Snap Shots of Business Class On Austrian Air
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Snap Shots of Business Class On Austrian Air

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Snap Shots of Business Class On Austrian Air
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On April 6th, I booked a flight on Austrian Air from JFK to Heathrow. Here’s a brief rundown of the trip.

Priority Boarding

Nothing special here. If you’re boarding, you’re at the gate in either first or economy. But boarding for my flight was quick and orderly.

The lounge

Ah, the lounge. I have never seen an airline lounge offer such an incredible selection of drinks. Whatever your palate, there is a choice of drinks for you. The food selection pales by comparison, but it won’t disappoint for healthy grab N go food. The best feature of the lounge, however, is the men’s and women’s showers. They’re not extravagant, but they’re clean and functional.

Cabin configuration

I’ve seen two different configurations: 1-2-1 or 2-2-2, front-facing (as opposed to inward-facing). I prefer front-facing seats whether I’m traveling alone or with a colleague. I guess I’m not a very social traveler.

Seat

The seat is narrower than some I’ve been on, but that doesn’t bother me. I’m about 6’, 170 lbs and I found the seat spacious. Comfortable too. Like most seats, it has the ability to recline or lie-flat. The seat has multiple pockets for storage, which I found a bit bizarre: how anyone could use that much storage is beyond me. Everywhere you turn, there is a pocket. Not a complaint – just an observation.

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Meals and drinks

Drinks (from a well-stocked bar) and menus come once the cabin is seated. I like eating – especially on Austrian. This is FINE dining: 3 a course meal, beautifully presented, plus a delectable dessert, followed by 10 choices of coffee (!), tea, etc. Special attention should be paid to the appetizers, which were numerous and delicious. After a 5-hour rest, meal-time begins again! I’m hungry just thinking about it. Time to book a flight

Service

I have yet to have truly bad service on a business-class flight. Service is always good to great. But Austrian goes that extra mile.

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The little touches make the difference like hand-delivered magazines and warm towels laid in your hands 20 minutes into the flight.” Alan Murphy

Entertainment Amenities

IFE remote built into the seat controls your entertainment on a 15-inch adjustable touchscreen monitor. And there are loads to watch/listen to through high-quality, noise cancellation headphones: my flight had 54 movies, 71 TV shows, plenty of kids’ entertainment, 64 albums, and free downloadable publications.

Convenience/Comfort Amenities

You also get a:

  • full-sized pillow,
  • thick blanket,
  • and kit with a comb,
  • eye mask,
  • toothbrush/paste,
  • moist towelettes,
  • and earplugs.

Austrian Air is just a solid choice for business-class flying. They get the things that matter right.”

https://www.business-class.com/

 

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FIA inquiry: MNA withdraws case against ‘business partner’

Madison Franz

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FIA inquiry: MNA withdraws case against ‘business partner’
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KARACHI: Pakistan Peoples Party MNA Dr. Mehreen Bhutto has finally struck a compromise with a businessman after a falling out during which the MNA registered a fraud case against the latter for fraudulently declaring her partner in a business venture. The MNA is already facing FIA inquiry into assets beyond means.

According to the official documents (available with The News) PPP parliamentarian Dr. Mehreen Bhutto along with her three brothers is facing an inquiry from the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) about accumulating wealth beyond known sources of income that included partnering with a travel agency. Bhutto had lodged a fraud case against her business partner, his spouse and other family members.

MNA Mehreen Bhutto lodged an FIR at Clifton Police Station, Karachi, on August 4, 2022, against her business partner Asadullah Shaikh, his wife and other directors of M/s AAA Travels for enlisting her as one of the directors of the business without her knowledge and consent and blamed them for misusing her CNIC, passport and other documents. Bhutto in her FIR quoted a news story published in ‘The News’ on August 4, 2022, to claim that she came to know through a news report that she was a director at AAA Travels and claimed it was all done without her explicit knowledge. She also claimed that she neither signed any document nor received any benefits from the company.

