Q & A: MOHAMMAD RASHID HASHMI-CEO HASHMI GROUP

(feedback@pgeconomist.com)
June 25 - July 1, 20
12

Q: TELL US SOMETHING ABOUT YOURSELF.

ANS: I am the CEO of the Hashmi Group. I look after most of the important aspects including marketing and distribution etc. at Hashmi while my brothers Babar Hashmi looks after product development and manufacturing, while my youngest brother Amir Hashmi looks after the exports of the group, making it a winning combination.

Q: WHEN WAS THE COMPANY HASHMI ESTABLISHED?

ANS: The company Mohammad Hashim Tajir Surma was established by Hakim Mohammad Hashim at Bareilly, India with a handful of spirited people more than two centuries ago in 1794, working with meager facilities and limited resources.

Q: HOW WAS THE MODERN HASHMI GROUP ESTABLISHED?

ANS: Unique formulations exclusively prepared by our ancestors became well known all over the subcontinent for their curative and healing effect on the masses, thus the Hashmi brand became a household name in the subcontinent. This laid the foundation to formulate a successful corporate entity as it stands today.

Q: IN WHAT WAYS HAS THE COMPANY UNDERGONE MASSIVE TRANSFORMATION?

ANS: The Hashmi Group has been transformed over the years leaps and bounds. From a simple vision of providing the people with herbal health care products, we are now one of the leading corporate houses both locally and internationally. The credit goes to the hard work of Babar Hashmi. We now have a number of well-established brands certified by various international standards. The main transformation has been led by our family's vision to grow gradually yet successfully.

Q: WHAT PRODUCTS YOUR COMPANY EXPORTS AND TO WHERE?

ANS: We export our products throughout the world but our main focus led by Amir Hashmi is on the Middle Eastern, South American, and European Markets. Hashmi product line is 100 per cent herbal.

We travel to a lot of international exhibitions to improve our quality and range by using the latest technology available in the market. We are also in continuous touch with our various relevant international manufacturers/bodies and of course our suppliers.

Q: IT'S SAID THAT HASHMI SURMA CONTAINS LEAD. WHAT IS YOUR TAKE ON THAT?

ANS: Yes, we are aware of this propaganda. Let me cite you some examples of why this notion is not true. The Journal of Analytical Chemistry states that experiments conducted by scientists of Louvre Museum and CNRS research Institute France, by the BBC World Service, found that "In stimulating nonspecific immunological defenses, one may argue that these compounds were deliberately manufactured and used in ancient Egyptian formulations to prevent and treat eye illnesses by promoting the action of immune cells."

Philippine Walter, of CNRS national institute in France, and his team of researchers, used chemistry to prove that lead, if used in small doses in "Sulphite Form" was not harmful to the cells. Instead, it aids the production of a molecule called nitric oxide, which is helpful in activating your immune system, which could beat out the bacteria in the unfortunate case of an eye infection.

The above information is also supported by CNRS (UMR 8640 PASTUER, UMR 171 C2RMF), ENS, UPMC, the French Ministry of Research, and the French Ministry of Culture.

Q: THE MARKET FOR HERBAL PRODUCTS IS NOT VERY LARGE IN PAKISTAN. WHY IS IT SO?

ANS: Fortunately, people currently are themselves becoming more aware of the benefits of Herbal products. However, I agree with you that the numbers are not that large. We, as a corporation, are trying to educate people to convert to herbal-based natural products. However, no other company is engaged in such an effort. All what they are doing is pure commercial branding instead of looking at the bigger picture.

Q: WHAT CAN BE DONE TO EXPAND THE SIZE OF HERBAL PRODUCTS MARKET?

ANS: I feel that all the leading herbal manufacturers must join hands and launch an extensive educative campaign regarding the benefits of using herbal products, as they are pure and without any kind of side effects like Joshanda etc.

Q: WHAT PRODUCTS DO YOU PLAN TO LAUNCH IN FUTURE?

ANS: We have many products in the pipeline, which obviously I cannot disclose, but all are related to the human body's well being in one way or the other.

Q: HOW ARE HERBAL PRODUCTS BETTER THAN NON-HERBAL ONES?

ANS: Herbal products are based on natural ingredients, which have been in use for centuries. They were used in the predawn Islamic era. They are all tried and tested over centuries and most importantly have no side-effects (if used in normal doses) of any sort unlike conventional products and brands of the modern time.

Q: HOW CAN YOU IMPROVE YOUR MARKETING?

ANS: We are an extremely aggressive marketing entity, and fully utilizing all form of marketing including print, outdoor, electronic and BTL activities like branded Vans etc. strategically throughout Pakistan

Q: WHEN IT COMES TO DISTRIBUTION CENTERS, HASHMI HAS MAINTAINED A LOW PROFILE. FOR EXAMPLE, SAEED GHANI SELLS PRODUCTS IN MAJOR SHOPPING MALLS WHEREAS HASHMI PRODUCTS ARE AVAILABLE AT SELECTED PLACES. WHY IS THAT SO?

ANS: We are available in majority of the outlets in both urban and rural areas of Pakistan catering to all market segments ranging from A-C markets.

We have strict quality control and assurance process in place right from manufacturing to packaging, and we take hard labor to not only maintain our quality but to increase it on a daily basis.

Q: YOUR ADVICE TO THE ENTREPRENEURS ASPIRING TO JOIN IN THE FIELD.

ANS: Don't look for short cuts, gain maximum knowledge about your business, gain experience and never look for compromises in quality etc. for the sake of making money, work hard with dedication and you will be a success. Myself,. Babar Hashmi and Amir Hashmi are a living proof of the above.