A group of 20 students from the London Business School visited Pakistan Microfinance Investment Company (PMIC) office in Islamabad on April 5, 2018. The group is currently visiting Pakistan on a trek, the fourth of a series of treks to Pakistan by students of three of the world’s top universities. The trek has been organised by Ms. Sobia Maqbool, Head of Research PMIC and an alumnus of Harvard University, and Mr. Adnan Afaq, MD Pakistan Credit Rating Agency.
During their visit to PMIC, the students engaged in interactive discussion with the CEO PMIC Mr. Yasir Ashfaq on the state of financial inclusion in Pakistan, dynamics of the microfinance sector, and PMIC’s role and significance in the microfinance sector of Pakistan. Also present during the visit were Ms. Joanna Reid – Head of DFID Pakistan, Mr. Qazi Azmat Isa – CEO Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund (PPAF), Mr. Ali Sarfraz – CEO Karandaaz Pakistan and Mr. Waqas-ul-Hassan – Senior Private & Financial Sector Adviser DFID, who elaborated roles of their institutions in the development of Pakistan.
The visit concluded with a Questions& Answers session. London Business School (LBS) students showed keen interest in the microfinance sector in general and the role of PMIC in particular, and how it was playing a key role in financial inclusion in Pakistan. The students also reflected on how the visit has helped them in gaining a better understanding of the country’s rich and diverse culture. They also acknowledged the warmth & hospitality of Pakistani people from every walk of life.
For the trek, these London Business School students were selected through a very competitive process from a large pool of applicants excited to learn more about Pakistan. They had a very interesting and intense itinerary packed with some 30+ events designed to help them meet people and form friendships while also engaging with policymakers, politicians, etc.
During their Pakistan visit, the London Business School (LBS) students also met the Honorable Prime Minister, Mr. Shahid Khaqan Abbassi to help facilitate an understanding of the geo-political narrative of Pakistan. The students were also exposed to world-class development work being undertaken by different NGOs along with a lot of sightseeing, trekking, and adventure.