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The case was sent to the Court of Civil Judge and Judicial Magistrate-V, Karachi South, Mazhar Ali for trial, where after some hearings the judge accepted the compromise application filed by MNA Bhutto by informing the court that a compromise has taken place with her ‘rival’ group. During the pendency of the trial, the accused Asadullah Shaikh told the court that the case against him and his family was fake and was registered using her political influence. He told the court that MNA Bhutto was a willful partner who regularly received monetary benefits but disassociated herself from the business when the FIA started an inquiry against her. The court approved the settlement on Tuesday, November 15, 2022.

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The FIA initiated the inquiry in 2019 against the PPP MNA when in 2014, a complaint was filed against MNA Mehreen Bhutto and his three brothers alleging mega corruption. During that period, despite many notices served under Section 160 of the Criminal Procedure Code (Cr.PC) MNA Bhutto did not appear before FIA, Sindh, Zone-II. Following the application of out-of-court settlement in October, MNA Bhutto and her three brothers appeared before the enquiry officer FIA-Sindh Zone-II and recorded their statements.

This reporter approached MNA Bhutto and her business partner Asad Shaikh for their versions, called at their cell numbers, and then sent them detailed text messages at their WhatsApp number but till the filling of this news story, both avoided responding.

 

 

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IMC raises Toyota vehicle prices

Madison Franz

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IMC raises Toyota vehicle prices
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KARACHI: Despite the low cost of import on account of the rupee’s recovery against the dollar in the last one and a half months, Indus Motor Company (IMC) has increased prices by Rs190,000-700,000.

In the last week of September, one dollar was trading at Rs240 but it plunged to Rs214-215 after Ishaq Dar was made finance minister.

IMC, in its letter to the authorized dealers, said the vendor cost of production has significantly soared due to economic uncertainties and inflation in the raw material cost. In addition, uncertainty in currency fluctuation, and increase in utilities and other overheads have also impacted the cost of manufacturing.

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The new price of Toyota Corolla 1.6 CVT and 1.6 CVT U/S is Rs4.979 million and Rs4.789mn, up by Rs190,000 and Rs200,000, respectively.

Hilux 4×2 standard, U/S, Deckless, 1.2TR, 4×4, and III Standard now carry a price of Rs5.959m, Rs5.989m, Rs5.529m, Rs5.739m, Rs7.879m and Rs9.069m, showing a jump of Rs400,000-620,000.

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Published in theodysseynews, November 19th, 2022

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Wood, timber import: certain conditions suspended

Madison Franz

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Wood, timber import: certain conditions suspended
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ISLAMABAD: The government has suspended import conditions for certain categories of timber and wood till March 31, 2023 on the request of All Pakistan Timber Traders Association (APTTA), sources close to Secretary Commerce told Business Recorder.

Sharing the details, sources said, the conditions for import of plant and plants materials including timber/ wood had been incorporated in Part-IV of Appendix-B, Import Policy Order (IPO) 2022 on the recommendations of Department of Plant Protection (DPP) of Ministry of National Food Security & Research.

The conditions were (i) Import Permit (IP) issued by DPP, (ii) SPS certificate issued by National Plant Protection Organization (NPPO) of the exporting country, and (iii) Plant Protection Release Order (PPRO) issued by DPP.

According to Commerce Ministry, Karachi Timber Merchant Group had approached Commerce Ministry requesting to extend the date of implementation of conditions of import permit and plant protection release order for the import of timber and wood falling under PCT Codes 44.01 to 44.09, as provided under Sr. Nos. 385 to 44O of Part-IV of Appendix-B, IPO 2022.

The sources explained that the conditions could not be met for the already arrived shipments because those consignments were supplied against contracts entered into months ago. Consequently, the Federal Government, in light of the decision of ECC of the Cabinet and its subsequent ratification by the Cabinet, suspended operation of Import Policy provisions contained in Sr. No. 386 to 44O of Part-IV, of Appendix-B, Import Policy Order 2022 from the date of issuance of IPO, 2022 to August31, 2022.

