KARACHI: After the boom of telecommunication, banking and media in the last two decades, the next big impact in Pakistan will be made by retail marketing, said CEO of Markematics Private Limited, Ahmer Rasheed, quoting some of his studies.
He was talking to the students of a retail management course at SZABIST on the 'Art and Science of Retailing in Pakistan'. More than 150 students attended the lecture on Friday. "Shopping is no longer an arduous task but a family outing, since big stores and malls have emerged," said Rasheed.
Adopting franchising as the way forward
Brand strategist and marketing consultant Mahmood Nanji asked the students to explain the role of the retail outlet if the customer is walking around the shopping mall. "If the retailer does not do anything to attract the customer, he will just pass by without even noticing the shop," he said, explaining the importance of displaying your product and making it available to the consumer.
Explaining the bond between retailers and manufacturers, Nanji pointed out that customers are the medium for the communication between the two. "The need of a product in the market can be understood through the retailer," he said. He explained how a customer's feedback communicates the market's product needs to the manufacturers.
Speaking about emerging online shopping markets in Pakistan, Nanji said that they can never replace shopping centres and malls. "Nobody will buy a car or a suit online until and unless they have made themselves comfortable with the fabric and style in case of dress and specification and shape in terms of cars," he explained.
Doing business in Pakistan
Anila Haq, president of Francorp Pakistan, spoke of how franchising has increased in Pakistan in the last few years. "We are the fourth biggest market in terms of franchising local and even international brands," she said.
Haq shared that by the end of every seventh minute a new franchise of a company is opened somewhere in the world. "Pakistan has more than 30 malls to be opening all over the country by 2017, which means more business and more international brands coming to the country," she added.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 31st, 2015.