The rise and fall of Dewans

Published: May 12, 2014
Dewan Umar Farooque  showed business acumen by becoming a major importer of second-hand clothes and tea within a few years. PHOTO: FILE

Dewan Umar Farooque showed business acumen by becoming a major importer of second-hand clothes and tea within a few years. PHOTO: FILE


The dream and journey begin 

In June 2006, Dewan Mushtaq Group’s (DMG) sales were over $665 million. It was under a long term debt of $175 million on the books and posted a net profit of $5.8 million. A year later it announced its first net loss ever recorded. And a year later it was Pakistan’s largest bank defaulter.

The scale of DMG was unprecedented. It was the largest manufacturer of polyester, produced cotton yarn, ran the biggest sugar mill, assembled Kia Classic, Hyundai Santro cars and Star bikes. It owned a cement company that had plants in south and north and its Dewan Petroleum was sitting on 235 billion cubic feet of gas reserves. The group was a distributor of BMWs and Rolls Royce and ran multiple businesses on the sideline including DMART shops. Sixteen thousand employees were on its payroll.

Dewan had never before defaulted on any loans. Its flagship Dewan Salman Fibre was the best rated private company in the country throughout the 1990s. In terms of industrial diversity, few Pakistani groups came close to matching them. They had nine listed companies.

“The question is if the drastic decrease in the group’s turnover 2007 onwards, which triggered the defaults, resulted from its failure to sell the produce or its inability to buy raw material,” remarked the ex CEO of a bank.

The answer to this question lies in a fateful meeting in 1992 that was held behind closed doors in Islamabad.

From Patiala to Haripur

Almost every successful Pakistani business has had ties with some pre-partition trading community. Memons, Bhoras, Khoja Ismailis and Isnasheris, Chiniotis and Punjabi Sheikhs. The Dewans belonged to none. They came from India’s east Punjab region of Patiala.

The family’s oldest registered company, Sh Dewan Muhammad Mushtaq, dates back to 1912. It was established by group founder Dewan M Mushtaq Farooque who traded in used garments. He would buy clothes in Karachi and sell in Delhi.

The family migrated to Karachi soon after partition and, in 1948, established Dewan Mushtaq Sons, housed in a small shop at the North Napier Road.

It is believed that “some curse” followed them from Patiala as every achievement was preceded by a family tragedy.

Dewan Khalid, the eldest son, died after a brief illness in 1958. Dewan Mushtaq himself did not live to see the family’s first factory and passed away in 1968.

On August 7, 1970, the foundation stone ceremony of Dewan Textile Mills, their first cotton spinning unit, was being held in Kotri. That was a big day for the family. Dewan Mushtaq’s wife, their second youngest son Noman, 30 and a daughter were on their way with some other family members when the car crashed on the highway. The three of them were killed.

The entire responsibility to look after the family and its interests fell on the shoulders of 36-year-old Dewan Umar Farooque, the second eldest son. After matriculation, he could not pursue education and helped run the shop.

He showed business acumen by becoming a major importer of second-hand clothes and tea within a few years. Eventually, he rose to the top of the Pakistan Secondhand Cloth Merchant Group and Tea Traders Association of Pakistan.

Between 1970 and 1978, Dewan Umar along with his younger brother Dewan Salman set up two more textile spinning units in Kotri and Hyderabad.

They also set up Pakistan’s largest sugar mills with a production capacity of 5,000 tons in Thatta.

By December 1988, the DMG’s four listed companies had a combined revenue of Rs1.5 billion. Dewan Textile’s share price was at Rs62. There was zero debt on the three textile units, which together were among the five largest spinning companies in the country.

It was time for DMG to embark on the most ambitious project — the largest polyester stable fiber (PSF) plant.

The use of man-made fibre had grown in Pakistan as price of cotton shot up due to shortages. Between 1981 and 1988, demand rose on a compound annual growth rate of 23% to 78,000 tons. Half was met through imports.

DMG wooed Japan’s Mitsubishi Corporation and Sam Yang Company of Korea to be equity partners in a polyester fibre plant with an annual capacity of 52,500 tons. Mitsubishi provided most of the financing.

Work on the project was completed in a record 19 months and production started on January 1, 1992. The PSF was branded Salsabil, which in Arabic meant the lake of paradise.

It was an industrial undertaking never seen in the private sector before. Initially christened as Salamese Fibre, it was spread over 140 acres. It had a staff and executive housing colony including a guest house and bachelors’ hotel. There was a labour colony that included a sports centre.

The project was located in an isolated place called Hattar, in district Haripur of North West Frontier Province because of tax exemptions on investments made in the area.

Just when work on Dewan Salman Fibre was being completed, DMG started to feel the heat from other PSF makers who were not in the incentive area and did not enjoy tax benefits.

Little over three months after production commenced, PSF producers called a meeting to discuss the issue. Dewan Umar Farooque was already suffering from heart complications.

On April 8, 1992, he flew to Islamabad where executives of another Lahore-based polyester company met him at the airport and assured him that they wouldn’t protest against the tax exemptions.

But later that day, the entire industry ganged up against him. He suffered a cardiac arrest during the meeting, succumbing a few hours later, not living to see even the first financial statement of his most cherished achievement.

Dewan’s decade of war

The fateful day was a watershed event for the businesses as president Ghulam Ishaq Khan promulgated the Protection of Economic Reforms Ordinance 1992.

Nawaz Sharif took over in 1990. Privatisation programme was in full swing. MCB Bank, Millat Tractors and Maple Leaf Cement had already been handed over to private investors. More selloffs were in the pipeline and investors sought protection.

The ordinance guaranteed private ownership and stopped the government from taking over privatised organizations. Another provision, which was particularly important for industrial ventures, was protection of fiscal incentives given to encourage investment.

The two key ingredients for making PSF – pure terephthelic acid (PTA) and mono ethylene glycol (MEG) – had enjoyed sales tax exemption since 1981. Both of them were imported. On May 14, 1992, sales tax of 12.5% was imposed on them.

Dewan Salman Fibre was located in Hattar Industrial Estate where the imported raw material reached after zigzagging 1,435 kilometers. The nearest customers were 400km away.

The incentive package for Hattar included sales tax exemption till 1997 and income tax holiday for nine years from the start of production. But sales tax benefit was on the sale of PSF and not the raw material.

Its imposition diluted the incentive for locating the plant far away from spinning companies in Karachi and Faisalabad. DSF’s competitors had won the first battle since they could offset the tax on polyester fibre against what they paid on raw material under the tax refund regime.

Despite the setback, the DMG under the leadership of Dewan Umar’s eldest son Dewan Ziaur Rehman was on its way to make history.

To regain the DSF’s cost advantage over competitors, it was decided that another unit would be added with a capacity of 56,000 tons.  Unit II needed an investment of over Rs2.5 billion. There was no way local banks could fund that, especially as the government had limited the role of state-backed development financial institutions.

Something unprecedented tried

To raise funds, DSF went to international capital markets with Pakistan’s first and only Euro Convertible Bond issue by a private company to date.

Citicorp International and Hong Kong’s Crosby Securities came forward as underwriter and managers. Barclays, Bears Stearns, Baring Brothers, Nomura International, Societe General and others were part of the consortium. Roadshows and meetings were held in Hong Kong, New York, Boston, Geneva, Zurich and London.

