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Opportunities Abound: Distressing Economic Track Record
by Saad Amanullah Khan
Former CEO Gillette Pakistan
very morning when the sun comes up, the citizens of Pakistan wake up to millions of opportunities to grow, to thrive, to create value and to improve their standard of living. Due to extremely poor governance environment, pitiable infrastructure and monarchical political system, none of these opportunities ever see the light of day. Many have written off this country in the annals of history, but I disagree with this submission and instead will show the vast opportunities as well as God given resources, both human and natural, that Pakistan ...view middle of the document...
Pakistan barely moved 3 postions to 139th in 2014. We are sadly in the company of countries such as Sudan, Yemen, Guinea and Cote d’Ivoire. Even in 2014, we are below countries like Angola, Benin, Togo and Mali; they are providing
a healthier and a much better environment to its citizens to pursue innovation. Sadly, ground reality today does reflect these dire straits; 25 million children out of school, poor law & order, load shedding ranging from a few hours to an entire day, eroding infrastructure, lack of gas for industrial use, lack of research facilities, shortage of public libraries and bookshops, poor internet connectivity, lack of intellectual property protection, etc. 2. Innovation Output: Measuring Achievement in Innovation – this is made up for two output pillars: 1) Knowledge and Technology Outputs and 2) Creative Outputs. Everything is not dark and dingy. The resilient citizens of Pakistan despite this discouraging environment, have been delivering extraordinary results. When we look at the Innovation Output over the
1st Quarter 2015
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last 6 years we see that Pakistan’s performance is appreciably better in 2011 when on Innovation Input we were rated 123rd (or 3rd from the bottom), on Innovation Output Pakistan stood at 67th position among 125 nations (54th percentile). Finally there is another factor which they call ‘Innovation Efficiency Ratio’; it is defined as the ratio of ‘Input Innovation Index / Output Innovation Index’. This ratio index captures how much innovations are taking place in a given country considering the ecosystem provided to the innovators or citizens of that specific country.
Entrepreneur Working Group” (NEW-G) has been formed to deliver just that, plus enhance the mentorship footprint to budding entrepreneurs. Currently, singular focus of our youth at time of graduation is to find a job, and not to set up a business. If this trend does not change, Pakistan’s future growth potential will be drastically compromised. Currently the odds are against us, as 80% of our growth comes from leading business houses, large multinationals and agricultural sector. No economy of the world can grow beyond a certain level without expanding its SME footprint. AGRICULTURAL POWERHOUSE Pakistan is among one of the world’s largest producer and supplier of agricultural goods. In Pakistan 52.7% of labour is dedicated to the agricultural sector, but is responsible for only 20.4% of GDP (Economic Survey 2009); opportunities exist to better utilise human resources. The low contribution is due to significantly lower yield per acre for major crops (see table below). This lower yield is due to lack of knowledge by farmers (who are predominantly illiterate) about crop rotation, use of automation equipment, appropriate and timely use of fertilisers and pesticides, high quality insect resistant seeds, and investment in logistics and packaging (huge damages in harvesting and in-transit to...