Tuesday, 24 October 2017

[News] Shahbaz Maqsood Khan quits Jazz

Shahbaz Maqsood Khan, the formidable Director Brands and Communications of the biggest telecom brand of Pakistan, Jazz has moved on to newer avenues.

The portfolio of his achievements during his two-and-a-half-year stay is very impressive. Under his leadership, Jazz overturned its slide into becoming the market leader in terms of sales and subscriber growth. He architected and executed the re-emergence of Jazz as an umbrella brand to different verticals and setting the course for its digital ambition. 

Within the organization, he was instrumental in removing red-tapism and creating a more productive, effective and streamlined marketing department. Handling the media, he brought in cost-effective and fruitful strategies to make Jazz a brand on top on everyone’s mind. He expanded the brand’s scope from being a mere commercial entity to a more altruistic corporation with a purpose. A marketer par excellence, the brand won PAS awards year after year under him.

Mr. Khan led the way to the highly successful collaboration with Lahore Qalandars which led to the world’s largest cricket talent hunt initiative Jazz Rising Stars. The award-winning initiative has changed the fate of aspiring cricketers who are bringing fame to the country. He played an instrumental role in the merger between Jazz and Warid and its ongoing transition, making it the most loved digital company. Fearless and strategic, Shahbaz Maqsood Khan has played a pivotal part in the launch of Veon, a global platform that is changing digital lifestyles of Pakistanis.

Diligent, dedicated and a thoroughly experienced professional, Shahbaz Maqsood Khan has been a great asset for Jazz and his expertise would be missed.

Sunday, 4 June 2017

[Event] The All New Xiaomi Redmi 4X arrives in Pakistan!


Xiaomi brings Redmi 4X to Pakistan in partnership with {Smartlink Technologies

With the launch of Redmi 4X, Xiaomi demonstrates its commitment to the market

One of the world’s leading technology company Xiaomi launched Redmi 4X in Pakistan on Saturday through distribution partner SmartLink Technology. The launch event took place in Lahore on Friday and was hosted by none other than the witty Taimur Salahuddin AKA Mooroo.

Audiences were provided double dose of entertainment with the hilarious jokes of Mooroo and scintillating performances by Pakistan’s leading band Noori and Nescafe Basement band with Altamash Sarver who made audiences dance to their favourite tracks. The stunning Mira Sethi also made a special guest appearance who was all praises for the newly launched Smartphone, equipped with the latest technology in an affordable price.

Smartlink Technologies Marketing Director Ahmed Butt was quoted as saying, “Majority of the Pakistani consumers prefer to purchase smartphones remaining in this price bracket and thus this bracket has always remained a key market for all brands. We have confidence that Redmi 4X will be a hit within its own price bracket, as the smartphone surely outperforms its competition in the market.”

Redmi 4X
Redmi 4X features a full metal body, is the slimmest in design at just 8.65mm of thickness and weighs a mere 150g. Equipped with a 4100mAh battery, Redmi 4X has an impressive standby time of up to 18 days! Bid those dying battery issues adieu! It will be available with a 3GB RAM and 32GB storage, so users can multi-task more efficiently, having more space for their downloaded applications and images. Redmi 4X will be available in the markets from Saturday in black a price of Rs 18,900.

The smartphones will be available offline across the country and online at official mistore.pk and at authorised online sales agents including Daraz.pk and Yayvo.com.

Every Redmi 4X will ship with MIUI 8 which builds in several technology breakthroughs such as being able to clone apps and manage multiple accounts on the same phone. This means that users can have two instances of a messaging app on the same phone that correspond to different accounts, removing the inconvenience of having to log in and out on the same app. With MIUI 8, users can also split their smartphones into two accounts. This means that a different password or fingerprint can allow you to access a different home screen entirely, with independent apps and data. According to their needs, users can choose to merge certain data such as the address book and their call log history.

Key features of Redmi 4X:
• Qualcomm Snapdragon 435 with (Octa-core 1.4GHz)
• 4100mAh battery
• 13MP camera with PDAF; 5MP front camera
• 5-inch HD display
• Dual SIM (3-choose-2 hybrid SIM tray)
• LTE support
• 3GB RAM + 32GB Flash
• Up to 128GB microSD expandable storage
• Rear fingerprint sensor
• Available in Black

About Xiaomi
Xiaomi was founded in 2010 by serial entrepreneur Lei Jun based on the vision “innovation for everyone”. We believe that high-quality products built with cutting edge technology should be made accessible to everyone. We create remarkable hardware, software, and internet services for and with the help of our Mi fans. We incorporate their feedback into our product range, which currently includes Mi and Redmi smartphones, Mi TVs and set-top boxes, Mi routers, and Mi Ecosystem products including smart home products, wearables and other accessories. With more than 70 million handsets sold in 2015, Xiaomi is expanding its footprint across the world to become a global brand.

