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DAWLANCE Pakistan is the largest local manufacturer of home appliances in the country. Founded in 1980, it currently has three factories and employs over 4,000 people.

According to its website, the company’s after-sales network comprises 26 of its own outlets, besides another 165 affiliated customer service centres.

The following is an interview with Bashir Dawood, Managing Director of the Dawlance group.

Q.1. Can you tell us about the impact of a stronger rupee on: the domestic appliances business and industry; the effect of cheaper import of parts on deletion programme/localisation; and the domestic industry’s competitive strength against finished foreign goods? And, of course, on the price of local products?

Ans. The stronger rupee has certainly come at the right time for both local manufacturers and importers. It has given us relief from price increases and has provided much-needed cushion from cost hikes due to high local inflation and energy cost.

With high level of local deletion (about 75pc) in our refrigerators, washing machines and freezers, the savings from the exchange rate front for manufacturers is much less than that for importers of finished products. However, high local content helps us keep our product prices within reach of our customers.

Q.2. What is your company’s profile with regards to sales, revenue, market share and business growth potential?

Ans. Dawlance is by far the market leader in the home appliances industry. It is the number one home appliances manufacturer in Pakistan, and our products are being used in every second household of the country that has home appliances. Business growth potential remains steady, with more households willing to embrace our reliable home appliances for better living.

Q.3. Can you give us the localisation content in your major products and your future plans in this regard?

Ans. As mentioned previously, the localisation content in our products is about 75pc. Using locally manufactured products, our customers not only save about 25pc in the purchase price, but also get a product which is tailor-made for our environment, climatic conditions and usage habits.

Besides, our countrywide after-sales service network ensures uninterrupted use of appliances by consumers.

Q.4. What is the share of the local industry in the domestic market?

Ans. About 90pc of refrigerators, freezers and washing machines sold in the country are locally made. At Dawlance, one of our goals is to improve the quality of life of the consumer. To achieve this goal, product penetration of domestic appliances has to increase further. The market size of domestic appliances is still rather low as compared to our country’s population.

Q.5. How much does your company spend on research and development?

Ans. Apart from designing our products to meet local usage habits, we have to constantly work on upgrading our technology to raise productivity in every area of business. That is why we pay special attention to research and development.

These efforts have helped us keep the price increases way below annual inflation for many years. In fact, in dollar terms, our prices have declined over the period by up to 20pc for different models.

Moreover, it has also resulted in generation of original ideas and several patents which are currently pending for approval. We have developed energy efficient refrigerators and air conditioners and other products that work at low voltage; our customers do not need to buy voltage stabilisers.

Apart from power being a scarce resource in our country, water too is in short supply. We are now working on how to save 50pc of water usage in washing machines by switching the market to use of automatic machines rather than simple washers and twin tubs.

Q.6. Are there any plans for the company to access foreign markets?

Ans. Participation in international exhibitions has helped us export our refrigerators to several Middle Eastern countries.

With our innovations and reliability, we hope to achieve many milestones in our journey to make Pakistan proud of Dawlance.