CPEC and growing trend of supply chain for engineers in Pakistan


By Salman Ahmed Khan, Assistant Manager Spares & Planning, Amreli Steel

Four years back in 2015, Pakistan and China laid the foundation of the 46-billion-dollar China Pakistan Economic Corridor that further reached to 62 billion dollars later under the vision of China’s One Belt One Road.

The economic corridor comprises of different projects that are related to energy, infrastructure, railway, agriculture, environment, engineering and communication.

The basic aim of this project is to interconnect China towards Middle East, Africa and further to South America through Pakistan’s Gwadar deep sea port by laying down the road interconnectivity of 2600km from Kashghar, China, for carrying out its imports and exports to the rest of world within a minimum lead time i.e. in 10-15 days, compare to its actual lead time right from China which take almost 90 days due to long shipping route from its actual ports to the rest part of the world.

China has been heavily capitalized on development of Gwadar deep sea port likewise  equally on energy, infrastructure, railways and transportation, also developing special industrial economic zones, that have attracted different world wide companies to plant their industry in Pakistan.

Alike, Pakistan will get the benefit and advantage of collecting the cargo taxes for transporting the shipment through Gwadar to Kashghar, which will be triplicate in figures as compare to actual budget of Pakistan, which means that the commerce of logistics and transportations will also get amplified.

There are many other major projects that are under pipeline, some of them are already completed of which I categorically don’t want to go in detail.

But what attraction I see from the CPEC is the trend of global supply chain, of which Pakistan will become an epicenter of it very soon. Supply chain has different departments which are Procurement, Warehousing, Logistics, and Production & Planning similarly Sales and it act as backbone for any organization to carry out its operations till it reaches to its customer.

With CPEC the work load of these supply chain department are highly on demand and they are increasing day by day. Subsequently development of infrastructure, industrial zones, energy sector, agriculture under CPEC also demand heavy engineering to complete these    tasks   and for their further onwards operations, which means that demand of engineering is also higher either it is Civil, Electrical, Mechanical or any other particular field.

In the CPEC, I also see the role of the Enterprise Resource Planning more efficiently under Management information System (MIS) for producing supplementary precise and useful information in Material Management, Plant Maintenance, Finance & Accounts, Sales, and HR etc.  Among ERP, SAP is one of the best software can integrated all these relevant data together in its different modules for the decision making purpose that is relevant for the organization to run its operations and business .

Currently most of the companies in Pakistan have already adopted the SAP and I have the privilege to work and implement the idea of SAP in my previous job in manufacturing. Providentially it was due to getting the training from the NED University in 2015 under the umbrella of SAP University Alliances.

I would recommend the universities to develop their memorandum with SAP for the student’s technical attentiveness similar with professional bodies like Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply Chain (CIPS) to promote and develop high standards of professional skill, ability, and integrity among in supply chain management which also beneficiary for fresh graduate in getting the jobs and performing their assignment resourcefully and meritoriously.

Therefore it is the responsibilities of our educational institutions to fulfill the markets demand  of engineering and supply chain in order to complete the national projects like CPEC  likewise same equally goes on to the professionals who are already serving in public and private sector industries in their respective field for engaging with the universities for  continuous development program  although I have also observed that some of the universities have already made a special CPEC cell where they are maintaining their students liaisons with the government officials and professionals working with in the CPEC .

Lastly , I would like to take this opportunity to thanks China for  always standing  together with Pakistan in all difficult times ,  Bringing up the concept of One Belt One Road ,connecting people closer to each other through creating  business environment via CPEC that will bring up more happiness and prosperity among both countries ,that  will also benefit the entire region and the world.