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Zareen and Majid Durrani
Ehsan ul Haque Asian Journal of Management Cases 2008 5: 41 DOI: 10.1177/097282010800500105 The online version of this article can be found at: http://ajc.sagepub.com/content/5/1/41

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Downloaded from ajc.sagepub.com at Univ of Newcastle upon Tyne on September 10, 2011

sagepub. She had a number of business commitments to meet the next day and the days ahead. Majid Durrani poses specialization of labour. Details about the family background. Keywords: Women entrepreneurs. contract violation and cost-benefit arguments to make his case while Zareen has her own set of fairly valid arguments. balancing work and family.’ she sighed. her husband Majid Durrani was trying. Karachi shuffled her feet nervously as the pediatrician examined her five-year-old daughter.1177/097282010800500105 ZAREEN AND MAJID DURRANI Ehsan ul Haque This disguised case focuses on the challenges faced by a female entrepreneur. Both are ambitious professionals and their work related ambitions create serious tensions in their personal lives. are provided to understand their goals and aspirations. 2011 . small business management Zareen Durrani. This research was conducted by LUMS-McGill Social Enterprise Development Centre and was funded by CIDA. Zareen Durrani. education and work experience of the two protagonists of the case. Zareen was worried because her two little kids had been running high fever all day. rather unsuccessfully. to calm their three-year-old son. While the case deals with deeper. The case examines interesting ways to explore and debate socially designated roles in Pakistani society. macro-level factors (such as socioeconomic. 5(1). Managing Director. Zareen and her husband Majid Durrani. The doctor’s office wore a somber look with the occupants quite oblivious to the pleasant March night of 2006. Sahil Fashions.com at Univ of Newcastle upon Tyne on September 10. Her attempts with Calpol medication had been of no help and she was hoping that it was nothing serious. Downloaded from ajc. The case will expose participants to the various issues that women face in balancing home and work. This material may not be reproduced in any form without the prior written consent of the Lahore University of Management Sciences. 2008: 41–54 SAGE PUBLICATIONS LOS ANGELES/LONDON/NEW DELHI/SINGAPORE DOI: 10.ASIAN JOURNAL OF MANAGEMENT CASES. women in management. Which parent should take significant time out will be determined partly by the participants’ own worldviews of the appropriate roles assigned to the two sexes by society. This case was written by Associate Professor Ehsan ul Haque to serve as a basis for class discussion rather than to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of an administrative situation. cultural and traditional forces) in shaping the positions and worldviews of the protagonists. Next to her. in balancing her personal and professional life. ‘I simply cannot afford even a minute off. an immediate and very real issue of their children coming down with chicken pox brings all the tensions to a head.

left a lasting imprint on her outlook and approach towards her life and aspirations: Maybe it was the basic good nature of my parents or maybe the simple and straightforward values that you end up learning in the West. according to Zareen. This exposure to the world. He used to call me his ‘brightest star’. all of us kids bundled up. 2011 . I suddenly realized that I had to face life alone. they travelled abroad extensively and spent a considerable amount of time living in the Middle East and Europe. Our brother had just started professional college. My own plans of pursuing higher education in the US evaporated. She had been a housewife all her life. moved to Karachi feeling completely bewildered and devastated. We lived like princesses in a grand. I remember spending many weekends. However. He was my motivation to do everything and do it well. It was a traumatic awakening. My father was very fond of travelling.sagepub. all hell broke loose. but all of us were pretty naive compared to our Pakistani schoolfellows. comfortable and secure.com at Univ of Newcastle upon Tyne on September 10. when I was about sixteen. We got whatever we wished for. We were very trusting of people and enjoyed life and its simple pleasures. 2008: 41–54 DURRANIS’ BACKGROUND Zareen and Majid both belonged to middle-class Pakistani backgrounds. both emotionally and financially: Our childhood was very happy. She had fond memories of her childhood where. each typical and unique in its own right. I always wanted to please him. Almost overnight my mother became a single parent with hardly any income to support us. Zareen’s happy family life received a rude shock when her father decided to marry a friend of the family. Zareen had a younger sister and a brother who was two years older than her. It gave me a deep sense of insecurity 42 EHSAN UL HAQUE Downloaded from ajc. overprotected home.ASIAN JOURNAL OF MANAGEMENT CASES. As a child I was very close to my father. I no longer had my father’s hand to hold on to. This decision led to a bitter divorce and Zareen’s mother and the children. 5(1). either in our Volkswagen going some place or in some camping ground in Europe. who refused to live with their father. thanks to her father’s business.

