7th International Conference on Business Management (ICOBM) 2020

Saturday, December 19, 2020

The 7th International Conference on Business Management (ICOBM) 2020

December 19-20, 2020

International Conference on Business Management (ICOBM) is the flagship conference of business schools, hosted annually in various regions of Pakistan. A prominent feature of this conference is that a consortium of business schools jointly organizes it, and constantly new members are joining this consortium. The past six conferences of this series held in Lahore, Karachi, Sukkur and Islamabad. UMT hosted the first three ICOBMs in Lahore, Sukkur IBA University hosted 4th ICOBM, 5th ICOBM was held at Institute of Business Management (IOBM) Karachi, and 6th ICOBM was hosted by NUST Business School, NUST, Islamabad.

The 7th ICOBM was organized virtually on December 19-20, 2020, by the Association of Management Development Institutions in Pakistan (AMDIP) and University of Management and Technology (UMT) in collaboration with Universities of South Asia on the theme of "Covid-19 Pandemic: Business and Management Challenges and Opportunities". The conference's rationale was to bring industry, academia and government bodies on one platform and explore the problems and opportunities caused by Covid-19 through research and expert talks. Various Pakistani and South Asian Universities collaborated for the 7th ICOBM. South Asian partners included Nepal Administrative Staff College, Nepal; Post Graduate Institute of Management Studies, University of Sri Jayewardenepura, Sri Lanka; and the University of Ruhuna, Sri Lanka. Pakistani Universities included the Institute of Business Management (IoBM), Karachi; Sukkur IBA University, Sukkur; National University of Science and Technology (NUST), Islamabad; FAST School of Management (FSM), Islamabad; and Karakoram International University (KIU), Gilgit.  Industry partners include Express Pac, Aries Global Logistics, Conflu core, CNW Courier Network, OTS and Research Training Solutions (RTS).

This was a two-day conference compromising of three panel discussions, a deans' forum, and sixteen sessions for research paper presentations, two post-conference workshops, besides opening and closing ceremony sessions. The opening ceremony of the conference was graced by Mr Lakshman R Watawala, Past President AMDISA; Mr Talib Syed Karim, President IoBM/Vice President AMDIP; Dr Muhammad Aslam, Rector UMT; Dr Attaullah Shah, Vice Chancellor Karakoram International University (KIU), Gilgit/ President Gilgit Chapter of AMDIP; Dr Naveed Yazdani, Dean HSM-UMT; Mr Marlond Antunez, CEO of CNW Associates Europe & America/Associated Partner of Hofstede Insights Uruguay and Portugal; Mr Tahir Hafeez, Global Logistics and Supply Chain Director, Tetrapack; and Mr Ijaz Yusuf, Conference Chair, UMT. 

The Deans Forum was held on the theme "The Challenges and Consequences of Transformation to Virtual Teaching Methods" and was Moderated by Ms Memoona Zareen, Secretary AMDIP.  Deans of Pakistani Business School participated in the Deans Forum, including Dr Syed Irfan Hyder, Rector/Acting Dean IoBM, Dr Naveed Yazdani, Dean HSM-UMT, Dr Sadia Nadeem Dean FSM, Dr Niaz A. Bhutto, Hod Management Sciences, Sukkur IBA University, Dr Iftikhar.ul.Amin, Deputy Director, IMSciences, Peshawar, Dr Ali Sajid, Director Lahore School of Management, Ms Shima Haider, Director QEC Indus University and Dr Bahaudin G. Mujtaba, Professor of Management, Nova Southeastern University, Florida, USA. The Deans Forum reflected upon the challenges of business schools in times of pandemics with a futuristic perspective, and the need for institutional collaboration was highlighted through brainstorming.

To bridge the inter-university and university-industry gap, the three-panel discussions were designed on the following themes:

  • Covid-19 Pandemic and Business Challenges: Discussion with CEOs
  • Role of International Governing Organizations and Government Institutions during Covid19 Pandemic
  • Quality Education during Covid-19 Pandemic

Various national and international speakers from industry, academia, and governing bodies participated in the panel discussions.

