APR

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Archive for the ‘Press Releases’ Category

The Search for Young Rock Stars Begins

Thursday, April 25th, 2013

Lahore, April 25, 2013: Fanta, the most fun-filled Orange Sparkling brand, has launched a talent hunt in schools across Pakistan to find young gifted singers for recording a Fanta song and music video. The initiative, appropriately named ‘Fanta Rocks’ will be spearheaded by renowned Rock Band Noori, and will extend to nearly 250 schools, reaching out to an estimated 250,000 school children between the ages of 12 and 18. The initiative will short-list 3 singers who will then be called to ‘Fanta Rock Station’ in Lahore to compose, sing and record a Fanta Song with Noori.

The ‘Fanta Rocks’ journey starts off with the campaign team going to schools across Pakistan, to find singers who know how to rock the stage. There will be a Karaoke set up in schools, where teens will perform and participate in fun-filled activities side by side. Rock band Noori will visit several schools, where they will perform with the 6 semifinalists and shortlist 3 Fanta Rock stars from them. These 3 Rock stars will then be mentored for 5 days by Noori band members, work on the song lyrics from inception and create music composition. They will also be treated at parties, taken to amusement parks and would live the life of Rock stars.

“Fanta has a strong association with teenagers and this initiative is our way of giving young consumers an opportunity to participate in a playful & competitive activity while displaying their talent,” said Rizwan U. Khan, General Manager, Pakistan & Afghanistan, The Coca-Cola Export Corporation, owners of Fanta.

After a week of producing the song, Noori and the crew will shoot a music video which will have the Rock Stars as the lead performers. The music video that will then be aired post Eid-ul-Fitr on various television channels. The grand climax will come with the 3 rock stars performing with Noori at concerts across Pakistan.

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ZONG launches postpaid service named BizXcess

Sunday, April 28th, 2013

Lahore, April 28, 2013: ZONG, country’s fastest growing telecom operator, has launched a brand new postpaid service named BizXcess. The service provides its subscriber a simple communication and connectivity solution through which they can enjoy the best value for money and the right fit for their needs.

BizXcess is suitable for individuals seeking convenience of postpaid and businesses looking for cost control. This service offers the largest selection in package plans with an assortment of add-ons, enterprise solutions and incredible customization options.
Speaking about BizXcess Mr. Fan Yunjun, CEO of Zong said, “As always, we have kept corporate customers’ needs the top most priority while designing BizXcess. At ZONG we want to cater to each customer as a niche. Our package plans are designed to provide ZONG’s valuable customers a hassle free experience that they truly deserve. And I am confident that like our other offers; this too will receive a good response from the users.”

With services like EconoXcess and SmartXcess, telecom experts are suggesting that BizXcess appear to be a promising product. It gives the convenience of postpaid coupled with exceptionally affordable tariffs.
Each package of this service has a combination of free voice, SMS and data. Customers wanting to utilize BizXcess can subscribe to the package most appropriate for their needs. They can also customize plans with ZONG’s GPRS, SMS and group call add-ons. While left over free minutes for current month can also be transferred to the next month.

BizXcess is also offering enterprise solutions which include solutions spanning from promotion/polling campaign management to end-to-end telemetry and hosted services to location based information services. Subscribers will also be able to avail priority customer care, multiple payment options, round the clock one link ATM & online banking and comprehensive monthly billing.

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ZONG thanks Pakistan after successfully completing 5 years of its operations

Saturday, April 27th, 2013

Islamabad, April 27, 2013: ZONG, the fastest growing network of Pakistan, said thank you to its customers, franchises, vendors, media, government and all stakeholders after completing 5 years of its operations in the country. ZONG, a brand of China Mobile Pakistan, being the last entrant in Pakistan telecom market came in with state-of-the-art equipment that enabled them to provide unmatchable services to its subscribers.

final zong

ZONG which has become the digital partner of this nation in a short span of time celebrates Sub Keh Do Day every year. However this year the telecom giant decided to say something itself and said thank you to the people of Pakistan for their trust and confidence in the brand. China Mobile Pakistan started its operations in April 2008 and in a short span of time, it has become the most progressive player in the market. This aggressive stance is reflected in the rapidly increasing subscriber base and the revenue achievements.

Speaking about ZONG’s journey in the country, CEO of ZONG Mr. Fan YunJun said, “We are delighted to have achieved this milestone. Today there are over 19 million loyal ZONG customers and its coverage extends throughout Pakistan. Our services, our commitment to the customers, our approach towards innovation in technology, our dedication to this country, and our philosophy of being a responsible corporate citizen – all these things are evident in our daily operations, services and future plans. Although we face a lot of challenges and difficulties, we shall always proactively and consistently treat challenge as a valuable opportunity for improvement and rise high above the others.”

