While one should expect Engro among leading contenders, the question arises what brings the local conglomerate among the top 10 employers?
Another Pakistani firm, Oil and Gas Development Company (OGDC), also features in the list at the 10th position, but it is a public sector concern.
“I am not surprised to see Engro among top 10 employers because fast moving consumer goods’ (FMCGs) manufacturers usually come in the limelight because of their heavy marketing budget and big volumes,” Khurram Schehzad, Head of Research at Arif Habib Limited.
“Engro is a heavyweight with businesses ranging from food to fertiliser and energy. The company’s stature matches the top league where you find Unilever and Nestle Pakistan,” he said. “However, what is important to consider is that why other Pakistani companies are not in this list.”
“We all know that the sample of any survey is important, so we cannot say that any minor change in the sample of this survey will add many other companies to this list,” he said.
Schehzad pointed out that there are big local groups like Mansha and Tabba groups but since their nature of business is mostly industrial, they may not secure a place among top 10 employers.
Like Schehzad, other analysts were also not surprised to see Engro among the ranks of top companies. But they argue that a number of big corporate names, including multinationals, should also be there.
Looking at the presence of Unilever and Nestle Pakistan in the list, analysts say FMCG manufacturers usually give more perks and have relatively better job security that attract graduates to these companies.
While Engro is the fourth best employer among top 10, interestingly it did not secure any rank among top five companies considered favourite by females with a graduate degree.
On the contrary, the company got second position among males with a graduate degree, two ranks up compared to its overall fourth position as the best employer.
“It is better to see everything in the right context,” Zia Abbas, lecturer at the Applied Economics Research Centre (AERC), University of Karachi said. “Since the nature of business is very important, we should not think that those companies that could not make it to the list are not good employers.”
Companies that secured positions in this ranking are good companies, but it cannot be safely said these are the best employers in Pakistan, Abbas said.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 4th, 2013.