• House 48-B, Officers Colony, Sahiwal Pakistan.
  • +92-321-6916848
  • ziaahmedkarim@hotmail.com
Zia Ahmed Karim

Zia Ahmed Karim

Factory Manager


Results-driven leader with over 11 years of management experience in diverse cultures and challenging work environments within and outside country. Managed both fully automated and manual intensive shop floors. Cross-functional team leadership in production, maintenance, plant engineering, quality, logistics, finance, and IR. Been active leader in aggressive turnaround and transition/change management.

Received "Recognition for Excellence Award" in 2012 for creating new pack design and successful delivery of project. Worked as project lead for First New generation Tobacco Machinery induction to PMI. Been part of Asia Operations Talent Development Program (AOTDP) which enabled to have view of other functions of organization in all affiliates of Asia Pacific.


Work History

Work History

Factory Manager

Jun 2014 - Present
Philip Morris Pakistan Limited


To lead operation of Processing Plants in manufacturing Tobacco blends and Cigarettes to meet production target objectives within the define parameter such as quality, productivity, cost, safety, delivery time, industrial /environmental health, continuous improvement spirit and at given budget.

Direct/Indirect Reports: 13 (First line)

Factory Staff: 430

Key Responsibilities

Optimum utilization of manufacturing resources in meeting the production targets.

Maintain industrial peace as well as relating social relationship with government to ensure smooth running of the factory.

Plan, organize and control safety, health and environmental programs at the entire manufacturing area, to comply with regulation and company policy.

Embed continuous improvement culture through "OPEN" system to improve process/product quality and manufacturing systems/ procedures to achieve operational excellence at competitive cost.

Develop, recommend, and when approved, guide, control, adjust implementation of years work unit plans, projects, OPEX, and CAPEX budgets and cash flows as per business unit Manufacturing OB/LRP and Annual Business requirements.

Manage, coach and motivate staff, arrange training programs and delegate appropriate responsibilities, in order to develop skills, professionalism and high performance in line with individuals future career aspirations and company needs.

Key Accomplishments

  • Implemented business unit concept on shop floor and management staff to improve performance management to smallest delivery unit and development of team leaders/supervisors.
  • Reduced outsourced head count by 10% through optimization of machine manning and product process flow.
  • Increased efficiency of plant by 6% and reduction in material wastage by 12% through manufacturing staff capability building program supported by team performance management system.
  • Upgraded manufacturing facility through installation of completely automated new tobacco processing line and manufacturing crew readiness through rigorous training program.
  • Neutralized hostile Union-management relationships due to change of shift patterns from 2 shifts to 3 shifts and elimination of overtime. CBA and employees engaged on different fronts of recognition, reward and strong performance management. CLA negotiations completed without any disruption/negative impact on business.
  • Led manufacturing side for the launch of new 100's length product while ensuring speed to market and premium quality standards.
  • Achieved 3 Million safe man hours at site including the project for new building construction and processing line installation through strong EHS management system & BBS
  • Led team for successful QS, ISO and OHSAS surveillance audits
  • Established security mandatory practices protocol at site with support from security manager.


Project Manager

May 2013 - May 2014
PHIL S.A. - Philip Morris International Turkey


Lead the assigned projects, utilizing and adhering to Project Management best practices to ensure successful completion of projects. Communicate with customers and stakeholders (internal and external) on an on-going basis to review project scope and provide status updates. Plan, schedule and coordinate project tasks and deliverables. Coordinate/manage resources (complex projects).

Direct Reports: Led different project teams comprised of diverse team members

Key Accomplishments

  • Managed qualification of first New Generation Tobacco Machinery (20K cig/min) for PMI which included installation, commissioning, training and delivery of acceptance targets within timelines and cost with minimum wastages and best quality in factory
  • Devised vertical startup procedure for incoming high speed machinery 
  • Devised process for standardization of high speed machinery which helped to increase equipment efficiency by 7%, improve Quality and headcount optimization with right capability
  • Devised plan for manufacturing organization transformation through division of single factory into three business unit factories 

Manager Secondary

Jan 2011 - Apr 2013
Philip Morris Pakistan Limited - Sahiwal Factory


Plan, control and co-ordinate the production in the factory in order to ensure that the quantity and quality of produced cigarettes meet the objectives set out by the management, at approved efficiency and wastage rates and EHS norms are adhered while maintaining the production equipment. Manage, coach and motivate secondary staff with proper trainings to develop skills and achieve high performance. Lead projects related to packaging innovation and secondary equipment upgrade across factories.