ZONG celebrated its 5th anniversary with great zeal and excitement. Cake cutting ceremonies were organized in all offices of China Mobile Pakistan across all regions. Apart from this ZONG officials participated in various renowned evening shows where loyal customers along with the officials shared their views about ZONG and its services with the viewers.

ZONG being part of the number 1 telecom operator in the world offers number 1 CSI call center in Pakistan. ZONG’s CSI is among the top 3 in the country. The company is listed among the top 5 best employers in Pakistan and among the top 2 employers in the telecom sector of the country.

The company has not only managed to grab a fair share of the market but has also invested billions of dollars in Pakistan. By growing its operations, ZONG is also creating employment opportunities for the talented people of Pakistan. The Company has generated more than 1700 direct and over 40,000 indirect jobs in the country. It is the only operator who started a pilot project to run BTS on Bio-Gas.

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Jubilee Life and ORIX Leasing Join Hands for Customer Loyalty Program

Friday, April 5th, 2013

KARACHI, April 05, 2013 – Jubilee Life, one of the fastest growing life insurance companies in Pakistan, has taken an initiative to launch a Loyalty Program for its customers in collaboration with ORIX Leasing Pakistan Limited as its partner in providing POS Network to support its Loyalty Card program. This arrangement was formalized in a recently organized signing ceremony where Mr. Javed Ahmed, Managing Director & CEO Jubilee Life and Mr. Teizoon Kisat, CEO ORIX Leasing Pakistan, signed the agreement.

jubilee Life - Orix

As per agreement, ORIX leasing Pakistan Ltd., one of the first and largest third party infrastructure providers for card business in the country, will provide Jubilee Life its Point-of-Sales Terminals and POS Network at selected merchant outlets for carrying out Loyalty Card transactions nationwide.

Jubilee Life, through this initiative, will be offering its premium customers, exclusively branded Loyalty Cards which will enable them to enjoy exclusive discounts and benefits at branded merchants, restaurants, airports, hospitals and customized insurance related services.

“We at Jubilee Life always try to provide our customers with the best financial solutions. This Loyalty Program represents Jubilee Life’s commitment to its customers by offering an extensive program that goes far beyond providing security and financial benefits of the existing life insurance policies,” said Mr. Javed Ahmed.“I am positive that this program will ensure Jubilee Life to continue to move forward with the same ambition and zest as the previous years. Jubilee Life will become the first life insurance company in Pakistan to offer its customers with these unique and exclusive offers.” he added.

Commenting on the occasion, Mr. Teizoon Kisat said, “We are excited to be joining hands with one of the leading life insurance companies in Pakistan. The partnership with Jubilee Life will help strengthen our best practices to provide convenience and easy technological solutions to people nationwide.”

The ceremony was also attended by Faisal Shahzad Abbasi, Head of Retail Distribution and Marketing – Jubilee Life, Murtaza Zafar, Marketing Manager – Jubilee Life, Giasuddin Khan, GM & Head of e-Business Division – ORIX Leasing Pakistan Limited, Imran Qureshi, President – Access Group Pvt Ltd.

Jubilee Insurance is a global brand of Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development (AKFED) that offers diverse insurance solutions (life, health and general) in the Asian and East African markets. Jubilee Life in Pakistan offers uniquely designed range of life insurance plans, catering to various customer segments and needs. These include retirement, child education, marriage, saving & protection, wealth accumulation, insurance plans for women, rural insurance plans and life and health insurance solutions for the less privileged of our country.

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Pakistan Economic Forum II to be held on April 17

Thursday, April 11th, 2013

Karachi, April 11, 2013: The Pakistan Business Council (PBC), an apolitical think-tank cum policy advocacy forum representing 42 of Pakistan’s largest corporations/business groups, will be holding the second edition of the Pakistan Economic Forum (PEF) on April 17, 2013 at the Karachi School of Business & Leadership in Karachi. The PEF, modeled on the World Economic Forum, brings together the best available intellectual capital in the country, to debate on major issues confronting Pakistan.

The panels of the Forum, headed by their own Chairs & Co-Chairs and comprising of sector specialists, debate various issues and come up with pragmatic recommendations. These recommendations are then shared with a wider audience in the form of PBC position papers. It is expected that the quality of the recommendations and the involvement of the stakeholders will ensure that the recommendations become part of the national discourse and hopefully, form part of future policies of the new government following the general elections in May.

