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Archive for the ‘Press Releases’ Category

Helpline Trust to celebrate World Consumer Rights Day on March 15

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Karachi, March 12, 2013: Helpline Trust, a leading NGO, has been in the forefront for promoting Good Governance and Consumer Rights for the last several years.

In efforts to promote the culture of Quality and Standards, the Trust will celebrate World Consumer Rights Day on Friday, March 15, by holding a seminar and its 7th Corporate Awards ceremony on the theme of ‘Putting the Consumer First’ at the Marriot Hotel, Karachi.

Companies that enact policies and practices that actively seek to respect and protect consumer rights, are recognized for their efforts through these awards given by the Trust.

To maintain full transparency, participation in the awards scheme does not require a participation fee and the entries filed by companies in response to Helpline Trust questionnaire are adjudged by a panel of eminent people.

Distinguished speakers at the seminar are expected to include Rahat Kaunain Hassan, Chairperson, Competition Commission of Pakistan, Pir Bakhsh Jamali, DG, PSQCA and Kashif Hussain, Marketing Director, Tetra Pak Pakistan.

The seminar will also include a panel discussion in which the panelists will include Naveed A.Khawaja, COO, EBM, Haroon Qasim, MD, PharmEvo and Asad Umar, former CEO, Engro Corporation Limited.

The event will be attended by people drawn from government agencies, corporate sector, academia, research organizations and the media.

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Monday, March 4, 2013

Multan, March 04, 2013: Coca-Cola Beverages Pakistan Ltd. held a ground-breaking ceremony of its new Greenfield project in Multan. The ceremony was inaugurated by Senior Advisor of Chief Minister Punjab Zulfiqar Khosa, and attended by a huge gathering, including key government officials, media personnel, local dignitaries and Coca-Cola employees.

The Greenfield project in Multan is one of the three Greenfield projects being set up in the country by Coca-Cola Pakistan. A total amount of $379million will be invested over the next three years, with the funds being utilized for expanding the business and bringing about infrastructure and systemic improvements in the Coca-Cola system. The energy efficient Multan plant will be fully equipped with state-of-the-art production equipment and product warehousing facility.

“My vision for Punjab and Pakistan is to establish the province and the country as the ideal investment destination in the region. This can only be achieved if there is a concerted partnership between the public and private sectors. The role of the private sector in the development of the region and of the country is not only pertinent, but essential; but I reiterate my standpoint, that both must join hands and support each other,” said Senior Advisor of Chief Minister Punjab Zulfiqar Khosa, While addressing the guests at the ceremony, Rizwan U. Khan, General Manager, The Coca-Cola Export Corporation, Pakistan and Afghanistan said “This project will provide direct and indirect employment to thousands of people of this area and also stand out as an example for other companies to invest in Pakistan. Coca-Cola believes in strengthening the communities where we operate, because our business will only be sustainable if the communities around us are prospering.”

CCBPL General Manager, John Seward said, “CCBPL and CCI reiterate their commitment towards Pakistan as we see a bright future for the country. This investment will further establish our position as a Company which truly believes in Pakistan’s potential.”

Coca-Cola System provides directly & indirectly employs more than 8,000 people, while another 35,000 people are employed through its supply chain and another 100,000 benefit through employment in allied industries. The System has played a pivotal role in the promotion of Multan’s rich culture and heritage, huge investments have been made to restore historical landmarks especially the Multan History Museum and facilitated the Multan district government in renovation of Allamdar College, a great symbol of architecture and cultural heritage of Multan. In addition to that, CCBPL has invested Rs. 4 million towards setting up a food street at Qila Kohna Qasim Bagh. Furthermore, Coca-Cola has an extensive CSR Portfolio which focuses on education, environment and water stewardship and women empowerment.

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ZONG to Light up Rural Lives, Empower Women

Friday, March 8, 2013

Islamabad, March 08, 2013: ZONG, the international brand of China Mobile, in collaboration with Buksh Foundation, a leading microfinance organization, is set to light up rural lives through the project ‘Lighting a Million Lives’ that will provide solar-powered lighting to 2 villages as a start of a long term partnership. The initiative is a part of the TERI project that aims to provide lightning to a billion people worldwide through solar power.

Under the partnership, ZONG will sponsor the establishment of Solar Charging Stations in the selected villages in Chiniot District, providing solar lanterns for the use of the villagers, which can be regularly charged at the solar-charging stations. This is the first time in the country’s history that a telecom company is investing in a clean energy initiative to provide much needed lighting to those living in the depth of darkness in rural parts of the country.

