Flagship Indian clothing retailer opens in Pakistan

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Raymond, a well-known clothing brand, on Friday became the first Indian outlet to open its doors to Pakistani customers in the posh locality of Clifton in Karachi, a move lauded by the business community as a step towards closer trade ties between two neighbours.
The Indian suiting and fabrics conglomerate formally opened its first shop in Pakistan’s financial hub without much fanfare although back page ads of the opening were prominent in the morning newspapers.
Najmus Saqib, a director of NexSource which has got the right to run the Raymond outlet in Pakistan, said he saw the opening as the first step towards more Indian brands coming to the Pakistani market.
“The interest from our clientele has been very encouraging and it does not surprise us because Raymond is also known internationally and has some 40 international outlets,” he said.
“I also see this opening as a small step towards more free trade between the two countries,” he said.
Saqib said Raymond had shown interest in entering the Pakistan market initially and they took up the challenge.
“In Karachi and Lahore the wealthier and upper middle class people are very conscious about their appearances and business and casual suitings are always popular in our city,” model and television host Ali Saleem said.
Saleem pointed out that Raymond was already well known in Pakistan because of the craze for Indian television in the country.
Amin Hashwani, president of the Pakistan India Business Forum, said opening of the Raymond outlet was a positive sign for business and trade between the two countries.
“We have always stressed for equal opportunity for business community in both countries. People should not be surprised by opening of Indian brands and outlets because Indian films are already doing great business in Karachi,” he noted.
Nexsource say they plan to open more Raymond outlets in Islamabad, Lahore and Faisalabad before the end of the year. Customers at the Emerald Towers, where the Raymond outlet opened, appeared curious to check the quality of fabrics and suits on display.
“We have Lawrencepur, our own brand, which is very popular so it will be interesting to compare the two, including quality and pricing,” said Ali Hashwani, a businessman who visited the outlet.

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