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Interviews

AN HOUR WITH AQEEL KARIM DHEDHI

THE KING OF STOCK MARKET, WHERE
HE SHARED HIS EXPERT OPINION ABOUT THE FINANCIAL SECTOR AND ECONOMY OF PAKISTAN

Aqeel Karim Dhedhi (born 1957) is the Chairman of the AKD Group in Pakistan. The range of services is financial services, telecom, infrastructure, manufacturing and natural resources. Dhedhi’s father was Haji Abdul Karim Dhedhi. Dhedhi completed his schooling at Karachi. Dhedhi initiated his career by taking part in export business with his brother. He started cotton business projects when he was in seventh class. He started trading at Karachi Stock Exchange (KSE) in 1976. In 1984 he built his own office in Karachi Stock Exchange.
Dhedhi was awarded the “Sitara-e-Esaar” by then president Gen. Pervez Musharraf for his services during the devastating earthquake that hit the northern areas of Pakistan in October 2005. Dhedhi has been a stockbroker at the KSE since 1986. Prior to this, he spent 13 years managing his father’s brokerage commercial projects. He was on the board of the KSE in 1996, 1997, 1999 and 2001. Dhedhi is also a member of the Lahore Stock Exchange.

02BM: Tell us something about your achievement as a successful businessman?
AKD: I have learned  a lot from my father he’s my ideal he always pushed me towards studies but I had no interest in studies and was business oriented since my childhood. I entered in business during my school life which my father never liked, so that time I did loss in business it is said when you do something hidden you always face problems & that’s what happened with me. My father taught me, Speculator can’t gain & investor can’t lose, actually this lesson is a key to my success & achievements.
We started AKD TRADE in which we promoted investors only people laughed at us when we started     this initially, they said you guys will badly lose who would invest 100%? But Allah gave us success & we set on example which was not possible.

BM: What business ventures you have apart from AKD Investment?
AKD: Apart from AKD Investments we have AKD Securities, AKD Oil & gas, AKD Real estate & developers, Housing areas, AKD Brokerage Business and AKD Investment banking.

BM: How would you comment about Pakistan’s stock exchange?
AKD:  In Pakistan racism has always been high so due to this Karachi Stock Exchange (KSE) has always been a prey. This happens when elites rule in your country, KSE has always worked a lot for Pakistan’s economy this should be appreciated KSE never got appreciation & help from government. When it comes to the problems of the farmers, textile, or any other industry government help them out but KSE has always been helpless in crises. In fact people here in this industry pay tax than anyone else do, it is the most transparent department of Pakistan. We should appreciate a lot our senior brokers, as they have worked a lot & harder for the economy. KSE developed systems, it went to computerized systems, then to CDC & then developed national clearing house.

BM: Which sector is fruitful for the investors of Pakistan?
AKD: Housing sector, real estate & developers, consumer, especially food & steel. As we have more than 20crore population we have space in these sectors & have great potential in these areas.

“The blindly borrowing of loans from IMF by the
Government is creating a
negative impact on the entire nation and its economy”

00
BM: Do you still have interest in “BOL Network” how would you comment about the recent
scenario?
AKD: I think our media & government has yet not proved the allegations on “Bol Network”  with facts & figures they should have proof before terminating 5000 people, where were the concerned authorities when this network was working since long. We are investors of equity market it is our main market but it doesn’t mean we ignore the current scenarios of our country. Our government has yet not proper strategies & growth oriented policies. If farmers face problems government compensate them this happens with other industries too. In fact such compensations are more like revenge. It’s like you let one person die first & then you bring water for him. The main concern is why you let him die, I have written so many letters to government, & I didn’t get response for any of them. If PM Nawaz Sharif & Finance Minister Ishaq Dar goes with same policy it will ruin our country. Our government is borrowing loan from IMF blindly it will affect our country badly & that’s quite dangerous. I say there should be courage in our people to say good to good & bad to bad.

BM: How are you affiliated with Karachi School for Business & Leadership (KSBL)?
AKD: I’m a trustee in KSBL, our father also contributed for education he made schools in Kharadar, Meethadar & Liyari he was once Vice President for one of the same schools (Kutiyana Memon Association Schools) KMAS a Baloch girl from the same school lives in Chakiwaara got 2nd position in inter-board Karachi she’s so talented. KMAS has always achieved best results in Karachi I can challenge this as we are getting 100% results since last 10 years. So many top people came out of this school. We have never discussed the history of our school earlier but it has always produced brilliant students like Dr Hashwani & Mr. Arif Habib they also studied from the same school.

BM: How are you associated with Imran Khan & how do you find him as a leader?
AKD: I & Imran Khan are associated  with charity based work for “Shaukat Khanam” Education & Health sector needs a lot of work but our government is not focusing on these issues so it’s always better to initiate & work yourself rather than waiting for government. Apart from hospital I’m working for Imran Khan’s NAMAL College too, we visited it in Mianwali. Education can only make our Nation strong & poverty free.

BM: What are the effects on Pakistan’s economy due to the current unstable political situation?
AKD: Law & order situation, India’s & Afghanistan’s interference all effect Pakistan’s economy. Government & Army has worked on it & we appreciate that. But government is not clear in its other goals & areas, government talks about privatization of steel & sometimes purchase of power they should make strategies for work.

BM: What are the factors & Criteria for investment in Pakistan’s stock market?
AKD: Number one research about the company & area you are investing, you should know where company stands, evaluate, you should know its future and be aware of company’s dividend, company’s sponsors, check auditors then invest.

BM: Any Message for the Nation?
AKD: Education is so important in life, one should complete its studies before entering to the professional life. I regret now why I did not complete my studies & entered in business during my school life because I would have been more better in business if I were educated I would know how to control anger & react in different situation. Diplomacy is an important tool for this century & it could be learnt only with help of education.

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