The initiative has important socio-economic benefits as well. As the solar-charging stations will be operated by women from the same villages, the project directly promotes women empowerment. Two female micro-entrepreneurs will be selected from each village to run these stations. They will then either rent out the charged solar lanterns every evening to fellow villagers at an affordable fee, or will sell the lanterns to individual households as per their need. Further, project will contribute to improvement of education and health standards, as has been observed in other countries where the project has been implemented. The use of solar lanterns, over its life span of about 10 years will also result in 500 to 600 liters of kerosene not being used for kerosene lamps, eliminating about 1.5 tons of carbon emissions into the atmosphere.

About 43% (80 million people) of the total population of Pakistan lives without access to electricity. Interestingly, while some of the villages do not have electricity, their residents still have cellular connections and carry cell phones. The common practice in these areas is that one of the villagers’ collects all cell phones and goes to a nearby town with electricity to recharge these phones. By investing in the solar charging stations, ZONG is also making the process of recharging hassle free for the 2 fortunate villages.

ZONG is one of those few companies in the country which has embedded sustainability to the core of its business. The Company now has more than 400 cell sites which are solar powered, the highest number for any telecom service provider in Pakistan.

At the MoU signing ceremony between Zong and Buksh Foundation for the project Mr Fan Yunjun, the CEO of Zong Pakistan stated “‘We are pleased to support Buksh Foundation on this solar energy initiative especially since this aims to address a critical energy gap in the country. We are optimistic that this collaboration, whilst addressing the energy crisis, will also enhance female employment through generating increased entrepreneurship opportunities and will hence positively impact overall socio-economic development in the country.’

Ms Fiza Farhan, Chief Executive Officer of Buksh Foundation states, ‘“This unique collaborative project will help create female empowerment in rural areas, provide a Sustainable Energy Alternative for impoverished communities, increase economic capacity of the rural areas, creating literacy about the needs for environmentally friendly energy alternates and the benefits they provide. With the help of Zong we will be able to directly impact the lives of more than 500 individuals in Chiniot District and aim to expand this scope with time.”

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Buksh Foundation partners with Imran Khan Foundation in Lighting a Million Lives Project

Monday, March 18, 2013

Lahore, March 18, 2013: Buksh Foundation partners with Imran Khan Foundation to light up villages in Dera Ghazi Khan, Mianwali and Dera Ismail Khan under the project ‘Lighting a Million Lives’. Through this partnership 3 villages will be lit up and provided with access to solar energy.

This agreement was signed recently between Chairman of IKF, Mr Imran Khan and CEO of Buksh Foundation, Ms Fiza Farhan at the PTI Media office in Lahore.

Under the partnership, the Imran Khan Foundation will support the establishment of Solar Charging Stations in the selected off-grid villages in Dera Ghazi Khan, Mianwali and Dera Ismail Khan, villages which are already constructed by IKF now providing them with solar lanterns for the use of the local population, which can be regularly charged at the solar-charging stations, established by Buksh Foundation. This initiative will not only provide clean energy to the villages but also holds multifold socio-economic benefits along with health and environmental advantages for them, whereby not only creating a social enterprise for the female entrepreneur but also increasing the standard of living for the rest of the village, enticing hope for a brighter future.

A female entrepreneur, endorsed by the name of ‘light lady’ will be selected from each village who would be responsible for the successful operation of the solar station. She will then either rent out the charged solar lanterns every evening to fellow villagers for a minimal fee, creating a permanent source of income for the females in the villages. Moreover, project will have a direct and a positive impact on education, health standards, income generation capacity of the individuals and would help fight the energy poverty state of the country. The use of solar lanterns, over its life span of 10 years will help save 500 to 600 liters of kerosene oil, eliminating about 1.5 tons of carbon emissions into the atmosphere that is the main cause of global warming. The project follows a tried and tested model, established by TERI (The Energy and Resources Institute) India, and has won a number of international awards for its impact generation capacity.

Pakistan is currently in the midst of an escalating energy crisis resulting from inadequate power generation and distribution capacity relative to its rapidly growing demand. Less than 1% of the electric demand is currently supplied through renewable energy resources. Currently, 70% of the population living in 50,000 villages are detached from the national grid and have no access to electricity. Providing them with electricity through the national grid is near to impossible as the current energy needs are not being met.

This initiative falls directly under Imran Khan Foundation’s mandate of, mobilizing local communities in building sustainable means of livelihood, social infrastructure and improve access to health care and education; improving the quality of life of the underserved communities through providing access to basic services. They strive to provide a credible platform for translating the emerging corporate social responsibility into deliverables for the rural poor and to get them access to the basic services they require.