About Smartlink Technologies
Established in 2016, Smartlink Technologies is a brainchild of a pool of professionals whose strong vision and even stronger conviction paved the way for an exclusive partnership with Xiaomi. We believe in reaching out to both the low-end and the high-end consumers and still give out state-of-the-art and warranted products at the best possible prices. We live in an age where the digital world meanders from smartphones to smart everything – we see it all around us. Smartlink Technologies strives to connect latest technology with modern and innovative sales techniques to change not only how brands are marketed but also how they define themselves.

Wednesday, 29 March 2017

[Health] Smile Like You Mean It.

They say you have not understood the really meaning of pain until you get a toothache. Well. Actually, I said that, not them. A toothache is definitely one of the most painful experiences I have ever had. Oral health is absolutely as it is indicative of and can be a precursor to many health issues. As World Oral Health Day was celebrated on 20th March, oral healthcare brand Shield did a major public service campaign with #ShieldYourSmile and providing free check ups across major cities of Pakistan. 

Not to scare you or anything but....

According to the Academy of General Dentistry, there is a relationship between gum (periodontal) disease and health complications such as a stroke and heart disease. Women with gum disease also show higher incidences of pre-term, low birth-weight babies.
Other research shows that more than 90% of all systemic diseases (diseases involving many organs or the whole body) have oral manifestations, including swollen gums, mouth ulcers, dry mouth and excessive gum problems. Such diseases include diabetes, leukemia, oral cancer, pancreatic cancer, heart disease and kidney disease.
Your  poor oral hygiene can actually lead to other health problems, including:
  • Oral and facial pain. According to the Office of the Surgeon General, this pain may be largely due to infection of the gums that support the teeth and can lead to tooth loss. Gingivitis, an early stage of gum disease, and advanced gum disease affect more than 75% of the U.S. population.
  • Problems with the heart and other major organs. Mouth infections can affect major organs. For example, the heart and heart valves can become inflamed by bacterial endocarditis, a condition that affects people with heart disease or anyone with damaged heart tissue.
  • Digestion problems. Digestion begins with physical and chemical processes in the mouth, and problems here can lead to intestinal failure, irritable bowel syndrome and other digestive disorders.
At home, you can practice good oral hygiene like so: 
  • Brush twice a day for at least two minutes, using fluoridated toothpaste.
  • Floss daily to remove plaque from places your toothbrush can't reach.
  • Eat a healthy diet to provide the nutrients necessary (vitamins A and C, in particular) to prevent gum disease.
  • Avoid cigarettes and smokeless tobacco, which are known to contribute to gum disease and oral cancer.
  • Visit the dentist regularly for cleanings and exams. This is one of the most effective ways to detect the early signs of gum disease.
To know more about oral health care, check out: www.facebook.com/shieldmuskurahat

Sunday, 25 December 2016

RIP my love, George

I am not sure what I should write about George Michael that could possibly explain what an influence he was on my life, or rather what he meant to me. From Last Christmas to Amazing - the crucifix earring and the stubble, the supermodels and the erotic music videos, George Michael defined pop culture,particularly fashion and sexuality for an entire generation. 

He was my first crush. He defined the kind of man I would look for and desire in the years to come. Rugged,older, broken,confident, damaged,sexy and intensely sexual. A man who could be both Father Figure and Fast Love(r). 

Imagine the disappointment of women when he was outed. Some how, that made him even more relatable.Not all of us are brave enough to 'come out'. He struggled with what was expected of him as a gay man. In fact, he once said his life had become tougher since the public declaration of his homosexuality. His big, fat Greek family was important to him and part of the reason for him staying in the closet was that. More than ever before, I loved George Michael for his emotional weakness and blatant sexual 'misdemeanour.'

He easily discarded earlier versions of himself with such rage.From Wham! to a solo artist, burning the infamous Faith jacket in Freedom 90, from straight to gay. He lived many lives in one. Yet, he remained true to his sound. You were more than the music to me. Thank you for being you. RIP George Michael.

Friday, 23 December 2016

[Travel] All I Want For Christmas Is.....


Yes, I confess I am a mall rat. Considering the climate we live in, a nice air-conditioned space with dining, entertainment and shopping options is the best place to even. And if you are travelling to the cooler regions, it's a good idea to get warmed up in a mall. Here's where I would rather be:

1. Suria KLCC, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

The Year End Sale in Malaysia is a force of nature. The discounts are huge and the shoppers are fierce! Suria KLCC is one of my favorite destinations in KLCC and not just for the shopping. The dining options are endless (one of the best Nasi Ayam/Chicken Rice can be found at the Signatures Food Court on Level 2), a tropical park and a 12 screen cinema. Oh, and Aquaria KLCC, Petronas Art Gallery.... and so much more!

