Worth the effort: Local group remains positive sporting the local industry (The Express Tribune (Pakistan))

When the going gets tough, the tough stay invested. That could be said for one such conglomerate the Tausif Group of Industries. Despite the grappling power crisis that the country is plagued with, the group has launched its own brand of sports garments.

The Faisalabad-based group aims at taking full advantage of the growing purchasing power of the middle classes in the domestic and international market.

For more than three decades, the group mainly exported its manufactured goods to Europe, Middle East and the United States. “More recently, it has decided to capture the local sports goods market considering there isn’t one,” said Tausif Group of Industries Director Rahil Salamat.

“It is now poised to take advantage of the situation.”

The group owns eleven manufacturing units in Faisalabad and two textile mills in Bangladesh. Earlier in 2009, the Tausif Group had invested Rs300 million in Bangladesh in 2009 in Taqwa Textile Mills and Libas Textile Mills Bangladesh, taking advantage of the favorable tariff structure provided by the Bangladeshi government.

For its new venture, the group would implement the plan in two phases.

In the first phase, it will set up outlets in all the major cities of the country and in the second phase the outlets will be opened in other countries.

Brands such as Nike, Adidas and Puma have franchises in Pakistan, which are very expensive. The group plans to take advantage of its local production lines to compete with these international brands.

“The profit margins are limited in the manufacturing lines,” Salamat admitted. “However, the outlets are making good returns on the products,” he said.

The Tausif Group manufactures t-shirts, polo shirt, sweatshirt, hoodie shirts, Rugby shirt, Raglan shirt and all kinds of trousers. It is producing about 50 kinds of garments and exporting to various international markets.

“The polo shirt is sold at a price of $7 to international buyers. This stuff is available in the local market at a price ranging from Rs2,500 to Rs4,000. The increasing purchasing power of the middle and upper middle class has opened new doors for the businessmen.

“The same polo shirt is sold in the range of $40 to $50 at retail stores abroad, and global retailers buy these garments from Pakistan and Bangladesh, place their own brand tags and sell these at very hefty margins,” he added.

Speaking about the power crisis, he said the Group would divest from Bangladesh once its energy issues are addressed by the government.

“We just need energy to operate our mills as we have bulk of international orders,” Salamat said claiming that the energy supply situation was far better than 2013.

The writer is a staff correspondent

Published in The Express Tribune, August 3rd, 2015.

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