InstaPhone Delaying Salaries for 20 Months, Valuing Rs. 45 Million

Other day we posted about PAC Ordering FBR to Lodge FIR against 4 Telecom companies, and we witnessed a lot of comments from people who used to serve in Pakcom Ltd. (Instaphone).

If you ask me what happened to InstaPhone, and how come (once) largest networked mobile phone operator vanished from the scene? Then wait for few days, as there is a  detailed report being prepared on this alone.

This post is about those employees who are waiting for their salaries, provident funds, and other benefits that are pending payment from InstaPhone for almost twenty months now.

Most of these employees were served termination letter on August 1st, 2008. While their salaries for at least 3 months were held by the company. Because these employees were terminated, so their claims included provident fund, settlement amounts and other pending dues.

These employees, few of which served InstaPhone for over decade – are still jobless. One can imagine the severed situation so no further words on their miseries.

For records, Arfeen Group had bought InstaPhone from Millicom, however, their dispute with PTA over frequency and payments resulted into termination of license. InstaPhone’s appeal against PTA’s decision was dismissed by Islamabad High Court, while now company is planning to go to Supreme Court – anytime soon.

In short, InstaPhone doesn’t exist today, when it comes to operations, offices or any other business activity. Company has just 5 working employees.

We took this query to Mr. Javaid Firoz, CEO of InstaPhone – to know the status of pending salaries.

Mr. Firoz was pretty clear that company has to pay the salaries of its ex-employees. However, he said that there should be money available in company account to pay liabilities. Currently, he said, company has nothing in hands – to entertain these hard working employees.

When asked, what’s the strategy, how would company pay the dues, if it has nothing left in account? Mr. Firoz was of the view that PTA, LDI companies etc are holding InstaPhone’s payments that company is going to get very soon. “As soon as we have the money, we will pay the salaries”, exactly said Mr. Javaid Firoz. However, no expected date for deliverable was given.

Question arises, who will ensure that InstaPhone get its cash from third-parties, and how early will it be possible for InstaPhone to pay hard earned salaries? If InstaPhone will ever be able to pay the salaries? Isn’t this Arfeen Group’s responsibility to pay liabilities of it’s subsidiary, maybe through fund injection?

How come Arfeen Group’s other arms (TeleCard, Supernet and GoCDMA) are not afraid of bad reputation by holding salaries of employees of its sister concern for this long?

Only time and fate will tell…!

Tech reporter with over 10 years of experience, founder of ProPakistani.PK

  • One way or other… they should payback arrears of employees… If there is no cash in company’s account, its not employees fault..

  • Instaphone is a company, and by its nature shareholders are not required to cover any losses. Please don’t give the wrong impression, even if the cause is worthy.

  • Instaphone is a company, and by its nature shareholders are not required to cover any losses. Please don’t give the wrong impression, even if the cause is worthy.

    The responsibility you are implying is a desirable one, but not required. If they do intervene, it will be purely for CSR reasons.

  • Mr. Javed Firoz is a sweet-tongued individual and no sentence escapes his mouth without a heavy doese of “Inshallah” – I am sure all ex-Instaphone epmloyees, vendors, suppliers and creditors have experienced it and are used to it. As a vendor & supplier, I have heard it a great too many times and am sick of it – especially coming from his mouth. The word has lost its meaning to me.

    Word has it that Ch. Nisar recently called Javed Firoz and upon inquiry of unpaid dues of employees & suppliers, received an all familiar list of empty promises, followed by a resounding doses of “Inshallahs”. Ch. Sahib, please take an advice from the all-too-often bitten souls — Javed Firoz’s promises are hollow, empty and carry a minscule weight compared to the one his poor legs have to carry. The whole clan of brotherhood, beginning with the elder Sultan-ul-Arfeen to the youngest Rizwan Firoz are self serving, hypocrit, two-faced individuals who have no shame, sorrow and sympathy for anyone.

