Pakistani firm targeting global expansion

Monday, November 24th, 2014 2:52:24 by



KARACHI: 

Pakistan hardly makes the news for positive developments. An aura of negativity has crept in with most failing to acknowledge the good that comes along every now and then.

Businesses in Pakistan face the same issue. Plagued by energy crisis and security concerns, aggressive expansion is not on the agenda of many.

However, the country’s e2e (end-to-end) Supply Chain Management (SCM), as part of its global expansion plan, has established premises in Singapore in a bid to tap into important emerging markets in Southeast Asia.

The company’s strategy is to enter the economic hubs of their respective regions, says its chief.

“The e2e management has long been committed to the high growth in Southeast Asia Market. We see Singapore as a strategic economic hub,” e2e SCM’s Chief Executive Officer Abid Butt said, adding that the new office would focus on Pakistan-based businesses [their prevailing clientele] and explore new business opportunities in emerging markets that are controlled from Singapore.

Establishing an office in Singapore is an important step towards opening future avenues into markets of Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines and Thailand, the CEO said.

However, this development is only a small move towards implementing the bigger game plan —planning to expand its operations in other economic hubs in the Middle East and Far East regions.

“As part of our aggressive expansion plans, we are launching our Dubai office in December and going to Hong Kong next year,” the CEO told The Express Tribune in a telephonic interview.

“Our objective is to become a global player and the best strategy to achieve this goal is to enter the regional economic hubs and expand from there,” the INSEAD graduate said responding to a question about the company’s growth plans.

The CEO explained that the purpose of going to places such as Singapore, Dubai and Hong Kong is simple — you can control other markets from these economic hubs. Giving an example, he said a lot of business decisions regarding Indonesia are taken in Singapore, not in Indonesia. “I have been to these places and I know the importance of being there.”

Acknowledging the challenges associated with entry to a mature market, Butt said, “It is our second strategy, which is focused on reducing the business risk.

“Our global competitors are expanding into frontier markets in Africa but we are already in a frontier market. It doesn’t make sense to enter another frontier market, which will only increase the risks.”

This may not be a bad strategy as the company already got off to a humble beginning in Singapore.  “Our volumes in Singapore are already close to 20% of our Pakistan turnover,” Butt said.

Though it will be challenging for a new player to grab a share in the far more developed markets of Singapore, Dubai and Hong Kong, Butt’s strong international background in the logistics and supply chain areas is likely to help him.

It was his international exposure and expertise that helped e2e grow its revenues by a massive 1,918% between 2008 and 2010 and become the Pakistan’s fastest growing company on the list of AllWorld Network, an international ranking system for growth companies in emerging markets.

THE WRITER IS A STAFF CORRESPONDENT

Published in The Express Tribune, November 24th, 2014.

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