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Timber, wood: Import conditions under IPO suspended

All Pakistan Timber Traders Association had again approached the Ministry with the request to suspend the import conditions and restrictions on wood and timber in tariff classes 44.01to 44.09 for all the “Bills of Lading issued until June 30, 2023”. The APTTA argued that any decision made in haste would destroy the entire wood business sector (H.S Code 44.01 to 44.09) causing damage to a large number of industries that rely on wood as a basic raw material including the construction industry which was connected to 45 to 50 other industries.

Ministry of Commerce maintained that in order to facilitate the import of wood/ timber, it is requesting the government to direct the DPP to review the conditions for import of wood and timber and bring them in conformity with the international best practices so that the import of wood and timber was not subjected to unnecessary and cumbersome procedures.

Ministry has proposed that the date of implementation of IPO 2022 regarding import of timber and wood falling under HS Codes 4401 to 4409 (Sr. Nos. 386 to 440 of Part-IV, Appendix-B, IPO 2022) may be suspended till June 30, 2023, i.e., for the Bills of Lading issued till June 30, 2023 or formulation of the procedure by the DPP whichever is earlier.

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Ministry of National Food Security and Research (MNFS&R) supported the proposal; however, with the condition that no further exemption would be supported after June 30, 2023 and that the import condition in Import Policy Order and Plant Quarantine Act, 1976 and Plant Quarantine Rules, 2019 would be enforced in letter and spirit after 30 June, 2023. It further required that the importers of timber should be advised to plan future imports, accordingly.

The sources said the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet recently approved the proposal of Commerce Ministry and decided that the date of implementation of IPO 2022 regarding import of timber and wood falling under HS Codes 4401 to 4409 (Sr. Nos. 386 to 440 of Part-IV, Appendix-B, IPO 2022) shall be suspended till March 31, 2023.

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Banks post highest-ever quarterly profits

Madison Franz

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Banks post highest-ever quarterly profits
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KARACHI: The July-September quarter brought to the country’s banking industry the highest-ever three-month profits, a review of earnings data of 16 commercial banks showed on Wednesday.

According to Shameer Alam Zaidi, an analyst at Ismail Iqbal Securities Ltd, bank earnings clocked in at Rs85 billion in July-September, up 26 percent from a year ago.

Major drivers for the record-high earnings were higher interest rates and healthy fees and foreign exchange income.

“Provisions have increased but (they’re) still on the lower side, especially on loan portfolios… banks have so far remained largely unscathed from the Covid-19 and interest rate shocks,” he said.

The only spoiler has been a change in the tax regime, which has led to an effective tax rate of 52pc versus 41pc a year ago.

Net interest income of the sample banks increased 17pc in July-September on a quarterly basis owing to the lagged impact of the asset repricing. On the individual bank level, Standard Chartered Bank Ltd (42pc), Habib Metropolitan Bank Ltd (35pc), Askari Bank Ltd (34.9pc), Meezan Bank Ltd (32.2pc) and BankIslami Pakistan Ltd (25pc) were top performers while the Bank of Punjab Ltd (-9.5pc) and National Bank of Pakistan Ltd (0.7pc) remained underperformers.

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Sector-wide, non-markup income declined 5pc quarter-on-quarter mainly because of a slight decrease in both fees and foreign exchange income. “Despite the expectation of significant normalisation, foreign exchange income remained robust and showed only a slight decline of 2.7pc quarter-on-quarter,” he said.

Deposits of the banking industry grew 15pc year-on-year while the assets-to-deposits ratio (ADR) improved to 48.6pc from 47.7pc in June and 46.9pc in the year-ago period. Habib Bank Ltd shed 10pc of its deposits on a quarterly basis, which took its ADR to over 50pc.

On the other hand, United Bank Ltd increased its deposits by 9.5pc from the preceding quarter, which pushed its ADR below 40pc and resulted in an effective taxation rate of 59pc.

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“Though a majority of assets and deposits have been repriced, we still expect net interest income to improve further as the asset repricing from the hike of 125 basis points in July is yet to kick in. The provisions might see some uptick as the impact of the economic slowdown will be more evident in coming quarters,” said Mr Zaidi.

