Tell us something about yourself?
SSA- I have done masters in economics during my education I put up a small hawker and started business, a part from having a hawker I use to exhibit in Friday market exactly where now Sir Syed University is constructed, on Fridays I use to sell kids garments and the stall I use to rent was for 35 Rs. Moreover I had interest in photography so I earned from that too. I use to play cricket for under19 as well and played for Karachi Development Authority (KDA) I earned 32 Rs from that. In 1988 I got done with my education completely and whatever I earned in last couple of years so with that money I purchased 5 machines made up a factory and started working as a contractor manufacturing leather jackets, I hired 6-7 staff members in factory. Per jacket costed 30 Rs to me in 1990 I updated my factory and in 1992 I had my first export to United States of leather waistcoats, in 1995 I went for the first time to Germany which wasn’t a successful visit but I learned a lot and groomed myself from it, as I was working only on stitching I had no grip on fashion and cuts where the 1st visit made me learn a lot and I repeatedly visited abroad by 2000 I had made my name in Pakistan.
President of Pakistan General (Retired) Musharraf honored me for promoting Pakistan across the globe as an entrepreneur and in 2010 I was awarded as businessman of the year in United States, Washington. There’s an awards whose and who’s they select 300 businessman from across the globe from Pakistan they called me. In 2015 I was awarded by Nawaz Sharif and my wife was also awarded as first lady entrepreneur. I’m chairman of Pakistan leather garments manufacturers and exporter association. My second generation has entered in to this business now.
What is Pakistan leather garments manufacturers and exporter association about?
SSA- Leather is a huge industry and a lot of different stuff is being manafuctured in to it from the raw leather to manufactured products include: Jackets, Jeans, Gloves, Bags, Trousers and Pants. The association of Pakistan leather garments manufacturers and exporter association represents this domain and is one of the stake holders.
20 years ago this association came in to being leather exports is on 3rd number in Pakistan, approximately 15 lac people are associated with this industry. Trade development authority is in loop with this association. Labor, marketing, refund claims, or other sort of problems solving of the industry under TDAP, FBR, State Bank so on and so forth are resolved in to it.
Being a Chairman Central Zone, of Pakistan leather garments manufacturers and exporter association what role you play to bring leather manufacturers and businessman under one roof?
SSA- The major job of the Chairman PLGMEA is actually to be informed about the issues within the industry addressing it to the concerned authorities now it can be any sort of issue. For Instance: connecting with TDAP, FBR or any other department.
In my chairmanship we suggested new marketing strategies, how to showcase products of Pakistan. In consulates of Pakistan where ever commercial Counselors sit unfortunately unproductive people go and fail to market the product just because experts from the industry aren’t picked, those are sent whose domain is not even leather industry, they take it as a pleasure trip. People from Foreign, Custom, FBR or other are picked not from any marketing department even if someone from commerce is selected that even is not productive. For Instance: If Pakistan makes a nice hand notted carpet the person doesn’t know which yarn, colour, design is used in to it and what’s it’s market. Such people don’t know all of that they just go on 3 years contract on handsome salary package with family they gain financial status but Pakistan fails. In this new government of PTI through the platform of PLGMEA we have raised this serious concern and we have high hopes that PTI will seriously look in to it.
Plus I have worked on refunds as our industry didn’t get it till 3 years and so. I took all the departments in loop For Instance: State Bank, Custom, EDM & TDAP well more than 3 Billion Rupees I recovered.
What is the scope of leather goods in Pakistan and across globe?
SSA- Leather is expensive item and due to weather it can’t be wore in Pakistan so within the Pakistan it’s a limited space but yes if the entrepreneur caters to exporting the product and showcasing it abroad then it’s amazing.
How much does leather industry contributes in our economy?
SSA- Pakistan’s leather industry is the second largest in our country while in terms of Foreign Exchange it is on third. 1.5 Billion Dollars now it has shrink to lesser than 1 Billion Dollars. We are a meat eater country but our raw leather is unfortunately all exported to China, Bangladesh and India. However across the globe raw material is not exported before value addition, we need laws, ban or heavy tax on it so that we can grow economically.
Why are you a part of leather industry?
SSA- I am a self-made person so looking at the circumstances of my family I had to work myself. With the prayers of my parents and support of my well-wishers I was appreciated to be a part of this industry. I had mentors as every other person has in life as we all grown with the support of our mentors. Moreover our Prophet (PBUH) has given special prayers and wishes for those who work in carpet and leather industry.
Why are you a part of leather industry?
SSA- I am a self-made person so looking at the circumstances of my family I had to work myself. With the prayers of my parents and support of my well-wishers I was appreciated to be a part of this industry. I had mentors as every other person have in life as we all grow with the support of our mentors. Moreover our Prophet (PBUH) has given special prayers and wishes for those who work in carpet and leather industry.