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Cover Story
Others should emulate example; of Mian Mohammed Latif;


   Shaukat Mirza - Former Chief
    Executive, Engro Chemical
    Mian Mohammed Latif -
     Chief Executive, Chenab Group.
    Alireza - MD, Shabbir Tiles.
    Ahmed Dawood -
     Chairman Dawood Group.
    Fazle Hassan -
     Director,  (IBA) Karachi.
    Zubyr Soomro - President, 
    Masood Hashmi -
     Deputy Managing Director,
     Orient McCann-Erickson.

clear vision of quality and efforts to meet customer specifications and bring repeat orders;

Sep 13 - 19, 1999

While textile sector in Pakistan, as a whole, has not been performing well, some of the companies belonging to the sector are creating history. One such company is Chenab Fabrics and Processing Mills Limited. Mian Mohammed Latif, Chief Executive of the Company has the honour of being the recipient of Special Merit Trophies from 1989 to 1995. He has also been awarded Gold Medal for ‘Businessman of the year’ for 1998-99. Chenab Fabrics has been the recipient of Best Export Trophy in textile exports for the four consecutive years.

The Company based in Faisalabad, has emerged as one of the leading producers and exporters of textiles and clothing. The success of Chenab Group, is a story of motivation, dedication and achievement. With a humble beginning in 1975 Chenab started export in 1985-86. Its exports were Rs. 13.5 million for the first year which exceeded Rs 2.8 billion in 1997-98.

Over the years the Company has been producing items for a number of international chains which are sold under their own brand names. Lately, the group has also been successful in establishing credibility of its own brand label — ChenOne in the global markets. Despite working for three shifts a day round the year with 8,000 workers, it is difficult to accept every order pouring in.

Chenab Group has also established a chain of fashion stores — ChenOne. These stores have been operating in Lahore, Islamabad, Faisalabad and Rahimyar Khan. The latest addition is in Karachi. The Group plans to open similar stores in Peshawar, Quetta, Multan, Sialkot and other main cities of Pakistan. There are also plans to open ChenOne stores in Dubai and entire Middle East, Singapore and Central Asia. These stores will also work as display centres for Chenab Group products.

Mian Latif, has a very clear perception about the dismal performance of the sector. He says, "Pakistan is among the top five cotton producing countries but its export of textiles and clothing are exceptionally low. Textile industry alone has the potential to earn US$ 10 billion per annum. Improvement in quality standards and the highest value addition are key factors to enhance Pakistan’s export of textiles and clothing. Many countries which were importing yarn and grey fabrics from Pakistan in the past are no longer the customers for these products. The country cannot continue to export yarn or grey fabrics. Now the buyers demand finished products."

Mian Sahib believes that small and medium enterprise can play an important role in value-addition in the sector — particularly textile processing and garment manufacturing. By virtue of their scale of operation, these units are small to medium size and scattered throughout the country, provide employment to men and women. These units are mostly owner-operated and self financed. Despite being small, these units have tremendous potential to earn huge foreign exchange for the country. These units are labour intensive and can become efficient, provided, soft-term loans are available for the purchase of machinery. At present the key selling points are superior quality and competitive prices. The Group has been able to compete in the global markets only because it has the advantage of in-house production of quality fabrics. It is also capable of offering superior quality products at competitive prices.

He says that the government policies directly affect fundamentals of textile industry. Therefore, there is a need for constant dialogue with the industry to reach long-term, coherent and consistent policies, be it cotton policy or textile quota allocation procedure. The local industry must get the advantage of indigenous raw materials. With the integration of textile trade, and quota phase out, Pakistani exporters of textiles and clothing need to improve quality standard and optimize cost of production to remain competitive.B