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.
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