Kamran Hashim / Rafiq Vayani
Saman Laiq Abbasi one of the most accomplished trainer and public speaker for a very important subject of Health, Safety, Environment and Quality (HSEQ) said that; “industry needs more trainers and public speakers in this specific sector, although we have many who could talk for hours on soft skills, but when it comes to HSEQ, options are very limited”. This shortage could be a reason why a female decided to venture into this field to become highly successful trainer in corporate sector. Her journey to success was not an easy one, started approximately 20 years ago when she graduated from Karachi University with a Master degree in Nuclear Physics.
Speaking nostalgically about her initial struggles at early stages of her career, she said: “after completing Masters in Nuclear Physic, my only aim was to serve my motherland with my heart and soul and that to fullest possible potential, but US government had other plans with their nuclear rollback program targeting Pakistan’s Atomic and Nuclear sector”. All seemed lost but rollback program was more like a blessing in disguise, which became the turning point in Saman’s career. She joined a leading EPC company, where she is assigned to HSEQ role and after that, her never say die attitude forced the management to refer her as a trainee to many training, courses etc to polish her Professional skills. In her Professional life she was challenged by many male colleagues who believed that HSEQ is meant for males and only males could traverse through such difficulties and tough job. All of them were proved wrong by one very enthusiastic and hardworking woman. Due to her immense hard-work she has mastered both very important aspects of HSEQ which are Inspection & Auditing.
Speaking on her auditing/tutorial role Ms. Saman Laiq Abbasi told that; “International Registrar for Certified Auditor (IRCA) of UK approved me as first female lead Trainer for ISO 9001:2008, ISO 14001:2004, 18001:2007, ISMS ISO 27001 LAC trainings in the country and with that I conducted more than 1000 different third party assessments audits both nationally and internationally including certification audits and trainings at leading companies in oil & gas sector in Pakistan & Gulf region, power sector, education sector including schools colleges and universities, engineering sector, pharmaceutical sector, textile sector, IT sector, health sector including hospitals, PAEC , Defence Ministry for their various different departments and IFC / ABD funded projects. For trainings and audits I used to visit remote places like Azad Kashmir, Kashmore, Jacobabad, Uch, Sui , interior Sind and Baluchistan etc, where at that times even male trainers/ Auditors avoid to visit. Most satisfying aspect today for Saman is she was trained and groomed by amazing proffessionals, all her colleagues from certification, training & consultancy firms are still connected proffessionally and she is known with great respect in this industry.
Being the Chairperson for Federation of Pakistan Chamber of Commerce & Industries, Standing Committee on Standard, Inspection, Certification & Compliance, she further stressed the need to create awareness among general public for spreading environmental and safety procedures and for this purpose she has appeared as a guest speaker on various television shows like Aaj TV, Metro TV, health TV and Samaa TV as her contribution towards spreading environmental and safety awareness to general public. Her contribution for the industry has been recognized by number of times through various awards, number of research papers contributing towards spreading environmental and safety awareness have been published including one on ‘7th National seminar of Occupational health and safety by Institute of Engineers of Pakistan’ and other on ‘1st HSE Conference for Oil and Gas Sector on “Importance of Occupational Health & Safety Management Practices in Pakistan’.
When asked about any missing element in this specific sector of training, auditors, inspections & public speakers? Ms. Saman Laiq Abbasi said: “There should be proper specialized degree not just certification and trainers are required to be trained on soft skill too. Currently there is no specialized degree to become a trainer and students with Management or Human Resource background venture in to this field mostly, but this is entirely different from Human Resources and should be treated separately too”.
On the concluding note Ms. Saman Laiq Abbasi said: “There are so many trainers and public speakers for soft skills but trainers and public speakers for specific sectors like HSEQ and energy sector are very few, more and more youngsters should be encouraged to venture into this side of training. Some of the youngsters already in this sector and they should show more patience and with enough patience and right amount of time invested in the trainings, they will get exposure which will result in them being successful. Our youngsters are very talented and the only thing that they need is proper grooming”.