MISTAKES ARE GOOD, SO ARE LOSSES – ITS THE ONLY SOLUTION TO WIN

This is again something that we (parents, mentors, teachers etc) fail to tell our kids that its only natural to make mistakes, encourage them that they experiment, learn, and grow. That’s how a baby also learns to walk, he/she cannot even stand up, without trying to tumble & crawl

This process of constant encouragement must start from the very early formative years, at home, while attending schools, at universities, and at place of work – No one would mind if we enhance the selection criteria while selecting most deserving kids, even though its being most discriminatory, but its not going to hurt kids the way “negative, abusive, demeaning  remarks” do to one’s self respect

Every banker, charity knows the significance of developing SME businesses, and the benefits to reach out to youngsters at the grass root level, so if there is a genuine hunger, and desire to eat the best mango,  its only natural that we give all the attention to provide right nutrition & care to the tree during its entire life cycle

All I am trying to make charities, banks, NGOs understand, that this is the same formula they should adopt while developing SME & youth business ventures, please dont cut them down if they fail to bear fruit the first or the second or the 3rd time. All that’s required is our careful, matured evaluation to make sure that the person, we are putting our time & money on, is hard working, responsible, good family background, self motivated, ambitious, then committing little money on small 100 small businesses, in regular instalments is absolutely safe, much safer than dishing our millions to 1 corporate client

I have seen dozens of times, when SMEs, full of potential get verdicts against their life from banks on seeing small losses. It maybe a routine decision on part of the bank, but that person loses his/her hard work, confidence to stand again, leave alone losing seed capital, because the funding bank would have first right to reclaim its loan amount plus interest from sale of assets, which in some cases force an SME to give away their house to the bank as well

I ask all our champions SME bankers, what do we call this? an incompetent, untimely, irresponsible reckless business decision? or “good governance” and/or “risk management” as they call it? that’s being totally inhuman, taking hasty decisions at the cost of ruining business, country’s economy and above all shooting down the entire household

I am also addressing the so called “banking regulators”, the central banks & SEC, that please be very responsible & conscious of the consequential damages that each single family has to face, in the event their lending bank’s sword falls on them. We can always cut down on the risk exposure by lowering loan amounts, and even get focused on only taking up trading ventures with short turnaround cycles so we keep funds moving all the time, its like taking up a position between standard SME size & typical micro credit situation, it may enhance operational costs but its worth the effort as results are guaranteed

Again, we go back to the same solution, we need “father figures” and not just another 9 to 5 banker who comes to make money during the day, no matter what happens to the client. Smart bankers wouldn’t get offended by my harsh remarks, instead, its an opportunity to set right footing and take advantage of the wide gap, which may not remain there for long

 

 

Women’s role in the Development of a stronger & sustainable Society

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We (men) talk of women liberation, we hold seminars, organize events to project women the very best way possible.

We also preach democracy and education for our girls no different or inferior than boys, however in all honesty, we fall short miserably at home, contradicting our actions being projected outside

I wish to remain progressive without getting into unwanted criticism or throwing dirt on anyone, because its going to help us only when we start a healthy debate, identity our weaknesses to help one another constructively

The relationship between husband & wife is like 2 ends of a bridge; we cannot build a home unless we tie both ends firmly, and continue to strengthen the bridge by keeping love & affection paramount. It’s equally critical that our teachings and words of wisdom to our children compliment our actions

Most husbands let their wives handle and control all domestic matters solely without any interference, this ensures discipline and harmony perfectly. It’s important that we identify a potential high risk situation here, husbands at times get carried away to the extent of being disrespectful to their wives on petty homely issues, this attitude puts a dent in maintaining peace, leave alone putting children under stress. There’s something husbands should realize that they must assume greater responsibility, demonstrate maturity to handle domestic issues with a kind heart. However, this must not be taken as weakness by wives, its pure ‘submission’ to let the family continue enjoying the best environment. Husbands/fathers on the other hand would endup gaining more respect from wives and children alike. It means, RESPECT cannot be demanded by force, instead, we have to earn it, through exercising patience, tolerance and love ONLY

Democracy, whether practiced at home or outside, is an ‘ESSENCE’ of maturity, tolerance and responsibility together with high sense of “taking ownership” few points to ponder

A) we cannot abandon our family in a distress situation
B) we cannot just pick and choose good moments, we have to live through bad times as well
C) can we preach democracy, knowing we become dictators at home?
D) we cannot gain respect without being humble and understanding

GROUND PREPARED TO ADDRESS REAL ISSUES

STRONGER MOTHERS ENSURE STRONGER FAMILY VALUES – if Allah has entrusted the biggest responsibility on women to be responsible of carrying a child inside her for 9 months, followed by extreme pain during childbirth (science has proven that the pain is equivalent to fracture of 43 bones). Once the baby is born, mothers embark on a long journey that lasts nothing less than 15 yeas of round the clock devotion and care MULTIPLY BY THE NUMBER OF CHILDREN EACH MOTHER CONCEIVES – what does this translate into? There are several relevance to extract;

