Dr. Naeem Ghani, Chairman of Sultana Foundation, speaks to IBEX about the current economic situation and also sheds light on the actions of the global planners.
Dr. Ghani remembers that “Sultana Foundation was started just from a plain ground, now it has a constructed area of 50 kanals, running for the last 15 years. Starting from scratch and achieving what we have today, has only been the result of positive perception of our team.”
Perception is an important aspect of our lives. When we perceive things in a positive manner, we encounter positive situations and when we perceive things negatively, we only get negativity in return.
We perceive and admit that the business environment ofPakistanis not very conducive for investment; however, subjectivity cannot be overruled. Despite of the so called current economic downturn, our industries have been able to acquire sustainable profits in all its major sectors including agriculture, manufacturing and services. The above situation supports the fact that the ground realities differ from the general perceptions. In the pursuit of starting ones own business or getting employed somewhere, what really matters is the ‘determination’ one portrays. The potential problems and difficulties can be overcome by showing determination, resilience, and deploying efforts as honestly as possible.
There can be numerous examples of companies and people who want to invest, but refrain from doing so or at least have cut down their expenditures just because of the volatile perception of the market, but in reality they haven’t suffered any losses from the current economic situation. When a person says that my company position is not stable then no one would be willing to join the company as an employee or as a stake holder. Everyone should be positive that the business environment is good and we are doing well. The same goes with sultana foundation; it was the positive perception of our team that has fulfilled this mission. If you want to do a job, don’t think that there are going to be difficulties in getting licenses and registrations, financial problems or lack of good team; if you are determined to do your work, you’ll find ways, just keep on doing the hard work.
Ideas and vocabulary are used to develop perception amongst masses. For example a perception is created that FATA people are not good, but in reality they are very peaceful people. If you think that business environment is not good, it doesn’t mean that you are going to die from hunger, we are still living in our houses, still buying groceries, still driving cars and still watching movies in cinemas. If you are living in your own house of five crores and because of slump in the market, the value of that house declines to two crores; how is it going to affect you, you are still living in the same house, it’s just the market perception.
Businesses are totally dependent on the strength of your unity. There are three things which are responsible for the success of a business or an entrepreneur; self confidence, entrepreneurial strength and his capability/training. If we remove any one of these factors, there will be no success in the business. So to further improve our businesses inPakistanwe have to concentrate on our human resource and make them stronger.
In my opinion the definition of economics should be, “How do you provide work opportunity to maximum members of the society”. When all the people of the society will contribute in different works/jobs, there will be more capital. Human energy reinforced with the monetary benefits and perks can provide the best products which in return can bring prosperity to the society at large. This relationship between human resource and monetary capital can be quantitatively expressed as ‘Energy + Capital = product’.
If all the capital is transferred to bank accounts of some of the rich people of the society, and no human resource is employed to bring that capital to useful purpose, there will be no development. To bring economic and social stability to our country and to make it stand amongst the self sufficient nations of the world we should invest more in different projects to provide opportunities to the work force of 170 million people to increase the wealth of not only themselves but the wealth of the country also.
There was an economist in the times of great depression of 1930s, —-. He said that economic cycle of a country is like a circle. When a person loses his or her job or has less money, he will not spend more and cut his expenditures. The result would be that there will be no buyers in the market, businesses will earn no more profits, factories and industries will slow down their production, because of less earnings they will start cost cutting by down sizing of employees and then the economic circle will start in the opposite direction. —- said that when a person or a government has no or less money, instead of decreasing the expenditures, he should spend more or at least at the same level, get loans but don’t decrease your expenditures because it will slow down the whole economy.
But at the same time loan should be taken for productive projects to earn profits and provides opportunities to the work force, so that one can return the loan. On the other hand loans for consumption purpose are very harmful for societies because one has to pay back interest on that without any earnings. The recent loan approved by IMF forPakistanis an example of consumption loan. Consumption loans are not used for new projects rather they are used for day to day expenses. It is also not the policy of World Bank or IMF to provide loans for the new projects; they give loans only to complete the payments of the industrial countries. If we don’t have the money, we will not pay the industrialized nations for their products and their production will slow down; so the western nations are getting double benefits, on one side they are getting the payments from the buyers around the world and on the other side they are also earning from interest on their loans.
The Pareto principle also known as the 80-20 rule states that, for many events, roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes, or as a rule of thumb in business 80% of your sales come from 20% percent of clients. The current world economic situation is a reflection of Pareto’s principle where 80% of the wealth of the world is in 20% of the countries. And these twenty percent countries (western countries) are now stocking more wealth in IMF and World Bank so that more loans should be provided to countries likePakistan, indirectly they are earning a lot from the interest of that loan. But our politicians become happy every time when they get a loan without taking into account the factor that they are indulging us into a whirlpool of interest.
The success of a war is determined by how much indebted you leave the society. The real measure of the success of a war is that how much loan that society has to pay after the war. For example,U.S.A.is in war withIraqandAfghanistan, they are helping their people and providing them money (loans), and they are going to get the interest income from them in the coming decades. The actual purpose of war is to suck the money from a society. This is how the big players of the world are planning and playing with the small countries. There is no one who can tell the actual reason that why oil prices went so high in the past few months and now they are again down, can anyone explain why that happened and which countries got profits from that?Middle Easthas most of the oil reserves but the income from oil is deposited in banks of western countries. It is our national and moral responsibility to ponder over these conundrums and try to absolve ourselves and our future generations from this vicious cycle set by world donors. We as a nation should always have a positive perception. It is our positivity which can shape our present and future.
Some important factors which can play a vital role in reviving the economy of Pakistan are listed below:
- Reliability and predictability of government policies
- General peaceful environment and stable political structure
- Security of investment
- Independent and responsible judiciary
- The capacity and capability of human resource
- Background knowledge of the society and the businesses
- Higher education and research facilities
- Managerial skills and infrastructure
- Regulatory bodies (quality assurance)
- Availability of raw material in the market
- Consumer trust and copyrights
- Market size