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Top CEOs in Pakistan – 2019

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It’s an arduous task identifying and filtering the final list due to many factors. There is no hard and fast rule, but we do our best to select those CEOs who have done great work in their respective fields. There are some who are appear more than one occasion and that is testimony to their efforts in pushing the boundaries at what they do. As always, some names may have been missed and we invite feedback on the list as well as additions for the future.

MUNEEB MAAYR

A University of Virginia graduate, Muneeb seems to relish opportunities at scaling companies. After nearly a decade growing SNL Financial in Pakistan to over 600 employees, he founded what is now known as Tehzeeb which was acquired by Rahat Bakers. More recently he has co-founded Daraz.pk and Bykea. His latest endeavour, Bykea, recently raised an impressive $5.7 million Series A investment.

JAVED AFRIDI – HAIER

Afridi is a regular of PakWired.com Top CEO list for his continuous efforts within household name Haier and his other projects. He owns the Peshawar Zalmi cricket franchise which includes the Zalmi Foundation – a non-profit organisation focusing on welfare projects. If that wasn’t enough, the Chinese Ambassador, Mr Sun Wei Dong, has honoured Afridi for an outstanding Peshawar Zalmi contribution to the world of sports, with the ‘Friendship Ambassador’ for Pak China.

MUHAMMAD ALI TABBA – LUCKY CEMENT

Tabba makes it to the list for the first time and has a wealth of business experience and is regarded by some as the power behind the expansion of Lucky Cement, which is a part of YBG group. The expansion includes a foray into chemicals and a great partnership with KIA motors which saw the manufacture of KIA vehicles and parts in Pakistan. He was also identified as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum in 2010, and a received Sitara-e-Imtiaz by the Pakistani Government in 2018.Mr Tabba is also Vice Chairman of the Aziz Tabba Foundation, a non-profit organisation which runs two state-of-the-art hospitals in Karachi.

ZEESHAN ALI KHAN – ZAMEEN.COM

Zeeshan Ali Khan, who has a Masters in Chemical Engineering, founded Zameen.com with his brother in a bid to provide Pakistanis a service that was non-existent at the time. Zeeshan went on to co-found Emerging Markets Property Group (EMPG), of which Zameen.com is a part along with companies in 8 other countries in the MENA and South Asia region. Zameen.com is the largest property portal in Pakistan, with around 2,000 employees and presence in over 40 cities across the country. The portal has seen 4 rounds of investment, and aside from linking property sellers with buyers, it regularly organises expos and is the largest real estate sales and marketing company in the country. Among EMPG’s portfolio are UAE’s Bayut.com, Bangladesh’s Bproperty.com, and Mubawab in Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia.

MAHEEN REHMAN – AL FALAH GHP INVESTMENT

Maheen, a graduate from LUMS, followed by a M.Sc. in Finance and Economics from the UK has made a name for herself in the finance sector. Prior to Al Falah, Rehman has served at Merrill Lynch and IGI funds in 2009 as CEO where under her management the assets grew by a massive two hundred per cent. Al Falah GHP Investment Management Ltd acquired the company, where she now serves her current role.

SHAMOON SULTAN – KHAADI

Sultan who graduated at Indus Valley in weaving. After working with the likes of Noorjehan Bilgrami, wanted to bring something unique to the market – the result is what we see today. Khaadi shows no signs of slowing down their exponential growth.Khaadi has a high standard in their stores, coupled with aesthetically pleasing decor, provide their customers with a pleasant shopping experience. Pricing their products reasonably has also been a major factor in their growth.

GIA FAROOQI – ROSHNI RIDES

Gia leads Roshni Rides (RR), a car pooling platform created to make female riders feel safe during their travels. RR won the Hult Prize in 2017 beating a whopping 100,000 applicants, also bagging a cool $1 mn in the process. Gia graduated from Rutgers University with a Bachelors in Supply Chain Management and has delivered talks at various conferences such as Momentum Tech Conference.

