PepsiCo has extended its support to Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS) by agreeing to fund the redesigning and renovation of the entire dining area and upgrading it to a contemporary and practical space, aligned with the PepsiCo and LUMS brands.

To formalize the agreement, an MoU signing ceremony was held at the University on December 16, 2022. Signatories included Dr Arshad Ahmad, Vice Chancellor, LUMS, and Mr Abdul Latif, CEO, Lotte Akhtar Beverages Pvt. Ltd., the execution arm for the initiative. Mr Khurram Shahzad, CFO PepsiCo was also present at the event.

Syed Babar Ali, Founding Pro Chancellor, LUMS welcomed the guests and shared anecdotes about the history of LUMS. Ms Nuzhat Kamran, Director of Advancement, briefed the guests about the latest initiatives at LUMS and talked about the elaborate multi-disciplinary research being conducted at the University and its impact on the country.

Mr Shahzad spoke about PepsiCo’s relationship with the University. “I treasure our strategic partnership with LUMS over the decades and this agreement is another milestone in continuing our legacy by supporting a world-class institution. The Pepsi Dining Centre is one of the most cherished spots on campus and we are excited to see our plans to embed our PEP+ sustainability vision into the new design of the facility come to life.”

The renovation entails a total revamp of the Pepsi Dining Centre (PDC) premises; the refurbished facility will serve different varieties of food and accommodate at least 660 students, a 37.5% increase in capacity. The aim of the entire project is to have international standard recreational spaces that comfortably accommodate the growing population of the University and facilitate learning and meaningful engagement within the LUMS community.

Syed Babar Ali complimented the organization and said, “PepsiCo is a long-standing friend of LUMS; PDC has been facilitating faculty, students, staff, alumni as well as other members of the University community over the last so many years.”

Inaugurated in 1995, the PDC was later extended in 2000 to accommodate the growing needs of the University. In 2006-08, once again, renovation of the facility took place through the support of PepsiCo, leading to an increased capacity accommodating a total of 480 students. Between 2016 and 2020, PepsiCo also donated towards the modernization of kitchen equipment.

Dr Ahmad also addressed the gathering and appreciated PepsiCo’s support towards LUMS. “There is an old saying, that ‘the way to a man’s heart is through the stomach’; so I have to say that the way to 5,000 students’ hearts at LUMS is through the Pepsi Dining Centre. When you think about the diversity on our campus, of course, the first thing you think about is the students’ well-being. Pepsi has a very special place in our hearts. Thank you very much for your generous support and your ongoing commitment to LUMS.”

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Arsalan Haider is a reporter at Academia Mag and has worked with leading national dailies and news channels. He tweets @arsalanhaider14

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