LAHORE: The Pakistan fashion industry has great export potential in its niche markets, including, India, Middle East, Europe and United States, but is unable to tap into them because of the paucity of skilled human resources and technicians, who play a vital role in quality production.
The opening of the cross-border Pakistan-India trade will open a new window of opportunity as Made in Pakistan brands have great demand and acceptance in neighbouring India, but Pakistan will need to enhance its production to meet the huge orders of the buyer.
Experts of the Pakistan Fashion Industry disclosed these facts during an interactive seminar on the ‘Potential of the fashion industry in Pakistan,’ arranged by the Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) here on Wednesday.
The experts believed that Pakistan had huge potential in the fashion industry, which could be further explored, but innovation, creativity, integrity and sustained growth of the industry was indispensable to achieve milestones in this sector.
Hamid Zaman, Managing Director Seafam (pvt) Ltd suggested that students of fashion design should be innovative and creative in their fashion ideas and be sincere to their business commitments. Highlighting the success of various brands and co-brands which won popularity in the fashion arena, he said that it was the commitment of the brand innovator to his work which catapulted the brand to the heights of popularity. Advising the young entrepreneurs on how to succeed in the fashion industry, Zaman asked for the generation of novelty ideas, through deep thought, which would give rise to new brands or augment existing ones, creating healthy competition in the brand industry.
Mrs. Bushra Aftab of Bushra Aftab Studio highlighting the importance of designer jewelry said that in the developing fashion industry, jewelry had become an important part of the attire for any function. Designer jewelry had hence become tremendously trendy, coveted by everyone. This sector had great potential for the future generation of designers to explore with new ideas. However, creativity, an inner instinct for beauty and simplicity keeping in view modern requirements, were required to excel in this art.
Mrs. Shiwana Abid of the Pakistan Institute of Fashion and Design discussed the Pakistan Institute of Fashion Design (PIFD) a government initiative of the fashion industry. She mentioned that the PFID was doing its best to produce designers in Pakistan at par with international standards. There was a lack of human resources in the fashion industry, she stated, while the PFID and some other government institutes were trying their level best to produce highly skilled technicians for the Pakistani fashion industry. The export potential of the Pakistani fashion industry is huge, but lacks only because of the untrained labour force, which is unable to produce orders in large volumes. Other than this, the energy crisis is also an important obstacle, hindering the growth of the industry, affecting the quality of production with innumerable breaks in the production process, as a result of power outages.
Afzaal Ali of Lajvanti brand elaborating on the success story of a fashion designer mentioned that hard work, effort with no compromise on quality was the key to success for every designer. Pakistani brands have a niche markets all over the world wherever Indians and Pakistanis reside, but the latter are also quality conscious, he stated. The Pakistani fashion industry however, had been unable to handle large orders, which was what brought recognition to a brand as it flourished, he continued, explaining that the scarcity of a skilled and highly trained labour force was the basic reason for being unable to handle huge orders. Limited manpower would be unable to cope with vast volumes.
In her concluding remarks, Mrs Yasmeen Kuraishi Senior Director of the TDAP highlighted the endevours of the TDAP for the stakeholders of the fashion industry in Pakistan. While speaking to future fashion designers, she asked them to focus on the global market and not limit themselves to domestic market. Pakistani cloth, garments, lehgas, kurti and pajamas had great demand in the world market, so the focus should be broadened. The TDAP had continuously supported every sector which had potential for export to reach the international markets.
Director General TDAP Lahore Ch. Muhammad Ali awarded certificates among the participants of the seminar.