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It is incorrect to say that the professional trade unionists are unbearable to the employers.

Economic Review: Do you feel that the company under the present management is marching forward as was in the past?

Shaukat R. Mirza: The company has new entered the 25th year of operations. During this year we will achieve a major milestone of urea production capacity reaching 598,000 tons per year, more than three times the original design capacity of 173,000 per year. With proven track record of corporate excellence, a strong technology base and good financial standing, the company is well positioned for a take off in its earnings capacity through growth and diversification. With the continued support of all its stakeholders, Engro will emerge a world class company, well prepared for the global challenges and opportunities of the 21st century.

ER: The company's sales and pretax profit showed an upward trend over the previous year, while the dividend showed down swing tendency. Your Comment?

SRM: Engro has undertaken expansion of its urea production capacity by 330,000 tons per year at cost of over Rs. 3 billion. In order to help finance this expansion project through internal cash generation, the Board of Directors recommended a total dividend of Rs. 2 for the year 1992 (Rs. 4.5 in 1991) and transfer of Rs. 165 million of the after tax profit to general reserves to help meet the financing requirements of the expansion project.

ER: What is the exact state of Industrial Relations in your organization?

SRM: Industrial relations remained cordial in 1992. Collective Labour Agreements with the Daharki Workers Union and the Karachi Staff Union, which had expired on June 30, 1992, were successfully concluded for a further period of 27 and 36 months respectively.

ER: Are you satisfied with the existing wage structure and fringe benefits in your organization as compared to other organisations of identical nature in Pakistan?

SRM: Yes, we are satisfied with our existing wage structure/benefits which is competitive with other leading employers and enables us to attract and retain high quality employees.

ER: Do you have any diversification programme in near future?

SRM: After completion of our current expansion project, we will have significant spare ammonia capacity. We plan to utilize the surplus ammonia to further expand our urea capacity from 595,000 tons to one million per year by 1996 to help meet the growing urea demand. The company is also evaluating the feasibility of manufacturing phosphatic fertilizers so as to meet our customers requirements of balanced nutrients for increased crop yield.

ER: Employers hire professional managers to run the industrial activity smoothly, but professional trade unionists are unbearable to the employers. Your Comment?

SRM: It is incorrect to say that the professional trade unionists are unbearable to the employers. If there is a mutual desire to maintain cordial relations between the workers and the employers, it benefits both the parties. Effective relationship cultivated with the professional trade unionists goes a long way in maintaining peaceful working relationship with all the workers, since these professionals exercise considerable influence on them.

ER: What measures do you suggest to solve the unemployment problem in Pakistan?

SRM: Investment in labour intensive industries, training of labour and developing the basic infrastructure are a few measures necessary to solve the unemployment problem in the country.

ER: Do you think that the present climate is conducive for investment. If not, what measures do you suggest to improve the situation?

SRM: Policies and reforms introduced in recent years are directed towards greater investment in the country. But political stability is a pre-requisite before any further investment will be forthcoming.

Shaukat R. Mirza began his career with Esso Eastern in 1962. After a series of assignments in the United States and Pakistan, Mr. Mirza was transferred to Exxon Chemical Pakistan Limited in 1968. He was appointed as Technical Manager at the Daharki Urea Plant in 1974. After serving in Executive capacities abroad, he returned to Pakistan in 1984 to assume the charge of Senior Vice President, Exxon Chemical Pakistan Limited which position he held until his appointment as President of the Company from February, 1988. Mr. Mirza holds Master's degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Birmingham, England. He is a member of the Executive Committee of the Management Association of Pakistan.
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Title Annotation:interview with Engro Chemical Pakistan Ltd. Chairman Shaukat R. Mirza
Publication:Economic Review
Article Type:Interview
Date:May 1, 1993
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