The convertible bonds were floated on May 5, 1994 with an overwhelming response from international investors. The company easily raised $45 million.

This feat propelled Dewans to the world stage. DSF had the second highest capitalisation at the Karachi Stock Exchange, literally deciding the fate of the daily index.

A few months later, DMG organised Pakistan’s first Euromoney Conference in Karachi. It took Dewan’s reputation even higher. Delegates from around the world participated, including the best private equity firms, which stood ready to do business.

Production at the new unit began on June 15, 1995 following completion of work in a record 12 months. This took DSF’s overall capacity to 108,500 tons, making it the largest PSF producer in Asia — even ahead of India’s Reliance. The unit also enjoyed tax exemption including the income tax holiday till 2004.

Walls closing in on DMG

The noose around DMG’s fibre project was getting tighter.

One after another such policies were introduced by successive governments of Pakistan Peoples Party and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz that sales tax concession was diluted.

Sales tax of 12.5%, which was imposed in 1992 on raw material, was increased to 15% in 1994. When production from Unit II began another blow came in the shape of a change in official policy.

The sales tax on the PSF was reduced to 10% and excise duty of 5% was levied instead. The move was specifically aimed at DSF as it eroded company’s profit.

Hardest fiscal hit came in the 1996-97 budget as sales tax was imposed on the textile industry. DSF customers were now asking for a tax invoice. The company grudgingly relinquished its right to sales tax exemption.

“Your company has been methodically persecuted and placed into a tremendous disadvantage compared to other PSF players,” the company told shareholders in financial statements of 1995-96.

“All this is being done at the behest of competitors under the lead of a so-called multinational origin company which is famous in portraying itself as the most fair, ethical and professional player,” it wrote in another.

Entire feasibility of the DSF was based on the premise that it won’t have to pay tax on raw material or PSF. Everything from its financial close, interest rate, operational costs including the pricing was based on it.

By December 1996, import of PSF was taking toll on local producers yet new players – Dhan Fibre and Ibrahim Fibre – were entering the market. ICI had also expanded capacity to take country’s total output to 400,000 tons, at least 100,000 tons more than the demand.

Dhan, which means wealth, was also located in Hattar. From the start, this venture of Lahore-based Chakwal Group remained under attack from predatory investors who aimed for a hostile takeover.

The company approached DMG with a buyout proposal. After protracted negotiations, which went on for a couple of years, Dewan Zia finally decided to buy Dhan in 2000.

When DMG bought Dhan Fibres after paying Rs4.2 billion for a 67% stake, it was the largest takeover in Pakistan’s corporate history.

The combined capacity of the merged entity was close to 200,000 tons a year. More money was spent to take it up to 245,000 tons the same year.

In the same year, the company had also spent substantial money on building a 25,000-ton per year acrylic fibre and tow plant to make premium synthetic products. “This was a blunder. The plant was old and the market was not big enough for acrylic,” said a former DSF official.

Even as far back as 1999, internal finance managers at DMG were raising red flags. “There were people who resisted the expansion,” recalled a finance director.

“They were hoping to undercut the competition in polyester fibre business by having economies of scale. But money was being spent in many other non-core businesses.”

By June 2001, Dewan Salman Fibre had sales of Rs17.9 billion with net profit of Rs630 million. It had a long-term debt of Rs5.4 billion. The same year it settled entire foreign debt taken to finance the Unit II.

Three years later Dewan Zia set up Dewan Petroleum, 30% of which was owned by DSF.

The ‘Arabian stallion’

If Dewan Zia was a strategist then his younger brother Dewan Yousuf was a master executioner.

Dewan Umar’s second eldest son, Yousuf, was confused and frail as a kid. He would fall sick in his father’s absence. This became such a worry for the family that he was moved to Hyderabad where he would be close to his father.

Dewan Yousuf signing a technical agreement with Hyundai Motors in 1999. PHOTO: FILE

He completed his matriculation from Hyderabad’s St Bonaventure’s High School and BCom from Government Commerce College, Karachi. He might not have spent time with the Japanese like Dewan Zia but his raw energy would prove to be enough.

“This son of mine is an Arabian stallion,” Dewan Umar once told a gathering of family friends. “He runs so fast that he can win any race. But who will control him?”

While Dewan Zia called the shots at Dewan Salman Fibre, Dewan Yousuf managed the sugar mills. Similarly, the other brothers and cousins had varying degree of involvement with other sister concerns.

By 1998, Dewan Yousuf had come of age and wanted to play his part in adding to the group’s prestige. He infused new life into DMG.

A staunch believer that the auto industry propels real economic growth, he incorporated Dewan Farooque Motors Company Limited (DFML) in December 1998.

“In Europe it’s like every other person is associated with the auto industry,” he says.

When it comes to cars, Pakistanis have had limited options. Experiencing other manufacturers, particularly Korea’s Kia, had been unpleasant.

Naya Daur Motors was the first to introduce Kia in 1994. According to court filings, the company took over Rs800 million as booking fees from 16,000 people. Only a few hundred vehicles were delivered before the company went bankrupt.

But Yousuf entered the market on a strong footing. Named after his father, the Dewan Farooque Motors had agreements with Hyundai and Kia to assemble and sell their vehicles in Pakistan.

The plant built in rural Sindh’s Sujawal area at a cost of Rs1.8 billion was completed in seven months. It was the first automaker in the country to have robotic paint machines.

After a tumultuous decade, Pakistan entered a period of economic growth in 2001. Low interest rate and proliferation of consumer finance shot up demand for cars.

With the capacity to make 10,000 vehicles a year, DFML produced 95,429 vehicles between 2000 and 2011 which included Kia Spectra, Sportage and Hyundai’s Santro. It also sold 50,000 Shehzore trucks, which still dominate the one ton-truck category.

The sales revenue of Rs3.3 billion in 2001 would go up to Rs10.6 billion in 2006. It will post a net profit of Rs840 million for six-year period.

“Historically, Pakistan’s per capita usage of cars has remained low,” Dewan Yousuf says. “From 1993 onwards, car sales remained stagnant at 30,000 units a year. It goes to our credit that we helped revive an industry.”

DFML was the first to introduce car leasing through Askari Leasing.

Industry people say this was the time for DMG to slow down and consolidate. But there was no stopping Dewan Yousuf. He had big plans. He wanted to set up Dewan City at Sujawal where vendors would eventually localise every auto component.

In 2003, DMG invested in Dewan Farooque Spinning Mills — till then the most advanced spinning mill with 28,800 spindles to be set up in Kasur, Punjab.

The expansion binge had started. He bought Allied Motors Limited, a troubled tractor company. He would use its plant to launch Star bikes in a few years.

Sugar mills were expanded by adding polypropylene plant with the capacity to produce 2.5 million bags a year. A 125,000 litre-a-day industrial alcohol plant was built at a cost of Rs500 million to utilise leftover molasses.

The sugar company also imported fertiliser, wrapped it up in its own polypropylene bags and sold it to farmers under the brand “Salsabil.”

He also bought three more sugar mills – Khoski, Al Asif and Bawany.

But in 2004, Dewan Yousuf took a step which would pit him against many businessmen, including his own brother – Dewan Zia.

Tariq Mohsin Siddiqui, chairman and CEO of Pakland Cement, was in a desperate situation. His company owned cement plants in Karachi and Hattar with a combined capacity of 1 million tons. The once prolific corporate leader was also a victim of the government with regards to tax exemptions.

