Chemical industry needs to be reorganised, re-accessed, says Nabila Intisar, CEO, Waleed Tech (Pvt) Ltd
Failure in implementation of policies caused economic downturn; immense opportunities are untapped for women in business especially fashion, cosmetics and clothing
By M Jahangir Hayat
Pakistan needs to promote chemical industry as it is the mother industry of the industrial sector which needs to be re-organised and re-accessed. Making policies and not implementing them in their true sense is the core issue of Pakistan’s economic crisis. Immense opportunities are untapped for the women in business especially fashion and clothing. Our fashion industry is quite famous all over the world; however, other fields including cosmetics, chemicals, letter and other such types of businesses have bright prospects; however, we have very a few women in the business field.
Nabila Intisar with whom Daily The Business had a chance to interview her, is Chief Executive Officer of Waleed Tech (Pvt) Ltd Chemical and Terry Towel division and is very active in the business, trade and industry politics. She spoke at length about her industry and various economic issues of the country and suggested solutions to the problems. Following are excerpts from her exclusive interview:
DTB: What is the chemical industry all about?
Nabila Intisar: Chemical industry is the mother industry of all industrial sectors which needs to be re-organised and re-accessed. The existing institutions either do not have the capacity or lack the required expertise in accordance with the changing world. Pakistan needs to promote chemical industry as we have to import huge number of chemicals despite the fact that chemicals are used in most of our products. Chemical industry means we make value-added products and then exports. Over 70 percent of the imported chemicals were being used for textile products till 90s; however, it tends to reduce gradually due to what is generally said that cost of doing business has escalated significantly as imports duties on chemicals and machineries have been increased manifolds.
Supposedly, the products which Pakistan is not producing are imported and unreasonably high dusty and taxes undoubtedly add to the cost, making the products goods and articles cost ineffective. Then there is China which is dumping even those products which Pakistan is producing locally. Under such circumstances there is no respite for the local industry and businessmen. Most of the industrialists have shut down their industries due to the one reason or the other.
What impact do you feel your industry have to face due to the free trade agreement with China?
Well, we need to create awareness about the 313 products which we can export to China to drive maximum out of the opportunity while we are importing 90 percent of the import from China for which we need to do brainstorming as how much of that quantity we can produce locally. We also have to face a great deal of hardships due to the reason because China produces comparatively larger quantities of goods and articles that local industrialist can no way vie with that scale with which China is working.
How many other countries are producing the textile value-added products which we are making in Pakistan and what is the quality level of Pakistani products?
We make such chemicals which are used in finishing articles from grey cloth to finish one and export thereby. This is worth mentioning that the quality of the products which we in Pakistan are making is much higher than that of being produced in countries including India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Germany, UK and many countries are producing, the products as we have top class cotton. Though Pakistani textile products including garments, apparels, yarn and other such products are of high quality, yet we have failed to capture our actual share of the international market just because of the reason that Pakistanis products are not acknowledged as there are no more effective and competitive globally as cost of doing business has increased manifolds.
Why our products are not acknowledged abroad when we have high level of quality?
Well, shortcuts and lack of quality management are the potential reasons for our products not acknowledged. Our cost of doing business is also inconsistent as after every order cost of doing business tends to change enormously and then there comes the need of making the products cost effective in the market. There is a dire need to work on the research and development (R&D) which we have been ignoring for a long time. We need to increase our products consumption locally and impose ban on the imported items. Pakistan has immense potential for chemical industry as major items of daily usage including detergent; surfactants, silicones and major textile product largely ride on chemicals. The chemical industry should be provided a level-playing field so that the country may not have to import chemicals that can be produced locally, saving huge foreign exchange, reducing our import bill. Secondly, the chemical industry is one basic need of the country and it should be flourished. China has installed industry of each and every item which is used for value addition and other applications. Following reaching the high level of saturation, the Chinese are shutting down the small industry that is polluting the environment. In such conditions, Pakistan can take the benefit of the closure by installing basic industries, including chemicals at least to fulfill local demand.
Being a woman entrepreneur; how do you think what kind of future the womenfolk hold in business in Pakistan?
Business women have a bright future in the country. In my opinion there is a huge unexplored potential for the women in business. They can bring about revolutionary changes in the society especially in the business front. We have immense opportunities for the women in business, especially fashion and clothing. Our fashion industry is quite famous all over the world; other fields, including cosmetics, chemicals, letter and other such types of business have bright prospects; however, we have very few women in the business field.
Why do we have less number of women opting for business as their profession?
