IoBM hosts the International Conference on Business Management and Sustainability (ICBMS) 2023

The Institute of Business Management (IoBM) hosted the two-day International Conference on Business Management and Sustainability (ICBMS) on November 7-8, 2023. The first day of the event attracted a diverse range of participants, including prominent government officials, experts from renowned educational institutions as well as senior corporate executives from leading companies in Pakistan. The Guest of Honor at the occasion was Syed Muhammad Tariq Rafi, Chairman, Sindh HEC while the Chief Guest was Mr. Younus Dagha, Minister for Revenue, Industries and Commerce, Sindh. Mr. Talib S. Karim, President of IoBM, delivered the Welcome Address. 

Under the theme "The Sustainable and Innovative Businesses in Uncertain Times: Challenges and Opportunities," the conference was hosted on the IoBM campus, setting the stage for substantive discussions, collaboration, and the sharing of profound insights. The inaugural session featured a Conference Flow by Prof. Dr. Muhammad Shujaat Mubarik Dean CBM, IoBM; and Keynote speeches by Dr. Asif Raza, President AMDIP, and Mr. Imran Haleem Shaikh Chief Operating Officer, JS Bank. Dr. Shakeel Sadiq Jajja, a Fulbright Scholar from Stanford University and Associate Professor at LUMS also delivered a keynote address. Mr. Iftikhar Ahmed Sheikh, President of the Karachi Chambers of Commerce, and Mr. Muhammad Azfar Ahsan, President of the Marketing Association of Pakistan also presented their views during the inaugural session. 

The Chief Guest at the occasion, Mr. Younus Dagha shed light on the agenda of the conference by noting that: “Globalization has created connectivity, it has eased access to information but it has also exposed our businesses, our practices, and our governance to the clients that we deal with on a B2B and G2B basis. Most of Pakistan’s policies are adversely affected by incompetence at the policy-making level, but more than that at the implementation level. Therefore, our regulators, with respect to national policies and their implementation on the ground, need to develop an integrated policy to address this issue in a sustainable manner.”  

Guest of Honor, Syed Muhammad Tariq Rafi urged the need to create an IT course structure that enhances students' skills and aligns with international standards. He emphasized that policy mismanagement results in the unequal distribution of funds that are distributed across the higher education sector. He also highlighted the critical condition of primary education and the necessity to formulate effective policies to address this challenge. Additionally, Syed Muhammad Tariq Rafi stressed the importance of implementing good governance to enhance our education system and called on universities to foster innovation among their students.

In his address, Mr. Talib Karim, President of IoBM stated: “This flagship conference aims to rigorously review scholarly papers, addressing the evolving landscape of business management. Our focus remains on maintaining consistent on-campus teaching, even amidst the shift toward hybrid methods. Such gatherings unite scholars and experts to reshape business management principles." 

Dr. Shakeel Sadiq Jajja joined ICBMS 2023 through Zoom. He mentioned that the world we live in faces sustainability problems. It's not possible to rely on a single domain or industry to solve this issue. All areas, including logistics, supply chain, research, and product development, need alignment. He discussed product development issues and compatibility and addressed the challenges of manufacturing and the provision of electric vehicles. He emphasized that the government needs to work towards sustainability by creating and implementing policies. Dr. Asif Raza emphasized the need to ensure student mobility in Pakistan and abroad. He urged students to strive for success in life and become credible professionals through consistent hard work. Mr. Imran Haleem Sheikh highlighted a disconnect between the course books written by Western authors that we read and the social paradigm in our country. He also presented an overview of the key actions taken by JS Bank.

Mr. Iftikhar Ahmed Sheikh, while addressing the audience, described IoBM as a hub of knowledge where ideas flourish, with a strong emphasis on business and management. He expressed appreciation for the faculty members for shaping students' minds and fostering critical thinking and practical skills, which are essential for success in the corporate world. He provided a brief overview of the ACCI and urged business leaders to pursue solutions to resolve social issues. He stated, "We are in an era defined by economic uncertainties, where sustainable practices have never been more crucial." During his speech, Mr. Azfar Ahsan pointed out that we have failed to achieve our true potential due to the absence of a strategy. He mentioned, "There is a complete ad hoc system in the government. We consistently focus on short-term planning, whereas, for business and finance, we need a 10-15-year strategy." He urged the government to focus on the basics to fix the fundamentals and invest in human capital.

The event was aimed at fostering comprehensive conversations about the challenges and opportunities in building sustainable and innovative enterprises in a world marked by uncertainty. Furthermore, the conference also included a Corporate Panel Discussion focused on "Sustainable Business Models: A paradigm shift in Uncertain Times," moderated by Fatima Arshad, Head of Sustainability and Corporate Communications at Unilever. The panel hosted senior executives from Unity Foods, Mondelez Pakistan, Ismail Industries, and more.

The event also featured an Academic Panel Discussion on "The role of education and research in shaping sustainable and innovative businesses," moderated by Dr. Amber Raza, Head of Academics at IoBM. The panelists during this discussion included esteemed representatives from IoBM, Stanford University, UMT, LUMS, IBA, and other leading institutions.

The International Conference on Business Management and Sustainability - 2023 is a testament to IoBM's commitment to providing a platform for meaningful dialogue, learning, and the exchange of knowledge in Pakistan. The event continued for a second day where workshops were conducted by leading academics and professionals. 

IoBM's Dr. Shagufta Ghauri, Associate Professor & HoD Management & HR Department; Ms. Rabia Sabrei, HoD, Commercial & Professional Studies; and Dr. Junaid Ansari, Assistant Professor, Management & HR and Convener ICBMS 2023 along with their team and student society played an instrumental role in making ICBMS 2023 a success.