COMSATS Institute of Information Technology and the South Asian Chapter of the Academy for Global Business Advancements (AGBA) organized the 4th South Asian International Conference (SAICON) 2012 on December 5-7, 2012. Held in the scenic city of Pakistan, Bhurban, this year’s conference was given the theme: International Emerging Knowledge Economy in the 21st Century: Opportunities & Challenges. With a view to link the academia and research with the industry and promote research in the South Asian sub-continent, the Conference aimed to providing knowledge, services and leadership that promote current trends, best practices and new business models; disseminating information on cutting edge business issues; and promoting joint research activities.
The opening session of the event was held on December 5, 2012, which comprised two keynote addresses, by Dr. Andrew Stark, Coutts Professor at Manchester Business School, UK; and Mr. Saad Amanullah Khan, Chief Executive Officer, Gillette Pakistan. Earlier, Dr. Qaisar Abbas, Dean Faculty of Business Administration CIIT, delivered the Welcome Address.
A hundred and forty five subject experts and students from Australia, China, Germany, India, Malaysia, Netherlands, Nepal, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, UK, and USA, made presentations on topics relating to management, finance, marketing, technology management, human resource management, climate change, and economics.
Major topics covered during the conference pertained to: Human Resource Management; Management Learning and Innovation; Organization Development & Change Management; Strategy and Marketing Management; Cross Cultural Management; Economics; Finance & Accounting; e-Commerce & e-Business; Hospitality & Tourism Management; International Marketing; New Venture Management; Management of International Organizations; International Business; Corporate Governance; Public Policy; Organization, Technology and Strategy; Entrepreneurship; Education Management; Ethics, and Corporate Social Responsibility; Business internationalization; Marketing and Consumer Behavior; NGO Management; Leadership, Motivation and Strategy; Information Technology; and Engineering Management.
Additionally, four invited talks further consolidated the proceedings of the event. These were: ’Exploring the Role of Theory in Research: The Case of Accounting Theories’ by Dr. Saeed Akbar, Liverpool University, UK; ‘Growth of Social Media and Marketing: Issues and Challenges’ by Dr. Ahmed Jamal, Cardiff Business School, UK; ‘The Role of BRICS in the Emerging Market Growth Prospects: Does Indian Growth Matter for Pakistan’ by Dr. Ahmed M. Khalid, Bond University, Australia; and ‘Ethical Standards in Business and Finance: An Islamic Perspective’ by Mr. Akmal Hanuk, Chief Executive, Islamic Banking and Finance Institute (IBFC), UK.
A highlight of the concluding ceremony, held on December 7, 2012, was a panel discussion on the theme of SAICON 2012. The discussion was moderated by the Executive Director COMSATS, Dr. I. E. Qureshi, and had the following panelists: Dr. Andrew Stark, Manchester Business School, UK; Dr. Bahauddin Mujtaba, Nova South Eastern University, USA; Dr. Ahmed M. Khalid, Bond University, Australia; and Dr. Ahmed Jamal, Cardiff Business School, UK.
Speaking at the concluding session, Dr. Qureshi considered business related activities as having a strong bearing on the socio-economic conditions of the societies. “The global organized business”, he opined “has not promoted equity and reduction in human suffering. It has strengthened disparities, exploitation and accumulation of wealth”. He further noted that 20% richest people of the world consume 80% of its resources.
SAICON 2012 provided 257 academics, consultants, researchers, heads of organizations and subject-experts, and students from around the globe a platform to discuss the key issues faced by business firms in developing knowledge-economy. The participants shared information on their cutting-edge research, conceptual frameworks, business ideas, proposals and projects, as well as business tools and technologies.