And Christmas really is the loveliest time of the year, even in the tropics. The Christmas decor is just stunning and the malls in KL really up their game every year. Check out Santa's workshop in the main Concourse at Suria KLCC this year. Also, don't forget to get your Tourist Privilege Card at the Concierge,

2. Dolmen Mall Clifton, Karachi, Pakistan

The greatest part about this one, it's home! Feels and smells like any international retail space should. The mall hosts fun activities from time to time but for a mall rat the best one is a nice, fat sale. This year's sale goes from 16th Dec to 1st Jan (I think it should be extended to include the next pay check).  For a list of the all discounts offered go here.  Besides the discounts there's Sunday brunch specials at the food court with live music, a Beauty Lounge and Kids Arena as well. And lots of activities for adults too, shop and win style. Because free stuff is always a winning feeling! They also have a bunch of online contests happening so do find them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat as well!

3.  VivoCity, Singapore

Not only is VivoCity Mall the gateway to Sentosa Island, it is a destination in it's own right. And come Christmas season, the sales and freebies alone demand that you spend an entire day there. In terms of dining, your options range from Burger King to Jamie's Italian. The mall also has a 300 m water front boardwalk, a rooftop amphitheatre and a water feature the size of four Olympic sized pools! Is this a mall or WHAT? This Christmas, there's 107 ft tall tree and similar sized discounts all across the mall.

Tuesday, 18 October 2016

[Education] Horlicks and WWF Pakistan’s Initiative to Empower Ceative Minds!

The education system has long been criticized for rewarding conformity rather than creativity. As a teacher, I do feel that conformity is crucial in some areas. However, enabling creativity in young people propels them to achieve more than teachers and parents expect of them. Most importantly, enabling and encouraging creativity allows each child to learn in his/her own style. As educators, it is our duty to tailor our teaching styles and provide opportunities for children to arrive at their own answers to life's questions.

There is also the widely held belief that the content taught in school, or rather the way the content is taught has very little connect to the outside world. So while our students may understand theories and principles, they may not be able make the connection between theories and physical manifestations. This is connected to the idea of 'mindfulness'. Not just children, but adults as well, are not mindful or aware of their surroundings - why do things happen the way they do, how can we improve our surroundings, what is my role in the bigger scheme of things - these are kind of reflective learners we need to nurture. It is important for parents, teachers, schools and even big businesses to realize this. After all, creative thinkers are good for business!

As a 'new' teacher, I have been going through some extensive training. It is encouraging to see that the focus of new teaching methodology is creativity, individuality and reflection. As a new generation of teachers takes over, I hope to see a generation of empowered students who take responsibility of their own learning and are mindful of their surroundings. It is now also time for big businesses to also step up - invest in a more creative workforce for the future! Horlicks Pakistan has recently launched an initiative to do just that.

Horlicks Pakistan in association with WWF brings #DreamsForTomorrow, an art competition that will take place in schools across Pakistan, bringing out the creative side of students. The campaign is focused towards engaging school going kids and their parents in a creative process of talking about a child’s dreams for the future. Participating schools will be given books that contain stories designed separately for each grade, providing the necessary direction for the creation of the artwork.  All schools will be submitting their entries for the competition.  If you are a parent or a child reading this, contact your school to find out if your school is part of the program. You can also find more details on this Facebook event page.

Horlicks Pakistan was kind enough to send over a kit for me to go through and make a mess painting with my nephew. While my 3-year-old nephew has usurped the art supplies, the books are an invaluable resource for children in Grade 1 to 10. The books are concise and written in the local context (there is a severe shortage of such content).

I remember filling in the WWF Sticker Book of Animals when I was a child. The joy it brought to me was immense – the agonizing over the Number 1 sticker ‘The Giant Panda’ led to many sleepless nights; learning about different species, the sense of responsibility and accomplishment was amazing! I hope that with #DreamsForTomorrow, this generation of Pakistani children can experience the same wonder and mindfulness that it instilled in us.

For more information on how I am using the kit, follow me on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram - @sundusrasheed

Monday, 5 September 2016

[Ideas] How To Kill Time Without Internet

Although I clearly remember the pre-internet age when we looked forward to watching Star World sitcoms and Ninja Turtles. However, I cannot imagine a world without the interwebs now. Every now and then I do get nostalgic about the good old days but then I quickly remember how much they sucked. In the case that we do get sucked back into those days, here's some creative ways you can kill time at work without internet.

1. Chronicle your love life. Its time to start counting the hits and misses.
2. Paper football. You do not even have to have a partner. Just staple some paper into a ball and you're good to go!
3. Compliment your married coworkers on their weddings rings. People love talking about themselves so ask them how they met their better half.
4. Read the company handbook. Because why not.
5. Write down a business plan. Work on it during your employers' time, using their resources.
6. Plan your weekend shenanigans.
7. Clean your workspace. Your boss just might notice how dedicated you are.
8. Get faster internet.

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