Karachi (Muhammad Yasir) Terrabiz Conferences and Chainstores Association of Pakistan (CAP) jointly hosted the 1st Future of Retail Business Summit (FOR2022) in Karachi on March 8, 2022. A central objective was to bring Pakistan’s diverse retail sector onto one cohesive platform.
The sessions were chaired by august speakers such as Steve Dennis (Amazon Bestselling Author); Nadeem Hussain (PFN), Amir Paracha (Unilever); Saira Awan Malik (TCS); Faisal Riaz (Dolmen Mall); Seema Aziz (Sefam;); Shamoon Sultan (Khaadi), Ehsan Saya (Daraz), Ibad Ahmed (PandaMart), Guest of Honor M. Azfar Ahsan (Board of Investment) among the many industry leaders from retail, brands, e-commerce, fintech and taxation.
In a special video address at the summit, Commerce Adviser Razzak Dawood expressed his appreciation for the conference and how the event would play a critical role in shaping the future of retail in Pakistan. Minister Dawood explained, “The retail sector contributes 18% of the GDP, employ 16% of the workforce.” He added that the retail sector was critical to fueling supporting sectors such as construction and transportation. He further stated that the growth of the retail sector was a strong indicator of development and progress in the country. Industry stalwarts used the platform of cross-sector key stakeholders to identify areas where collaboration could be made and improvements could benefit growth.
The aggregate representation of business and technology allowed participants to envision how they could create the future of their retail brands and be part of this accelerating ecosystem. Retail legends such as Seema Irfan, founder of Bareeze and Founder of Al Fatah stores, Irfan Shaikh shared insights into the challenges they faced in building brands and serving customers in Pakistan. An underlying theme that was highlighted in addition to the future of retail, is how resilient brands survived the challenges of the pandemic and became more customer-centric upon their reopening.
The conference was supported by Pakistan Fintech Association, P@SHA and A.F. Fergusson & Co. As Knowledge Partners.