The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Pakistan (ICAP), in collaboration with Unilever Pakistan, organized National Finance Olympiad 2019, the Grand Finale of which was held on December 19, 2019 at a local hotel in Karachi.
Mr. Abdullah Hussain Haroon, Former Foreign Minister of Pakistan graced the event as the Guest of Honour.
Mr. Khalilullah Shaikh, President, ICAP congratulated ICAP and Unilever Pakistan team for conducting NFO for the 5th consecutive year. He stated, “With each passing year, the team has raised benchmark for this event. I would like congratulate the finalists of the grand finale who went through tough rounds to reach Finale. The competition is not about winning or losing, it’s about celebrating the talent of the industry. I believe this event also celebrates the role accountants are playing in this country. As an institute, we are committed to producing highly qualified professionals who can serve for the betterment of business sector and community. I thank all the participants and Unilever for collaborating with us for bringing up this auspicious event”.
The National Finance Olympiad 2019 started with registrations of 51 teams from renowned organizations across Pakistan. After a 2-hour intense MCQ-based examination held simultaneously in Karachi, Lahore and Dubai on December 12, 18 teams qualified for the Assessment & Simulation Round. The Qualifying teams then went through a Case Study Simulation at Karachi School of Business and Leadership (KSBL) and Assessment wherein top 6 Finalist teams emerged to compete in the Grand Finale.
The event, organized by the ICAP’s Professional Accountants in Business (PAIB) Committee, was attended by the top management of renowned national and multinational organizations. The day commenced with recitation of a few verses from the Holy Quran followed by opening remarks by Mr. Khalid Rehman, FCA, Chairman PAIB Committee ICAP. He welcomed the participants and said “ICAP has put in a lot of effort in organizing this event which is happening for the 5th consecutive year. The Competition began in 2015 in collaboration with Unilever Pakistan. It gives us immense pleasure in hosting this event. This is the first time where a record of 51 teams participated in NFO. I congratulate all the teams who have made it to the finals and I wish them the best of luck for competing in this grand finale today”.
Mr. Aly Yusuf, CFO, Unilever Pakistan then welcomed the audience. He said that “NFO 2019 has been a great success. Since its inception, the participating teams have shown exemplary performance and today we have here 6 final teams who stood out from the rest. I wish all the teams the best for this finale and would also like to congratulate ICAP for the success of NFO.”
The competition kicked off with a quick introduction of the teams followed by the Debate Round which was judged by a panel of three distinguished judges; Mr Naeem Akhtar Sheikh, Past President, ICAP, Mr Arshad Saeed Hussain, Managing Director, Oxford University Press and Mr Hasan Azhar, Group CEO, HRSG. The topics debated by the teams included, ‘Excessive use of technology has a positive impact on our society’, ‘For 21st century leadership positions, qualification criteria can be compromised against behavioral competencies’ and ‘Higher interest rates policy is stabilizing Pakistan’s economy in the long run.’
The second and last round of the competition was the Buzzer Round, which was all about the agility and technical knowledge of all Finalist teams. While the teams made efforts to outscore others, the audience remained captivated and supported all the teams wholeheartedly.
Once the judges evaluated the Debate, results were announced; EY Ford Rhodes claimed victory while Midas Safety and Heal Aid Foundation became the 1st and 2nd Runner Ups respectively. The winning team was awarded a majestic Champions Trophy, Microsoft Surface Pro and shields for each of the three team members. The 1st Runner Up received HP Pavilion Laptop and shields for all team members and the 2nd Runner Up received iPad and shields for all team members. Certificates were also given to all finalist teams; Cherat Packaging Limited, Engro Fertilizers and Grant Thornton Anjum Rahman (GTAR). The Institute presented a gift for Best Individual Performance to Saad Ahmed Qureshi from Engro Fertilizers.
The jury members; technical partners, A.F. Ferguson & Co. and Deloitte Yousuf Adil; learning partner, Karachi School of Business and Leadership (KSBL); ICAP PAIB Organizing Committee and the Master of Ceremony; Mr Zaid Kaliya were recognized.
The entire testing material was developed by the technical partners; A.F. Ferguson & Co. and Deloitte Yousuf Adil.