He had taken too much debt to complete cement production lines and was stuck in a quagmire of financial difficulties. Bankers were calling for liquidation.

Dewan Yousuf bought the company in 2004 for Rs1.1 billion in cash. He did that against his brother’s advice.

“Everyone had something bad to say about Tariq. They said that there are technical problems with Pakland,” Dewan Yousuf says. “But I saw things differently. It was a good investment.”

There were businessmen who wanted to pick up the pieces after the fall of Pakland. Dewan Yousuf did the honourable thing — he paid a fair price for the asset.

What many people don’t know is that after taking over Pakland, he had placed an order for Loesche’s cement mill in 2006. The powerful vertical mill, which is far more efficient than any existing plant in the country, would have made it unbeatable in Karachi. By 2008, the plant was ready to be installed. But by then it was too late.

To have is to owe

For the first time since its inception, Dewan Salman Fibre announced a loss in fiscal 2005. Just a year earlier, it had netted Rs327 million in profit.

The loss was a result of multiple factors. In the last few years, DSF’s tax concessions had expired and it was paying more in logistical cost because of its plant location in Hattar. Global PTA and MEG prices had also shot up, squeezing the margins of PSF makers.

Dewan Zia and Dewan Yousuf with their father at DSF’s inauguration in 1992. PHOTO: FILE

But the loss should have been a one-off event considering the size of the company and the rising demand for polyester fibre. Instead it would cascade into problems for the entire group in just 24 months.

DSF incurred a further loss of Rs119 million in 2006. Its sales also took a hit, dropping to Rs16.7 billion from Rs21 billion just two years earlier as it faced difficulty in convincing banks to lend money to buy raw material.

Bankers had started to express their uneasiness over all the other companies.

By the end of next fiscal year in June 2007, DSF’s loss jumped to Rs808 million, machinery was running at only 20% capacity as other PSF producers  ate into DSF’s market share.

Contrary to what is generally believed, the long-term debt of the nine listed firms was still Rs12.47 billion, a major chunk of which – Rs7.5 billion – stemmed from the acquisition of Pakland Cement, while group’s total sales were Rs38 billion.

This was also a tumultuous year for Pakistan. President Pervez Musharraf had sacked Chief Justice of Pakistan Ifthikhar Muhammad Chaudhry in March and lawyers were clashing with police in different cities.

All this coincided with differences between Dewan brothers that now came out in the open.

A few years back, Dewan Zia had moved to Islamabad from where he was running DSF and Dewan Petroleum, distancing himself from all the other firms.

“It was their mother who held the brothers together,” said a family friend. She passed away in 2007. The same year Dewan Zia handed over the group’s chairmanship to Dewan Yousuf and disappeared from public life.

Immediately after taking charge, Dewan Yousuf set upon re-profiling liabilities of the group companies. He faced two immediate challenges of negotiating a plan to defer current liabilities of DSF and refinancing the debt of Pakland Cement.

Dewan Yousuf was feeling the vibes of what would happen if time was wasted. In the last few months, banks had refused to fund Pakland’s second production line despite commitments. There was no choice but to divert working capital to complete its construction.

After consultations with the bankers, the mandate for restructuring DSF’s debt was awarded to Global Securities on July 2. Banks had initially agreed to convert short-term debt of Rs7.5 billion into long-term finance.

At the same time, bridge financing of Rs2 billion for the working capital was to be arranged. This money was supposed to come from five banks by November 2007.

DSF even collateralised its most valuable asset –30% shares in Dewan Petroleum worth around $100 million – against the bridge financing facility. Only Rs1.1 billion were released and that too after a delay of four months.

The delay resulted in all the money being consumed by cash losses. With no new credit lines, there was no raw material. All the fixed cost meant losses.

“A humongous amount of money is needed to run the PSF operation. For instance, if the company was consuming Rs100 worth of raw material, it needed credit lines for Rs500 to keep the supply chain intact,” said a company official.

But because of financial loss of Dewan Salman Fibre, working capital lines to all the other businesses including automobiles, cement and textile were squeezed. Dewan Yousuf was trapped.

Seeing how things were taking shape, DMG had started negotiations with Goldman Sachs and Merrill Lynch to refinance Pakland Cement’s debt.

By late 2007, the $120 million refinancing agreement was ready to be signed.

“Deal was called off at the last minute after the CEOs of a few banks persuaded Dewan Yousuf against it. They assured him that local banks would re-profile the entire debt of the cement business,” said a DMG official.

“He shouldn’t have trusted them. Or at least he should have made them put that commitment in writing.”

But the refinancing could not be closed as one bank, having little exposure, pulled out right before a potential default in early 2008.

The Express Tribune interviewed four CEOs of different banks. None wanted to come on record.

Some of them say bankers lost confidence in Dewan’s ability to run the business. Some say Dewan Yousuf shouldn’t have cruised around in a Rolls Royce Phantom when so much money was stuck.

“There is always a risk with consortium lending,” said a former president of one of the top three banks. “There was no need for the Dewans to strike a deal with 20 banks. Seven or eight are enough. Otherwise banks start to manage business.”

He also insisted that a conglomerate like DMG should have hired more professionals. “Dewans thought they could manage everything themselves.”

This reasoning is far from reality. Even as far back as 2006, DMG has 16 chartered accountants and some of the best professionals on key positions.

Some industry people point to shift in ownership structure of the banking industry as a reason behind group’s trouble as well. Up till late 1990s, the state-run banks were dominant lenders but by 2007 local private banks had 72% of the banking assets.

“There is no denying that some owners of large banks are carnivorous. They methodically create problems for their competitors in other industries,” said the banker. “But I am not sure if that happened in Dewans’ case.”

Dewan Yousuf’s faith in bankers was not without a good reason. He had grown up seeing many of them spending hours with Dewan Zia. Some were like family.

Another banker suggested Dewan Yousuf should have parted with some of the assets to settle part of the debt and come out of the crisis.

DMG earnings (Rs in millions)

Holding the ground

But there was another option which would have ended the crisis immediately. Instead of being forced to sell the units cheap, Dewan Yousuf approached a leading private equity firm to bail out the group in mid-2008.

Under the agreement, a copy of which The Express Tribune had seen, DMG was to transfer its shareholding in a holding company to be jointly owned by the two parties. The private equity firm was to hire people to run the companies while injecting $150 million.

The weekend before the agreement was to be signed, DMG pulled out. This time political compulsion was involved. An influential politician in Sindh had asked Dewan Yousuf to handover the cement company and sugar mills – excluding the debt.

Dewan Umar with his sons and nephews in early 1990s. PHOTO: FILE

Under these circumstances it was not possible for the deal to go through. It’s not like Dewans didn’t have connections. The group has deep ties with the military. Salman Farooque, a longtime PPP stalwart, is a relative. But that wasn’t enough.

In July 2008, Dewan Yousuf wrote a lengthy letter to bank presidents Ali Raza, Khawaja Iqbal Hasan and Zakir Mehmod detailing everything that had happened over the previous year. He wanted answers. None replied.

Dewan Mushtaq Group defaulted. Dozens of recovery suits were filed against the group in a matter of days. The awe and shock worked. Dewans would eventually be declared the defaulters of over Rs40 billion.

