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

Right Attitude – SMEs, Women & Youth enterprises must present themselves as opportunities rather than seeking Sympathy

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Mainstream corporates call it product development, market positioning, capacity building, the list is endless. However the minute small medium enterprises run by women, young entrepreneurs go out to seek business, they are being looked at as if there are seeking charity, this unkind behavior from mainstream players whereby they assist smaller businesses (if they assist as 8 out of 10th times they make excuses or simply get rude to the extent of showing the door)  have gone too far, that they actually believe, a huge favor is being given to the ‘less privileged’

As much as we condemn this situation, its also critical to identify the actual problem so we address and solve this never-ending dilemma. In my opinion, no one can abuse or be rude to us, unless we allow that person in the first place. It’s not difficult to relate this with today’s SMEs, its no secret that a small business owner lacks self confidence when he/she tries to meet a banker or a big customer to discuss business across the table – let’s question ourselves, do we stand a chance to make an impression? Not at all! It’s a non starter, the minute we step into a hifi office building, we get intimidated by our surroundings – its pointless to debate if its a deliberate move on part of corporate giants or its just an inherent shortcoming on the other side because bottomline remains, SMEs lose the race before its started

If I can be honest, the solution if all of us are able to identify would not only benefit small-scale businesses, its infact more profitable to bigger companies to work with suppliers and buyers with low overheads and less appetite. It’s a win-win situation for all

I’m taking liberty to address SMEs – why do we get intimidated? If we have confidence in what we are selling, knowing its also other party’s need, then we must meet on equal terms. All we need to make sure, we must be well equipped to speak the language other parties understand. I’m not talking in literal sense, we must study the mindset of the person or the company we are meeting with so we know their values and long term objectives. It’s like going to an interview with a relaxed attitude, knowing the person we are meeting is not our boss to be! It’s imperative to set playing rules upfront, when we meet a business associate we must be respectful but not at the cost of losing our own ground, meaning we demonstrate confidence and maturity with a clear message that being respectful is mutual

“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


Democracy in Development of Emerging Economies – Its role in Progress, Socially & Economically

I have been wanting to write on the subject for a while, today while reading this blog http://blogs.cfr.org/coleman/2012/05/10/mobile-technology-and-global-economic-growth/ I am writing this blog more under a reflex action situation as I couldn’t even finish reading this article

Being part of the emerging economies, having lived, worked in developed economies also, its fair to boast my knowledge & understanding when it comes to judging if the glass is half empty or otherwise. Having said this, being a motivator, as I am, I just cannot see the glass half empty, so lets build a positive outlook while identifying inherent threats and short comings – like I always say, its good to criticise when you also give solutions

Whenever one talks of democracy, things that instantly ring a bell – freedom of expression, free judiciary, accountability, public services, sharing, vote the right person & the list goes on

In all fairness, are we witnessing progress in the name of democracy? do we, as men, give freedom of expression to our women? leave along giving them right to take a decision? why cant we understand that if a Mother can carry a baby to full term, spend sleepless nights, toil the entire day, keeping our wishes on priority, making home a place worth coming back each day after work – why cant we entrust them with giving us hope to make our countries our homes! irrespective of cultures, most families in 3rd world countries give priorities to their boys when it comes to education & health, it is the mindset that we need to address, make parents believe that girls are equally important, if not better

When we talk of backbones, we never visualize how well a country would evolve, if we target youths & women – they are our backbones, no house can turn into a home without mother, wife, daughters, & boys of course – why cant we see this happening on a macro level, and ensure long term sustainability across the board

Teachers, counsellors tell us, there is no shame to learn from a junior student or a colleague, so why cant be focus on women! its high time, we address the problem in its true perspective! let our women be given respect, confidence, allow them to express their opinion, encourage them to take decisions – always remember, women are better managers by default, they are disciplined, more matured – even science has proved that women can think of atleast 3 subjects at a time, men can do only 1 🙂

Queuing up against old, outdated ideas: Be Creative! Build something of your own! Think twice before putting up prized resources