Speakers of the 1st Panel Discussion "Covid-19 Pandemic and Business Challenges: Discussion with CEOs" were Mr Syed Zawar Haider, Supply Chain Transformation Lead, Pepsi Co., Mr Muhammad Hussain, CEO and MD, Express Pack, Mr Faisal Ahsan, CEO, Xarasoft, Mr Alamgir Chaudhry, CEO, National Productivity Organization, Mr Ahsan Umer, CEO Infinite connections, Mr Imran, Quality Head K&Ns Food and Ms Madeeha Mubeen, Senior Supply Chain Analyst Pepsi Co.

The 2nd Panel Discussed the "Role of International Governing Organizations and Government Institutions during Covid19 Pandemic". The speakers were Mr Abdus Salam, Supply Chain Manager, Pakistan Railways, Mr Imran Chaudhry, Technical Advisor, USAID Project, Dr Muhammad Tariq, Country Director, USAID and Mr Ijaz Yusuf, and Mr Irtiqa Zaidi, Former Project Director TTFU/NTTFC, Ministry of Commerce.

The 3rd Panel discussed "Quality Education during Covid-19 Pandemic" with Industry experts and representatives from South Asian Universities. The discussants included Mr Zubair Awan, BIETS Center of Excellence Global, Mr Usama Abdus Samad, Conflucore Inc. USA, Dr Ishaq Bhatti, Norway, Dr Samantha Rathnayak, University of Sri Jayewardenpura, Sri Lanka, Dr Trilochan Pokharel, Nepal Administrative Staff College, Nepal and Dr Umer Azeem, HOD Management, UMT.

ICOBM call for papers was circulated globally, and in response, more than 140 papers were received from various countries of the world. All the papers went through the peer review process, and 92 papers were selected for presentation based on the rigour, relevance and contribution. Finally, thematic distribution was made on these papers and 80 papers were presented in 16 parallel sessions. These sessions were chaired by experts of respective fields. Paper presenters belonged to 17 countries of the world, including Egypt, India, Iran, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, Mexico, Nepal, Nigeria, Pakistan, Portugal, Sri Lanka, South Africa, Turkey, the USA, and Zimbabwe.

Post Conference Workshops (PCW) were conducted to help young faculty members and research scholars and enhance their research and publication understanding. 1st PCW was held on the topic "Global Research Visibility and Platforms" and was conducted by Dr Nawaz Ahmad, Assistant Professor and Research Consultant, IoBM Karachi (156 Publications and 1000+ Citations). The 2nd PCW addressed the "Structural Equational Modeling Using AMOS", and the speaker was Dr Haris Aslam, Associate Professor, UMT.

The conference extended the collaborations of Pakistani academia, and more business schools joined the consortium. Also, the international universities from Nepal and Sri Lanka partnered in the ICOBM. It is expected that in the future, the consortium of ICOBM will expand to other South Asian countries. Together, we will be able to support the regionalization of Industry and Academia. These partnerships will also bring the south Asian countries closer, and the academic and business associations will increase in the region.

The 7th ICOBM was closed with the closing remarks of Ms Memoona Zareen, Secretary AMDIP. In her speech, she reflected upon the history of ICOBM and recalled the contributions of Dr Hasan Soahib Murad(L), Patron of ICOBM, who initiated this series of conferences. She praised Mr Ibrahim Hasan Murad for reviving ICOBM and opening the doors for further collaborations. She thanked Dr Naveed Yazdani Dean HSM, UMT, Mr Ijaz Yusuf, Conference Chair, Mr Ali Asghar, Conference Manager and the whole UMT team for their efforts to organize this wonderful two-day event. She also thanked all the national and international partner institutions, speakers, presenters and participants for their support and contributions. Particularly the guests of honor Mr Talib Syed Karim, Dr Attaullah Shah and Prof. Lakshman R. Watawala and Dr Muhammad Aslam for their participation and invaluable insight. The conference concluded with the announcement of the 8th ICOBM to be held in 2021.

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