Interview with Major (Retd.) Ali Jaffar Zaidi, President CIBA- SAP Partner

Interview with Major (Retd.) Ali Jaffar Zaidi, President CIBA- SAP Partner
  1. Kindly tell us something about yourself and your company CIBA Consulting Pakistan (Pvt.) Ltd.

I am a retired Army Major. I served my country in the Army for around 24 years. Life is a name of testing every work, having one your dedicated profession. If a person loses courage he couldn’t do anything in life.

I had formed the CIBA Consulting Pakistan (Pvt.) Ltd in 2014 by chance. Our company’s vice president, Syed Sajjad, who has large experience in the field of SAP, came to me one day with a proposal to form a company on education and training of SAP. I asked him for one week time. I started detailed studies about SAP, even till late nights. After four to five days, I reached to the point that the SAP would change the career path of our new generation. When Mr. Sajjad came to me after one week, I was fully prepared and ready to work on SAP. Without wasting any time, we formed the CIBA Consulting Pakistan (Pvt.) Ltd.

img_3856One day, we came to know that the SAP has opened its doors for the new partnerships. We applied for it. Pakistan comes in SAP’s Middle-East and North African (MNA) region. Its headquarter is in Dubai. We were selected for SAP Learning Hub Students Edition partners for Pakistan and Afghanistan out of 13 companies applied for it. Our ambient marketing area is all colleges, universities and education institutions.

Siemens is already their partner,  providing SAP training for last 17 years, but they don’t have the mandate to provide SAP training in educational institutions. In that period, they have hardly produced 2300 SAP consultants. Their fee structure is from 08 to 12 lakh. Most of the students who went there were having relatives in foreign countries. They urged them to do SAP training by informing them about a large scope of SAP abroad. Most of the students after completion of SAP training from there got settled overseas and didn’t give benefit to the country.

We informed the SAP high officials that there was great demand and potential of SAP in Pakistan, but most of the students could not afford its fees. We asked them to revisit the fee structure. They accepted our recommendation and in the SAP students edition, they have reduced the fee structure to just 10 per cent of what Siemens is charging. Our fee structure is in between PKR 01 and 1.5 lakh only. For further convenience of the students; even they could pay that fee in three installments.

India is producing 50,000 to 100,000 SAP consultants, annually. Unlike, we are just producing only 30 to 37 consultants only. We are working to produce SAP consultants in Pakistan and have signed agreements with 11 Universities. Around 1000 students doing SAP training are in pipeline. We have cleared two batches, having hundred per cent results.

2. Where you started the first training of SAP in Pakistan?

Our first batch of SAP training was started at Governor House Punjab, unexpectedly. I had a visit to Lahore from Karachi. As an army person, I used to stay in mess. At that time, there was a corps commander meeting in Lahore and all rooms of the mess were booked. I was informed that my room had been reserved in the Governor House which was room No. 09. I hadn’t seen the Governor House in Lahore, before. When I went there, I met some children of domestic staff (Sweeper, Gardener, Driver etc.) of the Governor House, who were receiving very good education- some were doing M-Phil, BBA, MBA etc.   We, I and Mr. Syed Sajjad, decided to give SAP full scholarship to 10 students.

When Governor Punjab-Mohammad Rafique Rajwana came to know about our work, he invited me for the meeting. He really appreciated our efforts for the education of the underprivileged students. He asked me to organize a function of student’s scholarship, in which he would give scholarship certificates to the students.

In accordance with the SAP standard for admission, SAP representative gave three hours lecture on SAP standards and an online test. The students who secured 82 per cent marks were awarded full scholarship.  Earlier, announcement was made in Governor House about the SAP test and scholarship. When, we got up in the morning, around 250 students were standing outside our rooms. 95 students qualified SAP test and we awarded scholarship to 27 students.

On next day, the Governor Punjab gave us grand dinner at the Governor House – Darbar Hall, which is like a royal palace. I was surprised to find vice-chancellors of all universities of Punjab, around 200 people were there. I didn’t prepare the speech and spoke extempore. Governor Sahib presented the scholarship certificates. I couldn’t organize such event even in four months. I am thankful to Allah who made it possible only in 24 hours.

Last month, all these students completed their SAP training successfully. In Governor House, students were awarded certificates of SAP Consultants. And at the same time, all students were hired by different companies with the starting salary of PKR 67,000 per month. The student who got first position was Governor House’s sweeper’s son.

We did the same in Karachi and the girl who got first position is the daughter of Sindh Governor House’s  gardener. In Karachi, all students who had completed the SAP training were hired by the K-Electric.

3. Are you providing the SAP training in the under privileged areas of Karachi?

We, along with the Governor Sindh- Dr. Ishrat-ul-Ibad Khan, went to Benazir Bhutto Shaheed University (BBSU) – Lyari. Governor Sindh has announced full scholarship for 300 students. He has given 34 million to us for trainings. Our efforts have also been well appreciated by Chairman PPP, Bilawal Bhutto, who has informed us that he would come himself for awarding the certificates to successful students of Lyari and would also give us funds.

My vision is to make Lyari first Silicon Valley of Pakistan. Besides BBSU- Lyari, our classes are on-going in KIET,   Sindh Madressatul Islam University, Karachi University, Dadabhoy Institute, Bahria University, where our instructor go and conduct classes. Our 1000 students are in pipeline who will complete their SAP training in 3 to 4 months.

My main target is CPEC, as 2018 is a big year for Pakistan. I am an advisor of CPEC Committee of Central Government. Till 2018, we have to produce 20 to 30 thousand SAP consultants for CPEC.