While I may seem conservative. My mother was a very loving.com at Univ of Newcastle upon Tyne on September 10. Life was fairly tough for Zareen’s family. My self-esteem was low. somewhat disciplined and austere life. unfortunately. Majid and Zareen met at their workplace. Majid completed his Bachelors in Engineering and worked for some years with a local manufacturing firm in Rawalpindi. Majid said: We were a small. he changed jobs. Zareen completed her Masters in Economics and started working in a multinational as a Management Trainee. During vacations I worked in offices. 5(1). but as there is. we decided to take on the challenge.ASIAN JOURNAL OF MANAGEMENT CASES. my opinions and attitudes reflect not only what I have acquired from my family but also what I have read and observed. at the end of the day all I want is a reasonable and decent life for me and my family. they managed to maintain a decent lifestyle and all the siblings pursued professional careers. However. Reflecting on his background. he was not satisfied and as soon as he got a better offer from a multinational in Karachi. consequently. It seems to me that our parents sacrificed everything for our betterment and while I may disagree with some of their ideas I have a deep respect for what they did for us. generous and simple human being whose whole life was focused on her family. 2011 . My parents had migrated from India. There was a lot of emphasis on education and it was obvious that the greatest gift that we could give our parents was top class performance in school. ZAREEN AND MAJID DURRANI 43 Downloaded from ajc.sagepub. I have travelled extensively outside Pakistan for work. I did not want to bother my mother for money so I started giving tuitions while continuing with my own education. His father worked in Pakistan Railways and. I love to read. Being financially independent gave me a feeling of confidence. a feeling of worth and a sense of achievement. After working together for a year and a half they got married in November 1998. We lived a reasonably comfortable. no limit to greed. Consequently. I am quite the nonconformist in many important ways. I am also ambitious. My father belonged to a poor family but with his determination and hard work he achieved a relatively respectable position in society. However. the family spent almost 25 years in the railway colony in Rawalpindi. Majid Durrani was the youngest of five siblings. 2008: 41–54 because the man I loved so much had let me down. well-knit family. However. Our father always encouraged us to read.

She got the diploma but could not use it as Majid 44 EHSAN UL HAQUE Downloaded from ajc. raising children in the UK was a full time assignment as there was no support of an extended family. She said: I can never sit and do nothing. Immediately after their marriage. As a matter of fact. The couple discussed it at length. my friends and others often admired my designs. However. While Majid was busy with his studies. 5(1). According to him. How much can you cook. Zareen started working at an upscale department store partly to keep herself busy and partly to supplement their income. Zareen could delayed the family decision for three years and complete a diploma in fashion designing instead. Zareen reflected: Majid was indifferent about having children. Zareen started debating between further education or starting a family. he got a scholarship offer from a university to pursue a doctorate in mechanical engineering. I had always loved children. Then again. Consequently. She wanted to pursue further studies but because of financial constraints opted for a less expensive option and enrolled in an evening course on fashion design.500 hours of her course work while Majid helped with the infants. I enjoyed what I was doing. Even when I was not married I was tutoring kids and designing and sewing my own clothes. I wanted them. I wanted to do more than just the daily routine. the couple moved to Edinburgh in connection with Majid’s studies. she could not complete her studies because within a year. All the concepts that I was learning in fashion designing I could also observe them in real life at my workplace. 2008: 41–54 EARLY MARRIED LIFE The Durranis spent their early married life in the United Kingdom.com at Univ of Newcastle upon Tyne on September 10. we were not getting any younger. Life was very hectic as she completed 1. 2011 . It was basically my decision.ASIAN JOURNAL OF MANAGEMENT CASES. He resigned from his job and the couple moved to London in February 1999.sagepub. Zareen said: I’d have stayed on in London if I had a choice. Majid’s scholarship amount doubled in Edinburgh. I liked the city. clean and put on nail polish? Zareen’s job at the department store gave her good exposure to personnel management and merchandizing of ladies wear. Majid was keen to go abroad to pursue further studies. Zareen juggled her time between two pregnancies and a one-year evening course in interior designing. According to Majid.

