Karachi, November 08: While, announcing some Rs 500 million investment, Masood Jaffery Chief Executive Officer of Shabbir Tiles- the pointe of tiles industry is Pakistan has identified a number of issues that are hurting the domestic industry.
He has urged that import substituting industries like tiles industry competing with the international players on global fronts should be given as much importance as export oriented industries as saving foreign exchange is equally important as earning the same.
“Local tiles industry requires support of the government to consider classifying the tiles industry with the five zero rated export oriented industries; raise ITPs of imported tiles; and curb smuggling of Iranian tiles in the country which is hurting not only local manufacturers but the government revenues as well,” said Masood.
He said the industry needs a level playing field against the heavily favoured imports also to flourish and explore export opportunities to earn precious foreign exchange for the country. “Reduction in high energy and other input costs along with higher duties and taxes on imported tiles will be a step in the right direction,” he added.
He said that ITPs have decreased in the last 12 years in Pakistan, while manufacturing cost has increased drastically and rupee devaluation against dollar is also affecting the business environment. Adding that new players coming in the industry are also concerned.
“The government should carefully review the ITPs set for tiles based on the data that can be sought from exporting countries and withdraw the unfair advantage imported tiles are enjoying due to unrealistic valuation,” said Masood.
Despite all the issues we are facing, the industry is continuously investing to expand and improve quality of our tiles further so that we can meet the future local demand and also tap the export opportunities, he added.
Shabbir Tiles and Ceramics Limited (STILE) is planning to invest further around half a billion rupees in addition to the previous investment of about Rs 1.25 billion thereby introducing new products with excellent surface finishes which will also lead to increase in production capacity.
The CEO added that their investment of Rs 1.25 billion was meant for efficiency of costs and on improving the quality of the products which can meet the global standards and offer value for money.
The initial investment was for phase-1 in which plant and machineries were being modernized, said Masood, adding that now in the second phase of half billion rupees’ investment is to support product development and to accommodate customer preferences. We would also increase our dealership network nationwide.
“This is being done to effectively compete internationally also by introducing new designs and sizes while maintaining high quality as of Italian and Spanish tiles,” said CEO Shabbir Tiles.
He said that STILE is manufacturing Porcelain and Ceramic tiles of international quality in different sizes and colors, employing the latest technology and Italian state-of-the-art machinery and is the only tiles manufacturer in Pakistan producing true “Porcelain” tiles.
Recently, a big international tile testing laboratory Centro Ceramico of Italy had tested Stile’s products and certified that Stile is manufacturing tiles that are as good in quality as any product of top tile manufacturers of the world.
Also, he added, their brand Stile has five emporiums nationwide and the company is planning to add three more by the end of 2019.