Muhammad Saleem Ahmed Ranjha was born on 30th January 1961, in a small village in district Sargodha.
Muhammad Saleem Ahmad Ranjha has diverse social networks, 36 years in government, and 20 years of working experience with the Non-Profit (NFP) sector and NGO (Non-Governmental Organizations) (on a pro bono basis). Presently he is assisting and supporting many initiatives in Agriculture, Education, Environment, Entrepreneurship, Governance, Health, Trade & Investment sectors by employing Information and Communication Technologies (ICT4D).
When his father Muhammad Akram Ranjha was in jail and has the distinction of completing all his education from primary to master’s level in just 6 years while being a prisoner, a feat narrated by Nobel laureate Sir V. S. Naipaul in his book Beyond Belief (1998).
Saleem received his initial education from Salik Model and PAF Model School, bachelor’s in History and Politics from Government College Sargodha (now the University of Sargodha) in 1980, and master’s in Public Administration from Punjab University, Lahore in 1983.
Muhammad Saleem Ahmed Ranjha joined Central Superior Services in 1984 and 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 Office (PMO), initially in NAVTTC, and later on as Joint Secretary Implementation and subsequently in Board of Investment (BOI). He also served as Collector of Customs, Member Federal Board of Revenue (FBR), CEO of FBR Foundation, Additional Secretary BOI, Federal Education, and Professional Training and Secretary (CEO) Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) www.bisp.gov.pk BISP is one of the largest Social safety nets of the world which provides cash stipends more than 180 billion rupees annually (the US $ 1.2 billion) to 5.7 million women and also conditional cash transfers for the education of around 4 Million children across the country.
As Additional Secretary Board of Investment (PMO) www.invest.gov.pk he worked to help Pakistan attract Saudi, Chinese, Malaysian, and UAE investments, improve her Ease of Doing Business (EODB) Ranking to 108 from 147th, and helping set up Special Economic Zones (SEZs) along the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
He also worked as Director General of Intellectual Property Rights Enforcement (IPRE) in Federal Board of Revenue FBR www.customsipr.gov.pk The organization set up theme-based offices, helping erect Patent Walls, establish Innovation and IPR Centers 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 next three years.
He was part of Pakistan’s trade, investment, and economic negotiation teams with more than thirty countries during 2003-2008. He is widely traveled and has done training courses with the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) and Ministry of Economy Trade and Industry (METI) in 2005, 2008 respectively, and IVLP (Agriculture) for United States State Department in 2011 and Korean Customs 2015. 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. British Member Parliament Hon. Rory Stewart has written about him in the world-famous magazine Granta https://granta.com/dervishes/
Work in Non- Profit Organizations
Apart from working for Government he also works for and supports many NFP non-for-profit organizations like Akhuwat, Alkhidmat, Customs Welfare Clinic, Fountain House, Indus Hospital, Rashid Memorial Welfare Organization (RMWO), Saylani Welfare Trust, Kawish Welfare Trust, and Taaleem Foundation.
He 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’s biggest Micro Finance organization, started in 2001 with a paltry sum of Pak Rs. 10,000 (donated by his wife Tahira Shamsher Ranjha then equivalent to the US $ 170) and has up till now disbursed around Pak Rs. 130 billion (US$ 800 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. He has also been 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 thousand boys and girls in Central Punjab and Karachi. Akhuwat has been tasked by the Prime Minister of Pakistan to provide Rs 3.5 billion interest-free loans to more than 8000 families to build low-cost houses.
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 has mobilized and trained more than 1500 transgenders. www.fountainhouse.com.pk
Work in Rural Development
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 the local mosque), Agriculture Extention, Agriculture Credit, Climate Smart Agriculture, Provision of Sanitation, clean water, solar energy, Sustainable Agriculture, E-learning, E-Commerce and E-Agriculture (AgriSmart) for people in a far-flung area. Many NPF organizations like Akhuwat, Kawish POBT www.pobtrust.org AlKhidmat, Vceela www.vceela.com are working in this village for the betterment of poor and needy people and making this place a replicable model. Wan Miana is one of the first projects by Pakistan Development Exchange www.pdx.com.pk for showcasing the success of the Pakistan Social Sector and attracting crowdfunding through Social media for future replications. This village complies with 11 of 16 United Nations UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). He has helped replicate the “Wan Miana Project” in many villages in Sargodha, Chinnot, and Mandi Baha Uddin Districts under Pakistan Public Aid Trust. www.ppat.com.pk and helped mobilize the community of many villages in these three districts under www.facebook.com/72news web TV
Work in Educational Sector
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 Poverty Alleviation, Micro-finance, Islamic Finance, Rural Development, 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. From 2008-2010 he also worked with the University of Management and Technology www.umt.edu.pk on sabbatical and helped start Masters and BSc Programs in Agro-Business.
He worked very closely with the University of Sargodha www.uos.edu.pk University of Agriculture Faisalabad www.uaf.edu.pk for citrus development and development of mobile apps in the 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.
Following the Harvard KSG Evidence-Based Learning program 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, Alight Pakistan, PAGE, Alkhidmat, Customs 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). He also proposed and later on assisted on the erection of Pakistan’s First Patent Wall at ORIC NUST and later on the development of Software Technology Park (NUSTSTP). Recently he has contributed a chapter in a Routledge book “Pakistan at Seventy, Politics, Economy, and Society” on the success story of Akhuwat.
He has worked extensively in the ICT4D sector by helping automate BISP, initiate develop Elearn Punjab, an E-Learning Portal www.elearnpunjab.gov.pk which has digitalized most of the textbooks in the province of Punjab and Connected Agriculture Platform for Punjab (CAPP) www.id.capp.pk an M-Agri and E-Credit Programme which has provided interest-free loans to 150,000 farmers across Punjab along with 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 along with introducing the Procurement Management Information System (PMIS) and geotagging all the schools and offices. He is working closely with Ignite www.ignite.com to train and provide finances to one million freelancers in Pakistan in helping develop collaborations between Digiskills www.digiskills.pk and Akhuwat. 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 also worked on the PM Steering Committee for Startup Pakistan.
SocioOn recognizes Muhammad Saleem Ahmed Ranjha as Top 100 SocioOn Super Soul of Pakistan due to his untiring efforts in the government, non-profit, and also the educational sector of Pakistan.
We hope that in the years to come the efforts and startups of Saleem Ranjha bloom into a garden of prosperity and success for Pakistan.
Get to know more about him in our video: