Mian Muhammad Latif is the Chairman and founding father of Chenab Group, one of Pakistan’s largest vertically integrated textile groups. Its subsidiary ChenOne has also become a renowned and successful retail store in Pakistan. His business ventures have helped Mian Muhammad Latif amass a wealth of Rs. 82 billion.
|Name:||Mian Mohammad Latif|
|In Urdu:||میاں محمد لطیف|
|Awards :||Tamgha-e-Imtiaz civil award (Medal of Excellence) by President Pervez Musharraf|
|Date:||28 August 1952|
|Place:||Toba Tek Singh|
|Children:||Faisal Latif, Mian Farhan Latif, Rizwan Latif|
|Parents:||Haji Muhammad Saleem|
|Company Name:||Chenab Group|
|Net Worth:||82 billion|
|Title :||Chen One|
Mr. Muhammad L. Mian is Chief Executive Officer & Executive Director at Chenab Ltd. He is on the Board of Directors at Chenab Ltd. Mian Muhammad Latif supervises this group along with his brother Mian Ashfaque- a legislator in the National Assembly of Pakistan.
Early life and education
Mian Muhammad Latif founder of Chenab Group was born in Toba Tek Singh on 28th August, 1952. He belongs to an industrialist family. His father named Haji Muhammad Saleem was an industrialist of cotton and also an entrepreneur. For the purpose of getting education he moved out to Faisalabad. He completed his graduation in 1974.
Mian Muhammad Latif is married and is blessed with three sons. All of his sons are working within Chenab group on executive positions. Their names are Faisal Latif, Rizwan Latif, Farhan Latif.
Mian Farhan Latif
Mian Farhan Latif was the former MNA of NA-93 Toba Tek Singh. In elections 2008, he was again awarded the ticket of MNA by Pakistan Muslim League Qauid-i Azam but he refused to contest polls due to his business engagements. The party ticket was then allotted to Mr Latif’s cousin Mian Kashif Ashfaq, son of former district nazim Chaudhry Muhammad Ashfaq.
In 1973, after completing graduation, Latif set up a small-scale business – a power loom factory in Toba Tek Singh. Sixty power looms were installed as the first step was taken towards success. Chenab Textile Mills, the first weaving unit, was setup and marked a big day for Latif.Two years later, Chenab purchased a sick unit in Faisalabad. The unit was spread over six kanals before Latif expanded to an area of 280 kanals.
- The unit started exporting gray fabric and in 1985, exports were worth Rs135 million.
- In 1995, earnings reached Rs2 billion.
- In 1998, exports grew to Rs3.5 billion. The earnings helped him clear all outstanding loans.
- During 1990 to 2000, he had also purchased another two sick textile units at an investment of Rs300 million. This was the time when Latif was busy in expanding production capacity.
- The year 1998 saw the company earn a net profit of around Rs400 million.
This great textile empire didn’t build in a year or two but it took a great part of his life. He integrated that small processing unit in proceeding years vertically and result was that big textile empire. Here we are sharing some excerpts from an exclusive interview with Mian Muhammad Latif, Chief Executive, Chenab Limited.
Condition of textile mills in 90s
According to Mr Latif ” Between 1984 to 1990 many of the spinning mills did not go for upward integration. Inefficiencies were common to some spinning mills due to the availability of low price cotton. There were few organizations looking forward the facility of quota regime rather than to go for soliciting orders on the basis of quality of the product. If we look at the composition of Pakistan’s textile exports, it mainly comprise of yarn, unbleached fabrics, low quality and low priced made ups. In other words Pakistan has an image of supplier of intermediate products.
Transition in textile mills
As the world is going through the process of globalization, textile industry could not remain immune. I would go one step further and say, “The textile industry is going through a transition”. Units are being relocated to attain competitive edge, efforts are to go for the highest value-addition and take the maximum advantage of blended fabrics. While many Japanese, Korean and Taiwanese companies have relocated their production facilities in Indonesia, Thailand and some other countries, Pakistan has failed to attract such investment.
A success story dating back to early seventies, the company built it foundation in tradition and innovation. Over the years Chenab has prided itself on most distinctive features; unrelenting commitment, far-sightedness, enduring personal relationship and above all passion for the business is what spurred the founder of the company to pursue great results, and passion is still the driving force behind the present management team. Chenab Group owns Chen One – Pakistan’s first home textile brand having 29 branches in the country and abroad. The Group also owns and manages several other companies such as
- CGI Limited UAE
- InterFab in Australia
- Chenab Fibres Limited
- Chenab USA
- ChenOne Worldwide
- House of Chenab
- ChenOne Foundation.
Chenab is Member of following Associations:
- (i) Faisalabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry.
- (ii) All Pakistan Textile Mills Association.
- (iii) Pakistan Textile Exporters Association.
- (iv) All Pakistan Textile Processing Mills Associaiton.
- (v) All Pakistan Bedsheets & Upholstery Manufacturers Association.
- (vi) Pakistan Hosiery Manufacturers & Exporters Association.
