The teenagers came into their newly rented apartment
and hang the television on the wall before they settle down to watch
their favourite programme. This is one of several advertisements made
worldwide to project the latest television set in the market. Rashid,
another teenager, living in Karachi has been watching this advertisement
for over a year and believed that this is just an advertisement gimmick,
how could a TV set with such a large screen be hung on the wall? The
reality of this TV became clear to him last week, when he went with his
family to the "Lifestyles" exhibition in Karachi, where the
same television set was on display for sale.
'All about Lifestyles' a three-day exhibition that
was organized at the Karachi Expo-Centre last week, which attracted a
large number of visitors from the entertainment starved Karachites. The
objective of the exhibition, as the name itself suggested, was to
introduce the latest products of everyday life.
The three-day event was the third in the series of
exhibitions organized by one of Karachi's leading dailies - Dawn, the
first one was held earlier in Lahore for two days followed by another
two days event in Islamabad.
Most of the participating companies include consumer
electronics, IT related services and products, bank and financial
services sector, travel sector, internet service providers, cellular
phone companies, automobile and insurance sector as well as fashion,
cosmetics and consumer items.
Some of the products were represented by more than
one stall out of the 106 stalls that were set up for the purpose while
some important consumer items were completely missing from the event —
Even prominent publishers and their agents were also missing.
Spider, Dawn's monthly magazine on internet had one
stall in each of the three halls and so was Nokia represented by three
different agents. Among electronic appliances manufacturers LG's stall
was dominant and attracted large crowd but most of the visitors left the
place with dreams only, due to very high prices of their items on
Staff of Habib Bank, Citibank and Askari Commercial
Bank were at hand to guide consumers through to avail their auto loans,
while House Building Finance Corporation (HBFC) was there with its newly
re-launched 'Ghar Aasan' scheme.
Pakistan Post Office was not left behind in offering
attractive gift schemes to visitors while 'Guard' rice offered half a
kilogram on every five kilograms purchased from its stall. While TCS,
the country's leading courier service introduced different prizes to
visitors to its stall, which include a return ticket to Dubai.
Though the organizers tried their best to introduce
the latest items in the market, but that too without taking into
consideration the buying power of the majority of the visitors to the
exhibition. LG's most attractive product at the exhibition, the Flatron
Plasma was tagged Rupees 1.23 million for its 60 inches version, while
the 42 inches edition cost Rs. 0.55 million. Likewise one of the
companies with food-stuff offered its imported cooking oil for Rs. 347
per litter, completely beyond the reach of majority of the visitors to
the exhibition. Likewise, none of the three stalls offering Nokia
products has any set for AMPS.
The security aspect of the exhibition was well taken
care of by the organizers, without been harassed by private uniformed
men in the name of security inside the three exhibition halls.
Particularly when the visitors are families, mostly from the middle
income bracket, at this time when people would rather prefer to stay at
home than venture into public places due to security reasons
While the efforts on the part of the organizers are
commendable there is still much left out in terms of the items as well
as the price tag being offered to consumers' majority of whom are from
middle income bracket.