Karachi, November 16, 2023: THE FUTURE SUMMIT (TFS) 7th Edition concluded on its second day, with yet another impressive lineup punctuated with thought-provoking conversations and engaging dialogues.
Under the theme THE BIG PICTURE, the 7th Edition of TFS was jointly hosted by Nutshell Group and HBL, powered by Unity Foods Limited, in strategic partnership with the Overseas Investors Chamber of Commerce and Industry (OICCI) and CORPORATE PAKISTAN GROUP.
Dr. Shamshad Akhtar, Caretaker Federal Minister for Finance & Revenue, joined the audience virtually, she shared her views, “Pakistan has the potential to become a major economic player. According to a World Bank report, the economy of Pakistan can reach up to USD 2 trillion by 2047, from USD 350 billion today. It needs the formulation and implementation of sound economic and sector route policy and our determination to pursue challenging structural reforms. Pakistan needs more innovation and diversity in the economic structure for sustainable growth.”
The Sixth Session, titled ‘Imagineering the Future,’ comprised four addresses which touched upon various themes. Douglas Corley, Founder, DHB Global & Chief Executive Officer, Alaunius Technologies; Bob Ferguson, Senior Communications Coach, Xecofy Limited, UK, on the topic ‘The Power of Communication in Business Success’ and, Paul Papadimitriou, Founder, Intelligencr, London; Global Keynote Speaker & Futurist on the topic ‘Embracing Uncertainty – How to Comprehend the Future with Resilience’ left the audience with food for thought.
In his address Douglas said, “The field of medicine is very important; the government should be aligned with regards to policy making and patients should understand how their data is being utilized because that’s the only way we can make structural improvements.”
Emphasizing the power of strong communication, Bob said, “Change the way your organization communicates; your aim should be to throttle innovation and bleed money for your business.”
Paul emphasized, “Look at the road ahead, pay attention to details today, to not miss opportunities for tomorrow.”
The Seventh Session, moderated by Michael Foley, Investor, Board Member & Thought Leader, was a Dialogue on ‘Reimagining Leadership, Productivity & the Workplace.’ The panelists were Dr. Rehan Al Taji, Founder & CEO, PXDX FZ LLC, UAE and Co-Founder, Gabriel Jobs, KSA; Abdul Haseeb, Managing Director, TMC; Nadir Salar Qureshi, Chief Investment Officer, Engro Corporation; Dr. Anum Jawed Akhai, Chief Growth Officer, Martin Dow Group; Shabnam Mohammad, Chief Executive Officer, Black Mountain Consulting; and Arshad Saeed Husain, Managing Director, Oxford University Press.
Discussing the challenges of corporate leaders, Dr. Anum said, “I would like to use the keyword nurture, which is for innovative products, people working with us and the collaborative environment. This will help us find a balance between sustainability and growth.”
Arshad said, “The watchouts for generative AI and other software are to exercise caution and follow some level of regulation and control because as of now it is using whatever is available on the Internet.”
The next Session on ‘Creating Impact’ comprised two addresses by H. E. Jane Marriott, CMG, OBE, High Commissioner of UK in Pakistan, on the topic ‘Sustainability, Climate Change & Decarbonisation,’ and Martijn Aslander, Technology Philosopher, International Speaker & Founder, DigitaleFitheid.nl, on the topic ‘Digital Fitness; the Missing Key Ingredient of Digital Transformation.’
In her virtual address, H. E. Jane Marriott, CMG, OBE, High Commissioner of UK in Pakistan said, “Climate change is not a Big Picture issue, it is THE Big Picture issue. Looking at the solutions, I want to assert that climate literacy is essential, especially the involvement of business leaders in understanding the aftermath and the role they can play.”
These addresses were followed by a Dialogue on ‘Financial Inclusion: From Access to Economic Empowerment.’ The panelists were, Prof. Francis Davis, Professor of Public Policy and Communities, University of Birmingham; Sagheer Mufti, Chief Operating Officer, HBL; Basir Shamsie, President and CEO, JS Bank Limited; Michael Hartmann, Founding Partner, RH Consulting; Sara Koslinska, Co-Founder & Board Member, Limitless; Ghazanfar Azzam, President & CEO, Mobilink Microfinance Bank Limited; and Jahanzeb Khan, Chief Executive Officer, FINCA Microfinance Bank Limited. The panel was moderated by Sajjeed Aslam, Partner, Spectreco LLC, USA.
Jahanzeb adding to the discussion said, “It is extremely critical for the women representing 50% of the population to be represented. There has been a steady rise from 10% to 13% but we will have to mirror how a society looks like, that bank branches are not dominated by men.”
Sagheer said, “There is a huge target market in the rural areas of Pakistan, HBL’s recent initiative for the agri sector enables a large population to gain financial independence.”
The Ninth Session was designed around the theme, ‘Emerging Issues.’ The session comprised three addresses that touched upon insightful analyses, discussions, and perspectives on evolving issues. Speakers namely Abdul Qadir Memon, Chairman, Pakistan Mercantile Exchange Limited, on the topic ‘Development of Domestic Commodities – The Only Way Forward;’ Tara Love Perry, Author, Speaker & Self-Sustainability Pioneer on the topic ‘The Missing Peace in CSR & Performance Potential’ and Prof. Mark Turrell, Associate Professor Global Strategy, Hult International Business on the topic ‘Impact of AI on Leadership & Growing Business.’
TFS came to an end with a panel discussion titled, ‘Talk amongst Titans on ‘THE BIG PICTURE – Business & Investment Landscape,’ moderated by Ehsan Malik, Chief Executive Officer, Pakistan Business Council (PBC). The esteemed panelists of this session were Arif Habib, Chairman, Arif Habib Corporation; Dr. Zeelaf Munir, Managing Director & CEO, English Biscuit Manufacturers (Pvt) Limited; and Maheen Rahman, Chief Executive Officer, InfraZamin Pakistan. During this interesting discussion, Dr. Zeelaf commented, “The Agri sector is underperforming, and prosperity depends on it. Ranking 122 out of 126 in the global hunger index, with the right kind of legislation and policy we need to ensure that the policies address what we are aiming for.”
This dialogue was followed by the keynote addresses of Dr. Moeed W. Yousaf, Vice Chancellor, Beaconhouse National University; Muhammad Aurangzeb, President & CEO, HBL; and Gen Zubair Mahmood Hayat (Rtd), Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee (2016-2019).
Highlighting the challenges for Pakistan and proposing a strategic solution, Dr. Moeed said, “If we have to deal with what is coming, we have to look at things through the economic security lens. Unless Pakistan has economic security, the country will always end up being the proxy battleground for great powers.”
Aurangzeb said, “Private sector needs to lead Pakistan out of the issues we are grappling with. We need to talk about Charter of Business and fundamentally review our business models.”
Gen Zubair (Rtd) said, “The biggest impediment to the Big Picture is the deficit of imagination. If you imagine Pakistan from the prism of elite and status-quo there will not be a Big Picture but if you imagine it from the hearts of the people of Pakistan, you will have that.”
As the curtains draw on this transformative two-day conference, we find ourselves enriched by the invaluable insights shared, the connections forged, and the collective dedication to shaping a better tomorrow. The past 48 hours have been a testament to the power of collaboration, innovation, and shared aspirations. The discussions ignited during this conference promise to spark change, drive progress, and pave the way for a future where our collective endeavors flourish.