clear vision of quality and
efforts to meet customer specifications and bring repeat orders;
By SHABBIR H. KAZMI
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 Pakistans 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