Pakistan's Global Fashion Brands Creating Other Branded Exports Opportunities

Pakistan is moving to higher value-addition in textile sector with branding. Khaadi, Gul Ahmed, J. by Junaid Jamshed, Sapphire, Sana Safinaz and others growing into global brands by expanding into countries with large Pakistani diaspora. Other Pakistani companies that have gained international brand recognition include Shan Masala, Pakola, Tapal Tea and K&N Frozen Foods. These companies are helping boost much needed exports to narrow Pakistan's growing current account deficits

Pakistani Global Brands. Source: Pakistan & Gulf Economist

As the Pakistani diaspora has grown to nearly 10 million in recent years, several Pakistani clothing and food brands have entered markets in the United States, United Kingdom, European Union and the Middle East. These markets create opportunities to build more Pakistani global brands, create jobs and grow Pakistan's exports

Khaadi Store, Package Mall, Lahore, Source: Wikimedia

Khaadi, which specializes in women's apparel, has attracted $25 million investment from International Finance Corporation (IFC) to help the company expand its business, create jobs, promote gender equality, and support the country’s crucial textiles sector after the COVID pandemic. Khaadi has established country-specific online stores for Canada, EU, Qatar, UAE, UK, US and Pakistan. In addition, the company has 57 physical retail outlets across Pakistan, UK and GCC countries. Investment Monitor, one of a network of 30+ proprietary B2B websites, has acknowledged the potential for Pakistani fashion brands in the following words:

"Despite its difficulties, Pakistan does have strong and innovative manufacturers, notably those developing their own apparel brands have emerged. Some of this has been based on advances in the Pakistan production of fine weave lawn cloth. And Pakistan consumers are becoming more brand conscious, being happy to seek out and wear local labels. Apparel brands, such as Khaadi (of Karachi); Sapphire (Lahore) and Sana Safinaz (Karachi), have focused on value addition and with Pakistan consumers prepared to pay for local quality, high profits have followed, including by developing exports".  

K&N Foods, a Pakistani branded poultry company, has recently started a poultry processing plant in New York. The company will sell Halal chicken products in the United States and Canada under the brand name of “K&N's Foods USA, LLC”. Beginning in the spring of 2013, the company invested more than $5 million in the purchase and renovation of a former Birds Eye plant which will employ almost 200 people in the Fulton area. Initially, K&N will focus on value-added processing of poultry purchased from other slaughter plants. The target market for these products will be specialty ethnic stores, supermarkets, and food service operations. 

Brands add value to the product being sold. This added value is effectively the difference between a product's price to consumers and the cost of producing it. Value can be added in several different ways, such as adding and promoting a brand name to a generic product or assembling a product in an innovative way. Brand marketing is done to create a consumer preference based on actual or perceived features or quality of what they buy from the store shelves. 

Developing countries like Pakistan manufacture products like ready-made garments for brand-name companies like Nike, Adidas, Levy's, etc. These garments are sold at a huge mark-up in the United States, and only tiny fraction of the money goes to Pakistan. 

Another global sector dominated by Pakistani manufacturers is surgical instruments. These precision instruments are sold by German companies under German labels with no mention of them having been made in Pakistan. Bulk of the money earned by selling goes goes into the pockets of German companies whose brand names appear on these surgical instruments. 

Manufacturers can earn much more by either building their own brands by spending a lot of money over a long time on advertising and marketing or by acquiring existing brands. Chinese manufacturers have been both in recent years to claim a much bigger share of profits generated by selling their products. Pakistani manufacturers can learn from the Chinese experience to do the same.

Related Links:

Haq's Musings

South Asia Investor Review

European Union: Fastest Growing Source of Remittances to Pakistan

Pakistani-Americans: Young, Well-educated and Prosperous

Ready-Made-Garments/Textile Boom in Pakistan

Fashion Week Karachi 2016

Pakistani Halal Meat Industry Experiencing Strong Growth

Over Half A Million Pakistanis Migrating Overseas Each Year

Pakistan Most Urbanized in South Asia

Pakistan Forecast to Become World's 7th Largest Consumer Market By 2030

Amazon Expands Pakistani Exports Opportunities


Comments

Riaz Haq said…
Should #US lower its expectations of #India? Instead of investing in #humancapital, #nuclear & #renewable energy, or #healthcare, #Modi’s gov't focus is on “correcting” history textbooks, attacking #Muslims, extoll #Hindu "virtues"! #Hindutva #Islamophobia https://thehill.com/opinion/international/3513889-should-the-us-temper-its-expectations-of-india/


By HUSAIN HAQQANI AND APARNA PANDE, OPINION CONTRIBUTORS

India is reprising its Cold War-era strategy of walking the tightrope between Russia and the United States. During the virtual summit between President Biden and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in April, as well as the in-person Quad leaders’ summit in Tokyo in May, Biden requested India’s support on Ukraine. India has refused to stop purchasing oil from Russia, even if it has cancelled some Russian arms contracts.