1) women are much stronger, mentally than men
2) responsibility, maturity, affection comes naturally to women (a decision taken by Allah Himself)
3) women have far greater ability to exercise tolerance and patience (again a Gift from Allah)
4) no one will debate that women are the best teachers
5) best listeners, counselors are women

Way forward… It’s time, we (men) stand up, thank and honor women with all our heart for being the sole pillar of existence in our homes, practicing love, patience, tolerance in our lives, being solely responsible for our children’s upbringing and utmost care

It’s imperative that women be given high ranking positions, we must take advantage of their better sense of judgement, consult them before taking key decisions, respect their opinion, see them as a blessing from Allah. This change in our mindset is not just going to ensure stronger societies, it will also lift depleting confidence in young girls who either endup being victims of our harshness or they become rebellious and get corrupted, morally. Who’s to blame? Our own shortsighted attitude, unfortunately

Let’s not defy nature, if Allah can entrust women with such huge responsibilities, its only natural that they be given their due share of respect, place in our societies, we treat them with kindness because what we do outside our homes is not even a 10% match against what’s being done inside

I request all responsible parents, children, youngsters to share their opinion in order to build resources and joint efforts to make this dream a reality

May Allah give us wisdom and strength to bring all of us together as one family of Mohammed (Peace be upon him) Aameen

“RIGHTS OF ADMISSION RESERVED” : TIME TO BUILD

Being a progressive & constructive discussion forum, we, as always, again restrict ourselves to find solutions than to be critical – lets go back in history to clearly understand the concept of “rights of admission reserved” and at the same time establish its existence even in today’s modern era, no matter how strong we try to advocate in defiance


If we glance through ground realities in the old days, in India, all across Africa, parts of far East and most of the Central America – we know those people used to exercise great caution, not to go near “no entry zones” such as high end shopping areas, public parks, restaurants etc., we have read, seen sign boards displaying “dogs & _______ not allowed” – lets not get into this debate of making accusations, as it was an acceptable practice during the time which was originating from days of slaveryIn today’s forward looking times, we know, that the West discourage “racism” strongly, yet, there are sure signs of “after effects” in the oppressed zones, no matter how hard they try, they still lack confidence, actually seeing themselves as inferiors, less intelligent and so on – bottom-line remains, they have accepted their state of  poverty, inability to stand right next to “a white man” –

Now that question is, what is the end product of being in this state of mind for generations? some of them die poor, but most tend to rebel, get into street crimes, not to take out their frustration, but to manage food for that particular day – which means, we need to see them & treat them with kind & helpful attitude – these youngsters committing crimes, taking drugs are actually in need to our care than our hate & will to punish them – this wouldn’t help at all, instead, it would destroy our new generation, God forbid

While the affected people continue to struggle to meet ends, the West has become more richer & continue to enjoy, not any intention to suppress anyone, they are just being benefited due to gaining on availability of surplus resources & opportunities – that’s why most of us, including the writer, starts believing in distress, that the West has changed its strategy from putting up   “dogs & _______ not allowed” sign boards to making daily use consumer products &  good food so expensive that no unwanted person dare come near them – well, this is not true, problem, actually is the absence of competition, and non existence of small business operators to tap into an ever growing world economy – this quote “you can lead a horse to water, but you cant make it drink” situation across 3rd world economies is no different, opportunities are there, its upto them to stand up, and start walking – as opportunities doesn’t come to us, we have to go to them – they have to come out of their “self pity” attitude, take control of their lives, be confident and go out with a “never give up” body language – end result is guaranteed, no one would ever complain of any sign boards


TRADITIONAL MERGERS & ACQUISITIONS: CAN YOUTHS BE BENEFITED?

NOT JUST A RECIPE, LIMITED TO BIGGER COMPANIES

Mergers & Acquisitions often relate to something which is only for major corporations in order to consolidate and further strengthen merged resources while bringing costs down significantly. Regulators such as central banks have used this tool to consolidate inadequately capitalized investment banks, commercial banks, mutual funds etc., which should not have been licences in the first place

Likewise pharmaceutical giants such as Sanofi & Aventis, automobile companies such as Mercedes & Chrysler teamed up few years ago along with other major corporations who opted to join hands with other market leaders rather than waste money on competition to gain bigger market share. Recently we have also witnessed major service providers such as Travelers Group & Citi Corp, then we have AOL & Time Warner. List of all major M&As can be seen on the right end of this blog