Published in Dawn, November 3rd, 2022

Now you can follow Dawn Business on Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Facebook for insights on business, finance, and tech from Pakistan and across the world.

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Business community makes suggestions to avoid double taxation

Madison Franz

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Business community makes suggestions to avoid double taxation
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PESHAWAR: The business community members on Friday made a number of suggestions to avoid double taxation.

They put forward the proposals in the presence of the government officials at the “Private Dialogue on Legal Issues of Peshawar business community”, arranged by the Centre for Governance and Public Accountability (CGPA).

The session was hosted by the CGPA in collaboration with the Small and Medium Enterprise Development Authority as part of the series of Public-Private Dialogues initiated by the CGPA.

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It was aimed at getting input on the issues encompassing taxes, local rules and policy administration faced by the business community of Peshawar with the interaction between the business community and officials from the relevant government departments.

One of the core components of the dialogue was to discuss the possible solutions that could be put forth as policy recommendations for the government.

This was the 8th dialogue organized by the CGPA. These sessions will conclude with the formation of recommended policy consequently assisting the KP government in developing a business ecosystem in Peshawar.

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Members of Sarhad Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Peshawar Chamber for Small Traders & Industries, Women Chamber of Commerce and others attended the dialogue.

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UK to pay half of business winter energy bills

Madison Franz

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UK to pay half of business winter energy bills
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London: Britain on Wednesday launched a six-month plan starting in October to pay about half of energy bills for businesses, as Prime Minister Liz Truss seeks to stop companies going under as a result of rocketing prices.

The news precedes a mini-budget Friday when finance minister Kwasi Kwarteng is expected to unveil tax cuts to help a nation struggling with decades-high inflation.

Wholesale electricity and gas prices for businesses — except the energy sector — as well as charities, hospitals and schools will be capped at half the expected cost on the open market, the government said in a statement.

The announcement comes after Truss launched plans for a two-year household energy price freeze which also starts next month.

“We have stepped in to stop businesses collapsing, protect jobs and limit inflation,” Kwarteng said Wednesday.

The chancellor of the exchequer will Friday set out the overall cost of both energy freeze schemes.

His budget will seek to boost economic growth amid forecasts that Britain will this year sink into recession on sky-high energy bills fuelled by the invasion of Ukraine by major oil and gas producer Russia.

The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) welcomed Wednesday´s announcement.

“The package will ease worries about otherwise viable businesses shutting-up shop,” said Matthew Fell, chief policy director at the lobby group.

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The CBI meanwhile urged a long-term energy solution to increase Britain´s supplies while ramping up efficiency measures to lower demand.

Truss took office on September 6, two days before the death of Queen Elizabeth II, after winning an election of Conservative party members on a tax-cutting platform.

She is committed to scrapping planned tax hikes on both company profits and salaries that predecessor Boris Johnson signed off upon.

Media reports suggest that the government will also scrap an EU limit on bankers´ bonuses following Brexit.

On the London stock market, homebuilders saw their shares rebound on speculation that Truss could cut tax levied on purchases of residential properties.

The tax-cutting plans like those proposed by Truss have come in for criticism from US President Joe Biden, who spoke out against the policy of “trickle-down economics” favoured by the Democrat´s Republican opponents.

The approach hinges on hopes that policies which immediately boost the wealthy will trickle down the economy to reach the less well-off.

“I am sick and tired of trickle-down economics. It has never worked,” Biden had tweeted on Tuesday.

Speaking ahead of Biden´s tweet, Truss addressed this point.

“I don´t accept this argument that cutting taxes is somehow unfair,” she told Sky News earlier this week.

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“What we know is people on higher incomes generally pay more tax.

“So when you reduce taxes, there is often a disproportionate benefit because those people are paying more taxes in the first place,” she added.

The two leaders meet Wednesday at the UN in New York.

A day later, the Bank of England is expected to once more ramp up its main interest rate in a bid to dampen sky-high inflation.

Economists warn that the UK´s cost-of-living measures will ravage public finances already reeling from pandemic expenditure.

