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Institute of Business Administration - Karachi

 

IBA Karachi’s first batch of agricultural entrepreneurs: 52 students graduated with ambitious business plans

 

Karachi, June 22, 2013: The convocation ceremony of the first batch of students of the Entrepreneurship Development Program (EDP) was held at IBA Karachi on Saturday, June 22, 2013. A total of 52 students, mostly from parts of rural Sindh, were awarded diplomas for the successful completion of the agri-entrepreneurship program in May. With the diploma in Entrepreneurship, almost 70% of the graduates have been able to successfully launch their agricultural businesses on a small scale. While graduates showcased their business ideas, new entrants (a batch of 77) were given an orientation session of the program. The event was attended by Mr. Arif Ahmed Khan, additional Chief Secretary, as the Chief Guest. Also among the guests present were: Mr. M. Zubair Motiwala, Chairman SBI (Sindh Board of Investment); Mr. Asif Arif, Commissioner SECP (Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan); and Ms. Khalida Habib, Director Strategy, Development and External Relations, SECP.

After the welcome address, Dr. Ishrat Husain, Dean and Director IBA Karachi, expressed his gratitude towards the guests. He held the students in high praise for their hard work and enthusiasm towards the sustainable development of agriculture in Sindh. He said this was one of his proudest moments at IBA, seeing students from diverse backgrounds and impoverished areas showing the courage to launch their own businesses, be it in the cultivation of mangos, growing rice, collecting honey, exporting dates, the dairy business or even farming ostrich eggs. He wished all graduates best of luck in their future endeavours and said he looked forward to seeing them make positive contributions towards the development of Pakistan.

Chief guest Mr. Arif Ahmed Khan also graced the stage, extending his best wishes to all the students present. He complimented Dr. Ishrat and the IBA-CED team for providing such a platform to the youth of Pakistan, especially since he sees “entrepreneurship as the way forward and where lies the future of Pakistan.”

His note was followed by the distribution of diplomas and an address by Mr. M. Zubair Motiwala. Since the EDP is a special program designed in collaboration with the SBI, he said he felt proud to be associated with an institution that promotes entrepreneurship that focuses specifically on agriculture in Sindh and the success of its students.

Afterwards, Dr. Shahid Qureshi, Associate Director, IBA-CED (Center for Entrepreneurial Development) provided an overview of the EDP, which is a special six-month diploma program designed by IBA-CED in collaboration with Sindh Board of Investment (SBI) for the promotion of entrepreneurship in agriculture in Sindh. “The purpose of this training,” he added “is to develop an entrepreneurial mind-set and is conducted so as to provide students with technical and practical knowledge, as well as hands-on training to help them start feasible and sustainable businesses.”

Mr. Asif Arif, Commissioner SECP, highlighted the importance of entrepreneurship and the role of the SECP in the promotion of such ventures; while Ms. Khalida Habib concluded the ceremony with a brief presentation that was broadcast live online to various universities around Pakistan, including Sukkar and Peshawar.

What is the Entrepreneurial Development Program (EDP)?

The EDP is a rigorous six-month program that equips students with technical as well as practical knowledge, preparing rural as well as urban youth of Sindh to pursue agriculture based opportunities. Comprising of four months of classroom training and two months of field training, the program aims at teaching agri-entrepreneurship with hands-on training that develops an entrepreneurial mind-set. The program also imparts the basic technical knowledge and skills required to make use of modern and innovative agricultural and business management practices ranging from on-farm and off-farm value addition, innovation and growth in the agriculture sector of Sindh.

IBA’s comprehensive curriculum includes a wide variety of courses including: Entrepreneurship, Entrepreneurial Marketing, Accounting and Finance, Agri Business, Entrepreneurial Technology, Human Resource Management, Operations Management, Web Marketing, Communication Skills, IT Skills, and Field Training. Guest speaker sessions on various relevant topics by experts from the field are also part of the program. As part of the experience, students are:
- encouraged to participate in productivity-enhancing workshops
- trained to develop business plans and deliver rocket pitches
- taken for field visits and shown interesting videos
- required to participate in expositions
- taught how to work with different software