Exclusive: Naeem Zamindar and Zouhair Khaliq Confirmed as CEO and Board Director at Wateen

Mr. Tariq Malik today confirmed that his resignation was finally accepted at a Board Meeting held on December 8th, 2010. Along-with he announced that Mr. Naeem Zamindar is replacing him as CEO of the company, with support from Mr. Zouhair Khaliq as company’s new Board Director.

Mr. Malik mentioned this today morning in his farewell email to Wateen employees, which was shared with ProPakistani through sources.

Mr. Malik thanked everyone for making it possible for wateen to become world’s largest WiMAX network. He said that in 5 years Wateen earned cumulative revenue of $588mn (or Rs. 43.3bn) and operating profit of $97.1mn (or Rs. 6.9bn). The Company has built an asset base of $353m from a mere $35m initial investment.

He said that with efforts of the team, Wateen has become the goldmine With 10,000+ km of fiber optic cable connecting Pakistan, its cities and its neighbors, the largest Wireless Broadband Network in the country, the largest VSAT network in the country, the largest alternative LDI network in Pakistan, which can all be leveraged to generate significant revenues / profits.

Mr. Malik congratulated and welcomed Naeem & Zouhair.

Following is the complete excerpt of Tariq Malik’s email:

From: Tariq Malik/CEO/Wateen <[email protected]>
Date: 9 December 2010 11:23:02 GMT+05:00
Subject: Farewell & Best Wishes

Dear Wateen Team & Well Wishers

As you may be aware, I had informed the Board earlier this year that I intended to resign to pursue some alternative ideas I had. I was asked to stay on by the Board & Chairman personally to help ensure a successful IPO, “turn around” the business and find a new CEO for Wateen.

After achieving these tasks, at yesterdays Board Meeting my resignation was finally accepted and Mr Naeem Zamindar was appointed Wateen’s CEO with the support of Mr Zouhair Khaliq as our new Board Director.

During the past few months, with the hard work and dedication of the entire Wateen Team, we have been able to achieve new heights and turn the business into strong operating profits with an EBITDA position of 20% positive or Rs382m on a revenue of just under Rs2bn (as per the last reported financial quarter the EBITDA for 3 months was more than the EBITDA for the entire previous financial year).

The Sponsors have also been convinced on the potential of Wateen and have committed a further additional Financial Support of a staggering $44.5m (or Rs3.8bn); with $29.5m (or Rs2.5bn) already received and a further $15m (or Rs1.3bn) committed this month – well done and thank you all.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank ALL of you for making this happen and making this adventure Exciting, Fulfilling and Memorable. Wateen has a huge potential and I wanted to thank all those unsung heroes (whether either still at Wateen, who have moved on or those who have indirectly supported us) who have made this happen ranging from Wateen’s Senior Management Team (SMT) / Management Team who will be the driving force behind Wateen’s future to the engineers, guards, drivers, patrollers, splicer’s, cleaners and others who ensured operations run smoothly 24 / 7 / 365, including all of our customers, lenders, vendors and strategic partners who have remained committed to Wateen throughout.

In a matter of only 5 years Wateen, under a dynamic team, delivered cumulative revenue of $588mn (or Rs43.3bn) and operating profit $97.1mn (or Rs6.9bn).  The Company has built an asset base of $353m from a mere $35m initial investment. We have managed vendor deferment of $75 m as a Greenfield / New project, $108m as vendor financing through reputable organizations such as MCC ($65m) / ECGD ($43m), Rs4.7bn syndicated loan which was the largest syndicated loan last year, one of the larger Islamic Ijara Financing of Rs570m and the largest IPO of 2010 raising Rs2bn+ (which was more than the previous 3 IPO fund raisers together).

Wateen has managed to acquire some of the best human resources in the world and our employees have managed to grow both professionally and personally.  The Wateen family has been committed to Wateen throughout as can be seen during the recent challenging times and Wateen has stayed committed to its employees with strong career development, strong bonus / reward programs and an annual review / bonus despite the challenging financial situation.

Wateen’s potential is still untapped with 10,000+ km of fiber optic cable connecting Pakistan, its cities and its neighbors (including 3 out of 5 USF projects), the largest Wireless Broadband Network in the country, the largest VSAT network in the country, the largest alternative LDI network in Pakistan and the second largest USF partner which can all be leveraged to generate significant revenues / profits;  to give an example just 3-4 deals our commercial teams are working on can generate more than Rs14bn revenue which can all be closed / realized very quickly.  We have been able to achieve 230,000 Broadband customers and a maximum daily revenue of rs6m from Broadband alone.