In any case. Life was especially difficult for Zareen. an MBA from a local university had a flair for designing and a love for good clothes. SAHIL FASHIONS In March 2003.sagepub. she wants to be a good mother. 5(1).ASIAN JOURNAL OF MANAGEMENT CASES. Once her only son was two-years-old. she wants to run her interior designing practice professionally. To give herself a break from the domestic routine and also to earn a little ‘spending money of her own’ Zareen started taking on occasional interior designing assignments through her network of friends. she is ZAREEN AND MAJID DURRANI 45 Downloaded from ajc. with their seeming norm of compulsive lying. However. The Durranis found settling back in Pakistan tough. Saira. were a nuisance rather than a help. He felt she was overdoing it: Why does she need to kill herself? She wants to run her house nicely. Saira Nazeer. Majid managed to get a reasonable position in a good organization and the family started to come to terms with living in Pakistan. Housemaids. She asked Zareen to immediately join her as she was having difficulties managing the business alone. as many people were only interested in free advice. she felt that it was the right time for her to engage in some professional activities. her intelligence. Consequently. Although Zareen was fairly keen on their staying on in the UK. To top it all. stealing. at the suggestion of a friend she also started selling educational books to housewives. Zareen also had to play the role of a hostess frequently and unexpectedly. she felt that she was fast losing her sanity and more importantly. Zareen’s younger sister.com at Univ of Newcastle upon Tyne on September 10. Her children were frequently falling ill because of a change in climate and food. Zareen also wanted to join Sahil Fashions. opened a small boutique. As they were setting up a new home they faced a tremendous financial crunch. she started Sahil Fashions. she soon discovered that she would not be able to generate enough income. With all the frustration and drudgery of housework. 2008: 41–54 had by that time completed his doctorate and was ready to go back. Zareen had valuable experience in the field. however. Majid was not happy with this situation. With a small loan from her husband and some guidance from a friend. for marketing a line of modern ladies wear. the frequent breakdown of utilities and law and order worsened the situation. for the sake of her children she decided to concentrate on her home and restrict her involvement in Sahil Fashions to occasional designing help. Saira was delighted to learn that Zareen was coming back. 2011 . the family returned to settle down permanently in Karachi in April 2003. The cost of living in Karachi turned out to be far more than that in Edinburgh with none of the conveniences that the West offered to young families. Sahil Fashions. fighting and switching jobs.