Post merger scenarios are not much difficult to forecast in bigger companies as they have ready markets, presold brands, deep pockets, access to strong market makers etc., which usually give them the leverage to come out much stronger while taking advantage of combined power of the merged entity. So everyone gets a portion of the bigger pie, including the small shareholder who sees growth in his value of shares as well as better dividend payouts

Having seen the better side of mergers, there is an equally challenging side which no one denies, that is the list of liabilities, claims, litigations, stuckup inventories etc., which experts may agree to overlook at the time of setting a fair price tag to the merged business in anticipation of handling such isseues without much of a problem

Lets now try to visualize a situation if we try to use only MERGERS in development of Youth Business for following reasons, assuming we team up 100 Youths in one project

a) per youth Investment of $5,000 doesn’t look adequate to gain much mileage in respect of getting factory supplies, no chance of getting price benefits, inconsistent supply chain, costly logistics, high selling costs etc., BUT when we multiply this with 100 youths coming in with more or less the same seed capital, this group stands at half a million dollars worth of seed capital, which would end up being a lot more potent, besides getting a team of 100 heads & 200 hands to work and push through for common goals & dreams – this scenario can make more business sense if banks could come in and offer low cost trade finance so the equity side gets complimented with equal amount or more in bank support – certainly food for thought

Youths & Women Groups: challenges or opportunities

Its just like 2 people seeing out of the window and seeing 2 different things – the same issue we have today is the fact that some of us sees youths & women groups as steep challenges that are eating into our limited resources, and there is people who sees an entirely opposite picture, they believe that these 2 segments have been or being neglected, but both reflects strong energy & growth potential

In my opinion, its a case of believing in their capabilities and burning desire to be self reliant – its just a matter of showing them that we do care and we present ourselves as someone who is not only feel responsible but also allow our new generation and neglected women work force to lean onto us in this time of need & motivation

In a situation of no negative thoughts or pre-decided opinions, it’s not overly difficult to gauge the strength of these 2 sectors – lets first look at the scenario being developed in almost all developing countries – their population’s major share comprises of people within this age group of 18-35 years and high income segment is well under 10% – therefore we have an opportunity situation knowing these are young nations, BUT at the same time risk is equally great, because in the absence economic opportunities, confidence building, motivational environment, youngsters pose a much bigger threat of getting into criminal activities, which could result in degeneration of social health, economic growth, leave aside education & medical health

On a positive note, however, lets build a happy scenario – UNDP’s 2007 stats put Pakistan’s under 25 population at 103 million whereas there are over 10 million people between 20-24 years – its therefore not unfair to say that if we allow half of this 10million work force to get involved in any form of economic activity, assuming they have a small capital of $100 & they trade this money 3 times a week times 43 working weeks annually, we are looking at a cumulative impact of this group equivalent to $64 Billion, thats over 30% of Pakistan’s total economy size of $210 Billion (based on July 2011 figures)

Friends, we are not looking to conquer Everest or K2, we just need caring, motivated bunch of simple people, there is no need to be a Phd to know that when we are capable of raising billions in charities for food, education, health – we can also reach out to raise funds needed to get these kids self employed – if we target 5m youths needing $100 support – lets reach out to donors asking for $1m a piece, we are only looking to tap 500 donors – I am sure you all would agree with me that its not a heavy price to guarantee peace, harmony, contentment while evolving new economies!

Charities without Vision: Rolls with no Engine

Again, I’m not being critical, instead I am highlighting an inherent issue, but with a solution as well

Charities all over the world have surely come a long way, so we cannot even start to show disrespect, however there is a pressing need to  maximize our chances of success, while we try to identify potential areas of focus. Typical subjects such as health, education, rehab etc., are not at all tough in respect of finding target audiences, all we need to do is to start building sound process flows, and standard protocols, so we gain sustainability & growth while we learn and progress each day

Charities, striving to end poverty, develop youths, end drug addiction, alcoholism etc., are exposed to bigger challenges, as our work is not that cut out for us. In all honesty, its fairly tough to reach out to the right target audience, leave alone efforts to develop accurate road maps. Reason being, there is something which needs to be done upfront, in order to even start understanding the real ground issues, inherent challenges and the mindset before one could start talking. Thats why no charity todate has done much in this segment, its like selling mobile phones at a remote place without mobile network, or buying a rolls with no engine. Surely things wont fly at all!

In my opinion, there is a need to redefine CHARITY-HR selection criteria, its not just education, managerial experience or leadership qualities we should be looking at, instead, these strengths become secondary because as far as I am concerned, we need to make sure that charities working in this segment, must ensure that top managers come with matured family values. HR head hunters need to see if the person is tolerant, patient, family oriented, have selfless attitude towards his parents, wife & children as these things have to be present on top of professional expertise before someone is entrusted with so much responsibility

Charities doing poverty reduction programs must possess people who take decisions from their heart first, rather than putting 2 and 2 together – it just wouldn’t work friends – all the best!