Pakistan Skilled Development Board is producing lower level skilled professionals like plumbers, carpenters, electricians. We are producing SAP consultants who will run this system and will be on driving seats to run those projects. SAP consultants are highly paid consultants.  If we are unable to do so, then the Chinese will bring their highly paid professionals and the investment of the Chinese will return to their country.

4. How the government is supporting your efforts?

My meeting with Governor Sindh Dr. Ishrat-ul-Ibad Khan was scheduled for 15 minutes, but it continued for three hours. Governor has such skill to grasp everything. Last year in December,  at the Sindh Governor House, we had an event in which vice chancellors of different universities had signed agreements with us to conduct SAP training in their respective educational institutions. Governor Sindh has awarded me the Excellence Award.

5. How SAP is benefiting individuals and organizations?

SAP is anti-corruption, which doesn’t allow you to make wrong entry. Mian Mansha is 9th or 10th  class passed. With the help of SAP on his smartphone, he controls human and financial resources of all branches of banks all over the world. He cannot miss a single employee. If money gets finished in any ATM machine, he comes to know the exact location. He fires the responsible person for the fault in no time. SAP gives him real-time access to business.

Germany has won the World Cup football-2014 with the help of SAP. They put chips in each player’s socks. Coaches sitting at the dugout had tablets and were monitoring each and every moment of the players very closely. They were aware how much the player has run, how many times he has fallen, No. of times touched the ball and scoring, his energy and water level. He made changes on the basis of the available info. and these changes were very successful in their combat to won the world cup. SAP is used in sports in spreading, as it provides real-time analysis.

6. How many SAP consultants you have trained so far?

We have around 1000 students in pipeline for CPEC project which will come out by the end of this year, as certified SAP consultants. We have trained 65 SAP consultants in Sindh and Punjab. Our aim is to train at least 20 to 30 thousand people by the end of 2018.

7. Tell us something about the status of your SAP learning hub in Afghanistan?

We have not started operating Students Learning Hub in Afghanistan so far, but, we have started collecting information. In Afghanistan, especially in Kabul, there is great potential. Afghan students are going to Dubai for SAP certification.

Three to four months back, in accordance with the track-02 policy, an Afghan delegation came to Islamabad’s  Serena Hotel. Shoaib Sadal invited me for this meeting. Different discussion sessions were held between the delegations for the improvement of Pak-Afghan relationship. When I informed them that I would provide SAP training to Afghan children and would bring skilled and valuable education to your country’s jobless people who will able to be employed, the whole delegation said, “We don’t need anything, but, SAP education”. SAP education was their first priority.

Our team is ready to go to Afghanistan to provide SAP training. We are waiting for the government’s green signal.

8. Do you have any plan to do the partnerships with the software houses and IT institutions?

We can’t mix SAP education with IT. SAP education is purely for increasing your business efficiency. SAP technology has business processes, having HR modules, project management and finance. SAP has nothing to do with IT. For SAP education, you must have technical background, you must be graduate (BBA- MBA), can read English. SAP is a life changer of our new generation.

9. How far we are behind in research and development (R&D) ?

University is academia and business is an industry. In our country, they are moving in parallel lines which don’t meet like railway lines. They don’t have any integration, communication and coordination. Unlike any foreign university whose work is training and research being the two main mandate of all universities, in our universities, ninety per cent Research and Development (R&D) departments are locked and non-functional.  There is a gap between industry and technology. My company is working as a bridge between universities and industries.

10. Besides Students Learning Hub edition of SAP, do you have any programme for Heads/ owners of companies?

Our second edition of SAP Learning Hub is for professionals- CEOs, owners, which is a 21-day course. After completion of this course, they will be able to have good knowhow of the SAP. When they implement the SAP in their businesses, they get to counter the vendor and IT heads in all phases of designing, implementation and running of the SAP system.

11. Is it correct that the implementation of SAP in a business is very expensive?

There is a need to correct this misconception. SAP one user license fee is minimum $ 3000.  The mistake which the vendor and IT heads of the companies are doing is that they consider a key-punch operator also as user, which is incorrect. For example, a company having 50 key-punch operators in 05 departments, then  for the department- head, it means five persons are users.

Honda Motors Head Mr. Shirazi’s son Ali came here from abroad, around seven years back, after completion of SAP course. He expressed his wish to his father that he wanted to implement SAP in our company. His father having tons of experience in this field refused to implement SAP. Ali wanted to implement SAP at every cost. Later, it was decided that Ali could implement SAP with his share, in case if loss occurs, it should be his and not his father’s.

Ali implemented the SAP in the Honda Motors. On very first day of SAP implementation, lots of people in fear didn’t come on their vehicles and reached offices by public transport – rickshaw, taxis etc. as they unethically modified their vehicles with latest spare parts of the companies. The SAP system scrutinized each part of the vehicle.

After one year, Ali went to his father with the balance-sheet of 10 years and the current year. The average scrape they sold in last ten years was around 13 to 15 Lakh. While that year they sold the scrap of 3.5 Core Rupees. Ali said to his father that even one Head had covered his cost; I was not talking about others.

12. Anything which you like to add?

I am working on Safe City project, Karachi, with the SSU (Special Security Unit), Sindh Police.  We are evaluating their system, cameras, equipment and man power. We would implement the SAP in this project. According to their requirements, we would purchase new cameras with appropriate configuration and will install at appropriate places. In SAP system, the information come from cameras gets recycled. In fact, it disseminates to the relevant person for taking action. In SAP, the system identifies the mistakes of the people, if one fails to perform his responsibility.

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