com at Univ of Newcastle upon Tyne on September 10. She is my role model as far as being a mother and a housewife is concerned. Zareen felt that she had done a good job. She got along well with the workers and improved output and quality. Zareen agreed to look after the business temporarily. I do not want to compromise in the case of my children. But you have to do it.e. Zareen was tempted because the past four months had given her a feeling of self-fulfillment and achievement. She has to learn to trade off. Some of the workers. For the next four months. Zareen disagreed: Why should I reduce my expectations? I have already compromised enough as far as my own self is concerned.. I can never be mediocre. Work came second but it is also very important. I knew it is tough but I also know that I can do it.sagepub. My first priority was my children and my husband. Despite all the challenges. showed up whenever it suited them to pick up or deliver work. then it is very difficult to balance family with work. I can do it better than the others. when Saira returned she asked Zareen to become her full-time partner. She cannot handle all this. I also grew up watching European women working and managing families. i. 2008: 41–54 designing clothes and now she wants to sell books. I can assure you that it can be extremely exhausting. They have to have the very best that I can afford. I know we are occasionally short on cash but we live in reasonable comfort. If anything. the women who embroidered or did crotchet. I have never asked for anything for myself. managing a small team of workers at the stitching unit. Zareen was designing clothes. even one-tenth the amount that I make. She was an efficient housewife and an excellent hostess. If you are the type of a person who is a homemaker and house proud. In February 2004. both physically and mentally. She was also proud of the fact that she had balanced her work and family well: You have to be a very balanced person yourself to manage all this. procuring material and looking after the boutique. Our mother never made us feel deprived. Saira needed to go abroad with her husband for four months. 5(1). There are thousands of families in Pakistan who are living on one-sixth.ASIAN JOURNAL OF MANAGEMENT CASES. She asked Zareen for help. Consequently. How come we can’t manage? Maybe she can reduced her expectations. However. 2011 . 46 EHSAN UL HAQUE Downloaded from ajc.

ZAREEN’S HECTIC ROUTINE Zareen’s typical day started at 6 a. however.. The children would typically accompany her in all these errands. Zareen would leave home at around 11 a.com at Univ of Newcastle upon Tyne on September 10. After dropping them to school. Majid left it to Zareen to decide whatever she wanted. Depending on what time the cleaning lady came on a particular day and how quickly the domestic chores were taken care of. she would pick up her daughter from school at 1 p. Her daughter had started regular schooling while her son attended a kindergarten for three hours in the morning.m. Zareen did not agree: Men have to realize that women will always work within constraints. One or a couple ZAREEN AND MAJID DURRANI 47 Downloaded from ajc. She would spend the next two to three hours managing business matters such as supervising the master cutter.’ according to Zareen) and a parttime cleaning lady. 2008: 41–54 Majid. when she got up to prepare breakfast and get her children ready for school. the tailors and the embroidery men to ensure that they were working according to the designs and the timetable given to them. Children will always need their mothers. The turnover of housemaids was very high and both these women had been with the Durranis for about two months and needed almost constant supervision. Zareen would hurry through her breakfast and get the daily chores of the house organized. full-time. but only after a few years. She would reach home at around 2:30 p. She had a full-time cook (‘so-called cook. She would spend some time playing with the children and supervising their homework. resolving their latest differences. He felt that the children were very young and needed a full-time mother. The children went to different schools that were at a considerable distance from each other. was unhappy about Zareen committing herself to the business. partly as it was difficult for Zareen to drive back and forth from home to the market and partly because she felt it was an extremely valuable learning experience for the children. irrespective of whether they are three.sagepub. making a list of items to be purchased and driving all over Karachi to procure these items from their specialized outlets.m. after getting some groceries on the way. ten or even twenty-five years old. He was in favour of Zareen working full time. 2011 . 5(1). In the meantime.m. Zareen joined Sahil Fashions as a Managing Partner in June 2004. Only the nature of their demands change. Zareen would spend the afternoon managing minor household chores. taking inventory of accessories and. pick up her son from school and go to the stitching unit.m.ASIAN JOURNAL OF MANAGEMENT CASES.