The Dewans have vanished from mainstream news. Dewan Salman Fibre is shut. Stock analysts no longer follow the group companies. But Dewan Yousuf has held his ground.

He didn’t run away in desperation. Under him, DMG is contesting all cases. Settlements have been reached with some banks and working capital lines are open to few firms.

The group still employs over 7,000 people. Even when all the units were shut, no one was fired. Even today Dewan’s charitable hospital in Sujawal is the only place other than Karachi where people from Sindh can have dialysis procedures.

“Bankers had a problem with my lifestyle. They wanted to see me in slippers. Why should it bother them if I owned properties?” asked Dewan Yousuf in between sipping Perrier water during a recent interview. Having to see the companies, which made billions, come to a grinding halt, should have devastated him but he is still in control. It was the mention of Dewan Zia, which cracked his voice.

“I would have fought everyone and overcome every difficultly with any institution only if Zia bhai would have been there,” he said.

Dewan Zia lives in Dubai and could not be reached for his version.

Dewan Yousuf didn’t share much about what transpired during the two years from June 2006 onwards but spoke in a matter-of-fact way on the rise of the conglomerate and its existing potential. It has been five years since banks have not renewed the working capital lines.

“We only need new lines for working capital. Dewan Salman Fibre still has potential. It’s located in a province from where all the gas is coming. So it has a cost advantage over others,” he said.

“I am also in talks with a leading automobile maker. We will soon have the franchise to assemble the vehicles here.”

After going through such a see-saw ride, one would feel that the Dewan would crack. But, as they say, hope is a man’s biggest gift and Dewan Yousuf still seemed to have lots.



Dewan’s first factory inaugurated


Takes over a sick textile unit


Another textile mill set up


DMG, Mitsubishi Corporation sign agreement for Dewan Salman Fibre


Polyester fibre     production starts.

Dewan Umar dies hours after participating in industry meeting. 12.5% sales tax imposed on PTA and MEG


DMG undertakes Pakistan’s first Euro Convertible Bond issue for Unit II.

Sales tax on PTA, MEG increased to 15%


Unit II starts production


DSF grudgingly forfeits sales tax concession


Dewan Farooque Motor’s foundation stone ceremony


First Kia Classic car rolls out.

DMG takes over Dhan Fibre in Pakistan’s biggest buy out till then


Work on Dewan Farooque Textile Mills starts


DMG acquires Pakland Cement.

Takes over Khoski, Bawany and Al Asif sugar mills.

DSF invests in Dewan Petroleum


First attempt to restructure DSF’s debt fails


Banks start to choke working capital lines.

Dewan Zia hands over chairmanship to Dewan Yousuf.

DMG books first net loss mainly because of DSF


All the companies post loss. DMG defaults.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 12th, 2014.

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Reader Comments (104)

  • Khizer
    May 12, 2014 - 2:41AM

    A very interesting account that was also well written. Props!


  • Feroze A Ursani
    May 12, 2014 - 3:22AM

    I have very limited knowledge of the Dewans’ businesses, but had first hand knowledge of their social philanthropy in Hyderabad Sindh .
    I was a resident in Cardiology at LMC Hospital Hyderabad when a Dewan was brought with a cardiac ailment. The family was impressed by the services provident by the late Prof A K Abbasi and acceeded to his request to establish a CCU there, which bears the name of late Deean Mushtaq. Also the Dewans almost singlehandidly financed the first ever international Cardiology Conference in Hyderabad.
    I had a front row seat to these two ventures, and know how it has helped Sindh, and thank them for it, and wish them well.


  • hassan uddin
    May 12, 2014 - 3:40AM

    PPP and Zardari eventually took their revenge from this family.


  • Chachoo
    May 12, 2014 - 4:06AM

    If i would be a businessman with an Annual turnover of 665 Million US Dollars while my profit will stood at around 5.8 Million US $ then it will definitely sent shock waves within me. Their demise was actually started with declining profits and lower gross profit margins but nobody warned them and they did not foresee at all
    But for a migrant family from a small village near Patiala Punjab who came with nothing and then they established a huge business group in Pakistan is infact a great feat in my view.

    The real problem with the business families in our country is simple. They dont want to hire competant CEO and Directors rather their sons and daughters are destined for top positions and the same thing happened with Dewan family and now we can see the outcome.


  • Abrar Chaudhury
    May 12, 2014 - 4:19AM

    Great research!


  • GS@Y
    May 12, 2014 - 4:51AM

    A very well-written and well-researched story. It was fascinating to read. Really not what you’d expect given the quality of write-ups in ET in general.


  • Ahmad
    May 12, 2014 - 5:31AM


    An influential politician in Sindh had
    asked Dewan Yousuf to handover the
    cement company and sugar mills –
    excluding the debt.**

    No comments.


  • A. Khan
    May 12, 2014 - 6:34AM

    Kudos to the writer. I for one, always wondered about the origin of Dewan Group.

    From this article, it would appear that Dewan Group suffered an acute case of hubris, hence, their efforts to expand using debt financing. In other countries, such companies suffer when interest rates change or there is glut in the market from some other manufacturers. In this case, it looks like Dewan’s tread on too many toes and were made to pay the price. Also as the writer mentions, they were the outsiders when compared against the other main industrial groups ethnicity.

    that would make a very good story on what transpired behind the scenes between the rivals and the banks.


  • Shahid Kinnare
    May 12, 2014 - 6:44AM

    @hassan that why be careful who you make your enemy and friends. What the point of you story it is good story but what it’s trying to accomplish.


  • Asad M
    May 12, 2014 - 7:17AM

    A person pretty high up in the Dewan group told me that zardari is the one behind a lot of their problems. He’s the one who controls their sugar mill now.Recommend

  • Asad
    May 12, 2014 - 8:21AM

    I personally know the whole family and infact have grown up watching their success. To begin with, big on welfare and philanthropy! They are honest and patriotic. I wish them all the best.


  • observer
    May 12, 2014 - 9:14AM

    the business group that has contributed so much in health care…dewan coronary care,in karachi,sukkar hyderabad and many more


  • Assad
    May 12, 2014 - 9:33AM

    Lesson to all, doing business in Pakistan is harder than building a house on the sun.


  • Simple
    May 12, 2014 - 9:43AM

    better than the usual crap ET is publishing every Sunday in the name of research. However, even this piece could have been a lot more meaningful if we could know the happening between 2008 and 2014!


  • Nasir Jadran
    May 12, 2014 - 9:52AM

    After reading this article on Dewan Group, I recall when I first came to Pakistan from US back in 2002, a family friend of mine mentioned that Dewan Group is importing Rolls Royce etc. but there are other businesses who wants to see them checked. I first thought why do I care about Dewans or other businesses; Pakistani business community lacks sense and honesty.

    However, after reading this piece I agree with one of the comments made by Chachoo that Pakistan business community doesnt hire professionals as CEOs, CFOs, etc. Similarly, political parties don’t elect competent leadership only famiky members become CEOs. It is like a norm there in Pakistan.

    I believe there are ways to shore up some revenues for Dewan group. We have done it here in the US but things in Pakistan is that people there are not honest. And where honesty and integrity is missing people are reluctant to help.

