The success story originates from Tobateksingh

Apr 24 - May 07, 2006

Haji Mohammad Saleem 85, originally a farmer of Tobateksingh 80 km from Faisalabad, is the author of the success story of ChenOne. The international chain of stores of ChenOne has the distinction of introducing the concept of the retail industry in Pakistan. The concept of retail industry with special focus on Made in Pakistan label stemmed from Pakistan to the Middle East and the European Market.

The story begins from Tobateksingh, one of the remotest parts of the country in Punjab where Haji Saleem a small farmer had the vision to rise from farm to a leading industrialist by establishing the Chenab Textile Mills today providing job opportunities to over 12000. Mian Latif, the Chairman of Chenab Group who is the eldest son of Haji Saleem and his other sons including Choudhry Ashfaq, Mian Javed Iqbal and Mian Naeem provided an unshakeable support to turn the dream of their father into a reality.

From a small farm to a huge composite unit of Chenab Textiles and now the ChenOne of international repute is being promoted to a new height by eight worthy grand sons of Haji Saleem.

Muhammad Kashif Ashfaq, one of the Directors of ChenOne and also the grand son of Haji Saleem narrated the fascinating success story of Chenab Group in an interview with PAGE. Despite sitting on a huge business empire, the modest and simple living style of ChenOne family truly reflects the golden principle of "Faith-Unity-Discipline".

Although the third generation of Chenab Group family was born with a silver spoon, yet the humbleness is still the haul mark of the Chenab family. "Our grand father still works on the farms, visits ginning and textile factories and enjoys his evenings with his old colleagues of the village. This keeps him healthy and happy as well. It is his inspiring personality that restrains us from uncalled for rush of blood that is why all the people associated with Chenab group go together like a family. Hamood-Ur-Rehman one of the senior member of the staff and the regional manager sales and marketing who was sitting aside nodded with a sense of confidence with the boss. Hamood said that once a man joins Chenab Group usually becomes a permanent member of the group obviously because of the behavior of the management.

Kashif while discussing the performance of ChenOne in Pakistan observed that currently ten stories are operating in Pakistan one at Karachi, two Lahore, each at Faisalabad, Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Peshawar, Abbotabad, Rahimyarkhan and Multan.

Actually, we are about to accomplish the first phase of ChenOne which is aimed at opening stores in all the major cities and towns of the country which includes establishment of opening another four stores in different part of Karachi, three more in Lahore. In the second phase we would go at the district level basically with an idea to make ChenOne as a household name in all corners of the country irrespective to the rural or urban status of the locations. Besides country operations, ChenOne also successfully doing business in the Middle Eastern countries including Abu Dhabi, Ajman, Sharjah, Mecca, Bahrain while four more stores are in Saudi Arabia are in the pipeline. Besides the gulf countries, ChenOne is actively working to begin its operations in UK as well.

When asked about the composition of the staff working in foreign stories, Kashif said obviously the priority is given to Pakistanis while hiring staff for abroad, yet you cannot successfully or comfortably mix up with the customers of other origins until you have the local staff, hence without any bias we have to hire people of foreign origin whenever we go to their lands.

While talking about the market feedback, Kashif said Karachi is the best place to do business in all respects. Though Lahore was equally good yet the business turnover from Karachi is unparallel, hence we have decided to go with yet another four business operations in Karachi.

Besides the contribution of ChenOne in the shape of job creating for over 12000 people, it is also contributing significantly to the export regime of the country. ChenOne fetches over Rs6 billion through exports last year while the target for the current financial year is around Rs7.2 billion. Though it's a humble contribution yet it is the beginning and hopefully it would grow gradually and steadily, he observed.

Basically, our focus is on value added textile items from fabrics to textile made ups. The ChenOne stores so far helping in showcasing the local products with in Pakistan and abroad and no doubt have produced positive results. In order to enhance and promote the cherish goal of Made in Pakistan, ChenOne is also working on the lines of developing shopping malls. Working on that direction, ChenOne Towers and Shopping Malls would be housing of all reputed and renowned businesses to appeal the visiting buyers and these towers at Lahore, Islamabad, Karachi and Multan would be the most attractive venues for the visitors both with and from outside the country. Kashif was confident that this concept is hopefully added to the value and volume of the export regime in Pakistan.

Besides the textile products a variety of attractive items and recently added quality furniture is alluring the customers at a massive scale.