Direct Reports: 10

Secondary Staff: 451

Key Accomplishments

  • Developed new pack design accepted by marketing for biggest volume brand "Morven Gold" (85% of PMPKL volume). Led the complete transformation project which included in-house design of conversion kits, local vendors capability build up for timely parts supply and conversion of packing machines on all three sites while maintaining uninterrupted supply to market. The project was completed in 8 months from idea generation to in-market.
  • Improved efficiency of secondary equipment by 5% and achieved material wastages below 1% (best in PMI) through development of shop floor technicians and operators and establishing team performance management system
  • Improved visual and physical quality index to achieve first time green market status for quality for Pakistan
  • led strategies for secondary manufacturing in all sites which included projects for capacity build up/up gradation of machinery and organization transformation/ head count optimization
  • ISO 9001, ISO14000 and OHSAS certifications for factory

Business Unit Manager

Mar 2007 - Dec 2010
Philip Morris Pakistan Limited


Supervise the working program of the business unit employees across shifts, organize and control their activities and work process to ensure that production program is carried out in accordance with quality, safety, productivity and cost objectives.

Key Accomplishments

  • Developed reporting system for production to determine the production losses and put in place monitoring and controlling mechanism to ensure right production data is extracted for SAP reporting.
  • Initiated maintenance management system with development of preventive maintenance task lists and periodic maintenance of business unit equipment. Developed min/max levels for spares along with ROP.
  • Developed new technicians and operators for incoming mid speed equipment through developing and conducting training sessions.
  • Implemented basic shop floor concepts like 5S, KAIZEN, KANBAN and SPC to bring base for continuous improvement culture.

Process Engineer

Sep 2008 - Aug 2009
PT. H.M. Sampoerna (Indonesia)

Role & Accomplishment

Sent for one year short term assignment to PMI affiliate in Indonesia as Process Engineer for the startup of new Manufacturing plant near Jakarta. Key responsibilities of role required to contribute in business results by managing sustainable continuous improvement process on the area of Manufacturing Processes and aligning them to the organizational and people related processes. Propose annual improvement plan in terms of areas of focus, strategies, productivities and KPI. Also acted as production lead for the relocation of machinery from old plant to new plant and startup.

Assistant Manager (Production)

Feb 2005 - Mar 2007
Lakson Tobacco Limited

Management Trainee

Feb 2004 - Feb 2005
Lakson Tobacco Company Limited

Trainee Engineer (Maintenance)

Jul 2003 - Feb 2004
Sitara Energy (Pvt) Limited



B.Sc. Engineering (Mechanical)

Jan 1999 - Dec 2002
University of Engineering & Technology, Lahore

F.Sc. Pre Engineering

Sep 1996 - Jun 1998
Government College Sahiwal


May 1996
Divisional Public School Sahiwal

Learnings & Development

  • Participant of Assessment/ development Centers for AOTDP and PIT Stop for Asia Leadership Development Program
  • Asia Operations Talent Development Program (Basic trainings for Supply chain planning, Product development, Quality Assurance, Leaf, Operations planning, Operations Finance)
  • Diploma in Project Management

  • STEPS (Analytical Thinking)
  • 360 degree feedback and self development
  • SAP PP End User
  • Train the Trainer
  • Art of giving feedback
  • Building Effective teams
  • Developing business knowledge
  • Managing by People
  • Leading Safety
  • Lean Tools (KAIZEN, VSM, 5S, PFMEA, SMED, A3)
  • Member of Annual Asia Pacific Secondary processing team global workshops



Learning on the Fly

Drive for Results

Developing Direct Reports


Managerial Courage

Conflict Management

Motivating Others

Dealing with Ambiguity