    I would suggest DEWAN YOUSAF and other DEWAN members to invest in new technology, R&D in fibre and other avenues including oil and gas reserves but get some credible CEOs and management just like we do it here in the US. The owner is a major share holder but doesnt need to interfere in management, can hire CEO, give them time and set reasonable, achievable goals.

    Money can be poured in from the US investors, but for that build investor confidence first.


  • Fahim
    May 12, 2014 - 10:20AM

    I think he joined the TJ and was an active member. He refused to accept bank loans on interests too !


  • HH
    May 12, 2014 - 10:23AM

    Wow! what a read!


  • Faisal A. Sheikh
    May 12, 2014 - 11:11AM

    Classic reason of huge unemployment in pakistan. Business are discouraged by politicians, governments, banks, talibans, extortion mafias, political and non political gundas.I fully believe that the Dewan’s would rise despite the deceits of mir jaffars.


  • Smajik
    May 12, 2014 - 11:29AM

    Kudos! A well researched article in ages, not what one expects from ET….Well done Saad.


  • Khalid Sohail
    May 12, 2014 - 11:59AM

    A very well written article.


  • saleem
    May 12, 2014 - 12:48PM

    A very good article We do need good write up about the business leaders of Pakistan. ……i will save it


  • Muhammad Uzair
    May 12, 2014 - 12:52PM

    Saad: I must say that I have never read such well written case study of the rise and fall of a Pakistani Conglomerate. A lot of credit also goes to express tribune to get this published. Reading the case study reminded me of giving Dewan’s Cement Aquisitions as an overtrading example to the MBA students but had never imagined that it would happen so quickly!!


  • Hamid Munir Rammah
    May 12, 2014 - 12:53PM

    I agree completely with Nasir Jardan about the competent leaders in the industry part. This is probably the biggest success factor in US and other business communites around the world. But I have to say here that this is the norm in Pakistan and the politicians played an important role in bringing down this group. The biggest problem as I see it is the group was protected from the start with tax exemptions and grew under protectionist measures. The company was not efficient in terms of making profits while following the same competition as all other companies in Pakistan do. This holds true for other companies and groups in Pakistan as well. The government needs to regulate an environment in which all of the companies and groups are subjected to the same competition.

    However having said that the government also needs to put its nose out of the workings of the companies and politicians with all their connections do not need to poke in the business. This is a shameful act on behalf of the politicians and I am very much sad about how Dewan’s were asked to handover the sugar mills excluding the debt.

    Wishing well for this group and for Pakistan. I hope they will get back into the prime state they were in before.


  • Rasul
    May 12, 2014 - 1:01PM

    Very well written article. Would be great if you could name the politician from Sindh who asked him for the handover. And also clarify if you mean ‘front man’ / ‘king maker’ or actual politician when you labelled the anonymous person as such – methinks the former.


  • Basit Abdul
    May 12, 2014 - 1:13PM

    This article is written after proper research. I like the article and the history of Dewan Group. I came to know about is past, present and future endeavors.


  • Farhan
    May 12, 2014 - 1:16PM

    Very well written article and in depth analysis of the Group’s rise and Fall. I have been working in this company for 11 years and it was probably the best organization. Dewan Yousaf had a vision and was persistent and still is persistant in getting back to his feet. May ALLAH give him the strength to fight back and make him realize that who is faithful and who is not.

    Best of Luck Dewan Group… MAy ALLAH Help you :)


  • Usman Lakhani
    May 12, 2014 - 1:47PM

    This is a very well written and thoroughly researched article. Would like to see more on different families and communities!


  • Kabeer Hussain
    May 12, 2014 - 2:26PM

    Very well written, but the the writer should clearly state which politician from sindh made the demands.


  • May 12, 2014 - 2:36PM

    A sad story of a big business owner family who did so well after migrating but suffered at the hands of politicians later on.It seems being politician is the guarantee to be a successful businessman to safeguard their interests that what lacked in Dewan group case i guess.


  • Rabia A
    May 12, 2014 - 2:40PM

    Brilliant story x


  • AlterEgo
    May 12, 2014 - 2:49PM

    A well written insight in the conglomerate ups and downs.

    An inspiration that even when being in the eye of storm , the courage and perseverance of the man is still standing high to rebound and remake the history.

    I only had a limited working exposure with them, for a services contract done in the period 2005-06, when maybe when they were booming with more and merrier, so good to know what was happening before, then and later behind the scenes.


  • Durrani
    May 12, 2014 - 2:58PM

    Their life story shall be translated into a movie kinda like wolf of wall street for our future generation to follow and take examples and also for our people to support and appreciate the hard work people have put in.

    P.s great article, very well written !!


  • Jamil
    May 12, 2014 - 3:03PM

    Extremely well written article! The research was in-depth with selective words chosen in making this article so interesting that the reader gets so deeply involved, that without pause, read the article till the end. The whole story has one lesson; can Pakistani businessmen one day get out of the chuckles of our politics and SROs. If we cannot make ‘billionaires’ in Pakistan, then we can never have a strong manufacturing based economy. Once again congratulations to the writer. ET is doing wonderful work, well done.


  • QAZI
    May 12, 2014 - 3:16PM

    trust me chacho, they got more professional opinion then any other group in pakistan. irony is that professional opinion doesnot matters in political revenge games.


  • QAZI
    May 12, 2014 - 3:20PM

    being an auditor of DMG, i hardly see any unprofessional environment inside. Its moreover a political backstabbing then any lack of business sense.


  • Jamil
    May 12, 2014 - 3:27PM

    Extremely well written article! The research was in-depth with selective words chosen in making this article so interesting and the reader gets so deeply involved, that without pause, read the entire article till the end. The whole story has one lesson; can Pakistani businessmen one day get out of the chuckles of our politics and SROs. If we cannot make ‘billionaires’ in Pakistan, then we can never have a strong manufacturing based economy. Once again congratulations to the writer. ET is doing a wonderful work, well done.


  • Random Passerby
    May 12, 2014 - 3:38PM

    Excellent stuff ET.


  • Jawad
    May 12, 2014 - 3:51PM

    Indeed a very good read, well researched. I remember once a traveled to Badin and on the way we stop over to Sujavel for friday prayers that was inside the beautiful housing compound of Devan.


  • Farhan M
    May 12, 2014 - 3:52PM

    We all admired the very well written research.Regarding hiring professionals i think Late Mr Umar did his metric when he joined the business.He did not learned how to do business from any business school.I think experience is the biggest teacher you can have in a country like Pakistan.Today we all know Dewan as one of the biggest defaulter because the mistake they made was reinvesting whatever they had in Pakistan.
    They did not transferred there wealth abroad.There mistake was not that they did not hired highly payed professionals but they gave jobs to people who were needy,who did not had any financial support or reference from any political leader for a job.They wanted the people of this country to benefit.
    This was one of the few groups of Pakistan who gave loan to the Government of Pakistan when the country was is need during the Nuclear test done by Nawaz Sharif.
    If they had given half of that loan to the politician as bribe they would have been in a better position today.That was the mistake they made.
    The biggest difference in Pakistan and our neighboring country is that there is no support from government.Rather they try to bring everyone down who is doing big.
    Finally i think Dewan has the potential to bounce bag and very soon Insha Allah we will all see this Group in its old postion.


  • Muhmmad Rizwan Ali
    May 12, 2014 - 3:58PM

    Very well written by Saad Hassan, hopefully it will opened eyes of other business people, not to be involved in politics, or even near to futile Political leaders,
    Need to write about some more business families,who also suffer like this….


