Thursday, December 15, 2011

Producing the Book "Winning: Why Some Professionals Are At The Top, While Others Are Languishing At The Bottom"

I am forming a team for research & production of book "Winning: Why Some Professionals Are At The Top, While Others are Languishing at the Bottom". Those interested in participating should send CVs to or send a private message on LinkedIn. Final selection would be based on scrutiny by the core group. (Note: The project team would comprise of winners with a track record of successes in their field. This project is and would remain philanthropic in nature, so do not apply if you are seeking an escape route from your existing project)

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Reacting to the 6th Sense

The challenge confronted by a business manager is to ensure ALL the teams are focussed on the KPIs as much as you yourself are. Easier said than done! As someone rightly said, "Most problems in business have 2 legs", the business manager needs to respond fast to any 6th Sense signals. I personally feel that the success depends on the quality of response the business manager makes to every signal that indicates a potential problem in the team's focus. You can't take a chance at all! While I am not saying that one should become the pessimistic, control-freak leader, I am only stressing the need to keep your wits about and do spot checks. Try not to leave anything to chance as a stitch in time could save nine.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Ab Khud Kuch Karna Paray Ga!

I see faaaaaaar too many people living meaningless lives, and eventually withering into oblivion. As a result of this inaction, there are seemingly no rewards for them after death and they certainly haven't got much to enjoy in this life too.
Instead of cribbing and crying about the above, I want to change this current state of affair!
I want to ensure that humans get the maximum in the herafter and also the best in this world. I would urge you to do the same too. Let's make our lives count and leave an impact that would ensure accomplishment of the above-mentioned vision.
You are all quite successful in your own fields. People look up to you. I would like you to consider writing a line, a paragraph, a page, an article, anything you can contribute easily to help people learn from your wealth of information, and as a result of their access to you, add value to their lives.
Let's help them in Winning this challenge called Life! 

InshaAllah, "Winning" would become a Counselling, Consultancy & Training platform which would leverage professionals like you. The idea is to help people with problems get connected with a relevant person who has managed to get out of a similar situation earlier.  For example, I am currently working with some professors of LUMS in drafting a research paper on lives of top 100 investors, professionals and entreprenuers of the country who weren't born with a silver spoon in their mouths, and yet have managed to reach the top of their fields. You could consider either becoming one of those whom we would interview, or help us identify and get connected with others whom you think can add value to this project.

Similarly, you can just contribute on this blog by writing articles about success in your field, for instance. Or it could be any FAQ that you usually answer, and you think I should post on this platform. For example, my friends from Islamic Finance industry can most certainly help by giving material that can answer multiple questions that people have to ask.

Or if you feel there is some other thing that can be done, feel free to share and we will see how to make that a reality. In short, let's do something......

So, if you are interested to extend your hand in any way, just comment on this blog, or email me on and we will see how we can take the proposition further.

Ab Khud Kuch Karna Paray Ga!

Winning the Pizza War In Pakistan

"Why did you close down your Boat Basin branch?", asked one of my audience after I completed my speech on Winning the War of Brands.

Apparently, there were 2 thoughts behind this query:
A. Was the decision a result of a need to stop bleeding as a brand?
B. Was it caused by a shift in consumer behavior?

The actual was of course far from both.

Boat Basin had been our flagship store for quite some time and had laid the base for much of our expansion throughout the country. Such was the association that customers had that although we recently replaced that store with 3 new options closer to their homes, they still wanted to keep coming back to the original.

Memories!!! Sigh......

The Boat Basin Pizza Hut had been designed by the best architect and interior designer, Mr. Shahid Abdulla, and everything else, from menus to people, had been carefully crafted to give a unique experience to the customers. That care is what defined everything that flowed out later and it seemed to have left such an effect that customers still rue the fact that there is no longer that branch for them to go to.

Sadly, the entire retail industry in Pakistan hasn't matured enough to realize how important these initial efforts are. In their quest to make quick money, they fail to "invest" long and hard enough to make it count. Interestingly, that's what makes the eventual difference. Pizza Hut is a huge brand in Pakistan and is inshaAllah destined to remain so for years, but then there are these myriad retail concepts that never get to establish themselves beyond being just-another-neighborhood store.

This, in my opinion, is one of reasons why many retail businesses in Pakistan can never hope to "make it large". I just hope they can have this paradigm shift and think beyond just making their kitchen run in the short run.