ZESHAN AFZAL – SHAHID AFRIDI FOUNDATION

 

A regular on our top CEO list, Afzal supports Shahid Afridi in the foundation which runs various projects such as hospitals, a schools initiative and water supply amongst other projects. Afzal has previously served as CEO at Peshawar Zalmi, Director at Stylo and KPMG. Currently Zeshan serves as President of Tech Pakistan and Director at Sadaqat Textile. He is also well known for his colour and creative pocket squares!

DR SARA SAEED KHURRAM – SEHAT KAHANI (START UP)

Dr Sara is founder and CEO of Sehat Kahani. Sehat Kahani scope includes tele-medicine, health education, health research and more. Because it is IT enabled, it ensures it is capitalising on the technology available to penetrate the intended user base. In 2018 it raised $500,000 in seed funding.Dr Sara is a qualified medical doctor and has previously co-founded the well known setup – Docthers. For her efforts she has received awards from Aptech, Unicef, and the Unilever Sustainable Living Young Entrepreneurs Award.

 

courtesy : Pakwired.com

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Business

10 Tips to Launch Franchise Business Successfully

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Franchising has become a popular avenue for aspiring entrepreneurs to enter the business world with a proven concept and support system. However, launching a franchise business successfully requires careful planning, strategic execution, and a strong understanding of the franchising landscape. In this article, we’ll explore ten essential tips to help you launch your franchise business on the path to success.

1. Introduction to Franchise Business

Before delving into the tips, it’s crucial to understand the concept of franchising. A franchise is a business model in which an entrepreneur (franchisee) purchases the rights to operate a business under an established company’s brand, systems, and support (franchisor). Franchising offers a balance between independence and guidance, allowing franchisees to leverage the success of a proven business model while receiving ongoing support from the franchisor.

2. Understanding Franchising

What is a franchise?

A franchise is a contractual agreement between the franchisor (the owner of the business concept) and the franchisee (the individual or entity purchasing the rights to operate the business). The franchisee pays an initial fee and ongoing royalties in exchange for the right to use the franchisor’s brand, trademarks, and operating systems.

How does franchising work?

Franchising works by replicating a successful business model across multiple locations through independent entrepreneurs. The franchisor provides the franchisee with training, support, marketing materials, and ongoing guidance to ensure consistency and brand integrity.

3. Research and Analysis

Before diving into franchising, it’s essential to conduct thorough research and analysis. This includes market research to identify potential locations, target demographics, and competitive landscape. Understanding the market demand and consumer preferences will help you choose the right franchise opportunity that aligns with your goals and interests.

4. Choosing the Right Franchise

Assessing personal interests and skills

When selecting a franchise, consider your passions, skills, and experience. Choose a business that resonates with your interests and expertise to increase your chances of long-term success and satisfaction.

Evaluating franchise opportunities

Evaluate franchise opportunities based on various factors such as brand reputation, track record, financial stability, and franchisee support. Look for franchises with a proven concept, strong brand presence, and comprehensive training and support programs.

5. Legal Considerations

Franchise agreements

Review the franchise disclosure document (FDD) and franchise agreement carefully to understand your rights, obligations, and financial commitments. Seek legal counsel to ensure you fully comprehend the terms and conditions outlined in the agreement.

Legal obligations and requirements

Comply with all legal requirements and regulations governing franchising in your jurisdiction. This includes obtaining necessary licenses and permits, adhering to labour laws, and maintaining transparency in your business operations.

6. Financial Planning

Initial investment

Determine the initial investment required to launch your franchise, including franchise fees, equipment, inventory, and marketing expenses. Develop a comprehensive business plan and budget to forecast your financial projections and ensure you have adequate funding to sustain your business until it becomes profitable.

Ongoing costs and expenses

Consider ongoing costs such as royalties, advertising fees, rent, utilities, and employee wages when calculating your expenses. Monitor your financial performance closely and make adjustments as needed to stay within budget and maximize profitability.

7. Marketing and Branding

Developing a marketing strategy

Create a marketing strategy to promote your franchise and attract customers. Utilize a mix of online and offline marketing tactics, including social media, email campaigns, local advertising, and community outreach, to build brand awareness and drive sales.

Building brand awareness

Leverage the franchisor’s brand recognition and marketing resources to establish your presence in the market. Maintain consistency in branding, messaging, and customer experience across all touchpoints to enhance brand loyalty and credibility.

