ROOFI KAMAL is
a world-class watch designer and remained associated with Swisstar, a
Swiss watch company for over 16 years. He is actually based in Dubai and
currently working as the watch designer as well as market manager of
Jasina Trading (LLC) which is the producer of Swiss watches based on
Louis Arden technology. Roofi who recently arrived Pakistan on a
business plus personal visit shared his interesting experiences with
PAGE. Associated with top class international watch companies, Roofi has
a wide exposure because of extensive traveling particularly in the Gulf
countries including Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Mascat, Iran and other
countries in connection with his professional obligations.
What are the current trends in watch manufacturing and what is new to
attract the customers?
other sectors, research and development efforts are always carried out
in the watch-manufacturing sector as well. Despite the fact that a
number of other countries have jumped into the area of watch
manufacturing at a much cheaper price, yet the value of Swiss watches
still remain intact because they are reliable and long lasting as
compared to other type of sub-standard watches being produced by others.
The current trend in quality watches is scratch proof
watches in both case and the glass of the watch remain scratch free in
case of an accident or other eventuality.
Do your company has any plan to invest in Pakistan to produce quality
watches in this country?
as well as other countries including India is a huge market for watch
manufacturers. Obviously being my homeland Pakistan is on top of the
priority for investment. Imtiaz Ahmed, another Pakistani who is the
Managing Director of my company has chalked out an extensive marketing
plan for Pakistan through electronic and print media. Initially, it will
be a market assessment plan and if the response was positive, this would
naturally attract the company to invest in Pakistan.
is flooded with cheap smuggled watches selling even at a price of Rs100.
These watches are being sold under the fake name of much popular brand
of quality watches. These watches generally go out of order within 3-4
months, yet they attract a large crowd of the customers from poor income
strata. How, the quality watch producer can combat the onslaught of
these cheap and poor quality watches.
ROOFI: It is
the human nature to be attracted by the lower price, yet the survival is
always for the quality at the end of the day. This outburst of cheap and
poor quality watches would have to subside one day, as the experience is
the greatest teacher. However, the genuine watch producers were equally
responsible in the promotion of piracy of the quality watches because
the prices of the quality watches always remain on the higher side
without considering the purchasing power of the customers. There is a
need for production of low cost but quality watches, which would help
eliminating the mafia of fake producers of the watches especially in the
developing and under developed countries.
was a time when people use to wear watches as a fashion besides using it
as a time machine, but things are changed and time indicators are
available everywhere. Time indicating facilities are provided in
telephones, mobile phones, computers, fountain pen, lighters calculators
and a score of things used in the modern living. Obviously, such a
phenomenal growth of time indicators must have eroded the profitability
because of the shrinking market. How do you see the future of this
ROOFI: You are
right to some extent. The growth of time indicators in different
equipment may have eroded the demand for watches. However, despite all
these factors, the importance of the watch cannot be ignored because one
cannot take along all these equipment because they are not handy like a
wristwatch. Despite all said and done, the fact remain that watch has
become a habit of the mankind because its centuries old use. Hence its
utility significant can never be under estimated irrespective to the
spread of time telling facilities. Besides time indicating, the watches
in whatever form they might be have become an essential part of the
fashion world also. While these are also used as a decoration pieces as
well, a large segment of the economy is associated with this business
and the innovative ideas, research, and development efforts would not
easily give up the industry.
are working in Dubai for the last 16 years and have an opportunity to
travel frequently in other Arab countries. What would you suggest for
young job seekers in the Arab world.
ROOFI: It's a
wonderful question you have asked. Infact, our Pakistani youngsters are
second to non in respect of intelligence, knowledge, they are energetic
and hardworking and honest as well. Despite all these quality they could
not compete with the stuff coming in the Arab world from India,
Bangladesh, and other Far Eastern countries. According to my analysis,
there is only factor, which makes Pakistani youngsters unpopular in the
Arab world and that is their psyche of being arrogant, short tempered,
and repulsive attitude. I am not an educationist yet in my humble
opinion that besides imparting educating and training, it is also
responsibility of the institutions besides the parents to develop the
sense in the younger generation to respect the reasoning, tolerance and
patience which is generally missing in our youngsters.