GBSN CEO Guy Pfeffermann recently returned from a trip to Pakistan,
meeting with program partners and exploring new opportunities. His impressions:
returned to Pakistan after 6 years' absence, staying in Islamabad, Lahore and
Karachi. I met many Pakistani friends and also officials, Pakistani and
American. I read all major daily newspapers.
What has changed? On the positive side of the ledger, roads are far better
now. A lot of investment has taken place and the results are visible, both
between major cities and in and around cities. There are also far more cars,
suggesting a healthy growth of the middle class, as well as a source of
industrial development. I also believe that local civil society is much
stronger than it used to be, and operating in far more areas of need, including
for example combating child abuse.
On the negative side, the obvious. The country is in a state of war. The day
after I arrived in the capital, Islamabad, suicide bombers attacked an Islamic
university there, killing several women students. Later that week and the next
a top general was assassinated and another barely escaped the same fate. All
schools and universities were shut down for a week throughout the country.
There may be a silver lining. While the political leadership seemed to carry
on in a "life-as-usual" mode, none of the the top politicians being
seen comforting families of victims, I got a sense that middle classes are
finally facing up to the seriousness of the situation, backing the government
in its drive against extremists.
I also picked up a consensus view that over these past 20 or 30 years
leadership had eroded across the board, and that high-quality leadership
training was of the utmost importance in moving forward. Therefore a
potentially very positive development is that foreign aid has become available
for higher education, when for at least twenty years or so, universities
received little support.
Thanks to its strong relationships with relevant Pakistani educational
institutions and field experience, GBSN stands ready to do its part in helping
rekindle excellence in leadership and management education.
A photo sample from the trip:
Guy Pfeffermann is the CEO and founder of the Global Business School Network.