8. Training and Support

Franchisor support programs

Take advantage of the training and support programs offered by the franchisor to learn the ins and outs of running the business successfully. Attend training sessions, workshops, and conferences to enhance your skills and knowledge in areas such as operations, marketing, and customer service.

Training for franchisees

Invest in training for yourself and your staff to ensure everyone is equipped with the skills and expertise required to deliver exceptional products and services. Continuous learning and development are essential for staying competitive and adapting to changing market trends.

9. Launching Your Franchise

Preparing for the grand opening

Plan a grand opening event to generate excitement and attract customers to your new franchise location. Offer special promotions, discounts, and giveaways to encourage attendance and create a memorable experience for your guests.

Implementing marketing campaigns

Execute targeted marketing campaigns leading up to the grand opening to generate buzz and drive foot traffic. Utilize social media, local advertising, and public relations tactics to reach your target audience and maximize attendance at your event.

10. Maintaining Success

Monitoring performance

Track key performance indicators (KPIs) such as sales, customer satisfaction, and employee productivity to gauge the success of your franchise. Identify areas for improvement and implement strategies to address any challenges or issues that arise.

Adapting to market changes

Stay informed about industry trends, consumer preferences, and competitive developments to adapt your business strategies accordingly. Be flexible and open to change, continuously seeking opportunities for growth and innovation to stay ahead of the curve.

Conclusion

Launching a franchise business can be a rewarding and lucrative venture when done right. By following these ten tips and investing time, effort, and resources into planning, preparation, and execution, you can increase your chances of success and achieve your entrepreneurial goals.

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Business

Unlocking Success: Top 10 Lucrative Business Ideas to Start in the UK for Booming Profits

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Introduction

In today’s dynamic business landscape, the United Kingdom offers a plethora of opportunities for aspiring entrepreneurs looking to start their ventures. From innovative tech startups to traditional service-based businesses, the UK market is ripe for those with the vision and drive to succeed. In this article, we will explore the top 10 businesses to start in the UK for booming profits, providing valuable insights and analysis to help you make informed decisions and embark on a path to entrepreneurial success.

E-commerce and Online Retail:
The rise of e-commerce has revolutionized the way we shop, presenting a lucrative opportunity for entrepreneurs to tap into the growing online retail market. With the convenience of shopping from home and the potential for global reach, starting an e-commerce business in the UK can be a profitable venture.

Technology and Software Development:
The UK is known for its thriving tech scene, making it an ideal environment for tech-savvy entrepreneurs to launch innovative software solutions and technology startups. From mobile apps to SaaS platforms, there is a high demand for tech products and services in the UK market.

Health and Wellness Industry:
With a growing focus on health and wellness, businesses in this sector have seen significant growth in recent years. Starting a health and wellness business in the UK, whether it’s a fitness studio, wellness retreat, or healthy food delivery service, can be a rewarding venture with high-profit potential.

Sustainable and Eco-Friendly Businesses:
As sustainability becomes increasingly important to consumers, eco-friendly businesses are gaining traction in the UK market. From sustainable fashion brands to zero-waste stores, there is a growing demand for environmentally conscious products and services.

Food and Beverage Industry:
The food and beverage industry is a perennial favourite among entrepreneurs, offering a wide range of opportunities from restaurants and cafes to food trucks and catering services. With the diverse culinary landscape in the UK, there is ample room for creativity and innovation in this sector.

Education and E-Learning:
The education sector is ripe for disruption with the rise of e-learning platforms and online tutoring services. Entrepreneurs looking to make an impact in education can explore opportunities to create educational apps, online courses, or tutoring programs tailored to the needs of students in the UK.

Home Services and Maintenance:
With busy lifestyles becoming the norm, there is a growing demand for home services such as cleaning, gardening, and maintenance. Starting a home services business in the UK can be a profitable venture with recurring revenue streams and opportunities for expansion.

Personal Finance and Wealth Management:
As individuals seek to secure their financial futures, businesses offering personal finance advice, wealth management services, and investment opportunities are in high demand. Entrepreneurs with expertise in finance can capitalize on this growing market by providing valuable financial solutions to clients in the UK.