However. Once home. the stocktaking and accounting meant that Zareen reached home at around 9 p. 2008: 41–54 of female workers would. 48 EHSAN UL HAQUE Downloaded from ajc. Whatever time was left was spent watching television. both at home and at the workplace. At around 5:30 p. discussions on new designs and plans for the next day. Gradually. lazing around or reading books. and. Zareen organized their school uniforms. they jointly designed the clothes. 5(1).com at Univ of Newcastle upon Tyne on September 10. Her physiotherapy sessions became another intrusion in her hectic routine. Zareen would go to the boutique to find out about daily sales. 2011 . As he was relatively new to the organization he ended up spending a lot of time at work. give the children their baths and get them ready for bed. Sometimes she would also visit other stores to collect market information. After the children went to sleep. decided on future themes for the summer/winter collections and managed the accounting of the business. alone required more than twenty-four hours in a day. discuss the inventory position and merchandizing with the sales person. fret over not making enough to hire a full-time accountant and hit the bed. brought home some work from the office. Saturday was the weekly payment day for the workers and. show up with finished embroidery or crotchet work.ASIAN JOURNAL OF MANAGEMENT CASES.m.m. She would spend some time discussing events and issues of the day with Majid and then phone Saira for the daily business stocktaking. He did not come home for lunch.m. Saira and Zareen supported each other by dividing the workload as much as possible. dead tired. except for Saturdays. after midnight. she would get dinner warmed up and served.m. They would take turns in running errands. He would typically reach home by 6:30 p. Majid reached his office at around 8:30 a. babysitting each other’s kids and visiting their mother.m. However. This routine would break if some guests dropped in. She would also spend some time with her mother who was now living alone and frequently complained about the lack of interest her daughters were taking in her household affairs. Zareen would often leave her children with her sister or her mother on these afternoon visits. they strongly felt that managing business. consequently. Zareen typically reached home at around 7:30 p. both of them began to specialize in different areas. school bags and lunch boxes for the next day. Her condition improved somewhat when Majid hired a full-time driver.m. Meanwhile Zareen had aggravated her back problem because of her constant driving.sagepub. She would finish her paperwork by around 11:30 p. invariably. collect money and deal with any customer complaints and then return home. invariably.

Zareen also felt that they needed a full-time accountant to manage their business affairs.com at Univ of Newcastle upon Tyne on September 10. was another problem faced by Sahil Fashions. a large majority of Pakistani women were not willing to pay a premium for nice designs. She had high expectations and was frustrated that despite the backbreaking efforts that she and her sister were putting in. ZAREEN AND MAJID DURRANI 49 Downloaded from ajc.sagepub. her achievements. Apart from a shortage of funds. This delay put a major crunch on their fabric purchase plans. All they knew was that they were breaking even. any input or suggestion of improvement was taken as a personal insult. Zareen felt that her exhortations on these counts fell on deaf ears. she nonetheless felt that she was drowning in problems with no hope in sight. the costs entailed were prohibitive. On the other hand. Sahil Fashions also faced operational problems. The workers seemed extremely satisfied with their productivity and were least interested in their own betterment. even making some profits. Even if they found time for it. Zareen knew Excel and wanted to computerize Sahil Fashions’ accounts but the problem of not generating enough revenue to undertake all these tasks was a major bottleneck. They would simply browse around and then copy Sahil Fashions’ designs. In order to increase revenues she wanted to expand the number of retail outlets that would carry Sahil Fashions’ clothes. this entailed more machines and more capital and they were short on funds. Zareen also felt that they needed to advertise to reach a bigger customer group. However. While their small client group liked and purchased Sahil Fashions’ clothes. However. their experience of placing their clothes in an upscale outlet had also not been very positive. it was difficult to estimate returns. 2011 . Her biggest problem was her business. or design rights.ASIAN JOURNAL OF MANAGEMENT CASES. While the sales were reasonable they faced great difficulties receiving payment from the owner. To make matters worse. The attitude of the workers towards quality and timely delivery was extremely casual. 5(1). The sisters did not bother too much about individual customers but lately other retailers and designers had started copying and selling their designs at a discount. either technically or financially. but as there was no formal bookkeeping and as the household finances and expenditures invariably got mixed up with those of the business. and even proud of. the business did not seem to be going anywhere. The absence of an effective copyright law. It seemed that there was no culture of timely payments in Pakistan. 2008: 41–54 ZAREEN’S FRUSTRATIONS While Zareen was somewhat satisfied with. the sisters had relatively limited knowledge of accounting.

