The Counsel

Conference on Entrepreneurship held on 7th May 2011:
Welcome Address
by Sadia Khan
President, INSEAD Alumni Association of Pakistan

Ladies & Gentlemen, Good morning and a warm welcome to all of you to the first event of this nature under the banner of the INSEAD Alumni Association of Pakistan. We are delighted to host this conference today on Entrepreneurship –Revitalizing the Economyin close collaboration with the Institute of Business Administration in Karachi.

I would like to spend a few minutes this morning introducing you to our association and then walking you through the day’s agenda.

INSEAD, as most of you know, is one of the leading and largest graduate business schools in the world today.With campuses in Europe (France), Asia (Singapore) andAbu Dhabi, INSEAD's business education and researchspans three continents. Over 145 renowned Facultymembers from 36 countries inspire more than 1,000 degreeparticipants in the MBA, Executive MBA and PhD programs. In addition, more than 9,500 executivesparticipate in INSEAD's executive education programs.Last year, INSEAD celebrated 50 years as a pioneer ofinternational business education based in Europe as well as the 10th Anniversary of the Asia campus in Singapore.

The INSEAD Alumni has a diverse network of over 40,000 members who live and work in over 150 countries across all continents. The community may be geographically diverse, but their alumni share the same entrepreneurial streak. Twenty years after graduating, over 40 percent of the MBA graduates own and manage their own businesses and 37 percent are company Chairmen or CEOs.

As a member of the International INSEAD Alumni Association, the primary objective of our local chapter is to establish, support and develop an active and friendly network amongst INSEAD alumni living in Pakistan and in doing so, project a positive image of the institution for prospective candidates and potential sponsors. Since 2008, the INSEAD Alumni Association of Pakistan has played an active role in connecting the alumni,organizing exciting events and giving back to thecommunity.Continuing with this tradition, we are now proud to playthe lead role in organizing this conference on entrepreneurship which will feature INSEAD's Affiliate Professor ofEntrepreneurship, Patrick Turner as the Keynote speaker.

Let me now walk you through the day’s events. As most of you may know “Entrepreneurship” is actually a French word meaning “one who undertakes an endeavor” and it was an Irish-French economist, Mr Richard Cantillon, who first defined entrepreneurship in the early 18th century as a process through which individuals identify opportunities, allocate resources and create value. We decided on this theme for our first conference since a number of us could identify strongly with this drive and we sincerely felt that this act of “creating value” needed to be given a fresh impetus, if our country was to find a way out of is current economic impasse.

Dr.Ishrat Husain, Dean & Director of the Institute of Business Administration will set the stage by talking about the Enabling Environment for Entrepreneurship. As an economist, as a former Governor of the State Bank of Pakistan, and now as the Dean of the oldest business schools in Pakistan, he is uniquely equipped to share his views on the macroeconomic factors, the regulatory environment as well as the educational infrastructure that is required to let entrepreneurship flourish.

The following session will focus on one of the key ingredients for entrepreneurial success….the access to finance! To talk about the role of venture capitalists, we have Mr.NaeemZamindar, a fellow alumni and CEO of Wateenas well as Mr.NadeemNaqvi, fresh from his first week as the Managing Director of the Karachi Stock Exchange. Both of them have had extensive experience financing start-ups and managing venture capital funds.

They will be followed by our Keynote Speaker Mr. Patrick Turner who will provide a compelling case for the do’s and don’ts of entrepreneurship and share his own personal experiences in the process.

For the afternoon, we have two very exciting panel discussions lined up for you. The first panel comprising of the stalwarts of our economy will talk about what it takes to build empires! Mr Husain Dawood, MrByramAvari ,Ms SultanaSiddiquiand MrTawfiqChinoywill all be talking to Ayesha Tammy Haq about their experiences in scaling up their respective businesses.

For the second session, Prof Patrick Turner will chair a debate about the merits of entrepreneurial education!For this session we have a number of rising stars including our fellow Alumni Abid Butt, Ghias Khan, the dynamic duo of Sana and Safinaz and RoshanehZafar who has been funding the entrepreneurial ventures of the marginalized in society, though her microcredit outfit.

We hope to wrap up the days proceedings with an enlightening discourse with the Minister of Finance, Dr Hafeez Shaikh who will link our earlier discussions on Entrepreneurship with its impact on the economy.

Ladies & gentlemen, As you know, this event was envisaged as not just a learning opportunity with a distinguished panel ofspeakers, but also as a networking opportunityfor the local business community and prospectiveentrepreneurs. We have attempted to strike a good balance between established business leaders, young professionals and currentstudents of business within the participants. Ihope that the sessions will be interactive toensure that the wealth of experience that existswithin the room gets shared and we are able to benefit from an intellectually stimulating and inspiring discussion.

We are in particular grateful to Prof Patrick Turner for daring to tread where few others dareto tread these days! I hope that his presence today will send a positive message to the international community about the immense entrepreneurial potential that remains to be discovered in Pakistan.

We are also very grateful to our sponsors, the Internatioanl Alumni Association of INSEAD, Faysal Bank, Wateen Telecommunications and Engro Corporation for making this event financial feasible for us. Our outreach partners, Center for International Private Enterprise, Institute of Chartered Accountants of Pakistan, Pakistan Institute of Corporate Governance and Pakistan France Business Alliance as well as our advertising partners, ThinkTankall helped us to reach out to you. A special thank you to all the speakers for taking the time out of their busy schedules to be with us today. Finally thank you to all of you for joining us today for making this a truly enriching event.

Ladies & Gentlemen. We hope that you will enjoy the event as much as we have enjoyed putting it together. It is now time to let your entrepreneurial spirit awaken!

Thank you

The author has been educated at Cambridge, Yale and INSEAD. She has Served in senior position at the Asian Development Bank, The Securities & Exchange commission of Pakistan and the State Bank of Pakistan. Ms.khan was also a Member of the Task Force to revise the code of Corporate Governance 2002 (now Code of Corporate Governance 2012). Ms.khan is the Group Executive Director, Delta Group of Companies and is the Founder & Chief Executive Officer Of Selar Enterprises (Pvt.) Ltd.