Karachi: The whole world is facing severe challenges owing to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, and in such a situation, academia, governments, and top management of the private sector have to redesign their strategies and come up with a plan which can give sustainability to the corporate sectors. To achieve the target, all stakeholders have to discuss human resource practices and rethink and restructure their policies.
These views were expressed by the speakers at the first international conference on corporate sustainability which was organised by Karachi University Business School (KUBS), University of Karachi. The event was held at the KUBS Auditorium.
The Advisor to Chief Minister Sindh on law, environment, climate change, and coastal development department, Barrister Murtaza Wahab, who was the chief guest, expressed that the stability of the corporate sector is essential for the country’s development.
He mentioned that after being infected with the coronavirus, the whole world has changed and we have to change too. From today’s conference, participants from all over the world and their views will help students to learn and understand what the social responsibility of the corporate sector is. Online seminars and webinars are very important in today’s world and in the context of being affected by COVID-19, he said.
The spokesperson of the Sindh Government Murtaza Wahab shared that he had a special attachment to the University of Karachi as his parents were students of the KU. In the memory of his parents, Murtaza Wahab announced that he will provide scholarships to two students every year.
“I will bear the tuition fee of a male student of KUBS and female student from Visual Studies Department. We all have to adapt our institutions and work together,” he said.
The KU Vice Chancellor (VC) Professor Dr Khalid Mahmood Iraqi said that timely decisions and better planning are the major sources of stability. The economy of any country is largely dependent on exports and for this, the industries and production units need to be stable. He observed that the dream of development cannot come true without stability in any field. Universities play a key role in identifying and solving social problems along with teaching and research and the University Karachi is playing its role in this regard, he added.
The KU VC Professor Dr Khalid Iraqi shared with the audience that the KU has provided financial aid to around 650 students during the recently concluded admission process. He expressed that the Student Admission Fund has been established to help the students who could not afford to pay at the time of admission and they have planned that no student should drop their studies due to financial problems.
The acting Dean Faculty of Management and Administrative Science Professor Dr Nasreen Aslam Shah said that due to the global pandemic, individuals, as well as businesses, are badly affected and many markets are being faced with unprecedented challenges.
“Today, when global agencies for health and safety are working hard and trying to cope up with the Covid-19, and businesses are fighting against the collapse, this is the high time for academia to focus upon the ways for human recourses to get back to normal working conditions, both at physical as well as psychological levels, individually and collectively for recovering from the prevalent conditions and for the betterment of corporate sustainability on the planet,” she said.
Chairman KUBS Dr Muhammad Asim elaborated on the aims and objectives of the conference and said that the stability of the corporate sector has become a major challenge not only for industries but also for academia. He called for the need to formulate an effective and integrated policy.
Meanwhile, Professor Dr Abdul Halim, College of Business, University Utara Malaysia, Dr Athifah Najwani, Faculty Business and Management, University Teknologi MARA, Perlis, Malaysia, Dr Perfecto G. Aquino, Researcher and Senior Lecturer, Socio-Economics Research Institute, Duy Tan University, Vietnam, Richard Griffiths, Director 3Q London, Transpersonal and Clinical Psychologist, Bastianela Bente, Director 3Q Romania, Spiritual Development Specialist, and Hari C. Kamali, Associate Professor KMC, Tribhuvan, University of Nepal, joined the conference through the web and shed light on their learning and experiences during the pandemic.
They observed that corporate sustainability is the new challenge people are dealing with due to the pandemic. They also noted that this conference would provide a platform for intellectuals from various fields and disciplines in global business and social science to debate and discuss the current issues worldwide.
They believed that it would help in finding solutions to the problems by exchanging and sharing knowledge with others. They expressed that academic assistance would come with better ideas and solutions in providing corporate sustainability, particularly in the post-COVID-19 scenario.
Member Provincial Assembly and the KU Syndicate member Sadia Javed, KU Syndicate member Sahibzada Moazzam Ali Qureshi, Dean Faculty of Science Professor Dr Nasra Khatoon, among others were also present on the occasion.