INTERVIEW WITH MASROOR AHMAD ALVI CHAIRMAN F.B. AREA ASSOCIATION OF TRADE AND INDUSTRY (FBATI)

KHALIL AHMED
(feedback@pgeconomist.com)

Apr 30 - May 6, 20
12

PAGE: BECAUSE OF FREQUENT STRIKE CALLS, WORKER TURNOUT GETS LOW DUE TO LACK OF PUBLIC TRANSPORTS, WHICH CAUSES MASSIVE PRODUCTION LOSSES. WHAT IS THE SITUATION IN FB AREA ASSOCIATION OF TRADE AND INDUSTRY DURING STRIKE?

ALVI: Federal B. Industrial area consists of around 2500 small, medium, and large sized industries, which contribute a significant amount to the GDP. Most of the industries based in this area are export oriented and related to the textile sector, though there are industries related to pharmaceuticals, engineering, rice and other food products. Like any other industrial area, the Federal B. industrial area is also vulnerable to all sorts of chaotic circumstances, which include strike calls.

Trade and industry is very sensitive to all kinds of disruptive and violent activities. When a strike call is made, people in general avoid coming to the streets for fear of their life. So definitely, strike calls have an extremely negative impact on the industrial activity.

Having said this, on the other hand, people of Karachi are now more resilient, and have adapted to the unnatural frequent disruptions and try to carry on with routine life. Luckily for FB area, most of the workforce comes from adjoining residential areas, so even when transport is unavailable many of them mange to reach their workplace.

PAGE: A TRADE LOSS OF RS18-20 BILLION WAS ESTIMATED DUE TO CLOSURE OF BUSINESS ACTIVITIES FOR SIX DAYS RECENTLY. YOUR COMMENTS.

ALVI: It's very obvious that these closures, be they because of strike calls or power failures, cause a huge loss to the national exchequer, and this loss trickles down to the common person who is more dependent on his daily earnings for his bread and butter. If he cannot make his expenses meet, he is likely to go for other illegal activities, which in turn cause a deteriorating law and order situation, which in itself gives a very scary picture. All these job losses due to the strike calls add up to a violent outcome in which crime flourishes.

PAGE: GIVE YOUR VIEWS ON PROBLEMS BEING FACED BY THE EXPORTERS WHO CANNOT SEND THEIR SHIPMENTS TO PORTS BECAUSE OF STRIKE CALLS.

ALVI: Even though when a strike is called, the factories do manage to work at a certain level but the supplies to and from the factories come to a total standstill. In such a scenario, with exports being very sensitive and vulnerable are not risked of being transported to the port for fear of damage or worse complete destruction (a feature almost all strikes bring with them these days).

Once a shipment date is missed, the goods have either to be shipped by air or certain discounts are to be made to the buyer and only then if he is willing will he accept the goods. This in turn causes huge financial losses to the exporter who is already working at a very tight costing.

Nowadays, when the competition is very tough no buyer is willing to accept late shipments and prefers to have suppliers who can deliver on time. The delayed shipment doesn't only mean loss of money but total loss of business. Once a buyer loses confidence, it's very difficult to regain that lost confidence.

Foreign buyers these days are already finicky about doing business with Pakistan. Each time a strike brings more destruction of material and goods, the more reason the buyer gets to turn to other countries where the security situation is better. So all in all, the strike calls not only hurt the export business, but have very long term impact on the whole economy.

PAGE: HAVE INDUSTRY LEADERS URGED THE GOVERNMENT TO URGENTLY LOOK INTO FREQUENT STRIKE CALLS BEING GIVEN BY THE POLITICAL PARTIES, THEREBY PARALYZING INDUSTRIAL ACTIVITY AND EXPORTS OF THE COMMERCIAL HUB OF THE COUNTRY?

ALVI : Not once but on several occasions the industrial leaders have urged the government and all the parties to settle their political disputes so as not to hurt the industrial and trading activity of the city and country by large. However, it seems they are least bothered to give heed to such advises. On one hand, they make false promises to the common man and on the other their actions prove otherwise and make life miserable for the common person. It has become a way for the political parties to establish their popularity through the success of these strikes and each political party tries to outdo their rival. This they achieve only by creating an atmosphere of fear so whenever a strike is called people take them seriously for fear of their lives and protection of their way of livelihood.

PAGE: WHAT STEPS ARE INDUSTRY LEADERS TAKING ON THEIR OWN IN THE BACKDROP OF RISING CRIME FIGURES AND DETERIORATING LAW AND ORDER SITUATION IN KARACHI?

ALVI: Almost all the industrial areas and their representative have liaisons with the rangers, police, and other law enforcement agencies. Crime control centers have been established within the association/chamber offices. Recently almost all the industrial areas of the city have started working on establishing CCTV's and with the control rooms in their offices. So, they can react to any law and order situation though better coordination.

One thing should be understood, until and unless the root cause of the crime is finished, whatever is being done is futile. So employment has to be created so that our youth are directed to productive activity rather than destructive.

It is therefore the responsibility of the government and all political parties to create conditions where factories and trading function unhindered. This in turn will create more job opportunities and ultimately street crimes and other related problems will automatically be controlled.