Although, our women are very brilliant, capable, energetic and talented and working on both fronts; for example the working women have to manage both the family and their profession, they often avoid doing their own business because of various cultural barriers which must be removed.
You are a successful woman entrepreneur and can do a great deal of work for the cause of Pakistani business women. Have you ever thought about doing something for our women as your social responsibility towards them?
Well, women should be determined and focused. They should plan their goals and work hard to achieve them. I have always encouraged fellow women who are willing to do something as a businesswoman. I always motivated them to convince their families especially father, brothers and husbands because their due support can make thing more easy for them to be successful. Women always want to work hard and excel. Unfortunately, Pakistani women, especially businesswomen are mostly short of funds. They should be provided funds at the government level. State Bank should ask banks to introduce products of funding business women. It does not make any difference even if a few loans get defaulted as there should some provisions for that. Around the world womenfolk is working shoulder-to-shoulder with men contributing to very important national growth and development. Our women are thoroughly professional and willing workers they should be given confidence. Once they will be trusted upon, they can make a huge difference on the social, economic and cultural fronts. I am astonished that our women have been saving huge sum of money in homes with the help of committees. This is special point where western world is especially surprised that how come the Pakistanis collect so many funds at homes while there is no systematic arranged organisation for them. Women should be given and trained on programmes and allocate funds as per their requirement.
Being a successful woman entrepreneur; what would you suggest for taking out Pakistan from the current economic crisis?
We have not come to the crisis because one reason as there is a long tale behind this. We have policies, unfortunately we don’t have good track record of successful implementation of these policies. One after the other governments have been failing miserably in implementation of the policies so there should be a continuous process. There must be a consensus that what may come good policies in the best national interests be implemented. In the past, we have been witnessing that every new government overruled policies of its predecessor regime. This is where we need to ponder over. We complete projects of national significance with huge funds but their maintenance is never given weight-age. Education is a must and on this front demand-driven topics should be assigned to researchers on specific lines.
Nabila Intisar is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Chemical and Terry Towel division. She has been Executive Committee Member of LCCI 2017 besides heading a number of trade and industry- related committees, including Pak-UK Committee LCCI, Blue Pottery Committee Convener Advisory Board Technical & Training Institution, Blue Pottery Shadara, TEVTA 2016, Executive Member of Pakistan Hosiery Manufacturing Association (PHMA)- 2017, Chemical Committee Executive Committee Member LCCI 2006 -2007, Handicraft Committee Founder Member of Pakistan Chemicals Manufacturing Association (PCMA) . She has been widely awarded for her landmark achievements, including Business Women of the Year (Presented by President of Pakistan) 2016, EC member LCCI Recognition Shield (Presented by Chief Minister Punjab) 2013, EC member LCCI Recognition Shield (Presented by Prime Minister of Pakistan) 2012, International Women’s Day Award Sukh Chan Wellness Club 2012, Women’s Day Award presented by Iranian Embassy, Lahore 2012, Business Women of the Year 2007 (Presented by Prime Minister of Pakistan) 2007 and Judge YLES LUMS.
Waleed Tech (Pvt) Ltd
Waleed Tech (Pvt) Ltd was established in 1992 as a consultancy firm in chemicals field under the guidance of Dr. Muhammad Saeed, an eminent scientist of repute having rich experience of 40 years and B.Sc (hon) and Ph.D (Bio Chemistry) New South Wales Australia. His expertise focused on growth and feasibility of the projects for the chemical and related industry, particularly dyeing and finishing in textile, knitwear and socks industry. Waleed Tech has an impressive track record in providing technical know-how and on site solutions to leading knitwear and socks industry with special focus on customize recipes and trouble-shooting with the experience and expertise now spanning over a decade with commitment to quality and services. The firm has earned the customer confidence by introducing significant, quality, economy and streamlining processes for maximizing production. It also has rich experience in product distribution of leading multinational and national companies with special focus on textile auxiliaries.
The firm has been dealing with more than 100 industries all across Pakistan
- Providing technical knowhow and on site solutions to leading textile, leather and poultry industry of Pakistan.
- Selling reactive and disperse dyes, more than 500 tons / annum to textile & leather industry of Pakistan.
- Educating and providing/formulate disinfectants to maintain hygiene in poultry industry.
- Preparing customized recipes to economize and stream line dying processes.
- Providing formulations to minimise fabric weight losses and maximise production
- Managing the export of terry towel products to mainly European countries and multinational brands.
- Preparing customized recipes to economize and stream line dying processes.
- Preparing recipes according to European chemical acceptance levels. Waleed Chemicals 1999 – 2014.