NEW - Vedic/Hindu Calendar for 2013

NEW - Vedic/Hindu Calendar for 2013
Shri Ramapir Mandir/Temple in Islamic Republic of Pakistan

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Mr. Muralidhar P. Gangwani (MPG) Lifetime Members of Pakistan Hindu Council (KPDC): Please tell us something about yourself.

Mr. Murlidhar P. Gangwani (MPG): I belong to Garhi Yaseen, a little village in district Shikarpur, Sindh. After my Matriculation I moved to Hyderabad where I did my Intermediate in Science. Then I was selected in NED College, which is now known as NED University. I did my graduation in Mechanical Engineering from NED. Then I joined cement industry as the trainee engineer in 1969 and I retired as Chairman State Cement Corporation in 2006. I never wanted to remain in cement industry for a longer period, but I had to continue my career in this industry for 37 years.

Meanwhile, I also did my Ph D in Human Resource from Canada. I remained President of Institution of Engineers Pakistan. At present, I am President of Institution of Engineers Pakistan Foundation, which is the first and only foundation of Pakistani Engineers. It was established 10 years back. The president is elected every 5 years and I am the 2nd president of this association. I am also president of Rotary Club Karachi Kehkashan. I keep myself involved in social as well as educational activities.

As regards my family, I have 3 sons. The eldest one is a medical doctor. The second one did Mechanical Engineering from NED then he went to USA and did MBA Finance and then CFA and now he is doing job in USA. My third son is studying law in USA. My wife is a housewife.

KPDC: Please tell us briefly what the Institution of Engineers Pakistan Foundation does for the engineers?

MPG: It is not purely for engineers; we also serve the humanity. For instance, in the 2005 earthquake we did charity work in 2 or 3 areas within our resources. Besides that we provide scholarship for the engineering students. Likewise, we also provide aid to the widows and orphans of deceased engineers.

KPDC: Please tell us something about the SLAG cement that you introduced in Pakistan?

MPG: When I visited Japan for training in 1982, there I saw that they used to make SLAG cement. Although, we did have Steel Mills at that time but we never made use of SLAG in manufacturing cement. When I saw them using SLAG I decided to do the same in Pakistan. So, in Thatta cement we started manufacturing SLAG cement. At that time Steel Mill allowed us to take SLAG for free but now they charge a handsome amount for SLAG to the cement industry. By the grace of God our experimentation of using SLAG in cement was successful, as it resulted in reduction of cost and improvement in quality as it contained properties of sulphate resistance and is being successfully used in coastal areas.

KPDC: You have been associated to engineering but you chose HRM for your Ph D. Why is that so?

MPG: I have been associated to engineering as well as management. In 1971, I took over as head of mechanical department in National Cement. So the management training also started from that point. I did many courses from Pakistan Institute of Management (PIM) and other institutes in Pakistan. Then I was selected for Human Resource Management training in United Kingdom by British Council. I received training on HRM in UK for 12 weeks and that prompted me to go for Ph D in this field and then I also wrote a research paper, which was accepted.

KPDC: To what level do you think the concept of HRM has been implemented in our country?

MPG: The concept of HRM has unfortunately not yet developed in our country. It needs to be developed because it’s the need of the hour. I must say that we should treat it as a technical subject and we should encourage our youngsters to join this field. HRM in our country is improving with the passage of time but still we have a lot to do in this regard. Just like the Information Technology, we have made progress in this field but still we are far behind the other countries including our neighboring country, India. Generally, we are still using IT in a very limited scope; to use Internet and to take print outs etc.

Similarly, in HRM we are limited to a very little scope. We are producing administrative managers not the HR managers. HRM is a very vast subject that covers many aspects. If anybody is specialized in HRM he can run the industry in a very efficient way. Throughout my career, after I was appointed as Managing Director, I was sent to the industry which faced crises including the labor problems but because of the education of HRM I delivered the required results. Especially, in Thatta cement factory, the crises were extremely complex; the union was very strong and the higher management had almost decided to close it down. But to make a final effort, they asked me to take control of the factory. I accepted the challenge and at that time there was not enough money to pay the salaries and wages either. But after a period of 8 months, not only that I converted it into a profitable unit, but also settled down the labor crises. I gave 40 Crores as profit to my corporation. The bottom line is that education always pays you, it’s a long-term investment.

KPDC: How do see the short-term courses in HRM? Are they useful?

MPG: Short term courses are definitely good for individuals. These type of courses help understand the basic HRM concepts. After takings such courses individuals should go for the complete program if they want to specialize in this field.

KPDC: How do you see the standard of education in engineering institutes? Is it satisfactory?

MPG: As an engineer and as an educationalist, I am not satisfied with the level of education that we have today in engineering institutes. Earlier there was a better standard of education. Unfortunately, What I studied in my college days, the same things are being taught even today. We are still at the same point, whereas the things have changed a lot, and technology has advanced manifold in every field of engineering.