Analysts from British bank Barclays estimate the cost of the government´s total spending could hit £235 billion ($267 billion).

While official data Wednesday showed British public borrowing improved in August, it is expected to surge as the government funds the planned tax cuts.

Public sector net borrowing, the state´s preferred measure of the deficit, hit £11.8 billion last month, the Office for National Statistics said.

That was down from £14.4 billion a year earlier but was far more than its pre-pandemic 2019 level of £5.3 billion.

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Will Canada’s Barrick Gold Corporation Boost Business at Gwadar Port?

Madison Franz

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Will Canada’s Barrick Gold Corporation Boost Business at Gwadar Port?
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It could. But past experience underscores the importance of Pakistan and Barrick Gold being transparent on the terms of the deal they struck.

At its inception in 2007, Gwadar Port was expected to be a success. Its strategic location at the mouth of the Strait of Hormuz — an important waterway that opens into the ocean and through which over one-sixth of global oil production and one-third of the world’s liquefied natural gas (LPG) passes — was expected to attract international shipping, and commerce and industry to the port.

However, these expectations have not materialized. While 15-17 million barrels of oil pass through the waters just off the Gwadar coast each day, the port itself has remained silent with very little activity.

There are several reasons for the lack of activity at Gwadar Port. Foremost among these is the political instability and the armed insurgency in Balochistan Province over the last two decades. But also, the current low capacity of cranes, docks, berths, storage and other infrastructure and facilities at the port is a major hindrance in making the port a successful “gateway” to China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

However, through expansion of port facilities, construction of the free zone and the East Expressway in Gwadar, both Pakistan and China have been seeking to attract trade and deals with foreign companies. One such deal that is in sight is that with the Canadian Barrick Gold Corporation, one of the world’s largest gold mining companies.

Barrick plans to mine gold in Balochistan from an areas which is around 1,000 kilometers from Karachi Port and 650 kilometers from Gwadar Port. At present Chinese companies, which are extracting minerals from northwest Balochistan, are trucking them all the way to the already busy Karachi Port.

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As the Barrick team and the Gwadar Port Authority (GPA) discussed in their recent meeting, using Gwadar Port would reduce the distance, time and cost of transportation. Half of the distance between the gold reserves and Gwadar port is reachable through the M8 motorway. A new motorway will need to be constructed for the rest of the route.

Barrick’s interest in investing billions of dollars in the gold mining project and Gwadar Port, and in using the latter to ship out the minerals appears to be an opportunity for Gwadar to tap into its long-anticipated economic potential.

But past experiences with international investors and mineral mining in Balochistan evoke much skepticism. This skepticism is not without basis.

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Barrick plans to work on the Reko Diq Gold mines in Balochistan’s Chaghi district, which borders Iran and Afghanistan (Pakistan’s nuclear tests in 1998 were carried out in Chaghi).

The Pakistan government, the Balochistan provincial government, and the Barrick Gold Corporation have reached a preliminary agreement under which the corporation will invest $7 billion in the mining project and own 50 percent of the shares, while the balance 50 percent will be shared equally between the federal and Balochistan governments.

The Reqo Dik area reportedly contains the world’s fifth largest gold deposits, in addition to several other minerals. Its mineral wealth and the high profits it promises have prompted international companies to take the risk of investing here despite the fragile political situation and multiple security threats they face here.

Their interest began as early as 1961 after the Geological Survey of Pakistan and the U.S. Geological Survey identified the region as being rich in minerals. More extensive studies in 1971 and 1974 confirmed the findings of previous surveys.

The two main areas that these surveys identified in Chaghi district were Saindak and Reko Dik. A Chinese company signed an agreement with Pakistan and began mining in Saindak in 2002. As for Reqo Dik, the Balochistan Development Authority and an Australian mining company BHP Minerals signed a deal in 1993 under which the Chaghi Hills Exploration Joint Venture was set up to explore the Reqo Dik area for minerals.

When BHP’s feasibility study confirmed Reqo Dik as one of the world’s largest undeveloped copper and gold deposits, it claimed 75 percent of the share in overall discoveries for the next 56 years. However, the company did not begin mining for several years.

