‘Our shalwar kameez is possibly the only living traditional costume in the world today.’
What did you bring back from the Lifetsyle Pakistan Show in India in terms of future business potential?
For me essentially, Lifestyle Pakistan was a dream come true because when I first went to India in 1995, I saw a great potential for Pakistani products there if we were to open trade. I have seen India as a huge challenge with a lot of potential that Pakistan can utilize despite the apprehensions of some who fear that India might take over our market. I disagree with this. The upper middle class in India is in a majority; they like to spend and have an insatiable appetite for our goods - and they have a strong currency to support it.
Please tell us a bit about the quality of Pakistani products that were displayed.
Our shalwar kameez is possibly the only living traditional costume in the world today - as opposed to the kimono, sarong or the saree, that have never really evolved from their original form and, in most cases, are limited to special occasion wear. Each year international fashion is incorporated in the shalwar kameez and a new style is evolved with variations. The shalwar kameez presents itself in a new Avatar.
Pakistani women are very stylish and love to dress up. Our designer wear is in high demand in Pakistan which is a huge market for fashion. I am glad now that trade is officially opening between our two countries, I anticipate so will India become a big buyer of Pakistani fashion.
What did you think of the LifeStyle Pakistan initiative taken by TDAP?
Pakistanis and Indians are similar in so many ways yet different in many others which makes the exchange very exciting for me. TDAP has taken a huge initiative and the facilities and opportunities provided in terms of visas, hotels, tax reductions, freight forwarding were commendable and I’m definitely a supporter of his initiative .
J&S did a great job in managing the event from stem to stern; the venue’s choreographers, models, entertainment and stalls were chosen appropriately and were up to standard. Though it was the first time Pakistan was doing something at such a huge scale, I thought TDAP and J&S did their best. It is very easy to criticize but we must realize that to do something on this scale in India is no easy task. We were there for serious business and achieved great success in the desired areas.