Muhammad Saleem Ahmad Ranjha, (born January 30, 1961) is Founding Director of Akhuwat www.akhuwat.org.pk world’s largest interest free Micro Finance (at zero percent and no service fee) and Pakistan biggest Micro Finance organization. It was started in 2001 with a paltry sum of Pak Rs. 10,000 (donated by wife Tahira Shamsher Ranjha then equivalent to US $ 170) and has up till now disbursed around Pak Rs. 110 billion (US$ 700 Million) with a recovery rate of 99.94% to more than 4 Million families through 831 branches in 400 plus cities and towns of Pakistan. It is projected that by December 2020, Akhuwat will be able to disburse around Rs. 140 Billion (US 800 Million) to around 5 million families, In Shaa Allah. Also part of the team which is setting up Akhuwat University which will be the first tuition fee free university with multiple campuses in the region and running 300 plus Akhuwat Schools providing quality education to more than fifty thousands boys and girls in Central Punjab and Karachi.
He is Vice President and also on the Executive Board of Lahore Mental Health Society which runs one of the largest facilities for mental care and transgender support in the region including 700 plus beds Fountain Houses and Compassion Homes at Lahore, Sheikhupura and Sargodha and mobilized and trained more than 1500 transgenders. www.fountainhouse.com.pk
Ranjha remained on the boards of Baluchistan and Kashmir largest school systems in Public Private Partnership, Taaleem Foundation www.taaleemfoundation.org and Kashmir Education Foundation www.kef.edu.pk providing English Medium Co-Education, E-Health, E-Learning and E-Skilling to more than ten thousands boys and girls in tribal Baluchistan, Islamabad, KPK provinces and Kashmir. From 2008-2010 he also worked with University of Management and Technology www.umt.edu.pk on sabbatical and helped start Masters and BSc Programs in Agro-Business. Also one of the Founding Patrons of Medibank Trust, www.medibank.pk which plans to set up more than 500 clinics of free medicines and 10,000 clinics for medicines on cost basis to the poor across the country.
Ranjha supports the World Congress of Muslim Philanthropists www.threwcmp.org a global group of leading Muslim donors around the world. They have arranged many such global forums in Istanbul, Qatar, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Kuala Lumpur, Washington DC and London www.globaldonorsforum.org and they are working a campaign to educate more than one million out of schools children (OSC) in Pakistan. www.page.org.pk
He is also on the International Advisory Board of London based publications on Islamic Finance, Global Islamic Finance Report www.gifr.net Islamic Finance Review www.islamicfinancereview.co. and Global Islamic Finance Award. He has also been on the Global Board of Istanbul based International Business Forum, a group of Muslim businessmen in more than seventy countries. www.musiad.org.tr He has been on the Board of Lahore Chapter of OPEN (Organization of Pakistani Entrepreneurs). He represented Pakistan on Global Entrepreneurship Network http://www.wearegen.co He also worked as advisor to Taba Foundation, www.taba-foundation.com a consortium of more than hundred Pakistani NGOs and trusts.
He joined Central Superior Services in 1984 and has served in Pakistan Inland Revenue Service, Pakistan Customs www.fbr.gov.pk, Ministry of Commerce www.commerce.gov.pk, Trade Development Authority of Pakistan www.tdap.gov.pk, National Vocational and Technical Training Commission NAVTTC www.navttc.gov.pk, Civil Services Academy www.csa.edu.pk Managing Director Pakistan Software Export Board www.pseb.org.pk and the Prime Minister’s Secretariat since 2006 initially in NAVTTC, Joint Secretary Implementation and Additional Secretary, Board of Investment www.boi.gov.pk helping Pakistan attract Saudi, Chinese, Malaysian and UAE investments, improve her Ease of Doing Business (EODB) Ranking to 108 from 147th and setting up Special Economic Zones (SEZs) along the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
He also served as Secretary (CEO) of Benazir Income Support Programme www.bisp.gov.pk one of the largest Social safety net of the world which provides cash stipends more than 180 billion rupees (US $ 1.2 billion) to 5.7 million women and also conditional cash transfers for education of around 3.5 Million children across the country.
He also worked as Director General of Intellectual Property Rights Enforcement (IPRE) in Federal Board of Revenue FBR www.customsipr.gov.pk Under his leadership IPRE had conducted all time highest number of interdiction to IPR infringements. The organization set up theme based offices, helping erect Patent Walls, establish Innovation and IPR Centres in Universities and resultantly helped in improving Pakistan Global IPR ranking from 109 to 78 as per Global Competitiveness Index by World Economic Forum during the last three years.
He has been part of Pakistan trade, investment and economic negotiation teams with more than thirty countries during 2003-2008. He is widely travelled and has been nominated as Fellow of Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) and Ministry of Economy Trade and Industry (METI) in 2005 and 2008 respectively, and IVLP (Agriculture) for United States State Department in 2011. He was nominated as one of the 100 Business Leaders and Change Makers of Pakistan by Manager Today at CEO Summit Asia 2013 and 2014.
