Karachi-born NED University Alum Leads Mercedes Entry into Electric Vehicles Market
Pakistani-German Sajjad Khan is leading German luxury carmaker Mercedes-Benz's entry into the electric vehicle market with six new all-electric “EQ” models, according to media reports. Sajjad Khan was born in Karachi and graduated from NED Engineering University with a degree in computer science.
|Sajjad Khan, Executive Vice President, Mercedes Electric Vehicles|
Sajjad Khan is currently executive vice president and a board member of Stuttgart-based Daimler. He is partnering with entrepreneurs around the world, including those in Silicon Valley where Mercedes has a development team of over 300 people in Sunnyvale, California. Mercedes-Benz EQS line is the first to utilize the new electric architecture designed for high-end luxury and executive EV models.
Prior to the CES 2021 show in Las Vegas, Sajjad Khan has unveiled details of Mercedes' 56 inch MBUX Hyperscreen system that represents the latest evolution of the automaker’s MBUX (Mercedes-Benz User Experience) central command center. “The MBUX Hyperscreen is at the same time the brain and nervous system of the car, [as] it is connected to all components of the vehicle and communicates with them,” says Khan.
Sajjad Khan was born on October 30, 1973, in Karachi, Pakistan. Sajjad Khan joined DaimlerChrysler AG in 2001, according to Mercedes-Benz website. There he worked on various projects in the field of infotainment before transferring to the materials purchasing department in 2004, where he procured electronic components for cars.
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Shell, KE to set up EV charging stations in Karachi
KARACHI: Shell Pakistan Limited (SPL) and K-Electric Limited (KE) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to jointly develop the first three Electric Vehicle (EV) charging stations across Karachi and its connecting highways, a statement said on Friday.
The locations selected for installing 50 KWH Rapid chargers are: Shell Defence Filling-Station in Khayaban-e-Bahria, Askari Filling Station in Gulshan Town, and Mardan Filling Station in Gadap Town.
The statement said over the next 3 to 5 years, SPL and KE would explore the opportunity of additional sites and strategically expand the EV charging network.
“While SPL will engage in the deployment of charging station equipment, site preparation, installation and manage its operations, the KE will ensure grid enhancement,” it added.
The government has recently formulated and approved a policy to promote the use of electric vehicles in Pakistan, as an eco-friendly mode of transportation.
Speaking at the MoU signing ceremony, Taha Magrabi, General Manager Retail of Shell Pakistan Limited said, “Billions of people rely on transport to get about. There are around 1 billion cars on the world’s roads. This means that the transport sector has a fundamental role to play in helping global efforts to reduce emissions”.
Magrabi said the government of Pakistan had approved the EV policy to help tackle effects of climate change and offer affordable transport to its people. “Playing a key role in this sector, SPL along with KE are keen to support the EV policy and its objectives, with our collaboration,” he added.
Naz Khan, K-Electric’s chief strategy officer said, “As the world moves towards cleaner modes of transport, KE looks to enable this shift by adding to infrastructure that will support the introduction of EVs across Karachi and Pakistan”.
“With the government announcing a target for 30 percent of all vehicles in the local market to be electric by 2030, KE, with Shell, looks forward to facilitating our customers towards utilising EVs and contributing to long-term environmental sustainability,” Khan added.
Syed H. Haider
Apple has been touting an EV on and off for years. It this the real deal now?
According to a recent article by Autoblog, based on information from sources familiar with the matter, Apple has hired Ulrich Kranz to head up its electric car project. Kranz is a former BMW executive with ties to the i3 and i8. A spokesperson from Apple has confirmed the hiring of Kranz.
A few months ago, Kranz left his role at self-driving startup Canoo, and it seems Apple jumped on the opportunity to hire him rather quickly. Kranz was actually the co-founder and CEO of Canoo. He left a senior vice president position at BMW to move forward with Canoo. His group at BMW worked on developing the i3 electric car and i8 plug-in hybrid.
For years, people have talked about the parallels between Tesla and Apple. There has also been much talk about the potential for the companies to join hands. Moreover, skeptics have pointed to a potential Apple Car as a "nail in the coffin" for Tesla. However, while Tesla continues to innovate, build global factories, and outsell all other EVs across the globe, Apple has certainly been taking its time.
Apple has also been very wishy-washy about its EVs plans, promising to bring the Apple Car to market, changing its mind, looking to other companies to build its cars, canceling the project, reinstating the project, and now, hiring a top legacy auto executive.
Many Apple fans will tell you this hire is a big deal since it means Apple definitely has plans to bring an EV to market. However, until there's proof that a car is actually coming, we're not holding our breath. Nonetheless, we'd love to see an Apple EV become reality, and we hope Kranz is the answer. If any company has what it takes to follow Tesla's lead, Apple should be on the list, but it could be a long road ahead.
Apple's car efforts started way back in 2014, but after just two years, the company decided to table the project in favor of an autonomous driving platform. Several Tesla executives have moved to Apple over the years, but there's still no sign of any car or related platform.
Do you have any faith in an upcoming Apple Car? Is this recent Apple hire enough to really get the ball rolling? Let us know your thoughts on this in the comment section below.
International senior management experience in marketing, operations and general mangement with global consumer goods companies including P&G, Coca-Cola, Reckitt Benckiser and Yum! Brands.
Specialties: Strategy development, organisational change management and people development.
