Business leaders discuss mystique of leadership
Zubair Qureshi/Mian Arshad
Islamabad—Which are the essential ingredients of leadership and what makes a perfect leader to run successfully a company as well as a country was the subject of a dialogue organized by Nutshell Forum in collaboration with Corporate Pakistan Group at Serena here Tuesday. A large number of members of civil society, IT gurus, entrepreneurs, media persons and representatives from various business companies turned up to attend the dialogue that was titled “Leadership in Times of High Expectations.” Such thought-provoking events rarely take place rarely in Pakistan, they viewed.
Pakistan’s top business leaders from telecom sector— PTCL’s President & CEO Dr Daniel Ritz, Mobilink’s CEO Jeffrey Hedberg, Ufone’s President & CEO Rainer Rathgeber, Telenor Pakistan’s outgoing CEO Michael Foley, his successor Irfan Wahab Khan, Deputy CEO Telenor as well as Chief Marketing Officer and Nestle Pakistan’s Managing Director Bruno Olierhoek— participated in the dialogue and gave their opinion as how they view leadership and what is the recipe of a good team leader. Minister of State and Chairman Privatization Commission Mohammad Zubair, Spokesperson to Prime Minister Dr Musadik Malik and Deputy Head of Mission and Acting Ambassador of the US embassy Jonathan Pratt also shared their thoughts on the subject. One could also see PTI’s leader Naeemul Haq among the galaxy of guests.
Business leaders were of the view that despite challenges like poor governance, energy crises and higher taxes, Pakistan was full of immense potential in business, trade and investment sector. They saw Pakistan as a vibrant, buoyant economy shifting its focus from non-development sectors to uplift of economy and development of infrastructure.
Mohammad Zubair in his keynote address said there was a consensus among all political parties the current democratic system should be allowed to work. By following a positive, resolute belief in democracy and democratic set up can we achieve the goal of holistic progress in Pakistan, he said. Mohammad Zubair particularly mentioned China-Pakistan Economic Corridor and termed it a game changer for the entire region.
Dr Musadik Malik emphasized the need of ‘having a dream’ adding “it goes to the credit of a leader to make that dream possible.” A leader he said should think differently and must have the innovative approach to deal with the challenges. He shared his 3-C formula for a leadership envisaging ‘Creativity, Commitment and Collaboration.”
President and CEO PTCL Dr Daniel Ritz said his company believed in serving and securing the rights of consumers. We have a huge family of 80,000 PTCL consumers and we believe in delivering the best to our valued customers. We have clarity what ‘not to do; how to motivate; be predictable; and last but not the least be visible,’ he said.
CEO Mobilink Pakistan Jaffrey Hedberg said as team leader, he followed five principles namely, strategic clarity, engagement, consistency, ownership and teamwork.. “This is why Mobilink has attracted more than 38 million subscribers and maintaining market leadership through cutting-edge, integrated technology, the strongest brands and the largest portfolio of value added services in the industry. We have a broadband carrier division providing next generation Internet technology as well as the country’s largest network with over 9,000 cell sites making everyday a better day for its customers” he maintained.
President and CEO Ufone Rainer Rathgeber said he led his organization with a principle of trust and positive approach. “Positive attitude towards people along with leadership charisma are a must for leading any organization amidst high expectations and serious challenges. Besides the lowest call rates (higher taxes, clear sound quality and best network, Ufone offers its customers simplified tariffs with no hidden charges, he said. With a strong and uniquely humorous communication direction that has now become Ufone’s signature across all advertising media, Ufone gives its customers many reasons to smile” he said.
US Deputy Head of Mission Jonathan Pratt also shared his views about leadership. To me a leadership should be selfless, have relationship with his colleagues, could identify key people for advice and support and (in diplomacy should know how to listen. It is during your careful listening you can detect openings where you could break in and convince the opponent, he said.
Amer Hashmi, Adviser NUST, identified seven power corridors of leadership in Pakistan that shape the policy and strategy of the country. Unfortunately lack of clear vision has been a serious cause that none of our 165 university could produce any leader, he said. He called for empowerment of youth with the help of entrepreneurs.
Outgoing CEO Telenor Michael Foley said the world is rocked with challenges and only by dint of true leadership qualities can we face these challenges as well as changes. Her termed Telenor Pakistan team wonderful people to work with and wished his successor Irfan Wahab all the best wishes. In his speech, Irfan Wahab Khan paid rich tributes to Michael Foley saying Telenor was all about empowering the people of Pakistan. We believe in access of information to every child, support farmers’ community and give our customers the best in the field.
Managing Director Nestle Pakistan Limited Bruno Olierhoek observed that Nestlé’s global “Shared Value Approach” was working with stakeholders in governmental and non-governmental organisations to make a positive impact in the fields of nutrition, water, environmental sustainability and rural development. He gave the example of “Nestlé Healthy Kids Programme” successfully running in more than 70 schools and benefiting over 70,000 children. This programme is one of the several we are conducting as the leading Nutrition, Health and Wellness Company in Pakistan and around the world, he added. The dialogue was followed by an interactive Q&A session and the audience inquired about the government’s future strategy to generate consensus among the political parties on national issues. Mahreen Khan, a policy consultant and former associate with BBC asked the government to redefine its priorities and be a truly welfare state.