Mr. Zubair Khaliq ,Director/CEO of Multiline Engineering Co.
Talks to Engineering Post,
- Who started Multiline Engineering and what was the motive behind? When was the company launched?
My father Col M A Khaliq started Multiline in 1975 after taking an early release from the Army. He is one of the most qualified engineers with work experience from Siemens in Germany and from USA. He developed and produced complex electronic and power equipment indigenously in Pakistan and supplied mostly to the armed forces. I did my engineering from USA joined the company in 1993 and started the generator business.
- What was the core ideology and vision of the business?
To supply genuine products to the end client and then focus on top quality service.
- Are you considering social responsibility of your organization?
Multiline has the highest level of retention of employees and associated. We still have people from over 32 years and several employees who have been with us for over 15 years. This says a lot about how we treat our people.
- What made you face the problems successfully during the early days?
Running a business in Pakistan is not always the smoothest task. We have young people who need jobs but they are not trained and mostly we have to train them on the job. One has to be very persistent and relentless in order to survive and progress.
- What is the business ethics multiline is stick to?
Honesty and transparency. Give people authentic equipment. Tell them correctly if it is made in UK or in China. No cheating and no lies.
- What according to you should explain the success of your company?
Not working for money but working to keep clients happy. Money comes as a byproduct.
- How do you see the increasing competition in your industry?
We don’t mind healthy competition but when apples and oranges are compared and we have to reduce our prices in order to compete, then it is not good. Some of our competitors have objectives which are short term.
- What role does the Chinese products is playing in electrical industry of Pakistan?
Generally when reputable companies make a product in China, the quality is as good as it gets. Thus if Apple makes a phone in China, they will ensure that it meets their quality standards. Similarly if Cummins is making engines in China, they will make it as good as they do in any other country. But the problem is that in China, very soon they will have copies of equipment that is being made there. Pakistanis are the first ones to import these counterfeits, unfortunately. The quality of these copies will not be good for sure and in the end the client may decide not to purchase anything made in China due to all the confusion. One pertinent example in our field is that of STAMFORD brand alternators. Stamford is one of the best known and most trusted alternator. They have a factory in China as well. I have spoken to their managers several times and they say that they have exactly the same machines and processes in their Chinese factory as they have in their UK factory and the final quality is the same. But if one goes to the Pakistan market it is almost impossible to find authentic Stamford alternators. There are varying degrees of copies. So the clients become confused and the ones looking for authentic product ask for UK origin only.
- How do you see CPEC playing its role in local industry?
Too early to say.
- Multiline is always seen with respect even among your competitors. What do you think is the reason behind this achievement?
We are humbled.
- How important for the multiline is the customer services? What measures are being taken to improve this important sector?
It is the backbone of our business. We are trying our best with trainings and continuous support to improve this.
- Are you satisfied with current standing of the company?
There is always a room for improvement.
- What are the future plans for the next five years and where do you see your esteemed organization after that?
We also want to grow our renewable energy and automation division.
- Is there any scope of manufacturing your products within Pakistan in the near future rather than relying on the imported products?
The generator market size is not big enough for local manufacturing of engines or alternators to be feasible.
- How do you see the relationship between multiline and the brands it is representing and how long is the association?
We have worked with Perkins, Sincro, Mecc Alte and now with Cummins. We are known by most people in these companies and enjoy a good reputation.
- How the products of your company are better than the products of your competitors?
Client is the best judge of this.
- What is your message for the young entrepreneurs for their business success?
Generally there are no shortcuts. You have to be clear about what you want to do, take chances and work hard.