Pakistani fashion retailers eye Indian markets

24 Apr,2012

By Dipti Jain


From running a single franchise store for 12 years in Delhi to planning to open 200 more across Mumbai, Delhi and smaller cities, Pakistan’s largest fashion retail chain Sefam is the stuff businesses dream of.


After a successful showing at the first-ever Lifestyle Pakistan exhibition in Delhi, Sefam said the demand for Pakistani couture in India is too huge to be met through the one store they have in India.


The retail chain with eight brands including Barezee, is first planning a flagship store in Delhi, and also scouting for partners, said Zain Aziz, Sefam’s head of international business. They are one of several Pakistan lifestyle businesses ambitious about expansion plans in India following the huge response to the April exhibition.


Over 100 Pakistani lifestyle companies showcased their products and services in Delhi from April 12 to 15. The companies were from a wide range of segments, including textiles, couture and pret wear, designer furniture, leather accessories, food products, marble ornaments and handicrafts.


The exhibition has spurred 36-year-old designer Asim Jofa to plan exclusive outlets in India. Jofa has been selling in India through a distributor for the last three years, but is now eager to have his own stores. “I can’t wait to start my own stores in India. It would be brilliant if we could trade with each other. After the wonderful response at the exhibition, I feel more than at home now,” said Jofa.


Kashif, group CEO of leading Pakistani retail brand Chen One, which specializes in lawn prints and dresses, pret dresses and home textiles, said he is encouraged by the significant sales and bulk enquiries in Delhi. The retail chain is also looking to setting up stores across India once trade norms ease.


“Up until now, trade between the two countries has been indirect. But now we don’t want that. It will be a win-win situation for both countries if we could increase trade,” Kashif said. The brand is all set to come back for an exhibition in Mumbai to be held after two months, which will enable it to look for local partners. “We are looking for a joint venture here. We are very keen to work with India,” he added.


With huge demand for Pakistani muslin and lawn dresses, Pakistani retailers said India could figure as their largest market after the US and UK if trading were to be opened up.


Source:The Economic Times

Copyright © 2012, Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd. All Rights Reserved


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