India’s neutrality over Ukraine has dampened the enthusiasm even of those Americans who have projected India as the key American partner in its competition with China. Indians argue that they are only acting in their national interest and that even though their long-term interests remains tied to the U.S., they cannot forego the short-term advantage of neutrality towards Russia.

Instead of voicing frustration with India over its continued friendship with Russia, U.S. policymakers and commentators would do better to revise their expectations of India. The rhetoric about India being as important in U.S. plans for Asia as Great Britain was for standing up to the Soviet Union in Europe after World War II ignores India’s changing view of itself and the world.

Under Modi and his ruling Bharatiya Janata Party, India is in the process of redefining its nationalism, away from the legacy of Mahatma Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru. India’s rising Hindu nationalism (which has overtaken the secular nationalism of India’s early years) is centered on reviving India’s ancient Hindu glory. Ancient India was notoriously insular and not particularly interested in partnering with distant peoples.

While Modi’s India still wants to be recognized globally with respect, it hopes to earn that respect through celebration of an International Yoga Day, not through confrontation with China or Russia. That fundamentally different view of what is entailed in India becoming a global great power makes partnership with the West in accordance with Western expectations unlikely.

India’s economy is not growing at a rate that would position it to be China’s competitor. The expansion of India’s middle class has slowed down. Americans hoping to tap India as the next market of more than 1 billion consumers will have to wait to see that dream become a reality, both on account of its slower economic growth and its over-regulation.

Disappointment will be even greater for those expecting India to field its large military forces against China. Declining investment in military capabilities have made India’s military rather inefficient and inadequately modern. India might be able to face off against Pakistan, but it is still far from being in China’s league.

Around 60 percent of India’s military equipment is of Russian origin, and while India plans to purchase more equipment, it is keen on boosting indigenous capability and having a diverse basket of suppliers. That runs contrary to American expectations of being India’s supplier of choice.

Meanwhile, the U.S. expectation of an influx of orders for American-made nuclear reactors from India, which formed an important basis for the 2008 civil-nuclear deal, remains unfulfilled.

India wants to trade and acquire technology with the U.S. on its terms, which it believes are mutually beneficial. But is not about to become the western partner that successive U.S. administrations and many scholars have imagined.
Riaz Haq said…
Should #US lower its expectations of #India? Instead of investing in #humancapital, #nuclear & #renewable energy, or #healthcare, #Modi’s gov't focus is on “correcting” history textbooks, attacking #Muslims, extoll #Hindu "virtues"! #Hindutva #Islamophobia https://thehill.com/opinion/international/3513889-should-the-us-temper-its-expectations-of-india/


By HUSAIN HAQQANI AND APARNA PANDE, OPINION CONTRIBUTORS


Instead of investing in human capital, nuclear and renewable energy, or health care, the focus of Modi’s government has been on “correcting” history textbooks to change the portrayal of India’s Muslim and Western-colonial rulers while extolling the virtues of the ancient Hindu era.

Hyper-nationalism has also led to a new wave of protectionism and regulation, which impedes economic expansion. India has also lost the glow of being a success story for democracy and individual political rights. In 2021 and 2022 Freedom House downgraded India to “partly free,” citing attacks on religious minorities, suppression of media and weakening of institutions.

Comments by American officials about India’s direction inevitably attract charges from Indians of unwarranted interference in India’s internal affairs. Secretary of State Antony Blinken recently released the State Department’s 2021 Report on International Religious Freedom and spoke about “rising attacks on people and places of worship” in India. He was widely criticized in the Indian mainstream and social media.

Blinken also described India as “the world’s largest democracy, and home to a great diversity of faiths,” reminding everyone that the image of India as a pluralist and open society might be its great strength in external relations. That image, and the hope that India would be a global great power once it realizes its full economic and military potential, have suffered because of the ideological obsessions of India’s current leaders.

But what is unpopular in the U.S. is popular in India. Modi and his party have been repeatedly rewarded at the ballot box for talking about their civilization’s glorious past. As India postpones building a modern future or chooses to do it at its own pace and on its own terms, western cheerleaders for India’s rise may have no choice but to modify their expectation that India will help fight alongside the world’s democracies against totalitarian China or Russia.

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