Our customer base is a representation of our operations with 26 of the top banks, all major mobile / telecom / media & IT operators using our network and many enterprise, corporate & SME’s using our services.  The new Media division has managed to connect more than 300,000 in Lahore alone and launched several new Wateen TV channels which have already become operationally profitable.

The existing Wateen Team has worked very hard to make these a reality. The reason I mention these accolades is that while fire fighting we have forgotten to recognize this exemplary performance and the fact that Wateen’s infrastructure and position put it in a unique position to really benefit from the current market dynamics.

All Wateen Team Members and Well Wishers should be proud of this.  I would like to thank our BEC members and Chairman for their continued support and our special thanks to Mr Parvez Shahid who, as our in country / operational director, has given us continued support, direction and commitment throughout.  I would also like to congratulate and welcome Naeem & Zouhair on their new appointment.  With the recent Sponsor Support of $44.5m / Rs 3.8bn and their dedication, commitment and vision I am sure they will take Wateen to new heights.

I hope our paths cross again and my wishes and prayers will be with You and Wateen forever

With best regards & wishes


(a proud founder, CEO and Wateen team / family member)

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

  • very well narrated email which speaks of how a seasoned professionals think and act.best of luck Tariq and Naeem both in future endeavors.

  • With all the success Wateen has achieved, with these 2 new champs there seems to be more of the exciting stuff happening
    Neem Zamindar a true institution with the skills to make from an individual to a company into an ever growing field. with these changes my expectations from Wateen are high! hoping from them deliver stronger

  • Wow, wateen is lucky for sure to have had such competent leadership throughout ..first Tariq Malik and then Telecom Wiz. Naeem Zameendar… time to buy shares now..i see it risinggggggg :)

  • For Wateen to have achieved all this in a span of 5 years speaks a great deal for its leadership and now the baton is being passed on to another leader to take Wateen to newer heights.

  • Godspeed to Wateen’s new appointees.
    I really hope to see Wateen back on it’s feet after all the investment it’s made in Pakistan.

  • NZ comes in with a lot of industry respect and credentials behind him but you have to give it to TM for making Wateen a reality. Despite the ups and downs, that man kept the ball rolling. Let’s hope for a better future for Wateen as it is still the largest WiMAX nationwide operator in the world.

  • with theses two names attached with wateen the company is only destined to meet the new horizons. Moment of truth, Wateen is going to go places.

  • Maybe it is just me but Wateen has been unable to pay its loans ( its IPO stock holders lost 60% of their investmint. Rs 10 share is below Rs 4, in a matter of 2 years it’s revenue has halved (15BN to 7.9BN see page 28 of financial statement. link is below) and its losses are continuing see latest qtr report page 18 also below)

    Wasn’t this the same forum which reported that Wateen was in serious financial crisis just one year ago?

    So what has changed in their financials except some recent lifesupport from the Oil rich Sheikhs of Abu Dhabi? Are the operations stable? Are they growing. In my opinion Tariq M has left the company in a pathetic state with this new ex-Mobilink managers left to do a turn-around of this collapsing company

    Wateen Annual Report 09-01

    Wateen First Quarter ’10 report

    Propakistan report of Wateen Serious Financial Crisis

  • one more thing I forgot to add. Propakistani you are always the first to report and today is one example of this. you are running a great forum. keep it up.

  • @Anybody Home… check stock exchange today buddy, share price has started climbing back with record share trading.

  • @ Anybody Home….. today 3.2 million plus shares were traded with the share gaining Rs.0.45 i.e. more than 13%. secondly, do you really think that the 2 gentlemen joining Wateen would not have seen the financial statements? They are visionaries and would be privy to a lot more information at their level than you and i can guess and speculate upon. Wateen itself is an achievement thanks to TM and has a lot to offer in the future. What you missed in the financial reports is that the shareholders are supporting the company and have promised more funds this quarter. Look at the glass half full my friend

  • Its time to move up now…wish best of luck to experienced, professional and passionate N.Z & Z.K. Hats off to Tariq Malik for his wonderful conribution to the industry despite of certain bad things. Dont forget, Nobody is 100% here.

