The School wishes to inspire students and provide unique insights with guest lecturers. The Executive Lecture Series is a week-long series of lectures by an extraordinary group of alumni, entrepreneurs, business people, academia, media personalities and government officials, to provide an insider’s perspective on the world of business, education, governments, social welfare and other sectors. Since 2010, we have had seminars by Paul Weller (Regional Director, SECOM Plc), Professor Martin Reynolds (former Pro-Vice Chancellor Anglia Ruskin University (ARU) and currently with Birmingham City University), Andrew Fisk (Director External Relations, Procter & Gamble [P&G]), Professor Avi Shlaim (University of Oxford) and Muhammad Latif Khosa (Governor of Punjab, Pakistan) amongst many others. The theme surrounding this year’s series is ‘social responsibility’.
Themes and topics are selected in line with students’ programmes, to enable them to think critically and have a broader sense of the business and social worlds.
The lead organisation for this event was School of Economics and Law (SOEL) in partnership with its sister organisation the Forum for International Relations Development (FIRD) at their SOEL's Cheam Campus and FIRD’s Secretariat.
Change Maker Scholarship Programme MoU Signed at LCBMIT (now SOEL)/FIRD with KPK Minister Atif Khan
The second instalment in the series of seminars organised by Forum for International Relations Development (FIRD) and London College of Business Management and IT (LCBMIT), now SOEL, saw Minister for Elementary and Secondary Education KPK, Minister Muhammad Atif Khan and Minister for Agriculture and IT, Shahram Tarakai provide an insight in to the developmental stride being taken by the KPK government.
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Youth Urged To Continue Hard Work, Education, Be Entrepreneurial - Lord Ahmed, Toaha Qureshi MBE
The seminar hosted by Umar Mahmood was kicked off with a warm welcome followed by an introduction by FIRD Chairman and LCBMIT CEO Toaha Qureshi MBE. He briefed the audience and Lord Ahmed on the work being carried out in the fields of education, de-radicalisation and employability. He gave practical examples of the work that had been carried out including the highly successful SEED programme, executed by Stockwell Green Community Services (the charity partner for FIRD and SOEL) carried out in partnership with the Home Office and other partners - the programme was independently evaluated by Middlesex University and the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister.
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Claire Campbell (Global CSR Coordinator, Alliance Boots)
The Executive Lecture Series, on Wednesday 20th March 2013, added Claire Campbell (Global CSR Coordinator, Alliance Boots) to its ranks today as a two part lecture on “CSR at Alliance Boots” was delivered to students at LCBMIT. Claire, who has an extensive background in corporate social responsibility (CSR) and manages the network of CSR champions across the Group, spoke about why CSR is so integral to business at Alliance Boots and how to embed that into a daily routine. After the lecture, an interactive seminar was held with the top performing students of the December 2012 exams.
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Rt Rev Irfan Jamil, Bishop of Lahore
The Executive Lecture Series (ELS), on Tuesday 12th March 2013, added the Rt Rev Irfan Jamil, Bishop of Lahore, Pakistan to its ranks today as he addressed a seminar on "The Future of Pakistan - A Need to Continue Interfaith Dialogue" as a keynote speaker. After hosting a British delegation led by Toaha Qureshi MBE in Lahore, Pakistan to discuss minority rights, Bishop Irfan visited LCBMIT with his wife to see the minority students that had been offered scholarships from the College to support them during their studies.
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Muhammad Latif Khosa, Governor of Punjab
‘Judicial Activism has strengthened democracy in Pakistan. Sometimes the Apex Court gets under pressure to play to the gallery due to the role of masses in its restoration. Pakistan Supreme Court has topped in the suo motu in the world but we welcome the initiative. Judiciary has taken bold steps in empowering the democratic institutions.’ Governor Punjab Muhammad Latif Khosa shared these thoughts while speaking at FIRD Dialogue Forum at Forum for International Relations Development, a UK based think-tank. He was speaking at the symposium, organised by LCBMIT and FIRD, titled ‘An Appraisal of Judicial Activism in Pakistan’.
