June 03 - 09, 2002
Rehan Qaiser, is the Director of Qaiser-Noman
Bernas (Pvt.) Limited, a joint venture between Pakistan and Malaysia
in the rice business. The project is one of the most modern plants
imported from Germany for milling, polishing and packaging of quality
rice. Qaiser-Noman Bernas is one of the leading rice exporting company
and has won the best exporters' award of the Federation of Pakistan
Chambers of Commerce and Industries (FPCCI).
Currently, Rehan is about to complete his higher
education at Bradley University of Peoria at Illinois in America. Soon
after completion of his education, Rehan desires to exploit the export
potentials in Pakistan. Currently, Rehan has come home to enjoy summer
what is your future plans after completion of your education. Would
you come back to run your business or stay back at the United States
like other young Pakistanis who prefer to prolong their stay in the
Generally speaking, young
Pakistanis or for that matter other Asians like to stay in the United
States or other developed countries because of the available
opportunities in those countries. One of the major reasons for brain
drain from Pakistan is the lack of openings for the educated youth.
You cannot blame them for staying away unless proper job opportunities
are offered to them if not equal to those available in the developed
countries. Besides the economic factors, it is quite human to live
respectfully in a congenial and in a better environment. Everybody
knows that how hatefully even a foot constable treats our youngsters.
Rampant corruption in the working system, highhandedness of the
government officials and ill working system altogether present a
repulsive look of the atmosphere. We have to put things in order to
retain the skilled manpower within the country. You will have to
provide attractive incentives and level playing field to educated
youth and skilled manpower within the country.
Do you feel any change in approach of Pakistanis living abroad after
the events of September 11?
is no visible change in the attitude of the Americans towards
Pakistanis in particular after the terrorist attacks of September 11
except a few exceptions. However, with the growing border tension
between India and Pakistan the behaviour of the Indians towards
Pakistanis has been changed altogether. It is however interesting to
note that the change in behaviour is not on the basis of nationalities
but in most of the cases on account of religion. Hate for the Muslims
are easily noticeable in the eyes of Hindus living abroad.
is your future plans after completing your studies in America?
money obviously is not my consideration in that country. The first
priority is to get higher education, have international exposure,
which helps gain knowledge and wisdom. As soon as I got through my
education, I would involve in my business.
What would you suggest to enlarge the scope of business from Pakistan
to the developed world?
It has become a cliché that Pakistan has enormous resources. However
we have to go a long way to take advantage of these resources.
Initially, we have to focus on the following strategy to promote
export from Pakistan:
The international buyer is rapidly becoming choosy
and getting conscious of the quality products. Hence all attention is
needed to improve the quality of our products and the second most
important thing is to go into value addition and branded products with
a label of Made-in Pakistan. Once a company succeeds in popularizing
the product under a brand name its value goes double or even more in
terms of money. Pakistan has a number of products, which has the
potential to carve its place as a branded product in the international
market. The target requires aggressive marketing and publicity
campaign to achieve the desired goals. For the effective marketing and
publicity campaign you will need to hire world class promoters.
Initially it costs a hell of a money, yet it pays back substantially
in the long run. It is the known theory that if your business is in
bad shape you need publicity to get out the crisis and if your
business is good and running at top speed again you need that
publicity to retain that position.
Did your company apply this theory to reach the present position of
top exporters of rice in Pakistan.
Innovation in business is always required to avoid the stalemate.
Qaiser-Noman Bernas besides exporting top quality rice in bulk has
completed the groundwork for launching its branded basmati rice under
the name of "Mehman" abroad as well as within the country.
We are producing world class quality rice and we are positive to
outclass our competitors by the quality, taste and aroma of basmati
rice in the world market. Our company has explored a large market for
our products in Africa and we are also trying to expand the marketing
efforts in untapped markets besides meeting the requirement of the
existing market all around the world.