Being part of a company that exports products to over 70 countries and product lines that span over several industries, Mr. Jawad had a very humble demeanor. In our interview with Mr. Khawaja, we at CEO Times look into exactly what are the secrets to his success at Mahmood Group. Here is what he shared with us.
Mr. Jawad’s journey to success was not an easy one. Being the younger brother, he didn’t feel any pressure to join the family business. However, when he eventually joined the family business, he built his way from the bottom upwards. Starting from scratch, he was in the management of the yarn-making process in one of the company’s factories. After spending quite some time in this position, Mr. Jawad decided it was time for him to move on. In his words, “I realized it was not my calling”. However, his time in the yarn industry gave him valuable experience that later proved to be an asset when he ventured into retail fashion.
Taking a step forward from managing the yarn department, Mr. Jawad started working on the management of the MG-owned Subway branch in Multan. With effective leadership and dedication, he expanded it to 2 more branches. He could have stopped there, but being the entrepreneur he is, he didn’t. Mr. Jawad wanted to explore other untapped industries that Mahmood Group had not yet ventured into. “I had to do a thorough analysis and I started working on some ideas,” he said. This led to the expansion into the food and hospitality business and the formation of the London Courtyard in Multan and later in Lahore.
Mr. Jawad’s flexible approach and strategic thinking led to the creation of MG Agri in 2017. The company now exports fresh fruits and vegetables from their Multan farms to countries like Japan, Middle East, and Europe. Launching MG Agri was a major success, but Mr. Jawad didn’t stop there. After noticing a gap in the retail fashion industry, he is launching a fashion brand that goes by the name of Beyond East.
Beyond East specializes in premium Western and Fusion wear. The aim is to transform the local fashion industry by providing apparel that is manufactured locally yet is designed keeping in mind global trends. Beyond East will not be limited to clothing only. It will be expanded to perfumes, accessories, footwear in the future.
Mr. Jawad Khawaja is always eager to turn challenges into opportunities. While he recognized the impact that the COVID pandemic had on the textile industry in India and Bangladesh, he also saw this as an opportunity for the Pakistani textile industry. He understands the impact of economic downfall and currency devaluation on the textile industry, but he believes that we can overcome these challenges by delivering consistent quality.
Beyond East’s approach to these challenges is to provide quality products that provide maximum value to customers in a competitive pricing model. While speaking to Mr. Jawad about the ongoing challenges of the industry, he had a positive outlook. In his view of the industry, he saw challenges as opportunities, not threats.
MG is the largest contributor to CSR in Multan and giving back to society is a core part of their business culture. Mr. Jawad was very enthusiastic when talking about the various CSR projects that Mahmood Group is involved in, which include free meals, healthcare, free training schools, and a focus on women’s empowerment. MG has set up over 8 dispensaries in Multan, which cater up to 400 patients. Mr. Jawad Khawaja also details how the company has set up 15 filtration plants to provide clean drinking water and how their Robin Hood Army (Multan Chapter) collects surplus food from restaurants & offices and delivers them to the needy. Mr. Jawad also details how the business fosters women’s empowerment by providing opportunities to the women in SOS village. They have appointed 80% female workforce in their training school; Beena. The company is also involved in tree plantation drives, the provision of sports facilities to the community, and the installation of solar power plants.
No company can survive without developing a strong relationship with its stakeholders. Mahmood Group has defined the company’s policy that focuses primarily on the empowerment of stakeholders. He contributes to the success of the company’s relationships with stakeholders through his belief in fair practice and consistency. Being humble as he is, Mr. Jawad acknowledges that these qualities have been passed on to him by his forefathers.
When he came up with the idea for Beyond East, Mr. Jawad had the intention of “Revolutionising the local fashion market by offering a one-stop apparel solution”. Having experience in the textile industry, he is confident in his abilities and technical expertise of Mahmood Group to expand Beyond East to all major cities of Pakistan. However, his vision for the company goes beyond that. To put it in his own words, “I am looking forward to going global with Beyond East”. The company plans to venture into apparel items as well. Apart from that, they also plan on expanding the product lines with perfumes, cosmetics, accessories, and footwear.
Mr. Jawad summed up his secret to success perfectly in his advice for young entrepreneurs.
“If you see an opportunity or have an idea, do not waste time thinking about it. Start working on it immediately because you might not be the only person having that idea”.
He couldn’t have summed up entrepreneurship more perfectly than this and his career is a clear testament to it.