LITTLE PAKISTAN” A VISION TO DEVELOP THE EXPORT MARKET FOR PAKISTANI PRODUCTS

Courtesy: Sheikh Nouman Rashid

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Pakistan is an agricultural based economy. Blessed is a nation that can grow its own food to serve its people and export the surplus to earn the required foreign exchange for our beloved nation. I graduated from the prestigious IBA with an MBA in 2006 and started my corporate career working in our family business which used to import to Pakistan.
Realising early on in my career that our country can only become developed if we can create the export market of our products and with a vision to bring a turn-around to increase our countries exports instead of imports, in 2009, I set up an export company NYS Global in Pakistan and in 2014 a food import company was setup in UAE. We partnered with our countries oldest juice manufacturing company TOPS and the first container of mixed juice was exported in 2014 and reached UAE for the first time in the history of Tops.
85 percent of the retail markets in UAE are owned by Indians. Due to the ever growing hostility between the two nations and unethical business practises by the Indian retail companies, Pakistani products are de-graded and forced to be put off shelf in the Indian owned markets in UAE. At the worlds largest food exhibition Gulf food only a small space is provided to our best FMCG companies and that too in India Pavilion. Our world renowed fruits such as oranges are categorised as low quality products and fetch a low price of AED 2/- per kilo in UAE.
This hostility led us to temproraily stop exports of our juices to UAE in 2015. We did not give up. We will never give up. We did extensive marketing in middle east got acceptance in Jordan and exported the first container of juices to Jordan in December 2015. Its a proud moment and attached are pictures of placements of our juices in retail market in Jordan.
The hostility by India led us to develop the vision for “Little Pakistan”.
“LITTLE PAKISTAN”
THE CONCEPT:
“Little Pakistan” is a first step towards development of our countries own retail market. This development will be a Center of Excellence projecting Pakistani products, our countries heritage and our culture and equally give an opportunity for Pakistanis in UAE to buy their favorite brands from our country as well as tourists and people from other ethnic backgrounds to enjoy some of the best product offering from South-East Asia.
The largest expat Pakistani population lives in UAE followed by Saudi Arabia and then England and beyond. Starting from UAE we would like to build the first facility in Dubai, followed by Ajman, Sharjah and Abu Dhabi after which we will build in Saudi Arabia and then England and so on so forth. This development will lead us to build our market in various countries around the world.
“PROPOSED DEVELOPMENT”:
The proposed development is a mix retail market carrying and offering only Pakistani products comprising of three main sections:
1) FOOD AND BEVERAGE BRANDS FROM PAKISTAN  (BOTH PERISHABLE & NON PERISHABLE)
2) CLOTHING, FURNITURE, LITERATURE AND HOUSEHOLD BRANDS FROM PAKISTAN
3) RESTAURANT SERVING “TASTE OF PAKISTAN”  INCLUDING A LIVE MUSIC SECTION PROMOTING PAKISTANI MUSIC.
ROLE OF PEOPLE OF PAKISTAN IN THE DEVELOPMENT:
A single person from Pakistan cannot alone create “Little Pakistan”. It requires unity. It requires us all from Pakistan to give something back to our nation. What we can give back is to support our country achieve a surplus in the balance of payments by increasing our exports and finally a day will come when we dont have to borrow from donors like IMF or World bank. A day will come when the brand “MADE IN PAKISTAN” will proudly be made global.
We simply can develop our countries largest resource that is agriculture, increase the capacity of our companies converting argriculture into value added goods and by creating our own retail market “Little Pakistan” and seeking support of Pakistanis abroad to buy our own products.
“Marketing Contribution”:
We all come from different walks of life. Some lead large scale industrial sector organizations, others work in corporate finance, some in the services sector while some work in FMCG etc and some like our great leader Mr Imran Khan lead us all to unite and become a developed nation.
All of us in UAE may help in contributing by bringing their friends and family dine-in or buy their favorite brands or having corporate functions of their companies at the restaurant or spreading awareness amongst peers about “Little Pakistan”. Every single activity to project “Little Pakistan” counts. We could also advertise the brand “Made in Pakistan” in every flight taking Pakistanis abroad and while abroad they must visit “Little Pakistan” dine in to enjoy the “Taste of Pakistan” and buy their own products.
“Financial Contribution”:
For this development we require an investment of AED 8 million to build the first “Little Pakistan” in Dubai, UAE. We being a small trading company do not have the funds to build such a large market for our products. We seek support of our leader Mr Imran Khan to help raise funds for the first facility. Every single rupee counts and if we can collect and share we can build “Little Pakistan”.
At the moment I’m in Pakistan. In the past six weeks moving from one company Tops we have gathered and added 9 FMCG Pakistani companies that will export their products to UAE. Proposals are under discussion with 90 other FMCG companies to help them export their products for the first time. A very creative and talented group of architects have joined. They have used our famous truck art in a very creative way to be displayed on furniture. We will keep their work of art in the furniture section. A lot of work is required to unite all our companies to help them export. Next in line is our clothing companies followed by building a team of Pakistani culniary experts who will run the restaurant.
Starting now with unity, with passion and with hardwork to build “Little Pakistan” and the brand “Made in Pakistan” Insha Allah by the time our leader Mr Imran Khan will form the government after winning the next general elections to lead the nation we would have already built for him a network of stores to help exports of Pakistani products as well as project a positive image of Pakistan.
InshAllah, if we work positvely and in unity Pakistan can see the first balance of payments surplus and we can be all be proud to build the export market for our products.
Having shared the vision, how the obstacles created by a hostile neighbour have lead us to this development and now moving forward to achieve the goal, I seek feedback from everyone and support of our leader Mr. Imran Khan to turn “Liittle Pakistan” from a vision to reality.
Thanks and Regards,
Sheikh Nouman Rashid
Executive Director
SHEIKH NOUMAN FOODSTUFF TRADING L.L.C
P.O. BOX 119210, DUBAI, UAE.

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