He did his Bachelors in History and Politics from University of Sargodha and Masters in Public Administration from Punjab University. He has taught in more than twenty five universities and training institutions and has attended more than fifty international conferences and workshops. He has been invited to speak on Microfinance, E-Learning, Agriculture, Alternative Energies, Rural Development, Trade and Investment Facilitation, ICT4D and Pakistan Economy etc. in conferences and Universities in Africa, United States, UK, India, Thailand, Japan, Vietnam, Turkey, Korea, India and Gulf.
He comes from an agriculturist family and has interests in Citrus Orchards, Dairy Farms, provision of Solar Hydel and Bio Energies along-with Bio Fertilizers & Carbon Finance in Agriculture. He is working on his family farms using Biogas, Bio Energies, Bio and Compost Fertilizers and In Shaa Allah is poised to be among the first agriculturists to claim Carbon Credits on sustainable agriculture farming in Pakistan. He supports the concerns for environment and has pushed Government of Pakistan to remove taxes on solar panels and to introduce reverse metering in Pakistan. He has supported many other projects in this regards like solarization of villages schools, solar tubewells, and Redd+ credits on mangroves and forests in the country. He convinced and helped Punjab Government to set up a 400 acre Bhalwal Industrial Estate in 2011 which became a Special Economic Zone in 2020. His other interests include Social Media, Social Networking, Coordination among Philanthropic work and Information Communication Technology 4 Development (ICT4D).
He is spearheading a rural development “Wan Miana Project” including Interest Free Micro Finance, primary and adult education, healthcare through Rural Telemedicine Centre (RTMC), Skill building, ICTD training (all based in local mosque), Agriculture Extention, Agriculture Credit, Climate Smart Agriculture, Provision of Sanitation, clean water, solar energy, Sustainable Agriculture, E-learning, E-Agriculture (AgriSmart) for people in far flung area. Many NPF organizations like Akhuwat, Kawish www.kawish-welfare-trust.org POBT www.pobtrust.org AlKhidmat, www.al-khidmatfoundation.org are working in this village for the betterment of poor and needy people and making this place as a replicable model for rural development elsewhere. Wan Miana is one of the first projects by Pakistan Development Exchange www.pdx.com.pk for showcasing success of Pakistan Social Sector and attracting crowd funding through Social media for future replications.
He worked very closely with University of Sargodha www.uos.edu.pk University of Agriculture Faisalabad www.uaf.edu.pk for citrus development and development of mobile apps in agriculture sector, as mentor and judge at National Incubation Centre LUMS, Lahore, and Islamabad, www.nicpakistan.com and www.lce.lums.edu.pk for ICT4D and Entrepreneurship , CIE NUST as mentor and judge and E-Learning with Information Technology University Lahore www.itu.edu.pk and as a resource person on E-learning with Virtual University www.vu.edu.pk
He has worked extensively in ICT4D sector by helping automate BISP, initiate develop Elearn Punjab, a E-Learning Portal www.elearnpunjab.gov.pk which has digitalized most of the text books in the province of Punjab and Connected Agriculture Platform for Punjab (CAPP) www.id.capp.pk an E-Credit Programme which has provided interest free loans to 150,000 farmers across Punjab alongwith free cell phones equipped with Agriculture apps. In collaboration with NITB, he also launched E-Office in BISP and later upgraded the same in BOI and Ministry of Federal Education & Professional alongwith introducing Procurement Management Information System (PMIS) there. He is working closely with Ignite www.ignite.com to train and provide finances to one million freelancers in Pakistan in next five years helping develop collabrations between Digiskills www.digiskills.pk and Akhuwat. He has helped Kawish to launch 22 RTMC which provides E-Health and ambulance facilities to more than one hundred thousand patients across the country annually. He is now working in close association with www.urbanunit.gov.pk to develop Pakistan Interactive Map i.e. Digital Pakistan, putting various data layers over the satellite imagery of the country. He has been nominated on the PM Steering Committee for Startup Pakistan.
Following Harvard KSG Evidence Based Learning programme he is advising leading Social Initiatives (BISP, Akhuwat, Taaleem Foundation, KEF, Kawish, Saylani Trust, The Citizen Foundation TCF, Indus Hospital, Thar Foundation, Hashoo Foundation, IRM, ARC, PAGE, Alkhidmat, Welfare Clinic) on incorporating Academic & Impact Research and GIS Visualization and Data Analytics for operational optimization ensuring better services delivery, visibility, transparency and accountability. Nominated to be on the Advisory Board of prestigious leading think tank Shahid Javed Burki Institute of Public Policy www.sjbipp.org and a senior fellow at NUSTIPS and also on the board of Endowment for National University of Technology (NUTECH). Recently he has contributed a chapter in a Routledge forthcoming book “Pakistan at Seventy, Politics, Economy and Society” on the success story of Akhuwat.