2010 – The Idea
During the first quarter of 2010, an idea began to take root in the collective conscience of NUST’s senior management, based on the existence of a conceptually fertile land of thought at its disposal. Located in the heart of Pakistan’s capital, NUST had access to some of the best minds in the country. Most importantly, NUST had access to the highest echelon of industrial and intellectual leadership of Pakistan.
Formation of the Council
In April 2010, NUST initiated the formation of a national Corporate Advisory Council (CAC) whose main objective, at the time, was to link NUST’s academia with the Industry and to create a mechanism whereby the University, with the help of private and public decision makers, could be at the forefront of the knowledge economy.
The challenges & the resolve
Our journey has been through its natural peaks and troughs. We have had many moments we consider humble triumphs; we have faced many challenges; and we have experienced many divergent views. The one constant that has been greeted with open arms by all stakeholders is the core idea. The spirit of national development is echoed by our members and partners.
Structure & Function today
It is a great source of pride for us that the CAC began its journey very humbly. Despite having taken on board some of the most influential industrialists (from industries such as Engineering, Automotive, Banking and ICT), our team and our investment into the Council were marginal. The ideas and human capital should be the driving force of the CAC. NUST’s initiative was to be led by the force of conviction rather than the traction of finance. Today, with a very small, lean and highly ‘ideas-oriented’ team, the CAC manages 11 sectors of the economy.
National Scenario
The CAC has managed to provide a platform for the thought leaders of Pakistan, amongst them former advisors to Governments, heads of Pakistan’s largest Industrial groups, policy makers and current decision makers within the public sector, to share ideas and turn them into concrete solutions. Our aims are to tackle some of the most urgent and important development issues facing Pakistan today. It is our belief that the CAC will have a major role to play; it will be a policy driver. Via the CAC mechanism, we can be vital partners of policy advocates and policy entrepreneurs within all the areas of the economy. In this respect, the CAC has slowly evolved from a linkages-based organization to one whose focus is more and more the implementation of effective policies within various sectors of the economy. Future Orientation As the millennium approached, we had conceptualized the creation of a truly global market with few restrictions and fewer technological barriers. Such a scenario never came to be; the world has moved from one standard to another. Markets have been volatile and the global move towards deregulation and open and fair competition has seen many setbacks. Nonetheless, as Pakistan positions itself for the future, institutions such as the CAC will play a key role in regional socioeconomic development. This connection, where we envisage allowing technologies and human capital to enter our market freely, will be pivotal in opening up the true value of Pakistan’s economy. Appreciative of the need for a global view of our issues, we have always kept our network of partners internationally as well as locally. We may all work together and make our motto a reality: Think, Collaborate and Build. With the spirit and intent expressed above, we are excited to share with you the CAC experiences.