Sikandar Mustafa Khan, the Chairman of the PBC stated, “Like all countries, Pakistan also faces a number of issues and challenges which change in terms of gravity and character over a period of time. For the well-being and progress of the country in the 21st century, it is critical that these issues and challenges are identified, prioritized and debated annually leading to pragmatic recommendations for the decision-makers at the very highest level, and this is exactly what the Pakistan Economic Forum has been established to do.”

Each of the 6 key focus areas identified by the PEF for urgent attention is tasked to a separate Panel. The 6 Panels and their Chairs and Co-Chairs are: Education Panel – Shamsh Kassim Lakha and Abdul Razak Dawood, Energy Panel – Farooq Rahmatullah and Ali Ansari, Macroeconomic Reform Panel – Dr. Ishrat Hussain and Mohsin Nathani, Regional Trade Panel – Dr. Ijaz Nabi and Bashir Ali Mohommed Social Protection Panel – Dr. Asad Sayeed and Asif Saad and Water Panel, Sikandar Mustafa Khan and Suleman Najib Khan

PEF II will be attended by PBC members, academia, media and other stakeholders. It will generate discussion and exchange of thoughts, allowing discourse on various viewpoints that can then be taken up for further consideration and incorporation into PEF’s ongoing work.

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Consumers Lose a Bar of Gold1 Every Year by Using Cash!

Friday, April 12th, 2013

Consumers across the region are losing a dollar per day, the equivalent of which (per year) is the cost of 6.5 grams of gold

KARACHI / SINGAPORE, April 12, 2013 – Results from the Visa Payment Attitudes Study how that people lose an average of US$365 every year because of cash left forgotten in the house or car, or unused foreign currency from a holiday or business trip. This seemingly small amount that averages a dollar a day is actually the equivalent of the cost of 6.5 grams of gold or supporting a family of four in Bangladesh for a year3!

Busy lifestyles mean consumers often lose track of the little things around them – such as loose change. They are leaving an average of US$80 lying around in cars, homes and offices nclaimed at any one time. Among all the surveyed markets, the Japanese have an astounding US$337 in loose change just lying around forgotten and unused. Indonesians are the most frugal leaving only US$21 lying around at any one time.

Returning home from vacation with a pocket full of coins and foreign notes is also a common occurrence. According to the study, people are bringing home on average US$285 in unused foreign currency4. Singaporeans are bringing back a whopping US$625 in their pockets. They could take a lesson or two from the Indonesians, South Koreans and Taiwanese, who are the savviest at using up their funds bringing back only US$1 in unused currency. While most will keep the remaining cash for future use, about 1 in 5 will give it away or just forget about the leftover cash.

Keeping track of cash can be a hassle, especially with today’s busy – and increasingly globe-trotting – lifestyle. At the same time, people need a secure place to store their funds that they can access anytime, anywhere. We’ve long known that carrying cash can be inconvenient and unreliable, and we now know from this research that consumers are out of pocket by using cash too!‖ explains James Lim, Head of Core Products – Asia Pacific, Central Europe, Middle East and Africa at Visa Worldwide.

―Keeping tabs on their hard-earned money and worrying about carrying cash around is a concern for people in the region too,‖ Mr. Lim continues, ―the majority of respondents (54 percent) said the key reason they have a debit card is because it is convenient to carry around, rather than having a large amount of cash. They also have a debit card to keep their finances in check, with over half (53 percent) saying it is good for smart financial management as they know that the payment is debited directly from their regular bank account.

Commenting on the peace of mind that this means for her, one respondent said, ―On one hand, I pay all my bills using (my) debit card while on the other hand I also use it to instantly buy concert tickets and movie tickets online. However, the biggest advantage for me is that I am in full control of my finances.

The study results showed that, on average, consumers in the region own two debit cards, but it also revealed that awareness for using debit cards abroad is low, with only 42 percent being aware that they can be used around the world. However debits cards, and in particular Visa debit cards, are widely accepted across the globe and can be used in-store, for shopping online and even – for that purchase that really needs cash – for withdrawing cash from foreign ATMs.
Responding to the study, one Japanese businessman recalls a recent trip, “Once, on a business trip abroad, I mistakenly put my money and credit cards into my suitcase and gave it to the check-in counter. By the time I realized, it was too late and with the small change I had I couldn’t even buy a sandwich. At a loss I rummaged through my passport case and came across a debit card that I hardly ever used. With that card I was able to buy a meal, a beer, and even a magazine before my flight – making it a much more pleasant trip than it might have been!

