KARACHI: Nazir Ahmed, CEO, Royal Group of Companies (that enjoys the reputation of being one of the leading tour operators in Pakistan) has welcomed the new Consul General of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia H. E. Ubaid Ullah Miwr Al Harbi.
Appreciating the cooperation extended by the Consulate General here vis-à-vis Hajj/Umra/Employment visas and other issues, Nazir Ahmed said that the personnel of the Saudi diplomatic post has always facilitated Pakistani citizens.
Harboring on the subject, Nazir Ahmed quoted the efficient way crises apropos backlog of Umra visa stickers were handled by the Consulate last year.
While again welcoming the Consul General H. E. Ubaid Ullah Minwr Al Harbi to Karachi, Nazir Ahmed hoped that the cherished partnership will grow further.
Responding to a query apropos the instigation of Royal Group of Companies, CEO Nazir Ahmed told that he, along with his brother Usman Ahmed had commenced a joint venture as ticketing agents and travel/tour/Umra operators over three decades ago. Later, they obtained the Overseas Employment Promoters License and also undertook Hajj operations.
Some 18 years ago Nazir Ahmed started his own business under the banner of Royal Air Travels and Tours. He further told that today his overseas employment business Airview Associates was amongst one of the top manpower exporters in Pakistan, particularly for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
When private Hajj operation started in 2005, Nazir Ahmed got his company registered with Ministry of Religious Affairs. And the business grew to the extent that now they are considered as country’s one of the leading Hajj Operators offering economy as well as 5-star VVIP packages.
Nazir Ahmed lauded the efficiency and teamwork of staff that contributed towards enterprise’s success. His four sons [Shehzad Nazir (MD), Ejaz Nazir (Director Admin and HR), Sajjad Nazir (Director Sales & Marketing), Imtiaz Nazir (CFO)] are also involved in the business. Sajjad, who is permanently based in Saudi Arabia, looks after the Hajj/Umra-related arrangements.
Head office of Royal Group of Companies is located in Karachi at Khayaban-e-Ittehad (Jami Commercial). Being a GSA of PIA, Shaheen Air, SereneAir and Air Blue, their main office also offers round the clock ticketing service. Then they have other offices too in various locales of the country.
Nazir Ahmed, while suggesting abolishment of government Hajj Schemes, noted that often a large number if Hajjis availing that service, got into trouble. Further elaborating he said that private tour operator makes sure that at least four of his staff members accompany each batch of 100 Hajjis.
This way all the problems are handled efficiently. Hence the Saudi Government, as well as its Ministry of Religious Affairs, is content with the private arrangement that distinguishes itself as one of the top three best such services in the world.
On the contrary, Nazir Ahmed told, Government lacked personnel making it impossible to assign adequate escorts with each batch of hundred Hajjis. Moreover, the exchequer is overburdened due to staff’s travel, board, and lodging. Asserting that performing Hajj is a hard task, Nazir Ahmed noted that in search of cost-cutting, Hajj pilgrims end-up suffering from hardships including going astray while voyaging between sacred places instead of concentrating on worship itself.
Nazir Ahmed also grasped at the opportunity to express his admiration for the exceptional professionalism of late consul general of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Muhammad Abdullah Abdul Daim.