  • Tariq Sb,,, best of luck..u did well..

    Naeem sb i will meet u…:-) tomorrow i will be the happiest person in wateen to see you in Wateen’s CEO office..your room is specially cleaned up till night.

    i hope you would be much much better in the favor of Wateen’s really hard working employees..give them your best plz..they need your support..

    Ma kehta hun real…

  • We must understand that our homeland & for sure Wateen was facing very tough times during TM’s regime. Wateen’s survival is a miracle itself. Thanks to Tariq sb for making Wateen a reality.

    I warmly welcome Zameendar sb & wish you best of luck. I hope that you will be much better in the favour of Wateen’s employees. I hope you know that what you give to the employees is actually returned to you & company manifolds.

  • This is interesting news, and the comments even more interesting.

    Just a bit of background… I work for a financial services group in Pakistan. We were approached to underwrite the Wateen IPO and we debated it. I was not involved, but my colleagues who were, are sighing relief that they did not underwrite the IPO. We didn’t want to invest in the IPO because there was no way to confirm the state of the business. The pre-IPO documents show revenue of 15-16 billion PKR and after one year revenue has declined to 7 billion PKR. I agree with @Anybody home that this was a disaster. The results are awful. Such a decline cannot be justified at all (I don’t care what the other Wateen employees on this forum are writing).

    I don’t know Mr. Naeem Zamindar. I have only heard that he is a straight, honest and professional person as is Mr. Khaliq. One thing is for sure that atleast the corruption that has plagued Wateen (and please don’t tell me there was no corruption in this organization) will now be stopped, and that Wateen can move towards recovery.

    @Hassan and @Shazad I agree with you that the stock price will climb NOW because of this since stock prices are indication of future outlook of the company which is much brighter than in the times of the outgoing management where as pointed out the stock price fell to 4bucks.

    4 bucks or 60% discount as pointed out by @Anybody is what the market thought of Tariq Malik and the rise now (5.33% today) is an indication of what the market thinks Mr Zamindar and his team can bring in.

    I salute the new CEO Zamindar for taking the job. It is going to be challenging and require major resuscitation effort.

    I am sorry that no more people closer to the financial industry are commenting on this. It is definitely good news to have new qualified professionals take over but one cannot just turn a blind eye to the disaster that is Wateen and the state the previous management brought it to. I for one and a number of my colleagues are not drinking the Koolaid of Tariq Malik, the proud founder is writing above. Perhaps he should add the word plunderer to his sign off as well.

    Wateen and its employees deserved so much better…

  • now is the time for wateen to welcome 2 great leaders of this industry.. insha-allah this nation will see a brand that every one loves to get associate with…. salute to Naeem and Zouhair.

  • @Mutual Fund Baby: I do agree with you and wish that this kind of change has to be done in Mobilink as well. In last 2 years after departing Zouhair Khaliq only incompetent people are surving from top to bottom specially in Sales.

  • Today I heard that Mobilink has bought warid telecom which would be announced publicly in a weeks time. I doubted but the sudden joining of Mr.Zohair from Orascom Head Quarter to Warid Board of Directors may lead the way to take over. Can anybody conformed this????????

  • I have doubts, because ZK left Orascom in July’2010, but yes rumours are there. It would be disaster from employees point of view if this will happen,

  • This mail claiming complete success by ex-CEO was flashed just one day after laying off more than 200 employees. Mr. Syed Jibran,Chief commercial Officer, while talking to an employee mentioned categorically “” the company don’t have any money to pay its employees” Which profits Ex-CEO was talking about, I wonder…


  • wateen take good decision .Tariq Sb,,, best of luck..u did well..Naeem Zamindar Congratulation.And resoter ur all old employees


  • Mr. Naeem is taking Rs. 1.5 million salary per month (it’s officially told to everyone)
    The shareholders will not put a single penny, I can bet anything on this. Mr. Tariq Malik begged for shareholder support but got nothing in return. He even said if I get some portion of what was promised I can turnaround the company.
    He got nothing.
    No man can turnaround this company without shareholder support. And that won’t be coming sweethearts.

  • At last Wateen identified the black sheep and removed them. My family (Ahad Developers) is one of the major victims. We suffered a lot on his hands. He should be punished for what he has done and if spared will be a great unjustice to the people who suffered on his hands. Please remove his roots in the organizations if the Dhabi group has to excel.

    [Comment Edited]

  • close