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“Power of One” must for re-branding Pakistan

CCD has launched Sui Southern Interactive Forum (SSIF) to provide its management and employees an opportunity for debate and discussion with experts from different walks of life. The launching ceremony was held at the Company premises on March 4, 2009.

The main item on the agenda was an interactive talk show entitled ‘Let’s re-brand Pakistan’ moderated by the veteran marketer Mr. Mahmood Nanji and a TV talk show

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The participants were Mr. Ahmed Kapadia (Managing Director, Synergy Advertising), Ms. Adeeba Khan (Chief Creative Officer, Manhattan Communications), Mr. Imran Ahmad (CEO, Pace Pvt. Ltd) and Mr. Numan Nabi, CEO, The Brand Partnership.

They emphasized on addressing misperceptions about Pakistan by projecting those aspects of Pakistani culture and life that do not make it into mainstream Western media. The focus, they pointed out, must be on projecting Pakistan’s brilliance and beauty and sprucing up Pakistan’s image across the world.

Kapadia was of the view that the presence of strong and sincere leadership is untenable to brand Pakistan. He cited the example of City Nazim, Mustafa Kamal who has re-defined Karachi’s map through relentless commitment and leadership. Linking the process of re-branding Pakistan to form-content formula, he reiterated that unless we do not improve the form, we cannot develop the winning content.

Mr. Numan Nabi said that re-branding involves first changing the perception of people inside and outside the country. He said that as Pakistanis, we must first understand what our country stands for before we can channelize our energies towards carving out a new image of Pakistan. He stressed that commitment for the task at hand must come from every individual or what he termed as ‘the power of one’. In this regard, he quoted Shehzad Roy’s words ‘Goodness is Contagious’.

In her remarks, Ms. Adeeba Khan said that Pakistan has amazing talent and rich resources yet they have not been properly utilized due to indifferent socio-economic and political situation. She said that when her agency started its ‘Ye Hum Nahi’ campaign aimed at projecting Pakistan as a land of peaceful people, the most signatures it got was from the Northern Areas,

Syed Imran Ahmad was of the view that media must play a defining role in projecting Pakistan’s positive image to the rest of the world, while removing negative perceptions that exist in our minds.

While the participants expressed diverse views, there was a general unanimity that for taking on the task of re-branding Pakistan, the main crux of the problem has to be identified, objectives need to be defined, an unfaltering commitment must be shown and a right kind of leadership must be provided from all quarters. In addition, we must remove negative perceptions from our minds for creating a positive image of Pakistan.

Before the discussion began, Mr. Ahmad gave a comprehensive presentation entitled ‘Bombs to Branding – Image Building in Crisis’ that served as a preamble for the discussion that followed.

The audience that included intellectuals and business professionals proactively participated at the Q&A session.

Earlier, Ms. Nasreen Hussain said that the idea behind SSIF was based on a simple premise that while harping on problems is easy, finding solutions is always the hardest part.

Rahat Kamal Siddiqui, SGM (Engineering Services) while presenting his vote of thanks appreciated the participants for their honest views.

At the conclusion, Mr. Zuhair Siddiqui, SGM (Management Services), Mr. Qamaruddin Kazi, SGM (Transmission) SGM (Engineering Services) and Dr. Abdul Wahab, Dean, Mohammad Ali Jinnah University, presented mementos to the participants and the moderator Mr. Mahmood Nanji.

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