Thursday, December 12, 2013
Pakistan has by far got to be either the most hypocritical nation or a country filled with two schools of thought that go completely against each other. There is a lull in the business community that there is no money to be driven from the sad economy due to the current political volatility and then there is that complete opposite behavior depicted by the spending habits of the consumers which display via the oriented grey channel that brands such as Victoria’s Secret, Garnier and Johnny Rockets have a home in the hearts and wallets of our nation.
We as a nation need to get one thing straight that Starbucks will not come here and open a retail outlet because we are a tea drinking nation which is in a painfully slow conversion to a coffee oriented culture by the slow and resilient presence of Nescafe and Dunkin Donuts. It has nothing to do with a Jewish lobby or anti American school of thought because the bottom line is the rupee apple pie is not big enough for them to want a slice out of it. Pakistani’s love brand names and we must have them at all costs… There are those who shop abroad and wear labels from what they know to be classy that has been handed down via culture and then you have the other 94% of Pakistan that has been educated via cable TV and social media and then love to hoard stuff from cheap knock off outlets like in Zainab Market.
For a nation with so many taboos and religious restrictions as to what is politically correct we are pushed more towards and obnoxious extreme to prove our peacocking skills via the strengths of our wallets. Both the sexes dress to attract the opposite with one desire in mind and that is to ensure that a level of class is established when brandishing their arsenal of handbags and wallets and if possible SUV’s and vehicles to the awaam.
Whilst the “registered” tax paying economy is in a slump and most big names are re-considering options to stay for another few years on the green and white turf they heavily weigh in the option of how as principles they are able to benefit from the pull generated via the grey market and off the books khepia sales which will see them some money in the bank. If you want a perfect example of this its TGI Fridays which abandoned Cupola and left the fast food ship to sink and now is coming back bigger and harder because what it misconceived to be a Titanic loss turned out to be a luxury liner like the Queen Elizabeth 2 that has the ability to withstand the test of time.
The consumers have a very powerful say in what they want and that is clearly depicted by the growing number of cinema screens that cater to the masses and a firm realization that in order to survive we as a blue blooded nation have a craving and an addiction for greenbacks flowing through our veins. This post is to let you know that irrespective of what the press tell you – you need to walk into the local kariyana store and observe how many brand names you will find that were not there over a decade ago. Pakistan will do well and it will survive because the media driven heroine addiction has built people that are local names as well as products that we never thought would exist here that are surviving there here and the now! All brand managers need to do is tap the right vein and inject the right amount of inspiration with good timing to take their companies from the red into the black! So invest in Pakistan as its is a gold mine waiting to be explored!