Professor Avi Shlaim, University of Oxford
University of Oxford’s Professor Avi Shlaim FBA is an acclaimed Jewish analyst on the history of the Arab-Israeli conflict and is considered to be one of the most critical and open-minded. LCBMIT held an Executive Lecture in partnership with FIRD to mark the anniversary of the tragic September 11 2001 attacks in America. Prof Shlaim’s underlying argument was that then President George W Bush’s response to the attacks in New York on the World Trade Centre as well as in Washington on the Pentagon, i.e. launching a “War on Terror”, was devastatingly foolish. He went on to say that “terror is a tactic not an entity, and one cannot have a war against a tactic”. Furthermore, putting Osama bin Laden stigmatise — whom the Americans had funded when he was fighting against the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan — fuelled the new global divide that Samuel P Huntington had simplistically described as the Clash of Civilizations.
Jonathon Story, Emeritus Professor Political Economy, INSEAD
The annual Executive Lecture Series kicked off with an insight into “The Geo-Politics of Pakistan, India and China” by Jonathon Story, Emeritus Professor Political Economy, INSEAD. The event was hosted by Umar Mahmood and attended by students, faculty and other guests. The event had Toaha Qureshi MBE (CEO/Principal, LCBMIT) share with everyone the humble beginnings of LCBMIT and Saad Mahmood (Director Corporate Affairs, LCBMIT) provided a behind the scenes view of the strategy of how the College practically creates and inspires socially responsible graduates. ‘China has come a long way since its inception and new rules of engagement have to be settled between China, India and Pakistan. Pakistan must sense the changing face of the juggernaut and deal it accordingly as the typical Sino-Pak friendship would be threatened by the power of market forces which created the modern China’ is what Jonathon Story stated. He also touched on topics such as water politics between China and India, the historical similarities between Pakistan, India and China as well as delving into the driving force behind democracy at the heart of the war between India and Pakistan. The audience posed questions on financing, cost of wars, and on the development of Pakistan naming India as its most favourite nation.
The day ended with a magnificent performance of an opera extract by Jonathon Story and pictures with our students.
An Interesting Question: You [Jonathon Story] mentioned that there are key sets, such as China and communism, America and its alliance – so with the emerging Arab Spring, do you think that Islamic financing will be a key set in the near future?
Andrew Fisk, Director External Relations, Procter & Gamble (P&G)
After a thought provoking lecture on Monday by INSEAD Professor Jonathon Story, Andrew Fisk had a lot to live up to. Guests attending from the Sutton Chamber of Commerce and SCOLA along with College students and Faculty and the FIRD research fellows, Andrew gave an electric presentation to the audience on “P&G’s Approach to Social Responsibility”. Giving his background of 25 year service to P&G, Andrew touched on the projects that P&G are running, in particular contributing £4.7m to charity. In line with the College’s scholarship fund to tackle worklessness among women offered to Home Secretary Theresa May, Andrew talked about women being the biggest customers for P&G through their Pampers brand and how 50% (approx.) of the workforce constituted of female staff.
Andrew was joined on the head table by Event Host Umar Mahmood, CEO and Principal Toaha Qureshi MBE, Saad Mahmood Director Corporate Affairs and Head of Quality Assurance Philip Lingard. The presentation ended with round of questions from the audience and a quick round of photos with the College students and guests.
An Interesting Question: How does Procter & Gamble use “best practice” across the UK and its overseas operations?
Dato Dr Kim Tan, Chairman of SpringHill Management
Dato Dr Kim Tan, co-author of the book “Fighting Poverty Through Enterprise”, has been involved in a number of overseas projects and lectures all throughout the world including Oxford University and Boston University. LCBMIT was fortunate to have Dr. Kim Tan spare his time to give his expertise to the students. His presentation was moving; illustrating the hidden and unseen effects of aid, Dr Tan described the negative trait of a country’s GDP: as aid increases, a country’s GDP decreases. Dr Tan therefore believes in ‘enterprise, not aid’, and that the best way to alleviate poverty is through enterprise. Dr Tan also drew upon the social factors that are limiting growth of communities (and ultimately countries as a whole), such as death being caused by poisonous gasses during cooking due to a lack of appropriate machinery. There are a number of areas where Dr Tan has been working, including Congo and South Africa – on ventures such as a gaming park which catered for locals, setting up not only a profitable business but also employment for the locals, increased expenditure for people who loved game and a general increase in wellbeing and living style. The aim, according to Dr Tan, is not only to better the community, but to also give the locals dignity.