    Let’s look at the facts — Arfeens acquired Instaphone from Milicom for $1. Yes, $1. On top of that, they received $5+ million from Milicom as additional compensation. Additionally, Milicom paid the first license revewal installment ($14 Million) to PTA on behalf of Instaphone. Arfeens also shifted majority of Instaphone liabilities to Pakcom. They received a company with over 500,000 subscribers, good revenue, for free. And it did not take them too long following that to run it into ground, along with the future of its employees and their fortunes. The Group, prior to demise of Instaphone broke up its assets into Instaphone Infrastructure Limited (IIL – Cell towers sharing – major clients such as CMPak, Augere, etc.) and Instaphone Limited (IL – Call center business – major clients like Allied Bank, etc.) The Group is receiving handsome revenues from the 2 entities. The move was done so that in case of license and asset seizure by the Govt of Pakistan due to lack of
    license-related payments, these money making assets would be protected. The two operating companies (IIL & IL) were sold to the Group by Instaphone for a paltry sum of PKR 110 Million. None of the PKR 110 Million was ever received by Instaphone, but was adjusted on paper against management fee, etc., by the band of brothers.

    Now, Javed Firoz keeps telling all that company has no money and employees & suppliers will be compensated once funds are received. Let’s visit that fact.

    Instaphone is owned by Total Telecom, which is owned by Arfeen International. Arfeen International has numerous lines of businesses. One of key lines of business for Arfeen International is pharmaceutical raw material imports, and they control a whopping 60% market share. Does anyone believe that anyone who is in pharmaceutical business in Pakistan is not making any money? Strike 1 JF.

    Arfeen International also owns Envicrete, which is a fast growing business for the Group and specializes in ready-to-install bricks. Envicrete operates 2 factories – one near Attock – right next to Javed Firoz’ lavish farm house, and the other in Karachi. The demand is so big that the Group is implementing 2 more factories. Still not convinced that Group has no money? Strike 2 JF.

    Now lets visit Total Telecom – which owns Instaphone, Telecard and Supernet. Supernet just announced a PKR 1.5 Billion deal with Telenor. Telecard sold it’s 3.5G spectrum to Augere for $37.5 Million. Where did that $37.5 Million go? To an offshore account? Still no money, JF? Strike 3.

    With respect to other assets such as the World Trade Center in Karachi, the Instaphone Plaza in Blue Area, personal houses, guest houses, residential, commercial and agriculture land — I mean, come on now. Still no money??

    These individuals are criminals and should be behind bars. The Government should sieze their assets, sell them and compensate its creditors.

    Inshallah soon, one day!

  • Its not only the case of Insta employee.Employees of Telecard, another Arfeens company, who left telecrad from 2005 to 2007 have not been paid their final dues including gratuity.The reason, same again, no funds available and even they don’t say inshallah

  • it does not matter no one will do anything about it -so stop cribbing and move on. no one cares that PTCL was sold for dust, no one cares that Arfeens cheat people out of life savings, dues or reputation so this is all nice to know but until someone puts them in jail, takes their assets and makes them give up the license and sell it to someone who can run a mobile company this is all noise

  • Unless and until all of us strongly protest at the media we will never get our funds or gratuities or salaries whatsoever so demonstrate and protest is the only way to achieve our goals.

    Khalid Shafiue

  • Please be serious in this matter and come to roads and block the way of ARFEEN GROUP please, we cant survive in this world of heavy loads and expenses.


    Khalid Shfique

  • Hi,

    This is not only story of Insta Phone, but the story of other arms, like Supernet Ltd, Telecard & GoCDMA.

    Now they have grabed Qubee too in JV I dont know what will happen the Gora party who invested huge amount in Pakistan & can bring more money.

    Their supplier never happy, Now days No hardware supplier give them eqiupment without Advance payment & if any one for Good-will do this, he always weaping with heavy tears & telling every one in market that please dont give hardware to them.

    Empolyess are now less in No’s but we seeing there sales & technical peoples are not staying too long with them when they face issues while working.

    We only can say, its business take risk & think loss too with prospects of Profit.

    Good Luck AG

    • yes this is the GROUP and this will never come up with TECHNOLOGICAL BACKGROUND, because they are only killers of employees.

  • Mumtaz says:
    April 22, 2010 at 12:50 pm
    Dear Mr.Rind,
    I would like to say that you have insured that you will highlight the issue on media now you are hasitating and waitting for spare time to collect the facts while so many of them have given you their contact Nos.
    But it is a fact that media projects only those who wash their dirty clothes in the middle of street.You can find so many effecties and sufferers of INSTAPHONE in every region of Pakistan.
    thanks for your verbal support.


  • Dear All:
    Our Sympathies are no doubt with the employees of InstaPhone but its franchisees have also suffered have losses due to closure of the services by the InstaPhone. Most of them are living in a very miserable condition after loss of their the whole life hard earned money due to the miss management of Mr J.F. Plz consider the poor franchisees for compensation of their heavy losses.

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