Event Planning and Management:
The events industry is thriving in the UK, with a constant demand for professional event planners and managers who can create memorable experiences for clients. Starting an event planning business can be a rewarding venture for those with a knack for organization and creativity.

Pet Care Services:
Pet ownership is on the rise in the UK, creating opportunities for businesses offering pet care services such as grooming, pet sitting, and dog walking. Entrepreneurs passionate about animals can turn their love for pets into a profitable business by catering to the needs of pet owners across the country.

Conclusion:
Always remember that starting a business in the UK can be a rewarding journey filled with opportunities for growth and success. By exploring these top 10 business ideas tailored to the UK market, aspiring entrepreneurs can position themselves for booming profits while making a positive impact on their customers and communities. Whether you’re drawn to e-commerce, technology, health and wellness, or any other sector mentioned above, remember that success often comes from passion, dedication, and strategic planning. Embrace your entrepreneurial spirit, take calculated risks, and embark on your path to prosperity in one of Europe’s most vibrant business landscapes – the United Kingdom.

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AI

AI in the World of Discord: Bridging Virtual Communities

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an artist s illustration of artificial intelligence ai this image depicts the process used by text to image diffusion models it was created by linus zoll as part of the visualising ai

In the vast expanse of the internet, virtual communities thrive. From gaming clans to hobbyist forums, these digital spaces connect people across geographical boundaries. At the heart of these communities lies Discord, a platform that has revolutionized online communication.

1. The Rise of Discord: A Brief Overview

Discord, founded in 2015, started as a voice chat app for gamers. However, it quickly evolved into a multifaceted platform that caters to diverse interests. With customizable servers, text channels, voice channels, and bots, Discord became the go-to hub for communities of all kinds.

2. AI-Powered Bots: Enhancing User Experience

Discord bots, powered by artificial intelligence, are pivotal in shaping the user experience. These bots automate tasks, moderate discussions, and even provide entertainment. Let’s explore some popular AI bots:

a. MEE6

MEE6 is a versatile bot that assists server administrators. It can track user activity, assign roles, and even generate custom commands. Its AI-driven moderation features keep conversations civil and respectful.

b. Dyno

Dyno is another powerful bot that automates administrative tasks. From managing invites to creating custom commands, Dyno streamlines server management. Its AI learns from user behavior, adapting its responses over time.

c. Dank Memer

Dank Memer, a humorous bot, adds a touch of levity to Discord servers. It generates memes, quizzes, and even currency systems. Its AI algorithms ensure fresh content and witty responses.

3. AI Worldbuilding: Crafting Immersive Environments

Discord servers often host role-playing games (RPGs) or collaborative storytelling. AI-driven tools aid in worldbuilding:

a. AIDungeon

AIDungeon, powered by OpenAI’s GPT models, generates dynamic narratives. Players input prompts, and the AI constructs intricate storylines. Whether exploring fantasy realms or solving mysteries, AIDungeon sparks creativity.

b. World Anvil

World Anvil assists creators in building detailed fictional worlds. From maps to character profiles, this AI-enhanced platform organizes lore and encourages collaborative storytelling.

4. Challenges and Ethical Considerations

As AI infiltrates Discord, ethical questions arise:

a. Privacy Concerns

How much data should bots collect? Striking a balance between functionality and privacy is crucial.

b. Bias and Fairness

AI algorithms can inadvertently perpetuate biases. Developers must ensure fairness and inclusivity.

c. Authenticity

Can AI-generated content truly replicate human creativity? Striving for authenticity remains a challenge.

5. Conclusion: The Future of AI-Driven Communities

Discord continues to evolve, and AI plays an integral role. As technology advances, we’ll witness even more innovative applications. Whether it’s organizing events, moderating discussions, or crafting fictional worlds, AI is shaping the very fabric of virtual communities.

So next time you join a Discord server, remember that behind the scenes, AI bots are working tirelessly to enhance your experience. The AI world and the Discord universe converge, creating a dynamic space where pixels meet possibilities.

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