FOODS & DRINK
INTERVIEW WITH MIAN MAHMOOD HASAN, CEO BAKE PARLOR

KHALIL AHMED
(feedback@pgeconomist.com)

Oct 3 - 9, 2011

PROFILE

Mian Mahmood Hasan-CEO of Bake Parlor was born in Multan, Punjab and received his early education from Sadiqabad-District Rahim Yar Khan. Being a position holder in Multan Board of Education examinations, he attended Government College Lahore and Haley College to complete his bachelor education. He graduated from Institute of Business Administration-IBA during 1984-1985 and during this period, he was actively engaged in setting up Rasul Flour Mills. The Bake Parlor brand was a brainchild of Hasan and was introduced in 1996.

He also occupies the following responsibilities:

1) President Pakistan Flourmills Association Sindh Chapter
2) President-All Pakistan Industrial Bakers Association

Although, the initial business was mainly commodity trading, the company was destined for a plethora of radical prospects, thanks to the vision, zeal and strategic acumen of its founder.

A firm adherence to its core values of quality, dedication and teamwork, combined with judicious infrastructural investments and a commitment to innovation have brought the company to the status of renowned food company.

In a short time period, the company has gone from strength to strength and is actively engaged in securing the food interests of the nation. The diverse products portfolio is a key strength ranging from wheat flour products to macaroni, spaghetti, vermicelli, ketchup, vinegar and sauces, Potato starch snacks and Jam-e-Mashriq.

The company's dedication to quality and continuous innovation has resulted in following accreditations:

ISO QMS 9001-2008?
Snacks Food Association (SFA),
Food and Drug Authority (FDA) of USA,
Certification from PSQCA,
Halal certification from Bureau Veritas

The complete timeline of events spearheaded by him are as follows:

Rasul Group Initiatives

Timeline:

- Rasul Flour Mill 1984
- Unity Flour Mill 1988
- Bake Parlor Industrial Bakery 1996
- Bake Parlor Vermicelli 1997
- Bake Parlor Pasta (short goods) 2000
- Bake Parlor Ketchup and Sauces 2001
- Bake Parlor pasta (Long goods line) 2003
- Pasta production capacity enhancement 2005
- Bake Parlor Frozen Paratha 2005
- Rasul Group became largest wheat importer in Pakistan. 2006
- Bake Parlor Pasta Recipe Mix 2007
- Bake Parlor Pellet Snack 2008
- Bake Parlor Pellets Fryer installed in Lahore 2009

PAGE: TELL US SOMETHING ABOUT FLOURMILLS OPERATING IN PAKISTAN.

MIAN HASAN: Currently, there are more than 1200 registered flourmills operating in Pakistan. The installed capacity is thrice the nation's wheat flour needs and the industry infrastructure is substantially developed as compared to neighbors like India, China etc.

Thus, it is one of the best industries in the Asian region. The potential of flourmill industry is still untapped. Turkey country has 1100 flourmills with lesser installed capacity but caters to 128 countries. It also enjoys the distinct honor of being the second largest pasta exporter behind Italy. We need to focus on four key areas i.e. wheat production, transportation, storage, and marketing facilities. Strengthening them through an organized system will result in numerous benefits enabling us to tap the international markets.

The urgency of the situation can be highlighted by the following facts:

1) 20 per cent wheat loss occurs due to inefficient transportation and storage network.

2) 10-15 per cent wheat loss has occurred due to heavy rains during the last couple of years.

Despite these losses, the industry is ready to capitalize on opportunities and has exported three million ton wheat and wheat flour since September 2010 to 25 countries.

The vast export market requires improvement and maintenance of infrastructure and concentration of efforts through efficient laboratories that assist in producing wheat flour according to required specifications. If food quality is improved through the stated methods than affordable products can be provided to consumers.

PAGE: WHAT ARE YOUR VIEWS ABOUT CROP INSURANCE?

MIAN HASAN: The introduction of Takaful companies has created new avenues of insurance products. The agriculture industry stands to benefit from them to ensure crop safety. Best practices can be introduced to achieve food objectives, as insurance will strive to improve existing crop cultivation.

PAGE: WHAT ARE YOU COMMENTS ON TAXATION?

MIAN HASAN: Taxation is a basic requirement but the system can be improved on the basis of three-pronged approach. Fair taxation on food products will result in greater revenues and lesser burden on industries. Methods like export subsidies and support for food business development will strengthen our nation and also provide price and quality benefits to consumers. The three stakeholders need to be assimilated into macro decisions and negative practices like bribery should be strongly discouraged.

PAGE: WHAT DO YOU SAY ABOUT COMPETITION?

MIAN HASAN: The competition in food industry has greatly suffered because of the deteriorating law and order situation. Infrastructure development and training needs to be focused in order to foster healthy competition. A suitable environment needs to be created whereby businesses can employ new marketing strategies to compete in local and international markets. Global markets require urgent attention as the world's food requirements are expanding and we are in best position to avail them.

PAGE: WHAT ARE THE PROSPECTS?

MIAN HASAN: The Pakistani food industry is blessed with ideal climates, good infrastructure and availability of trade channels. The next stage for development is to introduce value addition through development of associated industries including baking, pasta, cereals etc. The foreign exchange possible through such development is staggering as global food trade is increasing exponentially. Being a Muslim country, we are ideally suited for serving the growing Halal market and wheat flour products are required all over the world.