PROFILE

After finishing his graduation in 1981, Masroor Ahmad Alvi joined his family business of narrow fabrics textile. The field of narrow fabric textile, in essence, encompasses a wide field of all kinds of fancy laces, different trimmings, and fancy tapes, which are mostly made on weaving and knitting machines.

In 1983, a new setup under the name of Ahmad General Mills was established, primarily meant to cater to the growing export industry. His family, sensing the change, started focusing more towards the export based industry, rather than the domestic market.

Since the focus was on the export-based industry, accordingly the quality and designing of the products was developed to the international standards.

The name Ahmad General Mills stands out for its outstanding quality and innovation in this field and is well known in the export garment based industry.

COMPANY PROFILE: AHMAD GENERAL MILLS

started business in 1954 under the name of Ahmad Lace Works & Ahmad Fabrics. As evident from the name, Ahmad Lace Works dealt in narrow width fabrics and Ahmad Fabrics in wider width fabrics catering to the demand of the local population.

It has been manufacturing and supplying textile products for the industrial, apparel and home furnishing purposes since inception.

With the passage of time as the local garments export industry developed, Ahmad General Mills was established in 1983 with the objective to manufacture narrow width fabrics and crocheted laces on state of the art latest imported machines catering specifically to the export industry. In 1990, paramount lace was established to cater to the demand of embroidered lace and fabrics for both local and exports.

The combined covered area is 54.000 sq. ft. The combined turnover is US$5 million per annum.

PRODUCT RANGE

Knitted & Woven Elastics
Polyester & Cotton Rigid Tapes
Woven Taffeta & Printed Labels Jacquard Elastics & Tapes
Curtain Tapes
Draw Strings
Crocheted Laces
Schiffli Laces & Fabric
Embroidered Fabric
Bar Code Stickers
Hang Tags
Inlay Cards

1- KITTED ELASTIC

Knitted elastics are produced on crochet machines, with fancy edges, corded and jacquard, produced with covered or raw rubber knitted jacquard available, subject to minimums.

Knitted plain elastic is available in different sizes i.e. starting from 3mm to 500mm.

These elastics are used in a variety of applications including waistbands, gloves, facemask straps, gents brief, ladies panties among many others.

2- FANCY TAPE & WOVEN ELASTIC

These elastics are used in a variety of applications including waistbands, gloves, face mask straps, gents brief, ladies panties among many others.

FEATURES & BENEFITS

Tensile strength - For many applications requiring very high tensile properties, a polyester tape backing can be ideal.

Long lasting - The excellent characteristics of polyester tapes allow various products to work well in terms of holding and decorative applications.

Temperature resistant - For many applications that require exposures to temperatures, polyester tapes can deliver excellent performance.

Capacity: Woven Elastics: 35,000 mts/day
Fancy Rigid Tapes: 50,000 mts/day
Curtain Tapes: 5,000 mts/day
Needle Looms Make: Jacob Muller & Kyang Yhe

3- CORDS ELASTIC

Elastic cords are all manufactured on braiding machines and are filled with rubber. The cover yarn that is braided over the rubber fill can be cotton, polyester, nylon, or polypropylene. Elastic cord is available in a wide range of diameters and lengths and perfectly adapted for the design of flexible suspension systems.

USAGE

Elastic cord are used in the manufacture of the men and women's underwear, athletic wear, home furnishings, pants, hosiery and industrial markets. Sometimes, metal barbs point easily to fit through any hole and flex back to stay securely inside, thus making the cords ideal for use with badge holders.

4- JACQUARD ELASTIC

In the recent past, garment industry has witnessed demand for branded name elastics and to cater to this requirement jacquard elastics division was established comprising of six weaving machines along with its own designing software.

5- JACQUARD WEBBING

Webbing is actually a strong, narrow, and closely woven. Webbing may be made of a variety of different materials such as nylon, cotton, jute etc. and may be available in customized colors and widths to suit specific applications.

Brace and belt webbing - both elasticated and rigid can be produced using either traditional jacquard designs in widths up to 50mm, or in plain colors depending on the requirements.

Ahmad General has an extensive library of jacquard elastic and webbings. It has the capability to produce high fashion garments and skirt waistband elastics, patterned for high visibility and woven to individual requirements using natural, synthetic, lycra, spandex and lurex yarns.

Elastics & webbings are manufactured for the following: braces, belts, safety wear and protective clothing, underwear's high fashion garments waistbands

6- WOVEN LABELS

Wove labels are manufactured on the latest state of the machines imported from the world's largest manufacturer of label machines Jacob Muller. The unit comprises of latest Mucad designing software, label cut and fold machine having capability to end fold as well as center fold labels having daily capacity to fold 200,000 labels and 6X label weaving machines.

Latest state of the art machines have been imported from the world's largest manufacturer of label machines Jacob Muller. The unit comprises of latest MUCAD designing system software, label cut and fold machine having capability to the end fold as well as center fold labels.

7- MEDICAL & GAUZE BANDAGES

Gauze bandages offered by us are of the finest quality and widely accepted by the physicians and doctors. The grey gauze bandages are manufactured by using the premium quality cotton. The absorbent gauze bandages are hygienic enough since these are sterilized properly.