SM Group is one of the well known Pakistani textile groups . With a history of over 60 years, the group is well entrenched in global markets and now seeks to explore the Japan market through our Denimsandjeans Japan show in March’24 . We interacted with their Executive Chariman Mr. Junaid Javed . He has an MBA degree from a reputed university in Pakistan and have been leading the group for more than 20 years now. Under his leadership the group has progressed from trading concern to manufacturing facility. SM group has seen immense growth under his leadership and continue to explore new investment avenues.
SM group has a long history which goes back over 60 years. Can you elaborate how the group developed and what is the current structure of the group?
SM group has been in business for more than 60 years now. We started small at retail level, went to wholesale, trading and to manufacturing over these years. We have multiple export trophies in our belt and have been largest flannel exporters from Pakistan in our early days. We ventured into denim fabric production when it was a new avenue for investors in Pakistan and have never looked back ever since. It is a family owned company and has a mix of corporate and traditional hierarchy. The first generation laid the foundation of the group and We as the second generation namely Mr. Asif Merchant and myself Junaid Javed has taken reigns into our hands now and are all geared up to take SMD to next level.
You are using some ground breaking technologies like INDICAN and others which contribute to your sustainability targets . Can you elaborate on more of these
Everyone is looking for sustainable solutions and thus the whole industry is coming up with very interesting solutions. It’s an honest effort by most of the industrialists to meet retail and brand requirement of sustainability, which eventually is adding great value to innovation and up gradation of the overall sustainable efforts. SMD has covered the material side of sustainability and traceability and realised long back that process optimisation is the only way forward if you want real change. Therefore, as an answer to our process optimisation efforts we came up with INDICAN. It’s a sustainable dyeing and finishing route which is third party SGS certified. It is a way to reduce 80% less water in finishing and dyeing, consumes way less dyes and leaves almost less than 1% less residual dye in the dye bath. Apart from IndiCan we do have salt free dyeing also which again has a huge impact in environment. We are continuously striving towards process innovation where chemical, dye and water usage can be minimised. With IndiCan the consumer will have a certification and a swing tag to increase the retail value.
What special collection you are bringing to the Denimsandjeans Japan show on March 24 . Do you think that the Japanese market has some very special needs and which of your products can address that
This is going to be a great combination with Japanese Heritcage fashion and SMD innovation. We are working on few capsules which will have performance , innovation and aesthetics at it’s core however we are keen to keep the heritage and retro theme at its heart. We are playing with some fibers and making sure not to loose the Japanese denim identity while making our fabrics and garments. Our fabrics and garments will have elements of old school Japanese denim at the same time will keep the fabrics and garments trendy.
As you mentioned that you use a number of fibers for high performance, sustainability etc. What are your most favourite ones and why
We have a thing for using and promoting sustainable fibers in our collection. We have been using different fibers through our product lifetime and have used multiple synthetic sustainable and natural fibers. These days we are focusing on NAIA by Eastman corp which to us has a great intrinsic value and addresses sustainable challenges. Also it is affordable fiber which has compostable and biodegradable properties which very few fibers have at the moment. We are going to bring great collection to Japan which will also cover these fibers and will be available for an exhibit. I am sure it’s going to create waves and we are early adopters looking to seek early movers advantage.
The markets have been difficult for the last one year . How has SM denim adjusted themselves to face the new challenges and be prepared for the future.
Indeed the market has been acting odd for last few months. We realised this early on and have worked on our products and compatibility. We have added several light weight fabrics, PFD and PFGD fabrics to our collection so keep the product line trendy and in variety. We are working with brand and garment factories closely to keep the competitiveness in market and this is what have sailed us through. We do have some strategic partnerships in place and you will hear about it in coming days and its going to be really interesting. Also we have increased our presence internationally with global offices and international exhibitions like Denimsandjeans, Kingpins NY, Kingpins Amsterdam, Colombiatex, Bangladesh Denim expo, Intertextile Shanghai and Denim by PV. This is to keep touch points with clients and its working fine at the moment.
Mr. Junaid Javed is executive chairman of SM Group and manages its multiple businesses. He has an MBA degree from a reputed university in Pakistan and have been leading the group for more than 20 years now. Under his leadership the group has progressed from trading concern to manufacturing facility. SM group has seen immense growth under his leadership and continue to explore new investment avenues.
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