For more information on Visa and Visa Debit cards, visit www.visa-asia.com or www.visacemea.com

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PEF-II Session formulates recommendations for addressing serious national issues

Wednesday, April 17th, 2013

PBC-LOGO
Karachi, April 17, 2013: The Pakistan Economic Forum, a consultative body on the model of the World Economic Forum, sponsored by the Pakistan Business Council, organized its second session today to present the draft recommendations of its 6 expert panels on critical issues facing the country. The panels comprising of eminent persons and subject experts identified the 6 most serious challenges as education, energy, macroeconomic stability, regional trade, social protection and water.

PBC members, key stakeholders, members of the media and others present participated in the discussion following each panel’s presentation and shared their views which the PEF will now incorporate into its final recommendations to be presented to the major political parties and other stakeholders, and to the new government, post-elections. Through its efforts, the PEF aims to stimulate a wider debate on critical issues and challenges facing the country, with a view to evolving a national consensus on policies to successfully manage these issues.

The day long PEF-II witnessed the gathering of the most prominent corporate leaders and socio-economic experts of the country, who heard the PEF panels’ thoroughly researched and in-depth analysis of issues posing a serious and long-term threat to the stability and progress of Pakistan. The day started with an impassioned speech by Sikandar Mustafa Khan, Chairman PBC, who set the tone for the day by pointing out that Pakistan, with all the potential to become a high-growth country, is fast approaching a critical point beyond which recovery would become almost impossible, and the time for taking drastic remedial measures is right now.

Following his speech the first presentation was given by the Education Panel chaired by Dr. Shamsh Kassim Lakha, with the key message that one out of every ten children out of school around the world is from Pakistan. He stated that the country urgently requires policy reforms that would not only increase access to education but also improve the standard and quality of education at all levels. He further stated that the future success of the country’s economy is critically dependent on the quality of its human capital- education budget must increase from 2% to 5% of GDP over the next five years.

In the second panel presentation on Water, it was pointed out that Pakistan is lingering just above the water scarcity limit of 1,000 cubic meters per capita. With Pakistan’s burgeoning population, water is required for consumption, agriculture and industries. Urgent measures are required to ensure the most efficient use of water resources to avoid a detrimental crisis in the mid-term.

The Energy Panel chaired by Farooq Rahmatullah stated that the energy crisis has retarded Pakistan’s GDP growth rate by 3%- 4% in the last few years, and also deterred any substantial local and foreign investments in the country. With the current energy projections, by 2030, energy demand in Pakistan is estimated to be almost 64% greater than projected supply. The Panel recommended that a Ministry of Energy must be established which would be tasked to design an integrated energy plan. This plan would balance energy imports with the development of indigenous energy resources and aim for a diversified economic energy mix.

Dr. Asad Sayeed, chairing the Social Protection Panel pointed out that nearly half (49%) of Pakistan’s population lives in poverty today, with government spending on social protection recording less than 1% of GDP. In order to reduce poverty and inequality in the country, the Panel recommended that an efficient social protection policy should be implemented by the government that would above all, increase targeted subsidies (as opposed to general benefit) to at least 3% of GDP over the next 3 to 5 years.

The fifth presentation was by the Macroeconomic Panel, headed by ex-Governor State Bank of Pakistan, Dr. Ishrat Hussain. The Panel established that the macroeconomic environment remains depressing and the GDP growth rate in the last 4 years has been around 2.5%-3% only. The Panel stated that a chronically weak fiscal structure has fuelled high government borrowing and inflation, leading to a fiscal deficit of 8% (which must be reduced to 4%). This along with policy uncertainties and weak governance standards need to be urgently addressed if the GDP growth rate is to be sustained to at least 6%-7% in the next few years.

The final presentation was by the Regional Trade Panel, headed by Dr. Ijaz Nabi. The Panel stated that regional trade is the greatest opportunity for economic growth in Pakistan. Pakistan and India account for 90% of the South Asian regional GDP, yet bilateral trade between the two is well below potential. The Panel recommended that a strategic policy should be carefully developed for bilateral trade with India aiming to establish a level playing field for a sustained and equitable relationship. Trade with other regional countries also requires attention, the Panel concluded.

The Pakistan Economic Forum’s Second Session has taken on the major responsibility of not only identifying key issues retarding progress but has also formulated practical policy recommendations, which if taken up by the policy-makers will lay the foundation for a prosperous Pakistan in the coming years.

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