At the signing ceremony between Imran Khan Foundation and Buksh Foundation for the project, Mr Imran Khan stated, “The project promotes a unique model, which its multifold benefits will create immense impact in the lives of those living at the bottom of the pyramid. We are truly in high spirits to have collaborated with Buksh Foundation and hope that this small step contributes towards the bigger change that both the organizations are aiming at.”
Ms Fiza Farhan, Chief Executive Officer of Buksh Foundation states, “This partnership will help create female empowerment in rural areas, help provide a Sustainable Energy Alternative for impoverished communities, increase economic capacity of the rural areas, while creating literacy about the needs for environmentally friendly energy alternates and the benefits they provide. Through this collaboration a total of 150 households will directly be impacted.”

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Flutter salutes women of substance

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Islamabad, March 19, 2013: Flutter – a special mobile package for females by ZONG, recently celebrated International Women’s Day and honoured the spirited women of Pakistan who had previously shared their inspirational stories by dialling on an IVR number. Out of the countless entries that ZONG had received, since this campaign was launched, eleven praiseworthy women were selected for participation on morning shows, where they got an opportunity to share their stories with the whole nation and also a chance to meet well known celebrities as their mentors.

All the women who participated and became a part of the flutter family are also eligible for the lucky draw which will be conducted on 31st March 2013 for Gold earrings and free flutter lounge service for one week.

From entrepreneurs selling handmade jewellery online to sports women supporting their families by stitching clothes, this campaign brought forward great inspirational stories in front of the Pakistani masses. These women were lauded for their efforts to bring about a positive change individually, within communities, and in their professions without losing their feminine side & without losing hope. These women were honoured on television channels including ARY digital, ARY Zauq, Hum 2, PTV Home, TV One, Express Entertainment, Aplus and Masala TV.

Sajid Mahmood, Chief Commercial Office of ZONG says, “We have received a tremendous response for this campaign. Although we did expect to hear some wonderful stories; the shortlisted ones were really poignant. We do believe that these women deserve to be praised for changing and shaping their lives and working towards a better future for themselves, their families and the whole society in general.”

Winners of this competition included Aliya Habib – an entrepreneur running her catering business, Kiran Farhan – a teacher who faced hardships to complete her studies, Fauzia Khan – an athlete who makes bangles and stitches clothes to earn bread and butter, Shahida Bibi – a determined lady continuing her education after 15 years of marriage, Nighat Afzal – a jewelry maker running her online business, Tanzila Tanveer – who supported her mother (a single parent), Erum Bashir – headmistress of a government school even though she is blind, Ammara – a beautician who fought domestic violence, Seher Yasmeen – a make-up artist who brought up not only her children but her siblings as well, Syeda Sobia – a trainer to represent her institute at international exhibitions and Asfar Jahan – an 18th grade officer and career counsellor who got married at the age of 14.

Realizing that women are an underrepresented segment of our society, ZONG had introduced Flutter in July last year – a package which talks to women directly in their tone of voice. ZONG an international brand of China Mobile entered Pakistan’s telecom industry in April 2008 and has now spread its coverage across the country. Among all the Chinese investments in Pakistan, China Mobile is the biggest investor in Pakistan.

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Visa to launch its exclusive Visa Signature premium card in the Middle East

Friday, March 22, 2013

Karachi, March 22, 2013: Visa, the leading global payments technology company, recently announced the launch of its exclusive Visa Signature premium card in the Middle East region. The newly-introduced premium card focuses on providing an affluent segment of customers with attractive and exclusive travel, dining and lodging privileges, offered both locally and globally.

Offering a superior way to pay, with preferential benefits that enhance the individual quality of life, the Visa Signature premium card comes with a wide array of rewards, including priority customer service and an on-call concierge facility, comprehensive insurance coverage and emergency travel services, as well as special privileges designed to enrich the card holder’s lifestyle.

The benefits offered by the new Visa Signature card span four categories – from dining to indulgence to lifestyle to travel, and offers access to over 30 VIP lounges at airports around the world.

Kamran Siddiqi, General Manager for Visa in MENA, said: “The launch of the Visa Signature card is another important step in our ongoing strategy to launch the type of premium products that are especially popular in this region.

“Visa Signature is perfectly aligned for our affluent segment in the Middle East and is an innovative product with great rewards and travel benefits. Visa offers an all-embracing series of payment products and is continually innovating by enhancing our products and services, and the launch of the Visa Signature card is the latest initiative in this direction.”

“Owning a Visa Signature card denotes a class above for the card holder who can now experience incredible packages, higher rewards, special offers and upgrades at some of the finest hotels and resorts.”

He added: “Through extensive research, Visa understands the needs and wants of today’s affluent customer. The Visa Signature card delivers this through 24 hours concierge service, a team of personal assistants available to, from anywhere in the world to assist you with travel reservations, entertainment plans, business meeting arrangements, and special shopping requests.

Visa Signature offers customers acceptance at more than 29 million worldwide locations, including one million ATMs in the Visa Global ATM Network.

Issuing banks will introduce the Visa Signature credit card in the region in the coming weeks and will be providing details to their respective customers.

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