Then in 2000,  deal to Tethyan Copper Company (TCC), a joint venture of Antofagasta of Chile and the Barrick Gold Corporation. Both these  to take complete charge of the project in 2006. Meanwhile, in 2010, media investigations publicized the terms of the deal, which angered Baloch nationalist activists and politicians as the terms were seen to allow “outsiders” to exploit and benefit from Balochistan’s natural resources even as the people of the province struggled with extreme poverty.

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Under pressure from the nationalists, the Balochistan government refused to convert the exploration permit to a mining license, thus ending the deal with TCC. In 2011, the TCC took the case to the Supreme Court of Pakistan which ruled in favor of the Balochistan government. TCC did not give up and took the case the same year to the World Bank under the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes. In 2016, TCC won the case and Pakistan was liable to pay billions in damages for breach of agreement and refusal of a mining license to TCC.

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To avoid paying the penalties, Pakistan engaged in out-of-court negotiations with TCC for several years. Finally, in early 2022, it announced a settlement on the case but through a new deal under which Antofagasta stepped back from reinvesting in or restarting any project relating to Reqo Dik. However, Barrick Gold Corporation is once again in the game.

As of now, Barrick plans to invest not only in mineral extraction but also in the Gwadar Port for shipping purposes and social sector development of the Gwadar area and larger Balochistan. The mining work is expected to start in 2027-28. Early investments are expected to create thousands of jobs in the region, especially in Chaghi and Gwadar. But whether local people will benefit remains to be seen.

Several studies, including a recent one by scholars at the China Maritime Studies Institute (CMSI) in the U.S. Naval War College, emphasize that mining and exporting Balochistan’s mineral resources are a huge commercial opportunity for the region. These studies point out that a large number of shipments and quantities of exports especially of high-value resources can bring unprecedented profits to Pakistan and make Gwadar Port one of the key ports in the region.

But, the fact that Barrick took Pakistan to court earlier in cases that ran for over a decade and could have cost Islamabad billions of dollars does not bode well. It is a fact that Pakistan allowed Barrick back only to escape paying huge penalties.

Gwadar could indeed emerge as an important port. But first, Pakistani and Chinese authorities and now Barrick Corporation need to improve the port’s access to water, power and other basic facilities. Importantly, Barrick, the federal and provincial government and the Gwadar Port Authority should make the details of the deal public so that people are aware of what is happening to their resources and the port, and where they fit in the big picture.

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Five Essential Attributes of an Effective Business Strategist

Odyssey News

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Five Essential Attributes of an Effective Business Strategist
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The position of the business strategist in today’s commercial organizations is essential. A good strategy is one of the reasons why some companies execute better. Nevertheless, the characteristics necessary to be effective in that capacity are sometimes unclear or misinterpreted. The business strategist is responsible for taking the ideas and visions developed by corporate executives and transforming them into prepared strategies that can be carried out in order to achieve the desired results. It is not an easy task to find reliable business strategies and executives nowadays. Hiring a recruiting agency that specializes in providing executives is a really good idea. Boardsi is a top-quality recruitment agency that works with a pool of top-talent executives. Through their advanced technology, human connection, and private network they help revolutionize businesses and grow careers. Boardsi strives to be the leader in the recruiting industry and the go-to company for all executive hiring needs.To put it another way, a business strategist finds the many available options, assesses each one, and then suggests the most effective way for the company to achieve its long-term objectives.

