Siraj Kassam Teli, a distinguished industrialist well-known for being endowed with extraordinary leadership qualities, passed away in Dubai today. He had been admitted to the hospital suffering from double pneumonia.
It is yet to be confirmed if he had contracted the COVID-19 as he never got tested.
He belonged to a renowned business family that has been involved in making major contributions to Pakistan since its inception.
He was the Chairman of the Businessmen Group (BMG), and there he was recognized for his exemplary leadership skills. He used these skills to good measure. He brought together business communities from different ethnic backgrounds within Karachi and created a forum on which issues could be discussed and resolved.
He had also recently turned heads when he made the claim that in order to maintain cleanliness in Karachi, the city should immediately be handed over to the Pakistan Army for a period of five years.
Condolences pour in for the late business leader.
President Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) Shariq Vohra said that Teli was a visionary person and a leader for all. He further expressed how this was a loss for the whole of Pakistan and that the business community is in Shock.
Ex-KCCI chief Zubair Motiwala said that his demise had created a wide gap in the business community’s leadership. Motiwala describing Teli said that he had always spoken the truth without considering the consequences.
My condolences to the family of Siraj Kassam Teli, my friend and a great businessman of Karachi.
إِنَّا لِلّهِ وَإِنَّـا إِلَيْهِ رَاجِعونَ
May his soul rest in peace and may Allah grant his friends and family the strength to bear this loss.
— Dr. Arif Alvi (@ArifAlvi) December 8, 2020
The President of Pakistan too expressed condolences on the demise of Siraj Kassam Teli, saying that he had been his friend and a great businessman of Karachi.
Read more: Pakistan set to welcome economic stability by July 2019: PM Imran Khan
Aqeel Karim Dedhi, also known as AKD, a renowned and well-recognized business personality in Pakistan, said that Teli was a uniting force in Karachi and that his efforts brought various business communities within the city together.
A force that brought communities together
As ex-Chairman of the Businessmen Group (BMG), Siraj Teli was always recognized for his extraordinary leadership of the business and industrial community.
He brought about revolutionary changes in trade politics. He is also known for mending the Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the SITE Association of Industry, and other public service and social work platforms.
Siraj Qasim Teeli was a leading voice of Pakistan's business community, who played an important role in unifying Karachi's diverse business communities. Sad to hear of his death! May Allah bless his soul and give fortitude to his family and loved ones to bear his loss! Amen!
— Moeed Pirzada (@MoeedNj) December 8, 2020
His genuine and deep concern for the well-being of his fellow citizens was exemplified when he took grave notice of the tragic arson incident at Bolton Market in December 2009.
He made efforts to ensure that every affected businessperson was justly compensated. For this, he gave an urgent call to assess the losses and assistance to the affected. Hence the KCCI had set up a committee that had assessed the damages through a transparent system and without any loss of time.
The outcome of Mr. Siraj Teli’s instantaneous and focused steps was extremely fruitful as President of Pakistan, Mr. Asif Ali Zardari, announced Rs’ relief package. 3.0 billion and initial pay orders for compensation were distributed to the affectees by the President himself.
Read more: PTI’s Karachi Women Wing deputy secretary’s driver amongst those killed in police encounter in DHA phase IV
Siraj Kassam Teli had also served as the Director of Pakistan Beverage Ltd., (Pepsi-Cola)Karachi, Hyderabad, and Quetta.
Apart from the beverage sector, he had considerable experience in textiles, dairy products, and energy. He was also a Director of Gul Ahmed Energy Limited, Metro Power Company, Yassir Fruit Juice, Haji Kassam Haji Mohammad & Co., and Pakola Products (Pvt) Limited.
Siraj Teli’s outstanding contribution to the national economy and public service, philanthropy, and extra-ordinary indulgence in the Ashura incident earned him the “Sitara-e-Imtiaz,” the highest civilian honor in Pakistan.
Siraj Kassam Teli was also conferred with an Honorary Degree of Doctorate of Philosophy (Honoris Causa) by the Faculty of Management & Social Sciences of the Institute of Business & Technology (BIZTEK) for his services to the private sector, his efforts for the industrial development and his endeavor for the unity of the business and industrial community, in particular, his aggressive and creative plans to boost export and his contribution to the economic development of the country.
History and reforms of Siraj Kassam Teli
As per Siraj’s blog he graduated from the Government College of Commerce & Economics, Karachi, in 1974.
In 1991, Siraj Teli was elected to the Managing Committee of Pakistan Beverage Manufacturers Association.
He due to his un-ending efforts and improvement-oriented demeanor earned the support of fellow businessmen and industrialists, all seeking improvements in business-related politics. Mr. Teli was thus elected in 1992 to the Managing Committee SITE Association of Industry and in 1994 as Chairman.
I am beyond devastated at Siraj Kassam Teli’s untimely demise. Siraj bhai has been an elder brother, mentor & motivating force for me. Please say a prayer for the departed, may Allah grant him the highest honors in Jannat as is his due.He leaves a void that can’t be filled. #RIP pic.twitter.com/g9GUz8UOAk
— Samir Mir Shaikh (@SamirMir) December 8, 2020
During his tenure as Chairman, he succeeded in obtaining a Chairman SITE Association of Industry nomination as an ex-officio Director on the Board of Directors of SITE Ltd., a semi-government organization.
In 1996, Siraj Teli was elected unopposed on the Managing Committee of Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry, to represent the SITE Association of Industry.
Teli subsequently formed the Businessmen Group in 1998.
Prominent businessman #SirajKassamTeli dies of heart attack#ARYNews
— ARY NEWS (@ARYNEWSOFFICIAL) December 8, 2020
He also introduced many amendments in the Karachi Chamber’s Memorandum and Articles of Association to make the election of the President and Members of the Managing Committee of KCCI fully transparent and impartial so that the body would serve the issues of the trade and industrial community effectively.
As a result of Siraj Teli’s transformational efforts, all stakeholders now take an active part in the Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI). Huge turnouts of over 50 percent of eligible voters (over 10,000) are normally seen. The total membership of KCCI is over 16,000.
Siraj Kassam Teli’s honest efforts changed the outlook of Trade Politics. As a result, now genuine stakeholders are seen taking part in the affairs of KCCI.
His leadership also encouraged the Business Community such that the Chamber now looks after Karachi’s general interest as a whole as a part of corporate responsibility.
He had also served on the boards of many government and semi-government organizations to represent the business community.
Read more: Is RAW behind sectarian violence in Karachi? Senior police officer presents evidence
These include SITE Limited, Land Utilization, Port Qasim Authority, Civil Aviation Authority Sindh Workers Welfare Board, Workers Welfare Fund, KESC, and many educational institutions.
He and his family are known for making discreet contributions to many philanthropic causes.
He was also found present at most business-related discussions with the provincial or the federal government, be it taxation, business promotion, etc.
GVS News Desk