MBA from IBA Karachi, Pakistan 1984-1988
2 yrs 9 mos
KFC Global COO / Asia Managing Director
Jan 2020 – Present
1 yr 9 mos
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Managing Director - MenaPakT & Asia
Jan 2019 – Dec 2019
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Yum! Restaurants International
General Manager, KFC. Middle East, North Africa, Pakistan & Turkey
Yum! Restaurants International
Apr 2015 – Jan 2020
4 yrs 10 mos
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Yum Restaurants, Turkey
Mar 2013 – Apr 2015
2 yrs 2 mos
Yum! Restaurants International, Canada
Yum! Restaurants International, Canada
Mar 2009 – Feb 2013
Reckitt Benckiser Canada
5 yrs 10 mos
Dec 2005 – Jan 2009
3 yrs 2 mos
Apr 2003 – Nov 2005
2 yrs 8 mos
Reckitt Benckiser Pakistan
Mar 2000 – Mar 2003
3 yrs 1 mo
4 yrs 4 mos
Regional Marketing Director
Jul 1996 – Apr 2000
3 yrs 10 mos
Jan 1996 – Sep 1996
Operations Marketing VP
1998 – 1999
Procter & Gamble Pakistan
1990 – 1994
Asst Brand Manager
1989 – 1990
BERLIN, Sept 1 (Reuters) - Luxury sportscar maker Porsche AG said on Thursday its supervisory board intends to appoint Sajjad Khan, a former chief technology officer at rival Mercedes-Benz (MBGn.DE), to the company's executive board with a focus on Car-IT.
The move comes as Volkswagen-owned (VOWG_p.DE) Porsche gears up for a market listing. read more
Khan, 48, worked for Mercedes-Benz for over six years until August 2021. Most recently, he was a member of the divisional board of Mercedes-Benz Cars, and served as chief technology officer. He has also worked for BMW (BMWG.DE).
"We look forward to being able to welcome Sajjad Khan, a proven digital expert, to the Board and thereby to strengthen our IT team in a critical position," Porsche AG executive board Chairman Oliver Blume said in a statement.
Khan, who was born in Pakistan and has German nationality, would become the eighth member of the executive board.
No decision had been taken yet on exactly when the supervisory board will sign off on Khan's appointment or on when he could start, Porsche added.
February 22, 2023
Based out of the NED University of Engineering and Technology, NIC Karachi is funded by Pakistan’s national technology fund, Ignite, and operated by LMKT, a private tech company which runs two other NICs in the cities of Hyderabad and Peshawar.
Atif Khan, the chairman and CEO of LMKT, says the philosophy behind the incubation centres “was not to create unicorns”, but to act as digital skills development centres: “We are training and grooming a lot of talent in the country.”
NIC Karachi has already incubated more than 250 start-ups, such as ride-hailing app Bykea and London-based proptech platform Gridizen. Kamran Mahmood, the CEO of Gridizen, who recently returned to Pakistan to join NIC Karachi, says he has found it even easier to meet decision makers at large companies in Pakistan than the UK.
“[NIC Karachi] is doing an excellent job of internationalising and progressing the start-up scene in the country,” he says. Data Darbar figures show that Karachi-based start-ups attracted $236.7m of funding in 2022, equivalent to two-thirds of Pakistan's total and almost double the previous year. The financial capital is followed by Lahore ($69.2m) and Islamabad ($41.6m).
In July 2022, Pakistan’s fledgling start-up scene was dealt a major blow. Airlift, a fast delivery start-up that had raised $85m barely a year earlier, said it would permanently close operations due to the “devastating impact” of worsening economic conditions.
“This has been an extremely taxing decision that impacts a large set of stakeholders and an emerging technology ecosystem,” Airlift wrote in a statement. Start-up failures are common in more mature markets, and seen as an integral part of the innovation and disruption process. But the collapse of a company hoped to be Pakistan’s first ‘unicorn’, or start-up valued at above $1bn, rattled the country’s nascent tech scene.
Several advisors, investors and entrepreneurs tell fDi that Airlift’s failure has caused Pakistani start-up founders and investors to shift their focus away from pursuing “hyper-growth” to building more “sustainable” business models.
Similar to the caution permeating the global tech and venture capital (VC) industry, start-up funding in Pakistan has dropped considerably. Start-ups in Pakistan raised just over $15m in the final quarter of 2022, the worst volumes since the first quarter of 2020 and 79% lower than the same period a year earlier, according to Data Darbar, which tracks the Pakistani start-up scene.
“Given the global slowdown and Pakistan’s macroeconomic and political challenges, things are tough right now and will likely remain so in 2023,” says Aatif Awan, the founder of early stage venture fund Indus Valley Capital, which is focused on Pakistan and had invested in Airlift.
Several acute challenges currently facing the country — including dwindling foreign exchange reserves, security issues, blackouts and severe flood risks — are causing many young Pakistanis to leave. Despite significant obstacles, those involved in Pakistan’s ecosystem believe that the country’s demographics and rapidly digitalising economy make it an untapped opportunity with potential for long-term growth.
When Shamim Rajani co-founded her software development business Genetech Solutions in Pakistan’s commercial capital Karachi back in 2004, she remembers a “lot of stubbornness” from the government and local corporates towards the IT sector.
“Pakistan wasn’t [even] ready for women CEOs in the tech sector then,” remarks Ms Rajani, adding that she had to look for global clients in countries like the US. “Saying these words today, I don’t even believe it myself.”