At the event, Dr Tan provided his books to students free of charge. The event concluded with a question and answer session.
An Interesting Question: How can a company balance business goals, business ethics and social responsibility?
Shahid Azeem, Owner and Managing Director, Arcom IT
Shahid Azeem’s lecture was unique, mixing his personal experiences along with his business life, he lit up the room and gave the audience a fun filled talk. Despite Shahid’s history of obstacles, he overcame these issues to become the entrepreneur he is today. A historical background of England from the 60’s was his starting point; talking about the way the England move to a service sector country which changed the landscape for businesses. He recounted his first entrepreneurial moments, when at school, being the only pupil allowed to eat from outside as no Halal food was provided by the school, he started to take orders of fish and chips from class mates, and charge them for fulfilling their order. Growing up, Shahid then joined an IT company and then the IT department government office. It was here Shahid learnt about the IT world and its enormous opportunities.
He highlighted a number of interesting times during his life, in particular quoting a manager of a company he was once contracted by, Shahid said: “authority is like soap, the more you use it, the less you have”. He would eventually go on to run an international company employing 300 staff with revenue of €120m. Sharing the fundamental reasons for some of that success, he advised students to listen to customers as they are the number one priority, be fair, and to be responsible. He shared his view on a term coined “The 3 P’s”, breaking them down to People, Product and Price – putting people first and stating that people are not that worried about price as much as they are about customer service. Shahid admitted that he had regretted one thing in life: the fact that he hadn’t completed any formal education. To this extent, he realised the benefit of having formal education and for this reason, recognising students who had achieved high grades in their exams, Shahid presented scholarships on behalf of Arcom IT in association with LCBMIT to our students as part of our Talent Recognition Award Ceremony (TRAC) 2012. A total of six students were awarded scholarships.
Among the recipients was Fozia Ashraf, studying business management level 7, who achieved grade "A*" in the Corporate Strategy and Planning module and also achieved grade "A" in the Managing in Organisation module. Kevin Kingo, studying business management level 6, received the scholarship and said, "I wish to thank the college for issuing me a scholarship to continue my studies and achieve my goals as I was unable financially to continue my studies" - Kevin attained grade "A" in the Human Resource Management module and also achieved grade "A" in the Business Development and Entrepreneurship module.
At the end of TRAC, photos were taken with students and guests. Click here to read about TRAC 2012.
An Interesting Question: How do we get entrepreneurs/entrepreneurship running in war torn countries?
Kristiane Backer, Former MTV Europe Presenter and Journalist
To end the weeklong series, LCBMIT invited Kristiane Backer to give a talk to students with the view of achieving their potential and reaching a stage of self-actualisation. She spoke of her time as an MTV presenter and her life of partying being fun, but lacking the peace she wanted. It gave her access to a number of rock stars, VIP meetings and behind the stage secrets but it did not do her any good. Her time abroad in Pakistan, where she travelled with renowned Pakistani cricketer and current politician Imran Khan, opened her eyes to many things – inner peace from connection with God, an appreciation of things she had and a new found process of meditation. After reverting to Islam, Kristiane faced Islamophobia and the career she loved and worked so hard for, took a nosedive. She was seen as an anomaly amongst her peers and was ostracised. She took solace in her new found friends and her belief that she was on the right path. She went on to say that “We really need to work together, whether faith or non-faith”. Kristiane is the author of the German book, “From MTV to Mecca”, where she describes her transformation, trials and tribulations as well as her future endeavours. A series of questions followed the talk and the week ended on a high note. Pictures followed.
An Interesting Question: Are there any particular programmes that you have attended for personal development?