What are the essential qualities of a successful strategist? The following five qualities of character are the foundations upon which success is built:

  1. Optimistic.It is more feasible for a person to lean into a stressful scenario (instead of shrinking away from it) if that person believes in good results and feels the individuals with whom he or she works have the talents to effectively implement the strategy. The enthusiastic individual expects the greatest possible result with self-assurance and a pleasant attitude. When companies are going through challenging times, having a company analyst who is an optimistic role model may inspire the workforce responsible for putting the action plans into action.
  2. Realistic.A professional business strategist can take all the rose-colored spectacles and see things as they really are. Instead of hoping and praying for a different conclusion, the individual may realistically describe what will happen next.
  3. Anticipatory.The capacity to predict future events is essential to a successful strategy. Analyzing what has been accomplished in the past in order to forecast what the most reasonable aims should be for the future. Because it is like a strategist to be responsible for preparing for the future, it is advantageous for that individual to have a high skill level in predicting what might be expected.
  4. Ethical.Being ethical is the most apparent quality necessary to have as a part of developing a good character. To ensure that the company’s culture will accept the conceptual strategy and follow the strategists’ lead, one of the most important things that strategists can do is model conduct that is seen as having high moral standards, including honesty, integrity, and acceptance of what is considered to be acceptable moral behavior. No culture can properly execute any strategy if the culture does not trust in the leadership that established the plan. All business strategists need to carry the gravitas that comes with acting ethically.
  5. Good communicator.Do people truly understand what is anticipated from the strategy developed by the strategist? Confusion will ensue without a clear communication style, whether via written word, electronic medium, or spoken presentations. Until the strategic strategy is clarified, employees will either incorrectly understand the instructions, pursue their own creative agendas to perform the work, or completely reject the demands. Poor communication slows down and minimizes the work that can be accomplished, which may cost firms both time and money to rectify. Establish clear and reasonable expectations from the outset by ensuring that everyone is aware of the function that will be assigned to them.
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One of the most important aspects of strategic leadership is the ability to see possibilities that are not apparent to competitors, devise practical strategies to achieve the results that are sought, and make certain that the individuals responsible for putting the plan into action buy into what you are demanding and understand precisely how they are to carry out the tasks that are required. The role of the business strategist is essential in elevating average companies to the level of industry leaders.

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Nissanka, Mendis, Shanaka, Theekshana – the heroes of Sri Lanka’s memorable Asia Cup campaign

Madison Franz

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Nissanka, Mendis, Shanaka, Theekshana - the heroes of Sri Lanka's memorable Asia Cup campaign
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Having been poor in T20Is for the past several years, they were not expected to make the final

So Sri Lanka have won four matches in a row, and go into the final as the form team of the Asia Cup final. The disclaimers: they have won all four tosses, and as such have been allowed to chase.
Not only do they historically prefer chasing, Dubai – where three of those four wins have come – has favoured chasing teams to an almost extreme degree – 17 of the last 20 T20I winners there having been sides that batted second.
Nevertheless, this is an impressive run from a team that was not expected to make it to the final, and have been poor in T20Is for the past several years. Although this is not a team that has relied on star power, there have been key performers. Here are some of the best.
Pathum Nissanka – the engine room
Like a go-kart gaining momentum as it comes down the hill, Pathum Nissanka has played better and better innings as the Asia Cup has gone on. He scored 3 in the bad loss to Afghanistan, but then made 20 off 19, in the victory against Bangladesh, before truly hitting his straps in the Super Fours.
Against Afghanistan, he hit 35 off 28, and was part of a 62-run opening stand that set the platform for their chasing down 176 – a Sharjah ground record. Then came the fifties – the 52 off 37 against India, in which he and Mendis again put on an excellent opening stand. On Friday’s match against Pakistan, Mendis fell second ball, and Sri Lanka lost three wickets inside five overs, but Nissanka held the innings together, eventually finishing with 55 off 48, as Sri Lanka cruised home.
His tournament strike rate of 118.70 isn’t particularly impressive, but he is Sri Lanka’s top scorer, with 165 runs.
Against Afghanistan, he hit 35 off 28, and was part of a 62-run opening stand that set the platform for their chasing down 176 – a Sharjah ground record. Then came the fifties – the 52 off 37 against India, in which he and Mendis again put on an excellent opening stand. On Friday’s match against Pakistan, Mendis fell second ball, and Sri Lanka lost three wickets inside five overs, but Nissanka held the innings together, eventually finishing with 55 off 48, as Sri Lanka cruised home.
His tournament strike rate of 118.70 isn’t particularly impressive, but he is Sri Lanka’s top scorer, with 165 runs.
Theekshana’s economy, and Madushanka’s wickets
All through his T20I career, Maheesh Theekshana has been almost unfailingly miserly – his career economy rate of 6.53 a testament to how much discipline he brings to his unorthodox craft. In this tournament, he’s been no different. After 20 overs bowled, some of those in the powerplay, and others at the death, Theekshana has gone at just 6.85 an over, and claimed five wickets besides.
On the seam-bowling front, no one has been more impressive than Dilshan Madushanka, and is in fact their highest wicket-taker alongside Wanindu Hasaranga, with six dismissals.
In the absence of Dushmantha Chameera, his inswing (to the right-hander) with the new ball, has been frequently menacing. And he’s been good at the death, which had been a problem for Sri Lanka.
He’s conceded just 44 from 30 deliveries he has sent down from the 16th over onwards. His inswinger to flatten Virat Kohli’s off and middle stumps is perhaps Sri Lanka’s most memorable moment of the tournament.
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King Charles III proclaimed Canadian head of state at Rideau Hall ceremony