Secondly, during the period when I studied engineering there was a demand for civil engineers in Pakistan. Now we require more of computer engineers, electronic engineers. But unfortunately, the reservations of seats in engineering colleges are still the same that we used to have earlier. Today more civil engineers are coming out from the institutes than it is needed in the market. We need to study the market and according to the market requirements we need to make adjustments to our academic structure. It’s the job of Pakistan Engineering Council and not the job of Institution of Engineers, since the latter one is an academic association. We provide the up-gradation of knowledge to the engineers of Pakistan. We call people from abroad, and they train and share their knowledge with our youngsters.

KPDC: Please share some words about Pakistan Hindu Council?

MPG: There was no platform for Hindu communities before. We formed Pakistan Hindu Council (PHC) about 3 years ago. It’s a national-level social welfare organization. We are doing social, religious and other activities from this platform. I was the founding President of PHC. I left as president in February this year. We are also working to ensure better facilities for our patients in the hospitals. Our discussion with government is in process in this regard.

We are also fighting for Hindu Gymkhana which the government has transformed into National Academy of Performing Arts (NAPA). We have talked to Sindh government and we have suggested them that if they can’t give the Hindu Gymkhana building back to us, at least they should facilitate us to build it somewhere else, by providing land and funds.

KPDC: Cement Industry has developed slower in Pakistan as compared to India. What do you think are the reasons behind it?

MPG: It depends on the consumption of cement. It is called the supply and demand relationship, if the supply is more than the demand in the country, the industry can not flourish. Unfortunately, per capita consumption of cement in Pakistan is the lowest all over the world. For instance, after Terbela, we have not constructed any major dam in the country. We have recently started exporting cement to India but before that there was a big gap between the consumption and supply. We used to consume only 60% of our manufacturing 2 years back; meaning that 40% of our production used to be in idle capacity. New export avenues have opened now for our producers. India, UAE, Afghanistan, Iraq where there is great demand for cement.

The cement manufacturers are concentrating to increase the capacity and new plants are also coming up. By end of 2010, I think cement production will be around 50 Million tons as against 30 Million tons which we are producing now. I don’t see any shortage of cement in Pakistan at least till 2012; thereafter we may need to take steps to avoid any shortages.

KPDC: Please share some words about International German Award the national cement received during your tenure. What was the story behind the success?

MPG: This award was given to us because of the excellent maintenance of plant; which was the oldest plant we had in Pakistan. It was established in 1935 and the company who established it had closed down the operation. Without any support from abroad, we maintained the plant with our own efforts and research and development. As a result we were given the German Award for maintenance.

KPDC: What amount of opportunities do you see for the upcoming engineers in Pakistan?

MPG: If you see the service structure in Pakistan, it is really pity that you call the engineers – the cream of the nation – when they go for jobs they don’t get the job because of the gap between the market requirement and their education. And if they get job, a young engineer is offered a salary of Rs.8000/month. While the minimum salary that the government has fixed for an uneducated person is Rs.6000. Even the drivers earn more than that. So these are the cir*****stances which discourage our youngsters and they look for jobs abroad because they have better opportunities there.

KPDC: What suggestions do you have for improvement of quality of education in engineering sector?

MPG: If we correct our curriculum and go according to the market requirement, the balance will be created. As a result, the demand for the engineers will be increased, which will also encourage more individuals to come to this field. The engineers will then also receive good salaries.

The teachers, in different engineering universities, are being sent aboard for updating their knowledge, universities spend a lot of money on them but unfortunately, 50% of them don’t come back, they decide to work in other countries and those who come back, they have not been able to use that knowledge effectively. We need to improve in this area too.

KPDC: How do you see minorities in Pakistan? Do you think they are enjoying similar degree of freedom and civil rights as do Muslims in Pakistan?

MPG: We have all the rights to perform our religious activities in Pakistan. Even in jobs we don’t face any discrimination. We have 4 Ministers in the Sindh cabinet. In Sindh we have about 6% minorities and we have 6% representation in Sindh cabinet. So I am very much satisfied with the rights that are given to the minorities in Pakistan. However there is no representation of minorities in senate for which we have taken up the matter with government. Against total 8% minority we have representation of 2% in National Assembly on Pakistan level.

KPDC: You have been a great of supporter of showbiz activities in Karachi. Please share few words about it?

MPG: This interest developed after the formation of Pakistan Hindu Council. Raja Chauhan, one of our contacts, used to arrange showbiz programs and he used to invite me. I am also the life member of Arts Council. So they also invite me in their programs. I also participate in the elections of Arts council. It is how I started taking part in showbiz activities.

KPDC: Any message for the youth of Pakistan.

MPG: My message is that our youth should work for Pakistan, leaving behind all the ethnic and other feelings.

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