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Philips performs well in Pakistan.

Economic Review: How do you compare the working of Philips in Pakistan with the other Philips organisations in the world?

Syed Shaukat Islam Rizvi: Philips Pakistan is performing very well in Pakistan in the product lines in which they are operating. Our workers and managers are equally competent in their jobs. Of course, when we are talking of comparison, we are talking of comparable countries in terms of size and product lines.

ER: Do you have any expansion or diversification programme of your company in near future? If so, briefly outline the details of the programme.

SSIR: We have recently diversified by putting up a domestic appliances factory. We, at the moment, do not see major diversification in near future. However, we will continue investment in the product diversification in the form of product extension and product range. We intend to diversify our marketing activity on the basis of imports. For major industrial diversification, there are certain prerequisite in the form of market size, incentives offered by the Government, competitive advantages over countries who are also competing for the investment.

ER: Is there any programme to launch new products of Philips in near future?

SSIR: Introduction of new products and increasing the product range is a continuous process. We are working on the possibilities of local assembly of Energy Efficient Lamps, Car Radios, Deep Freezers, etc.

ER: Do you think that the present climate is conducive for investment in Electronic industry? If not, what measures do you suggest to improve the situation?

SSIR: The initiatives taken by the Government were very encouraging but present political development has made the investors shy and in a state of mind where they prefer to wait and see what would be the end result of present political stalemate.

ER: Do you feel that the incentives announced in the Federal Budget will bring something good for the Electronic Industry? If not, what more concession do you need for the betterment of the Electronic Industry?

SSIR: Government has been offering incentives to Electronics Industry for quite some time. The need is to investigate why major investment in Electronic Industry is not coming. There is need to study what actions were taken by the countries like Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia where electronic industry is coming up fast. Certain lessons can be learnt from their experience.

ER: How will you comment on the existing duty structure of Electronic Industry? Would you like to recommend any other suggestion for its betterment.

SSIR: Government has provided certain incentives in the form of Special Incentives in duties. We think they are still not enough specially in view of unabated smuggling of consumer electronic goods. Consumer electronic goods usually form the basis of growth of electronics industry towards high-tech products.

ER: Do you think that the proposed electronics plan by the National Commission for the period 1992-95, which envisages establishment of a series of "Technology Park" at the Federal Capital, Lahore and Karachi will boost the vendor industry in Pakistan?

SSIR: Setting up of Technology Park is indeed a very good idea but its success will only depend on the infra-structure available in this area. Moreover, these vendor industries can not grow or survive provided there is a realistic duty structure for finished goods and locally produced products. Unfortunately, the smuggling in suitcases from Far-East and Dubai will embrass attempts to improve electronic industries in the country. So again I say, we should learn from Thailand how they have up-stayed their electronic industries.

ER: The National Commission on Electronics recommended one per cent of the gross turnover of the net profits for Research and Development. What are your comments?

SSIR: It is a step in the right direction. However Research requires more Investment. Government should take initiative and invest in research in electronics.

ER: Are you satisfied with the existing in-service training programme of your company?

SSIR: Our in-service programmes are satisfactory. However we supplement it by sending our engineers abroad for training.

ER: How do you foresee the future of Electronics industry in Pakistan with special reference to Philips?

SSIR: The development of any industry is dependent on lot of factors. Foremost among them is political stability, economic growth. Rest are fast development of infrastructure, availability of trained manpower. Development of local market and its growth rate and competitiveness to go for export markets and Government fiscal and economic policies. Electronics Industry stands a chance to grow if all the above factors move in a positive direction. Today's world has become very competitive. Every country is trying to attract foreign investment and technology. We have to compete with these countries to get our share. Government has to make continuous and concerted efforts to make Pakistan attractive for investment. Philips Pakistan is here for the last 43 years and we have been continuously growing and there is no reason why we will not grow in future.

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Title Annotation:interview with Philips Electrical Company of Pakistan General Manager Syed Shaukat Islam Rizvi; Philips Gloeilampenfabrieken N.V.
Author:Haque, Ansarul
Publication:Economic Review
Article Type:Interview
Date:Jun 1, 1993
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