Madison Franz

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King Charles III proclaimed Canadian head of state at Rideau Hall ceremony
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King Charles III has been proclaimed Canada’s head of state at a ceremony held at Rideau Hall in Ottawa on Saturday.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau signed the order-in-council and the proclamation for the accession in the presence of Governor General Mary Simon.

After Trudeau signed the documents, the Chief Herald of Canada Samy Khalid read out the proclamation on the accession of King Charles III.

READ MORE: As King Charles III begins his reign, what legacy will he bring to the British throne?

The event was marked with 21 gun salutes, which lasted a little over three minutes.

Trudeau said in a statement that while Canada continues to mourn the loss of Queen Elizabeth II, the government also looks to the future with the proclamation of the accession of King Charles III as Sovereign of Canada.

Trudeau added that Canada has “enjoyed a long history and a close friendship” with King Charles III, who has visited our country many times over the years.

“We have no doubt that his deeply felt commitment to education, the environment, and the empowerment of young people will provide a strong foundation from which he will continue to work toward the betterment of the Commonwealth and its people,” said Trudeau. “On behalf of the Government of Canada, we affirm our loyalty to Canada’s new King, His Majesty King Charles III, and offer him our full support.”

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Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, Infrastructure and Communities, Dominic LeBlanc, also gave a speech reflecting on Queen Elizabeth II’s death at the ceremony.

“As Queen of Canada for 70 years, Her Majesty accompanies Canadians through some of the most defining moments in our country’s history,” said LeBlanc. “Through her reassuring presence, and graceful demeanor, she was an immense source of inspiration and pride for countless Canadians.”

LeBlanc also mentioned that he was touched by King Charles III’s interest in Canada when he visited Rideau Hall 25 years ago.

“We have every confidence that His Majesty will be very much present and involved in the life of our country as was his mother,” said LeBlanc.

In a message from the governor general released shortly after the ceremony, Simon wrote that Canadians’ collective grief is “a reflection of the deep and abiding affection” they had for Queen Elizabeth II and “the very real connection she had with Canada.”

“His Majesty The King ascends at an important time in history for Canada and the Commonwealth,” it reads. “We face many complex challenges, many of which cannot be resolved without global co-operation and dedicated leadership.”

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“The Crown has come to reflect our ever-changing country and society, representing and fostering our relationships with each other, with Indigenous peoples and with the international community,” Simon stated.

She added that Canada looks forward to have conversations with King Charles III and the Queen Consort about “reconciliation, diversity and our global well-being.”

The federal government will also roll out a series of events to commemorate the legacy of Queen Elizabeth II.

The date of Canada’s national commemoration ceremony for Queen Elizabeth II is yet to be decided.

The State Funeral of Queen Elizabeth II will take place at Westminster Abbey on Sept. 19, according to the Royal Family’s website.

King Charles III wishes for a period of Royal Mourning to be observed from now until seven days after The Queen’s Funeral, the website states.

Trudeau is also expected to attend the state funeral in London.

 

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