Pakistan, Asia

PAK04 - EGM Friends Fashion Centre: Partnership Reports



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Report Date: February 23, 2012

Update from BHW Pakistan Partnership Facilitator

 

working hard

On Tuesday 14 February Azam Gill, BHW's Pakistan Partnership Facilitator, visited the Friends Fashion Centre in Lahore and spent some time talking with Edward and the team there.   

 

Staff

There are now more than 50 people working at the factory in various departments; cutting, stitching, packing, pressing, finishing etc.  35 work on the floor and 5 are in management and administration. There are 3 marketing managers who take orders from different markets and cities. They have had no problems getting the employees they need. There are many people with experience in the garment manufacturing industry and recently a large factory in the area closed down. Then there are guards, electricians and other support staff. 15 workers are permanent and taking monthly wages and the others are on daily wages. Many girls and boys are coming to learn the art of sewing and cutting and they work as assistant machinists.

Cutting tableShazad decided not to continue as factory manager and is no longer involved.  Edward's father, Manzoor, has continued on in his previous job so is not on-site on a day-to-day basis yet but that should change at a later stage. It is hard to leave a secure job like he has until the new business proves itself. The plan is that he would still do that at an appropriate time.

Edward takes no salary from the business. 

FFC received their 2012 membership certificate and cards from the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry. They have now also started a finishing department where they can iron denims, clip and pack etc. 

 

FactorySales

In December/January they sold 4,075 pairs of jeans and continue to receive sizeable orders from shops and buyers.  The start has been very encouraging and they are meeting expectations in terms of production, orders and income. This is being achieved without any export orders yet, although they are still in the pipeline.

They have made some developments from income and have installed a fire system, bought some office furniture and put together a small medical kit.

There are other ongoing developments to be worked on in the future including: 
• 12 more Singer machines and one Fedo machine
• Security cameras and equipment
• A van for transportation of workers (pick-up and drop-off.) The van would be used for Friends Fashion Centre and the Computer and Sewing Centres 
• A UPS system for office computers and fax etc. This would be a back-up when the electricity fails
• 5 fans and electric water cooler in summer
• Construct a cabin for the security guard 

 

Lots of jeansTargets 

There are a number of processes underway to enhance the ability of the company. In the near future they want to:
1) Obtain ISO 9001 registration 
2) Apply for a GST certificate that would be helpful for buying fabric on large scale 


Comments

Overall the factory has started well. As you can see from the photos there is a lot of activity and a good start has been made. 

Finished productAnother visit will be made in 3 months or so and in August the BHW Field Director will visit. 

On the 19th December the Manzoor family was attacked in their home by armed robbers. The men were all out of the house at the time and the women were robbed and traumatised. Much of their personal gold was stolen, a laptop, cash and other goods. This has been a major distraction as suspects have been identified and court cases have been commenced. Some officials were bribed by the suspects which has caused a number of delays and frustrations.

This is taking a lot of time and has complicated the start of Friends Fashion Centre. Fortunately none of the factory funds or machinery was affected, but it’s going to take the family some time to recover and came at a bad time for them.