For over 85 years, Mahmood Group has been running multiple wide-ranging businesses in Pakistan.
Recently, the company launched their own fashion retail brand, Beyond East, which produces unique blends of western and eastern outfits suited to meet the demands of young people of Pakistan.
Jawad Khawaja, Director MG, gives various insights into the company; its new operations, and upcoming labels.
How and when was Mahmood Group (MG) founded?
Jawad Khawaja: Mahmood Group is a Multan-based joint family business started by my great grandfather 85 years ago with a leather tanning business. When my grandfather, Khawaja Muhammad Masood and his brother were in their early twenties, they saw an opportunity and purchased their first textile mill in Muzaffargarh naming it Mahmood Textile Mill.
During Bhutto’s nationalisation, our factories were nationalized. My grandfather then invested in lands and began cotton farming.
During the denationalisation phase, while we got our factories back, we were already producing cotton. This led MG to operate on ‘farm to fabric’ model where we used our then existing capacity of producing and ginning cotton, started producing yarn, and weaving fabric out of it.
I am amongst the fourth generation running this business.
Where does Mahmood Group stand today?
Jawad Khawaja: Today, Mahmood Group has 12 diversified companies under its name with over USD 800 million annual turnover as of 2020.
Other than manufacturing fabrics, we also have a knitting unit called Multan Fabrics, and a chinos manufacturing unit under MG Apparel. However, yarn production is a major contributor to our business and is very well recognised.
We are also the largest leather exporter in Pakistan.
In real estate, we have a joint venture with the hotel and hospitality giant, Avari Towers.
In the education sector, we have a joint venture with City College Multan.
Our food business category is divided into exports and local businesses. In our poultry division, more than 400,000 eggs a day are supplied and are mainly exported.
With VHT technology, we have the capacity of processing 6 tonnes of fruits every day, making us the only exporter of mangoes to Japan.
Additionally, MG owns all Subway branches in Multan.
We also have a restaurant chain in Multan and Lahore; London Courtyard and Aangan by LCY.
We have our own power generation units.
In October last year, we also expanded our businesses to launch our very first fashion retail brand, Beyond East.
What pushed you to enter the retail fashion industry?
Jawad Khawaja: Due to our expertise and legacy of exporting yarn, fabric, and leather to many renowned international fashion houses, including Tory Burch, Zara, Dockers and Calvin Klein, we were confident that this is the right next step towards business expansion.
My idea was to use this technical expertise in building a retail brand of our own.
While I was working on it, I also saw a huge gap in fashion retail especially for western and fusion wear, hence I decided to launch Beyond East.
How did you come up with the name 'Beyond East'?
Jawad Khawaja: Our aim was to help customers define their personalities through eastern and western wear that has a futuristic design appeal.
We take inspiration from popular global trends to innovate and offer quality products that are locally manufactured.
However, the brand is not limited to clothing, hence we chose to launch as an apparel brand.
Beyond East is keeping up to pace with both local and international trends to provide the most comfortable and fashionable outfits.
What are you offering with Beyond East?
Jawad Khawaja: With Beyond East, we want to revolutionise the local fashion market by offering a one-stop apparel solution.
Currently, in the eastern wear category, we are offering pret, bottoms, casuals, evening wear and unstitched fabric. We also offer western wear options for both men and women.
In the future, we plan on expanding our product lines with perfumes, cosmetics, accessories, and footwear.
In your opinion what are the biggest challenges that Beyond East will face in the following five years?
Jawad Khawaja: With existing economic downfall and currency devaluation, the biggest challenge from a manufacturer’s perspective is to offer quality products that provide maximum value to customers yet are competitively priced.
What is your vision for Beyond East?
Jawad Khawaja: I see Beyond East as the go-to brand of our new generation. We plan to have stores in all major cities of Pakistan.
I am also looking forward to Beyond East going global.
Apart from your current contribution to the local economy and markets, we have also heard that Mahmood Group is the largest contributor to CSR in Multan. Please tell us more about it.
Jawad Khawaja: Mahmood Group firmly believes in giving back to the society.
Our contribution in the health care sector provides free meals, medicine, and health care in different hospitals. More than eight dispensaries have been set up which cater to 400 patients daily.
We have two self-operated schools with subsidised systems along with schools set up in every unit of Mahmood Group. Unlimited scholarships are offered to deserving students.
We have installed 15 water filtration plants.
Our Robin Hood Army (Multan Chapter) collects surplus food from our offices and restaurants to serve deserving people.
We have provided opportunities to marginalised women of SOS village.
In our environmental aspiration drive, we have invested efforts towards tree plantation. We also oversaw the cleanliness and development of Masood Sports Complex to provide infrastructure to staff and the local community.
We installed solar power plants and established green belts and local parks.
We are an equal opportunity provider with an 80% female workforce hired in our training school.
What is the most valuable lesson that your career has taught you so far?
Jawad Khawaja: If you see an opportunity or have an idea, do not waste time over-analysing and instead start working towards your goal immediately.
This content is produced in paid partnership with Mahmood Group and is not associated with or necessarily reflective of the views of Dawn.com or its editorial staff.