  • Ahmed
    May 12, 2014 - 4:31PM

    Brilliant article and very well written! Well done ET and the writer. Can we have more articles like this?


  • sh3hryar
    May 12, 2014 - 4:32PM

    Pakistani journalism at its best!


  • Careful reader
    May 12, 2014 - 4:48PM

    They have talented leaders but how can any company be competitive after paying regular and then the mr Ten percent fee.


  • Ch. Allah Daad
    May 12, 2014 - 5:18PM

    Very well written article. Bottom line is that our Businessmen spend more time on tax manipulation than real business. Couple of percentage change in tax would make or break them. In article I don’t see any invention, trend setting or market strategies by this or any other group.


  • Ahsan Farooqui
    May 12, 2014 - 5:19PM

    Tough times never last, tough times do.


  • Farooq
    May 12, 2014 - 5:48PM

    A very nice article depicting what we do to the business community in our country as a nation. I would appreciate if the correspondent can do such profiles on other business groups as well.


  • hassaan
    May 12, 2014 - 5:56PM

    very well written article….


  • ather shah
    May 12, 2014 - 6:20PM

    it was great to read about a family which still is genuine to its name


  • Musharraf
    May 12, 2014 - 7:18PM

    What a well researched article written and published by ET…. Hats off. Please convince the brother to come back and help bringing back the good old days of this remarkable group. Looking forward to see dewans rising again and contributing to this country. Prayers for dewan family and “PRAYERS” for Zardari/Bhutto khaandaan….


  • Faisal Javed Mir
    May 12, 2014 - 7:25PM

    I am currently working in a company owned by Sir Dewan Zia ur Rehman and know how great man he is. I agree with Qazi sb that in country like Pakistan there is no stopping of bad politics in business. That so called politician was X-Environment Minister and then the X-President who ruined the business. But Dewans are still fighting and we the current employees have high hopes from them.


  • Faisal Javed Mir
    May 12, 2014 - 7:28PM

    @Ch. Allah Daad:

    The Asia biggest Plant, The south regions first ever auto-mobile maker, the best quality product award, the innovation of taking your brand name to international community and getting investment. There is no math to that they were doing.


  • Kashaan
    May 12, 2014 - 7:30PM

    Good story, feels like written by one of the family members !
    Everybody focusing on politician aquiring his industries without debts.
    Oh come on that particular politician did many things which are unjustified but can anyone justify that asking debt while riding phantom ?
    Watever the tragedy was, fact is they lost the trust of company main investers, and they were banks, so badly that they cant even have working capital. A new private sector company without name is mentioned.
    What i take as a lesson is “always do what you can do on your own i.e without debt atleast as an working capital”
    They could have made a consoritium/partners…. or sell those non-profitmaking units pakland cement and automobiles without waiting any further just to focus on DSF which everyone thinks still has potential
    As far as their social work are considered yes they are great people


  • Yasir Jamal
    May 12, 2014 - 7:43PM

    This is an excellent piece on the rise of a business family that doesn’t have a feudal background. This basically is similar to Sam Walton’ story of success (owner of Walmart) but the pitty is that Dewan’s were on the wrong side of the pond!

    Regards, Yasir


  • Fehima
    May 12, 2014 - 8:30PM

    If, “….the weekend before the agreement was to be signed, DMG pulled out. This time political compulsion was involved. An influential politician in Sindh had asked Dewan Yousuf to handover the cement company and sugar mills – excluding the debt,” then should not the present, business friendly government of PM Shariff, take steps to return the Mill to the rightful owner?
    ET just never does a complete investigative report. They provide information but never the complete picture. Did the reporter check with the present Minister responsible for trade if anything had been done about it? Did the reporter check with the PM’s office to find out a) whether they knew about this; b) if the PM’s office was going to do anything about it? Approach the “influential politician from Sindh”, to return what is not his?
    Complete the picture, ET!


  • kulwant singh
    May 12, 2014 - 8:53PM

    Late Dhiru Bhai Ambani who founded the Ambani group one of the largest business houses of India was a clerk in a shipping company it is called luck.


  • Farhan
    May 12, 2014 - 8:57PM

    interesting,informative and very well written article (Y)


  • Ali
    May 12, 2014 - 9:31PM

    Funny how the company is protrayed as a victim of Politics while portraying itself as holier than thou and for that purpose it used the following excuse:

    Almost every successful Pakistani business has had ties with some pre-partition trading community. Memons, Bhoras, Khoja Ismailis and Isnasheris, Chiniotis and Punjabi Sheikhs. The Dewans belonged to none. *

    Everbody knows that in order to do business in Pakistan you simply cannot succeed and be a saint at the same time, everybody does dirty business under the sheets in order to out-do one another. That is simply how things work in Pakistan.

    P.S A conglomerate that still employes 7k plus people is still far from what is called ‘a downfall’ in business terms. It is simply the recessionary period that started from 2007 onwards that hit ever major business group globally in terms of finance and slowed demand for their products etc. I belive the author does not know the meaning of ‘rise and fall’ and should try to study ‘bear stearns’ and ‘lehmann brothers in order to know the full meaning or rise and fall.



  • yousafhaque
    May 12, 2014 - 9:38PM

    A very well versed gist of policonomics of Pakistan.tells why we are what we are


  • Sanober Zakir
    May 12, 2014 - 9:52PM

    When you have to buy or sell anything in Dewan Group, you have to bribe the management from top to bottom. Such management practices normally lead to companies failure.


  • Adeel.
    May 12, 2014 - 10:01PM

    Ohh it was like a movie… A very well written article


  • MK
    May 12, 2014 - 10:46PM

    No business could have survived rather flourished when looters and plunderers were presidents and prime ministers of the country.

    The biggest curse to Zaradari was – somebody is drving a phantom from halal earnings from sugar mills in the country while he was the president — how dare he — take the sugar mills and off goes the phantom.

    Pakistan lost all the Bawanis, Adamjees, Diwans, Hashims and many more. When vultures are present you only see the foxes, jackals and hyenas on the loose to share the carcass — and we have tons of these scavangers in country.

    May Allah help sincere peoaple like Dewans – In 90s I use to live in the same society some of these Diwans lived and witnessed thier humbleness and gratitiude to Allah first hand myslef.

    Poor Pakistan.


  • Jawad Naseer
    May 12, 2014 - 11:00PM

    All I know is that I MISS MY OLD COMPANY Dewan Farooque Motors Ltd.