com at Univ of Newcastle upon Tyne on September 10. 2008: 41–54 Zareen was frustrated because she felt that with a little more time and effort she could manage Sahil Fashions more professionally: I know we can be better organized. I do not want to sit all day long waiting for him to come home so that I can spend the evening cribbing about children. Doesn’t he want to spend some quality time with them? Why should I alone feel guilty of neglecting my kids when I am the only one doing anything worthwhile with them? Domestic chores were a constant source of additional stress for Zareen. although money is always very handy. If she asked him to look after the children he would not refuse but he would also never initiate the offer: Why do I always have to seek his help? They are his children as well. I had a Master’s degree. You go back to your brothers. I also acknowledge that he is not very demanding. why should I not attain my potential? If Majid’s career is important so is mine. I was working and I was even planning to go abroad for further education. My reasons for working are not purely financial. I can do so much more if Majid shares some of the burden. and hope 50 EHSAN UL HAQUE Downloaded from ajc. But where do I find the time for planning? A woman simply cannot give as much time to her business as a man. Zareen also felt that her home and her children were neglected and part of the blame went to Majid since he was not at all proactive. otherwise it is tough luck. then why can’t I be the next Donna Karen? What great gifts does society give us women in any case? You spend the better part of your life changing diapers and cooking meals and your husband can move out with a new flame at a minute’s notice.sagepub. If he is generous he might throw in some financial support. And then they say women are poor businesspersons! This is unfair. When I am better than so many out there. I greatly appreciate his moral support. 2011 .ASIAN JOURNAL OF MANAGEMENT CASES. neighbours and servants. But I wish he would not put the entire load of parenting and running the household solely on me. 5(1). I need a better identity than that of Mrs Durrani. or father. She wanted Majid to share some of the burden rather than pointing out what was wrong with the servants. She suspected that he wanted her to only play the role of a traditional housewife and a mother whereas she wanted much more out of life: When he married me he knew that I was not traditional housewife material. I am a human being. If he wants to be the managing director.

My economic independence. conveniently oblivious to all my problems. 2008: 41–54 that your sisters-in-law are God fearing. 2011 . However. I see Majid leading an indifferent. According to him. if there is any. sedate life. I do not see Zareen worrying about these things at all. while all of her income. I am not only responsible for my immediate family but also for my extended family. it is a great favour to me. All these problems were adding a lot of stress to Zareen’s life: Irrespective of whether I am at home. it is ironic that poor women. economic and self-fulfillment. ZAREEN AND MAJID DURRANI 51 Downloaded from ajc. who really work because of economic necessities. he blamed her for being overambitious and not managing her life better. he was well aware of the difficulties that Zareen was facing and which were making her life miserable. In my opinion. his position in society and his self-respect. in addition to constantly worrying about it. She expects me to foot all the house bills. entails a huge responsibility. there is nothing special about men. She can only do so if she is economically independent. not only for the present but also for the future. which have gone up considerably because of her work. my home or my business. I wonder whether Zareen wants economic independence. I wholeheartedly support women becoming economically less dependent on men. Now.ASIAN JOURNAL OF MANAGEMENT CASES. I would want my daughter to stand on her own feet and deal with men on the basis of equality.sagepub. Sometimes I wonder whether there is any point in living together! MAJID’S CONCERNS Majid had his own views about the situation and his own set of concerns. It is a problem of affluence. in the stitching unit or in the market I am under tremendous stress all the time. on the other hand. typically do not have any time to worry about selffulfillment. Also. 5(1). On the other hand. He empathized with her. women take a lot of unnecessary nonsense from men in our society because of this dependence. like Zareen. However. I need to provide. We do not have massive landholdings to fall back on. As far as self-fulfillment is concerned. My mind is always preoccupied with problems relating to my children. I do not even want her to worry about them. He felt that it was important to understand why women worked outside the house: Women. What does the man lose? He still has his job.com at Univ of Newcastle upon Tyne on September 10. work for two main reasons. even fully independent. I never get even a minute’s break. gets to be her pocket money! In the rare case when she does contribute towards the household. Otherwise.

