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NAVEENA EXPORTS LTD. (hereinafter NAVEENA) produces denim fabric. It uses 30% of its output for internal production and sells the other 70%. The jeans it manufactures are solely for export; half to America and half to Europe. NAVEENA is a young company with only a 7-year history of jeans production. It aims at a daily output of 10,000 pairs, with strict adherence to quality standards and delivery dates.
NAVEENA produces denim fabric and jeans. Its goal is a daily output of 10,000 pairs of jeans.
According to Mr. Anwar Hayyat (Factory Manager), "NAVEENA was established in 1988 as a knitting company. We purchased thread and wove knit. Then we started producing denim fabric in 1995, and jeans from 2000. The company recruited me from a jeans manufacturer when it decided to start sewing jeans."
The NAVEENA factory is a young one, with only 11 years of experience in producing denim and only 7 years of experience in producing jeans. But now it's growing by more than 20% per year. There's definitely a future in this developing company.
Cotton cloth, mostly cotton fabrics, has been one of Pakistan's major exports. Sewn products have also been exported, but initially this was limited to easily manufactured products such as bedclothes. The production of denim fabric started in Pakistan from the late 90's. Many jeans manufacturing factories were established throughout the country.
This was when NAVEENA started producing jeans and embarked on its rapid growth. To grow as an industry, a latecomer such as NAVEENA had to rely on the effective transfer of know-how from an advanced company. Our factory manager, Hayyat, moved to NAVEENA from a jeans manufacturing factory five years ago. His knowledge and experience have been tremendously valuable for our factory.
"We now operate several factories in Karachi and Lahore," explains Hayyat. "The Lahore factory mainly produces knits. In Karachi we employ 300 workers at a material manufacturing factory and another 900 in a jeans manufacturing factory. The 1,200 workers at these two factories produce 7,000 pairs of jeans per day. Monthly output is 200,000 pairs. Now we are trying to increase the daily output to 10,000 and the monthly output to 250,000. "70% of the output of denim fabric goes to external customers.
Standard jeans with five pockets make up to 70% of all products.
70% of the denim fabric produced is sold to external customers. The remaining 30% is used to produce jeans in-house.
Five-pocket standard jeans make up 70% of all products manufactured by NAVEEN. The ratio of ‘fashionable jeans' is 30%. All of the jeans produced are exported to Europe and America, at roughly a fifty-fifty split.
High-profile brands include South Pole in America, and Zara, Tima, and Zabou in Europe. LEVIS will join the roster of buyers from March 2008.
"To manufacture jeans oriented for export, we must accommodate continuous demands for improved quality from our overseas customers," says Hayyat, smiling. "When we tell customers that we've installed JUKI sewing machines and equipment, most of them approve us unconditionally. Our operators want to use JUKI machines, too. Once an operator uses a JUKI machine, he realizes how easy the machine is to use and how rarely it malfunctions. From that point on he's reluctant to use any other make. That's actually a problem."
"Western customers urge us to improve not only quality, but also our standards for environmental protection, the labor environment in our factories, and the protection of worker rights," says Hayyat. "We've worked on all of these fronts since establishing our company. The water we use to wash our jeans is purified after use to comply with environmental standards. Many customers have praised our efforts to protect employee rights, such as our restrictions to limit overtime hours. We believe that the fulfillment of social responsibility is an important function for our company."
It can be challenging, for any company with growth ambitions, to find and hire new operators. Rigorous adherence to CSR principles gives NAVEENA a big advantage as a recruiter. The workers it hires must also be highly skilled if product quality is to be improved on an ongoing basis. Many experienced workers apply when the company put recruitment advertising on newspapers detailing required skills, processes, and equipment. The number of sewing schools has increased over the past one or two years. Some applicants are introduced directly by their schools school. This proves the popularity of NAVEENA.
The current operating hours are 40 hours per week, with 12 hours of overtime. Salary consists of 30% to 50% of fixed pay on a worker-by-worker basis, and the remaining part is paid at a piece-rate, as determined by the worker's performance. The fixed salary paid for one operated is paid as remuneration for the manufacture of a standard, fixed number of products. The extra wage is paid for the products produced in excess of that standard. The monthly salary ranges from 4,600 rupees for inexperienced workers to 5,500 to 15,000 rupees (approximately US$250) for highly skilled workers.
NAVEENA strictly keeps not only quality, but also delivery dates.
The chain system is employed for production lines. One line has 35 to 40 operators. When you see the photo, you'll notice that some of the lines are vacant. This is because we visited the factory during Shab-e-Barat, a festival held before the month of fasting. The workers were in the middle of a two-day fast and many remained in continuous prayer from midnight till morning. The company plans out and reviews detailed production schedules to prevent religious festivals of this type from delaying deliveries. On the day of our visit they had scheduled in holiday work for the coming Sunday.
According to Mr. Barkatullh Baseer, Associate Engineer (Gm Operation), "It's imperative that we strictly keep delivery dates. We take measures to meet this requirement at all times."
This attitude may be the secret behind the company's ongoing growth and the absolute confidence of its customers.