  • Ahsan Bilal
    May 12, 2014 - 11:09PM

    May Allah keep them happy, gv them success. AMEEN


  • Muhammad
    May 12, 2014 - 11:59PM

    I have been associated with the group since the 80s. For prsnl reasons i have not written my real name. I used to work for Dewan textiles in kotri. The textile division was headed by the sons of dewan khalid ( eldest bro of dewan umer farooque), the great late dewan ghulam mustafa and dewan ayub madni ( former chairman APTMA Sindh-Balochistan zone and FPCCI businessman of the year 1997). The two brothers were honest in their dealings, sincere and worked for the companies interest. They had a great sense of business knowledge and were competent, making dewan textiles soar to new heights. On the other hand dewan yousuf and zia were horrible businessmen. I have seen with my own eyes what dewan was and what dewan is thanks to dewan yousuf n zia. What was the need to expand to this extent? Kia and hyundai failed, dewan sugar mill the largest sugar mill in pakistan was in losses whereas all other sugar mills make high profits. What was the need to add the polypropelene plant? What was the need to set up dewan motor? What was the need to buy then n pakland cement? What was the need of buying the 3 sugar mills? What was the need Of setting up star motor bikes? And finally what was the need of the Acrylic plant? If you see each of the ventures mentioned above failed. I am not just saying things i support my arguments with facts.i have seen the business with my own eyes for 20 yrs. Dewan yousuf n zia were very poor businessmen. They could not handle the businessess they inherited and on top of that were digging their own grave witht the over exapnsion. It is true that the expansion caused all the fianancial problems and choked the working capital. What was the need? End result was 0. It is not the bankers fault. On top of this both yousuf n zia were corupt, taking out money from the group for personal expenses. Why did they have rolce royce cars when the company waz in financial crises? Even bug names in pakistani business circles like mian mansha, rafiq habib, sadruddin hashwani, iqbak lakhani, fawad sheikh do not own rolce royce cars, even thoigh their cpmpanies are doing so well. As far as politicians go they posted no threat to dewan. Yousuf was friends with musharraf and mohd mian soomro of pml q and was a minster himself twice. Zia had good links with army and dewan ayub was close to nawaz sharif. Yousif out of his greed forcifully outsted dewan mustafa and dewan ayub to take over the inventory of dewan textile and use it to finance his failed ventures. On this issue a fight broke out in 2007 after which dewan mustafa and dewan ayub parted ways wid da compny. These two bros were the only capable of the lot, after they left the losees of dewan started (2007). I repet that dewan zia n yousuf were very bad businessmen.


  • Dawood Talha
    May 13, 2014 - 12:11AM

    Awesome research, fantastically written!!!


  • Talha
    May 13, 2014 - 12:50AM

    Excellent written article… this can be transformed to movie… it wud be great… May Allah help deewans to get back on their feet…


  • Adnan Ansari
    May 13, 2014 - 5:19AM

    Actually this is not the case that they were not hiring professionals. I was CEO (2002-2003) of one of their company and at that time three different CEOs were hired to run different companies. They had brilliant HR director and Business development Director. Dewan Yousuf always listened to his advisors and took consent of his brother before going ahead.
    It is the political instability which eventually cost them this group. Certain information and knowledge is not shared here for privacy matter I believe but there is alot to add in what actually had happened.


  • M.Farhan
    May 13, 2014 - 9:31AM

    In my view hiring highly paid employees won’t solve the problem.Late Dewan Umar Farooque just did his matric when he joined the business. It was his vision and handwork which took Dewans to the sky.There mistake in my view is the love and loyalty towards Pakistan.
    They did not transferred there wealth abroad rather reinvested back in Pakistan .They gave employment to the needy who deserve the job and not to anyone who had connections with high ups. Dewan is going through a rough time but they still have all the potential to bounce back and Insha Allah very soon we will see the name Dewan back on the top.
    These companies are the backbone for Pakistan and i think we are lucky to have such companies.Recommend

  • Ahmed
    May 13, 2014 - 9:35AM

    A very good effort on part of the writer to write an objective article on the Dewans. Though i have never worked with them but know people who worked very closely with them. And the feedback i got was that they were good hardworking and able business hands.

    But one thing that the Dewans and all other business tycoons here in Pakistan have is the “seth syndrome” , which in my view is detrimental to their growth into regional or global powerhouses . They like to run businesses as their fiefdoms and don’t realize the value an independent professional management can add to growth of business beyond a certain point . Until these big business houses learn that in order to grow big they have to share decision making with ‘outsiders’ , we will not be able to develop truly global Pakistani businesses powerhouses.


    May 13, 2014 - 10:12AM

    Its very informative that how a well estabilshed organization can be failed by using external factors through politics, Great Research & very well written


  • Ali
    May 13, 2014 - 10:13AM

    Explains a lot why there aren’t large conglomerates like Reliance or Tata in Pakistan. Govt intervention in every step of the way and involvement of influential political persons in businesses has destroyed our industry.

    Good read!!


  • kk
    May 13, 2014 - 11:08AM

    who cares of dewans, common man in Pakistan is only seeing rise of prices and fall of standard of life


  • Nadeem Salam
    May 13, 2014 - 11:11AM

    A very well written article, a good case study for students and after reading this article one can see few simple mistakes that comes out to become major ones. They say never take an verbal assurance in business, every thing should be in writings….However its really sad that a Pakistani Group Collapsed like this. It should have not happened at all.


  • tebani
    May 13, 2014 - 11:22AM

    amazing and indeed excellent article i was always thinking on our ccu board name writen DEWAN MUSHATAQUE now came to know about this


  • Cue eff aiy
    May 13, 2014 - 12:25PM

    No that’s not a fact chachi,. Dewans had one of the brightest and most competent teams ever seen in the industry. For instance people like Azeem uddin, Farrukh Ansari. Moonis khan,
    Khawaja Saif, Ali uddin Ansari.
    Reality is when Cements and (Alasif, Bawany, & Khoski) we’re forcibly compromised to be sold at paltry sums with zero liabilities for the BUYER. When the PMLN,s financial wizard DAR openly threatened to take Dewans to task, and then wickedly designed special tariffs to wipe out the group that never took out their profits out of Pakistan, the group that established umpteen philanthropic projects and helping establish set ups like SUIT of Adeeb Rizwi.
    Trust me none of the Dewans have Swiss accounts, they do not have property abroad , they do not have dual nationalities, they are being punished for being hard core Pakistanis by the stinking so called stalwarts of democracy…
    We as Pakistani have to think and evaluate what this sham democracy is giving us..
    Loyal Pakistanis are being forced out…
    Point to ponder.
    One of the Dewans under threat has to live in exile… Do we need to have Sherlock Holmes to solve the riddle.
    I and all patriotic Pakistanis are for revival of Dewan group, which houses close to 10, 000 staff and workers.
    Let CJ take suo moto of clandestine affiliation of ICI and Concerned ministries high ups

    An aggrieved patriot Pakistani – cue eff aiy


  • saleem
    May 13, 2014 - 12:29PM

    In addition to my earlier comments and after reading further comments , specially of family infighting , draws the comparison to most rise and fall of Pakistani business houses and offcourse playing with fire of politics and mad rush for expansion …………Look around the ones who have survived and flourished are the ones who were slow and steady. The turtle and hare story


  • razza Shaikh
    May 13, 2014 - 2:14PM

    Dear Sir,
    This world god created with day and night.This one creation explains the theory of life that day comes after the darkness.I wish they will come back. I would love to work with people like Dewans if there is an opportunity available.
    Razza Shaikh
    Ceill: 0324-324-6164 & 0331-2500-792


  • razza Shaikh
    May 13, 2014 - 2:18PM

    karachi pakistan.

    10703 white bridge lane, sugar;and ,houston, Texas 77098 USA


  • ali
    May 13, 2014 - 2:51PM

    After reading the whole article I see one reason for the ultimate failure of Dewans: lack of political representation. If you want to flourish your business in this country, you need bureaucratic and political representation. Unless and until you are strong politically, you will die down ultimately. Take the example of Bahria Town; tell the owners to stop infusing money in to the pockets of corrupt bureaucrats and politicians and see their lot after a few years! Pathetic system in this country !!