I think I can earn much more than she can. Society was not yet ready for this change. or going against the norms. men were expected to provide and women to nurture. The two of you agree on taking the respective responsibilities. She should not expect me to run the household in return. How would you feel? I feel the same way with Zareen. Pakistani society had ordained a specialized role for both the partners. I admit that she is very accommodating and does not pester me 52 EHSAN UL HAQUE Downloaded from ajc. The tragedy is that in order to attain nirvana they end up starting a boutique. 5(1). New institutions or norms had not yet developed. she can do a much better job of managing the household than I can. breaking this contract. In any case. Social norms played a very important role in this implicit contract. Then he turns around and blames you for not sharing the production workload. a bakery or a kindergarten. Barring rare cases. And women want to leave home just because they are bored sewing and baking and looking after kids. Whether one liked it or not. and you say fine. Lately. or for that matter. They dare not leave their daily grind lest their families suffer. Sahil Fashions was her choice. Maybe the government can start annual awards for best mothers and best housewives in order to give due recognition to household work. Look at the horrible wages they pay to their maids. most of the other women I know can. They do not put a very high price on their extremely important household work. Majid felt that marriage should be seen in the perspective of a contract between two willing parties. You are good in marketing and your friend in production. there are many famous designers and chefs. I know she might say that I am also breaking this contract by not earning enough. So why not stick to our knitting. the real issue is not the nature of work. most of our fights have been on money.ASIAN JOURNAL OF MANAGEMENT CASES. She was the one breaking the contract: Let’s assume you start a business with a friend. and I hope. In my opinion. Two years down the road your friend insists on doing marketing as well. It is the worth. And for that I think women themselves are to blame. According to Majid. 2008: 41–54 Why can’t managing home be self-fulfilling? Household chores are not the only boring things around.com at Univ of Newcastle upon Tyne on September 10. After all.sagepub. He was not worried about the problems. 2011 . all self-fulfilled! The real issue is the money that you make. Thousands of men spend all of their lives in highly monotonous and boring jobs with third-rate bosses. But I feel she needs to manage household finances better. Similarly. the price that society places on that work. but he felt it was unfair on Zareen’s part to ask him to do more than his fair share. all male. was bound to result in heartaches. at least at this time.

Majid felt that the family paid a heavy price. We might have spent umpteen days in the markets looking for the best bargain. I am more of a disciplinarian. or networking. was important and beneficial for the family both in the short and long run. and all it takes is one stupid cleaning person to erase all our memories. I cannot force them to stay with me. was spent socializing. On the other hand. Compared to her. paid for her work outside the home was worth the amount of money she ZAREEN AND MAJID DURRANI 53 Downloaded from ajc. I can understand their choice. Since Zareen spent a considerable amount of time outside the house she had to rely on domestic help. I get hurt because I feel guilty for having failed in my responsibilities.sagepub. The worst sufferers are the children. learning God knows what. have less patience with them and not all that fun to be with. 5(1). at their highly impressionable ages. debating colour choices. our cleaning lady breaks some decoration piece that was a fond reminder of our struggling student days in the UK. Second. But when you ask them they always want to be with their mother. Yet. they do not get the amount of quality time and affection they need from their mother.ASIAN JOURNAL OF MANAGEMENT CASES. they spend a significant amount of time. but I can sense a constant tension in the house because of lack of funds. I would be shocked if we are not in the top 10 per cent of Pakistani households. Every third day. with uncouth people. according to his own admission.com at Univ of Newcastle upon Tyne on September 10. we are eating the horrible food that our cook makes. day in and day out. First. In any case. On the other hand. Majid was not happy with the household management either. I think we are living reasonably well. 2008: 41–54 for money. 2011 . Finally. any money that I save will only benefit her and the kids. fighting over whether we can afford it. Zareen wants me to spend more time with the children. the work pressures of the parents invariably lead to short tempers with the kids. Zareen was convinced that Majid could spend more time with the children. I wonder what has been the cost of the slow but steady murder of our taste buds. because of this arrangement: Zareen cooks excellent food. She felt that he needed to spend less time in the office because a lot of this time. Then I get upset because I feel that she needs to manage her expectations. almost all the kids in our neighbourhood love Zareen. albeit implicitly. Majid disagreed. including Zareen. She knew well in advance that she was not marrying into the Shah of Iran’s family. We disagree on our expenditures. He felt that even this socializing. income wise and yet Zareen is unhappy. Majid often wondered whether the price that the family.

