A booming retail segment and potential to grow

Local apparel company eyes expansion, says market increasing


Shahram Haq November 21, 2015
PHOTO: PUBLICITY

LAHORE: The rest of the world may have a maximum of four seasons available to it, but Pakistan enjoys one extra - the most lucrative one for apparel companies - called the lawn season.

Its popularity can be gauged by the number of potential customers who flock to retail outlets in an attempt to get their hands on pret collection or even the lawn fabric.

Summer apparel: The evergreen lawn businesses in Pakistan

Encouraged by the growth the sector has witnessed in the last few years due to various reasons - including an increasing middle class - more and more Pakistan’s retail brands are considering going public.

After having tapped the domestic market, the sector is looking to grab international attention.

http://i1.tribune.com.pk/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/Suleman-Ahmed.jpg

Origins, a Lahore-based fashion house, is another one looking to tap the market and its chief operating officer Suleman Ahmed is bullish on the future.

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“After seeing the growth, we have been approached by a couple of private foreign equity firms that want to fund our company, which is a clear indication of how our fashion retail segment is booming.

“We are also considering going public in the next couple of years as we have already emerged as one of the top female brands in Pakistan. The decision is yet to be finalised.”

Origins is currently operating its business operations as an independent entity. However,  Ahmad sits on the board of directors of D.S. Group - a public limited company with a paid-up capital of Rs600 million, that holds interests in textile spinning, power generation and financial services conglomerates.

He, however, clarified that Origins is funded through internally generated equity, sponsors’ contributions and business partners.

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The company, in a period of five years, has managed to expand from a Lahore-based company to an international brand. Currently, it has a presence in 27 cities with a network of 70 retail stores.

Ahmed was of the view that while the market is growing, increased competition was also forcing “under-performers” to offer discounts the entire year.

“Competition is getting fierce and aggressive. Every company needs to focus on branding, aggressive marketing and most importantly e-commerce to keep the brand alive and relevant in the market.”

Published in The Express Tribune, November 21th, 2015.

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COMMENTS (1)

Raja Porus | 5 years ago | Reply Mr. Ahmed fails to mention that D.S. Group is a bank defaulter group and its share price at the Karachi Stock Exchange has been consistently under Rs. 3/- for the past 4-5 years. On top of that, the paid-up capital of his "conglomerate" may be Rs. 600 Million but did ET bother to check what the Net Equity position of the group is after Accumulated Losses? I wouldn't be surprised if it's negative or close to it.
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