Tuesday, January 28, 2014

And The Oscar Goes to….

The 2014 Annual Academy Awards are highly awaited due to the superb nominees this year; both in the best film category and the best actor category.

The Oscars 2014 promises to be a spectacular affair. With the best movie category bulging from the winter blockbusters such as Wolf of Wall Street, Gravity and 12 Years a Slave among others. Similarly, the best actor category is also studded with powerful performances of the likes of Leonardo Di Caprio, Matthew McConaughey and other great performances. We shall look at the aforementioned two categories mainly in this build up to the Annual Academy Awards 2014.

The best movie award looks to be a toss-up between Gravity, American Hustle, The Wolf of Wall Street and 12 Years a Slave. All these movies were highly anticipated and none of them failed to deliver.  Gravity looked fabulous on “3D” and “IMAX” but there was lack of depth in the story once you got past the effects. American Hustle used its all-star cast to its full potential with all of them playing key roles. The Wolf of Wall Street was a highly engaging movie helped by some outstanding acting from Leonardo Di Caprio. 12 Years a Slave was a different kind of story but it reached the heart of the viewers in ways none of the other nominees could.  It is definitely a favourite to win.

The moment I saw The Wolf of Wall Street, I thought Leonardo is going to win it this year! He gave such a masterful performance that it looked as if he would finally land the Oscar. However, once I saw Dallas Buyer’s Club, I just could not ignore Matthew McConaughey’s performance even though the movie itself was nowhere near the level of the greats mentioned above. The same could be said about Chiwetel Ejiofor’s role in 12 Years a Slave. Although his role was not as expressive as McConaughey’s or Di Caprio’s, it is definitely worth a mention.
Therefore, it might be difficult to predict, but the fans certainly have their favourites. Di Caprio’s role in Wolf might just get him a much-awaited Oscar, but the academy could decide on McConaughey who won the Screen Actors Guild award. It looks a closer race in the best movie category, where anyone of six movies could win it!

Friday, January 24, 2014

A Glimpse at the Lifestyles of Pakistani CEOs - The Astonishing Figures

 Ever imagined what it would be like to earn an eight-figure salary? Drive a luxury car? Fly around in chartered jets? That’s the life of a modern CEO!


In addition to overseeing the tasks of the higher management, CEOs represent the face of a company and synonymously face the brunt of the publicity aimed at the company, be it positive or negative. This claim is even more applicable for CEOs of the media world; they are always in the limelight, even more so than their counterparts from other industries.

However, the compensation and benefits offered to CEOs are unparalleled when compared with the rest of the employment positions. The salary, benefits and stock options combined can make a handsome package. Of course, this figure varies depending on the company that the CEO works for.

On average, a CEO in the media industry takes home somewhere around $600,000 to $2 million (around 8 million Pakistani rupees per month!) annually. Apart from that, the company can also offer a car, stock options and other benefits. Apparently, this depends on the company and the perceived worth of the CEO. One thing we can ascertain is that CEO is the best compensated job title that one can have.

Talking about the Pakistani media industry, most of the companies offer good packages for their CEOs which include additional commissions and benefits apart from the basic salary. The average CEO working in the media industry commands a salary of Rs. 2 million to Rs.4 million monthly.  In addition to that, most of them get a company car and commissions based on the content their channel runs. An example of this is Yousuf Baig Mirza of PTV Network who was afforded a monthly commission in addition to his salary, based on advertising revenue.

However, based on my observations, a figure which truly stands out among the various media CEOs of Pakistan is Mr. Azhar Abbas, the CEO and president of Bol network. He is being offered the lifestyle that not only most of the corporate world can only dream of, but also makes him the envy of some of the CEOs in the top echelons of the media world.

In addition to a whopping eight-figure monthly salary, Azhar Abbas can reap the benefits of a Mercedes S class company maintained car, stock options, memberships to some of Karachi’s exclusive clubs and numerous other benefits being offered by Bol network to its employees, as mentioned on their website. Even when compared with international CEOs, the aforementioned package puts him at a very enviable level.

Media industry employees can surely take some encouragement from this and look forward to much better lifestyles. As more and more companies start taking the initiative, a lot of media executives can hope to achieve the aforementioned levels!