SAUMYA PRIYADARSHI | New Delhi, April 12, 2012 18:46
Lifestyle Pakistan exhibition | First time Pakistan Lifestyle | Anand Sharma inaugrating | |
The first Pakistani lifestyle exhibition show 'Lifestyle Pakistan' started on a striking note at Pragati Maidan on Thursday. With first of its kind initiative by both, Indian and Pakistan Government, the event marks the presence of more than 650 businessmen from Pakistan.
The event is an initiative by Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) to further build on the effort of the governments of Pakistan and India to normalize trade between the two countries. It is the first ever show of top quality export products from Pakistan, in India. The exhibition was inaugurated by Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma and Pakistan Commerce Secretary Zafar Mahmood and was attended by Shahid Malik, Pakistan High Commissioner to India and other higher officials.
With the recent visit of Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari to India, this exhibition is seen as a move by India to extend the olive branch.
Top designer and Fashion Houses like Chen One, Sefam, Gul Ahmed, Asim Jofa, Faizaa Samee, etc. have come down to India for this exhibition and are hoping to extend their business.
Bashir Mohammad, Chairman of Gul Ahmed, the biggest and oldest lawn mill in Pakistan, said that they are looking forward to set up their stores in India as soon as they get the clearance from the Government.
“We are a brand of middle-class section, and India today has one of the most powerful middle-class populations. Opening our stores here, will be beneficial for not only us but for the consumers as well,” he said.
The event also witnessed its fair share of models who came to support their brands. Aayan, model and face of Gul Ahmed expressed her happiness to visit India and becoming a part of such an historic event.
“Now with the start of such trade relations we can expect a better comradeship between the two countries,” said Aayan.
Though, at first sight the designs look similar to the Indian designs but the Pakistani designers oppose this fact. Zain, Owner of Sefam, the largest fashion house in Pakistan, said that the fashion concept is quite different in both the countries. He said that while Indian fashion is mostly influenced by Bollywood, the Pakistani fashion trend is still very traditional and independent from any outer influence.
For some, this exhibition is a chance to fulfill their wish of visiting India. Nausheen Kamran who is the owner of Street 6, a brand of leather home accessories, said, “ I am completely in love with the Indian food and want to gorge on all the famous dishes before leaving India.”
For Sidra Raja, designer at Nishat, coming to India was a myth breaker. “Before coming here, I had some pre-conceived notion but as soon as I landed here, all that erased from my memory. I can hardly point out any difference between the two countries,” says Sidra.
The traders are happy that they are at least able to showcase their products to the Indian customers directly without any interference from the third party. They see it as an opportunity to increase their customer base, brand recall and product recognition amongst the consumers.
“Its time we set our differences apart and work together to have better biz relations, so as to profit both India and Pakistan,” said Anand Sharma on a parting note.