security for the SriLankan Cricket Team

It is said that that Pakistani government and the Pakistan cricket board promised VVIP security, same that is given to the president of Pakistan, to the Srilankan cricket team.If this is the security for the president of Pakistan, then God save president of Pakistan from being assasinated in the middle of the street.Having my office on main Sh-e-faisal, I get to see and notice the security measures taken whenever president is in the city.Police force is deployed from the morning, no matter at what time the president has to pass the road.They are deployed on every street leading to the main sh-e-faisal. Rangers and police personnel are deployed at every few meters on each side of the road and on the islands. Traffic is stopped from coming to the roads some 20 - 30 minutes before the president is expected to pass the road.And when finally the president passes the road, his motorcade includes at least 2 dozen vehicles of different sort.With at least 8 police mobile vans, 2 ambulances, vehicles of the elite commandoes, traffice police bikes, and mobiles and various other vehicles.This is the security measures I have seen over the years that are being given to the president of Pakistan be it ex-President Musharraf or now President Zardari.The claim of giving high profile VVIP security to the Srilankan team do not prove to be correct.Its time for the government and agencies to deliver what they promise else even head of states would not be willing to visit Pakistan, let alone a sporting team.

Load shedding and role of generator in Pakistan.

The sentence (which translates into) "switch on the generator" are so very commonly used in our country and household that the word "genetut" (read generator) was among the first few words of my child.A child is bound to pick up words which are more frequently spoken in front of him, and surely the word "generator" is being used an average 6 times a day.Yet again its time to "switch on the generator"

Are hotels really "home away from home" ?

Whenever one visits another city, or country he usually has to get an accomodation in a hotel.Be it big 7 start hotels or small motels.
Almost all hotels, would boast about their qualities and how they would make you comfortable and how you can feel it as "home away from home"
Let take any average hotel in to consideration. I really dont think that hotels are "home away from home" they are no way near.
What I can really think and say about these hotels are that they leave no stone unturned to charge their customer.
For instance, all moderate hotels have a mini bar in the room, which usually contains drinks, water and snacks. Which are higly over priced.In actual the real mini bar cost would not be more than US$ 10.00 ( PKR 1000 )
Do we really need to buy over priced stuff for our "home away from home" ?Wouldnt it be nice that hotels would offer 1 free mini bar ? (at least for customers staying a certain number of nights ) like 1 free mini bar for a stay of 3 nights ?
And then the price of the laundary if you use hotel laundary service ? too very over priced.and then the price for using internet in the hotel ? over priced again.
are hotels really "home away from home " ?
For me , always look out for HOTELS, HOSPITALS and BANKS.you get the service when you pay.No payment no service - what may come .

Earth Hour Pakistan ?

Many countries thru out the world observed earth hour by switching off lights for an hour.We the people of Pakistan observe "earth hours" every day for as long as 12 hours a day, thanks to our electric supply companies.
While many people in Pakistan also followed in the footstep of observing earth hour, it makes no sense for people of Pakistan to observe earth hour as we do it almost on daily basis thru out the year.
It would be suitable if we observe "electricity hours" and see how long the electricity stays before it takes us back to "earth hour"
We have been observing earth hour for a long while and the world has just woken up to it ?

Pakistan stripped of cricket world cup and players

Pakistan Cricket Board, sidelined the Pakistani ICL players by not selecting them in the Pakistani cricket team, on the pressure of Indian Cricket Board, as Pakistan did not want the relationship between Pakistan and India to be detoriated on the cricketing front.Now since India has started sidelining Pakistan on International front by not taking any Pakistani umpire or Pakistani players in the IPL and by not favoring Pakistan in the upcoming worldcup, it will be feasible for Pakistan to include ICL Players in the pakistan squad and to lift all the restrictions on them.We have always bowed to foreign pressure, be it be our government or our sports bodies, sidelining our own people and talent.We are already been sidelined by the International cricket community. First the ICC champions trophy, then the world cup has been taken away from Pakistan. Teams are not willing to play in Pakistan.What more worse could happen to Pakistan cricket board if they include the ICL players ? It is time that we should accept our players with open arms as both the cricket board and players have become a victim.

Pakistan Afghanistan Border and USA Mexico Border

According to recent news stories a bulk of the weapons in mexico are smuggled in from the USA and bulk of drugs, around 90%, are smuggled from mexico to the USA.According to figures given by the International Boundary and Water Commission, USA Mexico border is 3169 Kms, which is mainly plain land and water with no mountaineous borders.Whereas Pakistan Afghanistan durand line is 2640 Kms, which is all mountaineous area.If USA cannot control drug and weapon smuggling from its border which is mainly plain land and having an effective satellite and patrolling and border agencies, how can USA expect Pakistan to control insurgency from its Afghanistan border ?Pakistan share a mountaneous border with Afghanistan, which is relatively impossible to mointor and control, while USA has it self failed to control the smuggling of weapons and drugs from its mexican border, even when having all the resources and technology.

Legal and Illegal Cricket ?

Many cricket boards have banned the players who have participated in the Indian Cricket League.ICC do not recognize ICL as a valid league, however Indian Premier League has been recognized by the ICC.
Cricket Boards have banned players who have signed up with ICL to play for their country.
Then what about also banning the TV Channels which are airing the ICL matches, to not let them telecast any ICC recognized event. As we can see that the same TV channel is airing lCL matches and then the same TV Channel is airing IPL matches and other ICC International matches, making money by getting tv advertisement for both the events.
Also why not ban the commentators who are commentating in the ICL matches to not to do any commentary in the ICC recognized events. (In the current instance Australian commentator Dean Jones was commentating in ICL and now also doing commentary in the current Pakistan Australia cricket series)
Also ban the umpires standing in the ICL matches, ground, TV and other sponsors of ICL from sponsoring in any ICC recognized event ?
Why are only the players associated with ICL are banned and other organizations and people associated with ICL are not banned ? If other organizations have the right to earn and make money by sponsoring as many events and matches they like then players should also have the right to play in any tournament as they may like and not just in the ICC recognized events.
ICC should lift the ban on the ICL players unconditionally.