KARACHI: For the man behind the city’s newest superstore, Farid’s, it was important that his new venture remains Pakistani.
“We are inherently Pakistan,” claimed Farid’s chief operating officer Adnan Hamid. “Even our logo is green and white.” Hamid is quick to explain that his patriotism is the main reason why he did not hire a foreign franchise for services offered in the supermarket-cum-lifestyle store. This latest addition to Ocean Mall in Clifton will open its doors to the public on August 1 at 9pm.
For several months, the residents of Karachi were excited about “a new Agha’s” opening at the mall. Farid’s is, however, an entirely novel concept to Pakistan bearing absolutely no links to Agha’s Supermarket, Hamid clarifies. It embodies the much-spoken-about-but-never-attempted ‘all solutions under one roof’ concept. Here you can buy everything from high-end cigars in their own cigar room to candles.
Farid’s supermarket at Ocean Mall is all set for its grand launch on August 1 at 9pm. The store offers everything from candles, to cigars, manicures and even a live deli. The owner plans to launch two more branches by next year. PHOTO: ATHAR KHAN/EXPRESS
“Where Hyperstar has eight salad dressings, we have 30,” said Hamid. “See? Something for everybody.”
This lifestyle store draws its inspiration from global attractions, such as Bloomingdales, Selfridges and Marks & Spencer. It cleverly employs the average Pakistani’s love for food with an attraction that is certain to draw a crowd; a live deli. Here, you can make own sandwiches – meats, sauces and cheese, and enjoy it while you shop.
“We have wholesome, fresh and healthy food – with indulgences of course,” says the owner of Deli @ Farid’s, who has experience in running her own restaurant. “We also have salads, sun-dried tomato, pesto sauce, grilled red and yellow peppers but really amazing wholesome sandwiches. My personal favourite is the curried chicken sandwich.”
From a live deli to a mini Liberty bookstore inside the massive store, Sayeeda Mandviwala from Tony and Guy has also set up a manicure counter. What’s more is that Nabila from N-Pro has a space in the massive makeup section of the store and will be giving free makeovers and skincare advice.
Keeping it local
Pakistan has immense talent, pointed out Hamid, adding that local entrepreneurs are just as, if not more, capable than foreign ones. The aim at Farid’s is to promote Pakistan, he claimed. The store is providing employment to over 300 people. The staff here will have complete medical coverage and access to medicines from Farid’s own pharmacy counters, promised Hamid.
Farid Virani, the managing director of Farid’s, has over 35 years of retail experience in Pakistan, given his association with Agha’s Supermarket. This store at Ocean Mall is the first step towards much bigger plans. In January next year, Farid’s is planning to open another branch in DHA Phase VIII and a third one in Hyderabad in 2015.
Their goals become more and more ambitious as the store plans on representing Pakistan outside its borders. “Farid’s aims to give a Pakistani lifestyle store representation on a global level,” said Farid Virani. “And we are strongly positioned to do so.”
There hasn’t been a single Pakistani superstore that has been entertained abroad and Farid’s mission is to showcase Pakistani services on a global scale.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 30th, 2013.