  • Random
    May 13, 2014 - 4:07PM

    Mr DY drives around in a RR Phantom with an entourage of guards. He still lives very large. And apart from banks he owes many small vendors assorted sums of money. Many industry experts, bankers and businessmen attribute his fall to his arrogance and his uncontrolled temper. He was aggressive and rash, and now his companies and associated people will pay the price.


  • rahim j
    May 13, 2014 - 7:35PM

    good article..ET should come up with such things more..Recommend

  • Akhtar
    May 13, 2014 - 7:57PM

    Well written article!

    Just a small note, it would be nice if you write only $ values or only Rs. values. Or, Rs. xxx ($xxx) in parenthesis. It got a little confusing to do conversions.


  • May 13, 2014 - 8:40PM

    its a sad story of ,a group whom I admire a lot and which came from nowhere and made its humble beginning with shear hard work and prayers.It became a conglomerate and went back into shadows.
    there are multifold reasons for this trauma:
    1)sudden young deaths in the family of senior most persons.
    2)too much expansion and too fast.
    3)no family organogram/policies and or if any ,its implementation.
    4)lack of leadership after deaths of top top men.
    5)family politics mostly due to certain elements inside and outside family.
    6)too many family directors of very young age with self egos
    7)lack of professional education and few more which I don’t want to write.
    8)the most important was Bank loans.
    I have always seen the family as one of the most God gifted/God fearing one who shared their wealth with the government and common people as they all were religious and still are.
    bad decisions can be done by anyone but the correction was not done and if pointed out it became a matter of EGO.
    I earnestly wish and pary that Allah swt bring back the honour and wisdom to this group and all business groups of Pakistan and Deewan group becomes the leading conglomerate of Pakistan


  • A
    May 13, 2014 - 10:45PM

    BZ is a goof if he reads this and does not who this “Sindh Politician” is.

    I personally think he knows it all and subscribes to this method wholeheartedly.


  • Junaid Akhter
    May 14, 2014 - 12:07AM

    God Bless you and Dewanfamily


  • Ali Hassan
    May 14, 2014 - 12:56AM

    Pleasantly, most of the comments, prayers and good wishes are in favor of Dewans. Mine too. The heading of the article is “The Rise and Fall of Dewans”. I think it is not suitable. It should have been “The Dilemma of Dewans“. Furthermore, …..and fall ….. means the end of Dewans, which i dont think is the case. Prayers and good wishes of many people speak of the reputation of the family and good will they enjoy. I think Allah The Almighty will not let the prayers of many go waste and will restore the glory of Dewans, Insha Allah.

    As regards to the Mr……., , he did what he had to do under compulsion of his personality traits. He will have his reward……..

    All the prayers for “Great Dewans”………………


  • Khan
    May 14, 2014 - 2:05PM

    It was a good real story and to much to learn from it.


  • Jimmy
    May 14, 2014 - 3:22PM

    It is a remarkable article about a some time largest and most reputable group in Pakistan.
    It gives us lesson that one one should not forget that all decions taken by all enterpenour are not right and expansion of group should be with great care and conciously.
    Any one wrong deccession could be a desarster for the groupRecommend

  • Arif Tahir
    May 14, 2014 - 5:08PM

    An excellent business case. Kudos to the writer. Great to see newspaper business sections actually printing something meaningful. My comments would be why didnt the Dewan group opt for equity financing instead of Debt. The stock Market was taking off and with low interest rate monetary policy investors would have been queuing to invest in high divident value stocks. I guess its about retaining control that sets back our seth owned companies. I would have spun off each company as a separate insulated entity so that a drag from one entity did not bring the group down.


  • MT
    May 14, 2014 - 8:35PM

    I think, what I know the important name with role that effected the most in dewan downfall is “Ch. Wallayat”. He is the main culprit who bring his whole village into dewan employment. His decisions has taken vital role to eliminate professionals from Dewan group. Someone can highlight his career and contributions to falling zia farooqui.Recommend

  • Muhammad
    May 14, 2014 - 9:36PM

    Very well written article…..


  • Arsalan Aqeeq
    May 15, 2014 - 1:30AM

    Hats off to the writer! Family business dynamics, corporate governance, growth, ambition, leverage, banks , political imperatives, CAR, stakeholder governance, stability and sustainability, innovation and diffusion and what not ….. This is remarkable case ….. should be taught to our business leadership …… given the dearth of local casesRecommend

  • Naval Vaswani
    May 16, 2014 - 1:11PM

    Well researched and kept the interest of reader intact


  • khursheed
    May 16, 2014 - 11:04PM

    Worth reading article. We can conclude easily main reasons of going down economy by going through this few paragraph article.
    Lack of consistancy in policies
    Incompetent and greedy political leadership
    Political interference in all fields
    Ethnic grouping in buisness, jobs, politics
    this is not only the case but so many cases, engro chem, is one more example,by the grace of it survived.
    Only solution is competent and loyal leadership, which still not visible for even years and miles


  • Saleem Akhter
    May 17, 2014 - 7:05PM

    good work of article writer,,, i observe unprofessional approaches of Mr Yousuf. 1st he lost his executioner Mr. Zia. he worked with good ideas with out idea executor. 2nd he comes in over confidence on his strength. Here i would recommend Mr Dewan Please show the names of that politicians infront of the nation. At last i would pray fro your come back and your success. keep faith on Almighty Allah not all faith on your strength. build a new team of competent people have winning horses in your team. Good Luck!


  • Aziz
    May 17, 2014 - 10:14PM

    Everything is in the hands of Allah, rise and fall of anyone :)
    One can only do his/her best .. but eventually Allah will decide one’s future :)


  • maryam
    May 20, 2014 - 10:30AM

    the dewans were good people.


  • Samir Ahmad
    May 21, 2014 - 10:28PM

    Excellent research and report !


  • Khursheed
    May 23, 2014 - 5:35PM

    I worked at DFML in 1999-2000 with IM&S, the way they setup the Dewan sugar mill and DFML, is very impressive. They always encourage the socio-economic cultures and give benefit to local communities. I had a meeting with Dewan Yousif and observe him very keen and enthusiast person.
    Thanks to writer of this article who gave lot of information regarding this group.


  • employee
    May 24, 2014 - 9:44PM

    All things one side… what is the role of directors & the CEO who all takes high salaries, benefits (home rents. Children school fees. Up country n international trips. Travel bmw cars etc)…. are they not responsible for all the situatio? What they work?
    Friends should be limited in the business because they r just shareholder or director or manager, not owner…. yd please think!


  • ZBK
    May 26, 2014 - 11:39AM

    They were arrogant, non-professional, disrespectful to their staff, spied on their professional staff by personal servants, and ran the organizations through their personal orders like kings than through systems and processes. Organizations are run through systems, and respected professional employees, than moods and imperial mindset. Yes, no doubt they invested on projects that helped people in need.


  • Sarosh
    Jun 15, 2014 - 11:53AM

    Extensive research. Kudos to the reporter.


  • Dewan Ayub Khalid Madni
    Jun 20, 2014 - 4:55PM

    My name is dewan ayub madni after read your comments in tribute express if you feel please contact me via my email


  • FS
    Aug 18, 2014 - 12:31PM

    Very well written!


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