he also felt that it had great potential for the company. We have started fighting more. it entailed spending even longer hours in the office.sagepub. Your kids are coming down with chicken pox! 54 EHSAN UL HAQUE Downloaded from ajc. and bringing home more work. was dampened when they found out that Zareen’s children were running high fever. It is like a ticking time bomb. in addition to his regular work. At last the pediatrician put her stethoscope down. Zareen and Saira were excited with this important breakthrough.ASIAN JOURNAL OF MANAGEMENT CASES. waiting for the doctor to complete her examination. however. The boutique ordered a sizeable shipment of new designs to be delivered immediately. Life is not fun anymore. 2008: 41–54 made or the satisfaction she got from her work. their minds preoccupied. The month of March also brought good news for Zareen. However. Each minute seemed like an eternity. THE PROBLEM On 2 March 2006. We are bitter most of the time. 5(1). Both Zareen and Majid sat in the doctor’s office. Not only was this project extremely interesting for Majid.com at Univ of Newcastle upon Tyne on September 10. 2011 . His boss asked him to work on that project. He was convinced that if proper accounting were done the balance would be negative: We have become a very tense and high-strung family. Majid was informed of an important new project that the company was exploring. She said: I am afraid it’s bad news. Their excitement. A major boutique in Lahore agreed to keep their clothes at a reasonable margin.

contract violation and cost-benefit arguments to make his case while Zareen has her own set of fairly valid arguments. Downloaded from ajc. Number 1. Keywords: Women entrepreneurs. The case exposes the participants to a variety of issues that females face in balancing home and work. The error is deeply regretted.com at Univ of Newcastle upon Tyne on September 10. in balancing her personal and professional life.ERRATUM Asian Journal of Management Cases. Majid Durrani poses specialization of labour. education and work experience of the two protagonists of the case. Zareen and her husband Majid Durrani. small business management. In the case entitled ‘Zareen and Majid Durrani’ written by Ehsan ul Haque and Shehla Arifeen (the abstract of which is given below). an immediate and very real issue of a child coming down with chicken pox brings all the tensions to a head. January—June 2008. Which parent should take significant time out will be determined partly by the participants’ own worldviews of the appropriate roles assigned to the two sexes by society.sagepub. Volume 5. page 41–54. are provided to understand their goals and aspirations. The case examines interesting ways to explore and debate socially designated roles in Pakistani society. women in management. cultural and traditional forces) in shaping the positions and worldviews of the protagonists. the name of the co-author Shehla Arifeen was inadvertently missed out. Zareen Durrani. Details about the family background. Both are ambitious professionals and their work related ambitions create serious tensions in their personal lives. balancing work and family. Abstract Zareen and Majid Durrani Ehsan ul Haque and Shehla Arifeen This case focuses on the challenges faced by a female entrepreneur. While the case deals with deeper. The Editors. 2011 . macro-level factors (such as socio-economic.

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