‘Engaging the Asian Future’ The Asian Business Leaders Summit was held in London on 13-14 October, hosted by Asia House. Premium sponsors included HSBC and Standard Chartered Bank and major sponsors included KSBL. KSBL banners and brochures were displayed in the conference area.
Mr. Hussain Dawood, the Chairman of KSBL accepted the invitation to participate in the afternoon session of Day 1 of the conference. The Panel in question was entitled ‘Progressive Asia – How can education and training keep pace with the demands of the global knowledge economy?’
In the week prior to the Summit, the Chairman received a request via Asia House’s PR agency for an interview with Huma Yusuf, the London correspondent of Dawn and the interview was conducted by email. After the morning session on Day 1 of the Summit, an interview of the Chairman was filmed with Stefan Wagstyl, an experienced and respected journalist with the Financial Times, to be broadcast on the FT online TV channel.
The Chairman then took part in the afternoon panel. Fellow speakers were Professor Malcolm Grant, President and Provost of University College London (who also convened the panel), Roy Newey, Board Director A4E Group and Andrew White, Associate Dean and Fellow in Strategic Management, Said Business School, Oxford. The Chairman spoke directly and personally to the audience. He described the vision behind KSBL and the key landmarks in its evolution, from a small group of private sector business leaders through the collaboration with Cambridge, imbuing each point with the ethos of leadership training and the wider social context. The other two speakers then made their own very able presentations. The effect of the Chairman’s presentation of KSBL could be measured in the summing up of Professor Grant, and the degree of interest from the floor. The ‘personal’ style of the presentation and the degree of interest and questions that continued from the audience for some time after the presentation clearly revealed the potential interest in KSBL in a major arena, where little or nothing was known of it beforehand. In particular, the collaboration with the Judge was regarded as a major achievement both by the Provost of UCL and the Associate Dean of Said Business School.
The intention at the Gala Dinner held at the Royal Courts of justice that evening was for the Chairman to host two tables where existing and potential supporters of KSBL could meet, some for the first time, and that a ‘molecule’ could emerge that would be of ongoing support. This proved to be a fruitful evening, with significant supporters of KSBL both from Pakistan and the UK mingling with academic guests from Cambridge, specialists from the British Museum and other highly-networked individuals. Asia House deserves much credit for managing the evening.
The Chairman made the acquaintance of the Mumbai correspondence of Forbes magazine, who expressed strong interest in KSBL. In between attending further sessions of Day 2 at the Summit, the Chairman carried out the interview with Sudeshnar Sen of the Economic Times of India. The Summit ended on the afternoon of Thursday 14 October.
The Summit was a great success on its own terms, and for KSBL. Considerable networking took place during the two days by KSBL which will prove useful. The Chairman emerged having conducted three interviews in a week, in favourable and influential media sources which will continue to be cultivated in future. The Summit was very much a two-way process, with much new wisdom acquired on all sides, and an intensive two days which are likely to bring favourable benefit to KSBL for years to come.
Asia House, founded in London in 1996, is the leading pan-Asian non-profit, non-political organisation in Britain. It is a dynamic focal point for people who have an interest in developing their contacts and understanding of business and of diplomatic and cultural interaction between Asia and Britain to meet and exchange ideas. For further information on the Asian Business Leaders Summit and Asia House please click here.
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