Certifications can help boost exports of locally manufactured products

Mr. Aamir Ata Barry, MD Haseen Habib Corporation talks to Engineering Post

In an exclusive interview with Engineering Post, Mr. Aamir Ata Barry, the Managing Director of Haseen Habib Corporation, shed light on the company’s remarkable journey in the manufacturing and trading of fire fighting, safety, and security equipment, emphasizing its pivotal role as pioneers in the industry.

Haseen Habib Corporation, a private limited company and part of the Barry Group of Companies, has been at the forefront of its field since its inception in 1965. Mr. Amir Ata Barry takes pride in the company’s evolution, from a sole proprietorship concern to a partnership in 1969, and eventually transforming into a private limited company in 1977. The company operates from its head office and factory in Lahore, with branches in Rawalpindi, Karachi, and Faisalabad, establishing a robust marketing network across the country.

Reflecting on the current business landscape, Mr Aamir notes the positive impact of the relaxation of import bans. He believes that while import restrictions indirectly benefit local manufacturers, it also encourages the production of high-quality local items. “Local items are getting a boost. Some items that were once imported are now being manufactured locally. While the initial quality may not be optimal, with time and effort, locally produced items will certainly improve in quality,” he asserted.

Expressing his concerns, he emphasized the need for government support for local manufacturers and called for the formulation of policies that incentivize and facilitate local businesses. During the conversation he also highlighted a troubling case where a company was contemplating withdrawing its investment in Pakistan due to harassment by different government departments regarding NOCs and other regulations. Despite these challenges, Mr. Aamir Ata Barry reported a positive trend in business over the last six months, attributing it to the stabilization of the dollar. He noted an increase in confidence within the market, with many projects resuming that were previously halted. “The market is receiving positive vibes, and people are resuming many projects now which were halted previously,” he remarked, expressing optimism for continued improvement.

While discussing standardisation of locally manufactured products Mr. Aamir Ata Barry explained that certifications are only possible by involving third-party testing laboratories which none of which operate in Pakistan,  He shed light on the hurdles faced in certification processes, emphasizing the high costs associated with third-party testing laboratories. “To get a product certified we need to pay for their Air Tickets and lodging in addition to the certification fee which gets very expensive,” Comparing the situation to India, where testing laboratories are locally based, Mr. Barry underscored the need for more accessible certification processes in Pakistan. “Standardization is not being achieved due to the high cost of certification. If we improve and make PSQCA certifications globally acceptable, it will significantly boost our exports,” he stated.

During the conversation when asked about improving exports Mr. Aamir Ata Barry said that there is potential for exponential growth in exports, up to three times the current capacity “This potential can be achieved with more accessible certification processes which will result in acceptance of our local products in the international market,” he explained. When asked what advice would he give to the business community to cope with the current tough situations, he said “We must acknowledge that these are challenging times for the businesses community but we must always keep a positive mind-set, and have an optimistic outlook on thing rather than panicking during tough times,”