KARACHI: Competence can be traded, skill sets can be outsourced, but professional integrity and passion can never be bought or sold, Karachi Electric Supply Company (KESC) CEO Tabish Gauhar said on Thursday while addressing a small group of professional accountants who passed the exams of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) with distinction.
Talking about the beginning of his professional career 29 years ago as a management trainee at what is now Engro Corporation, Gauhar said his trainer told him on his first day at work that he should never be afraid of asking questions. “He advised me to ask as many questions as possible, saying there’s no such thing as a stupid question. And that’s exactly what I’ve done all my life.”
Congratulating the 27 high achievers, the KESC CEO said they deserved special admiration because they studied during hours-long power outages in Karachi.
“Always remember that only hard work can overcome hard luck. There’re no shortcuts in life. So do what you’re passionate about. Don’t get stuck in a job that you don’t like,” he said, adding they should try to reverse the tide of brain drain by staying in the country.
Talking to The Express Tribune, head of ACCA Karachi Rehan Uddin said that in recent years roughly half of fresh ACCA members in Pakistan joined accounting firms and the rest found work in the corporate sector. Only a handful of ACCA members work in public sector organisations, he added.
He remained tight-lipped about average salaries fresh ACCA members received in the job market, saying he didn’t have any exact statistics to quote.
Talking to journalists after the formal conclusion of the ceremony, Gauhar said about 3,200 employees of the power company had already availed the Voluntary Separation Scheme (VSS), adding that the company expected another 1,300 employees to accept VSS in the future.
He said line losses were less than 20% in 16 out of the 28 Integrated Business Centres (IBCs) formed in Karachi. However, line losses in areas such as Lyari, Baldia Town, Korangi, Landhi, Surjani Town, Liaquatabad, Gadap and Malir are still high, he added.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 27th, 2012.