ChenOne stores were introduced in 1997. Initially company planned to introduce fourteen such stores in Pakistan and also establish the chain in Middle East and some countries under quota regime at present. The Group has the distinction of owing 24-colour Rotary machines in Pakistan, labelled the best manufacturing machines in the world.
- In 2004, the Chenab Group purchased another industry where Latif installed the Chen One furniture factory. This was and remains the first automatic furniture plant in Pakistan.
- In 2004-05, exports grew to Rs5 billion, Rs6 billion a year later before reaching its peak in 2006-07.
- Exports were increasing and the company, on a high, set a target of Rs15 billion for next year.
Taking the luxury a strand out and making it more exclusive for its customers, ChenOne has recently set up a store at Diplomatic Enclave Islamabad show casing only its Home Fashion products. ChenOne Home renders a fabulous shopping aura with the magnificent Home collection of the brand to wallow in the absolute lifestyle.
Chenab group decided to opened the first ChenOne stores in Islamabad, the federal capital. The objective behind this was to let the policy planners know about our efforts and establish the credibility of the brand name. This also provided the company an opportunity to convey our message to diplomatic missions and foreign visitors.
Stores in foreign countries
After establishing a number of stores in Pakistan, the next destination is United Arab Emirates (UAE). The very first stores, in the citycenter of Ajman, were operational since November 2000. ChenOne products are also available in Abu Dhabi and Dubai.
Mr Latif speaks about the achievement of his group in an interview”I would also like to share with you the jubilant feeling of being the first textile mills in Pakistan to acquire ISO-9001 certification in 1996-97. Though, there was no pressure at all from our buyers, we at our own, decided to get certified. We had a feeling that our operations were efficient, but the whole process of documentation and subsequent auditing helped us in containing wastage, improving performance of our workers and optimizing cost of production. All these factors have improved our competitiveness in the global markets. Therefore, allow me to say that it may be true that our buyers now have a greater confidence in Chenab and its products but the biggest and ultimate beneficiary is the Company and Pakistan”.
The fall of Chenab group
In 2006-07, Chenab Limited recorded sales over Rs9 billion and was eyeing the Rs15-billion mark by the following year. Suffice to say that the dream never bore fruit as various issues caught the Group off guard.
In 2006-07, the Group’s long term loan stood at Rs3.5 billion. “It was not a big issue for the Chenab Group to payback the loans to the banks,” said Latif. “The Group’s bank record was remarkable and it never delayed paying loan instalments to banks.
“ October 15, 2007 was the date when ship started sinking.”
During the time, load-shedding was at a minimum. The period between October to January is considered a peak season for the textile industry. “This is the time when we have to deliver our textile orders for Christmas and the New Year. We strive to fulfil our commitments at any cost.” At the time, the Group had bulks of textile orders from world’s biggest stores.
The factories suffered the first setback when they faced gas cuts from October 15, 2007 to November 1 after a fault in the Qadirpur gas fields, bringing down production.
By the time supply was restored, the damage had been done. The supply chain was broken and Latif said an alternative did not exist. “We did not have an alternate source to produce steam to run our units and that delayed the shipments. “We were unable to meet deadlines and could not arrange deliveries from the market as not even a single unit in Faisalabad had 24-colour Rotary machines. “The irony is that the technology and quality assurance that helped the Group flourish became the first hurdle and the first step towards the collapse as well.”
CG payed penalty
The Group tried to manage alternate sources of energy and arranged to deliver the biggest order to a leading store chain in Germany. “But we missed the orders from America and other countries, causing the Group to pay big penalties.” They say that it could not get any worse but it did for the Chenab Group. “We dispatched orders of a German company that owned 1,400 outlets in the country alone. The orders were dispatched in 107 containers and made their way from Faisalabad dry port to Karachi. Out of those 107 containers, only 37 reached Germany.”
The reason was the assassination of Pakistan People’s Party Chairman Benazir Bhutto in December that year, which resulted to riots across the country. The remaining containers could not be delivered on time and the German company filed a case and won €5 million in damages.
Throughout his life, he belonged to an influential family. He himself was engaged in close friendship with many politicians of Pakistan like President Musharraf, Benazir Bhutto, Yousif Raza Gillani and Shaukat Aziz. In fact his younger brother also remained as a politician. His younger brother is Chaudhry Muhammad Ashfaq, who remained an influential politician of Toba Tek Singh. His son was also included in the list of MNAs from the part of PML-Q in tenure of 2002-2008, his son’s name is Mian Farhan Latif.
- On 23rd March in the year of 2004, he was awarded with the civil award of Pakistan, Tamgha-e-Imtiaz by the President of that time General Pervez Musharraf in return of his services to the industrial sector of Pakistan.
- For many years from 1998 to 2002 he was awarded a gold medal as the Businessman of the Year from the Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI). He was given that honor because of his services in investment, trading, and industrial growth in those years.
He is a resident of the city of Faisalabad, Pakistan. He is still the member of board of directors of the Chenab Group and working as the Chairman of the Chenab Group and also store chain of ChenOne. He is considered as one of the richest persons of Pakistan