One major disaster area is the fact that we get influenced by others, their work, success and in the process we fail to devote time to actually dig deep and find out if the project we are about to start, makes business sense? leave alone our own interest and inclination to be in that field

First up is to address a situation when we want to start our business – we see 2 windows, a) we have our own ideas that we have been working on, which to me sounds very promising, and b) is that we try to imitate friends, or other successful businesses assuming that it must be a winner

There is another extreme situation that I have witnessed in South Asia, people investing tons of money (own & borrowed) into businesses such as textile spinning at a time when hundreds of textile units were being shut down due to uneconomic market forces, but just because textile was region’s backbone of economic boom once, so that was good enough reason to pump in money without seeing rational in the new scenario – end result, new companies being shut down, or people with deep pockets dish out more money to sustain, banks shying away so its a pretty scary situation to be in

My advise to upcoming SMEs and our new generation, is to gain value from past experiences – which is to read history, how families, individuals had started their businesses years ago that have become giants today! they all started very small, and with their own ideas and vision – please never try to borrow someone else’s dreams and desires as they would never fit into your own mindset and today’s fast changing economic conditions

As much as we want to get benefited from history, we need to appreciate that things are much different today, in the positive sense of course. In the early days, people had to do all the work on their own, now we simply outsource either to our machines or 3rd party contractors, so its only fair that the time being saved, must be put to good use to research our ideas, focus on coming up with a sustainable business model, that must not die prematurely against competition or lack of quality or better priced products.

My request to all teachers, parents, guardians is to please encourage children express their inner desires, ideas, get them involved in group discussions, be patient, be good listeners, also share your knowledge, wisdom to provide much needed balancing act in a positive manner rather than giving kids an impression that we are being critical, because we must not burden them with our own desires as to what we want them to be. Children are naturally gifted, our job is to nurture their talent by giving them opportunities to ask all kinds of questions, express their mind, share their ideas so they are able to gain knowledge, grow in confidence, maturity before they step out in the real world

To all aspiring youths, dare to dream, never lose hope, never stop trying 🙂

Going Public: SME’s highs & lows

Companies go public for 2 reasons – a) raise fresh capital and b) maximize shareholders value

Small-Medium size Businesses, due to lack of knowledge in respect of financial planning & structuring  often fails to plan and invest in gaining expertise to develop this equally important aspect of their business, which is to implement balanced mix of growth & income strategies, which would give regular inflow of revenues as well as long term sustainable growth –

SME companies, in most cases, try to save money for obvious reasons, but they fall short in realizing the need to employ right expertise in gaining the much needed ability to think ahead, establish present & future needs, not just from meeting competition head-on, but also to realize the future work force within the family (owners & employees combined)

One of my objectives to gain from this writup is to gain attention of our bankers and stock brokers – please exercise caution while handling small cap companies – they are not equipped to be tested against rough trading & speculative, shortlived strategies – because for this very reason, small caps are shying away, and in the process losing out to gaining control over their capital situation – even from stock markets perspective, it is critical that we put money on small caps rather than going after, rather queing up behind handful of so-called market movers –

I also take liberty to protest politely to regulators, that they devote time & money in developing secured environment, that encourages small cap companies to come and play their part in development of capital markets, as their cumulative impact is far greater & bigger than blue chips – its time if see this as an integral part of our risk management protocol

Another known reason for small caps to go public, is to maximize shareholders value, being on this road, companies may not really need significant amount of new capital but to gain strength in terms of asset valuation based on present & future business outlook – however, there is another aspect to look at, which is to consolidate by way of mergers & acquisitions – we can either acquire non listed private companies through exchange of our listed shares to shareholders of private ownerships and broaden the capital base, similarly we have another area to look at, are opportunities of merging with other listed or non listed entities and be able to strengthen business – I feel we need to build on this subject so we create much needed awareness for small caps to look upto capital markets, not just as a platform to raise money but also to create opportunities for private small investors and other vibrant & motivated outfits

 

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!