Food processing in Pakistan: "The market potential is huge"

Swiss Bühler AG has been active in Pakistan for 35 years. The large Pakistani agricultural sector and the growing population provide the technology group and food processing specialist with ideal conditions. An interview with Mahboob Rahman, Country Manager of Bühler Pakistan. 

Swiss products enjoy an excellent reputation in Pakistan, says Mahboob Rahman, Country Manager of the Bühler AG branch in Pakistan.
Swiss products enjoy an excellent reputation in Pakistan, says Mahboob Rahman, Country Manager of the Bühler AG branch in Pakistan.

Mr. Rahman, what makes the Pakistani market attractive to the Bühler Group?
Bühler is a global company and solution provider for grain (mainly wheat), rice, feed and also processed food. Pakistan is an agricultural country. Agriculture is a vital sector of Pakistan’s economy and accounted for 25.9 percent of the GDP in 2016-2017. In addition, Pakistan with a population of 196 million people and a growing middle-class is a giant market. All of these aspects make this part of the world enormously attractive for Bühler, whose focus is on food safety, hygiene as well as cost efficient and innovative solutions.

What is the market potential of the food processing sector in Pakistan?
The market potential is huge: Pakistan is the world’s 7th largest consumer market by virtue of its more than 196 million citizens. In addition, Pakistan is the largest wheat producer and rice exporter in the world. Wheat products made from flour are one of the main foodstuffs in Pakistan. Bühler technologies were developed specifically for the highly efficient processing of wheat and rice. These technologies can be applied to produce locally used products. Bühler also produces solution for value-added products like baked goods, chocolate and confectionary. This market offers huge potential.

Swiss products enjoy an excellent reputation in Pakistan and stand for quality and reliability

How do you experience the international competition in Pakistan's food processing sector?
Pakistan is a price-competitive market. As a result, production processes are extremely cost efficient, while maintaining the highest hygiene and safety standards. Multinational players from all over the world approached this market to provide their solutions. The principal competitors mainly come from the European and Chinese market. The solutions developed by European suppliers are always considered superior in quality.

Against this background, what are the chances of Swiss companies to establish themselves successfully in Pakistan?
The chances are very good. Many Swiss companies, such as Nestle, ABB, Archroma and SIKA, are doing business in Pakistan independently and in joint ventures. Swiss products generally enjoy an excellent reputation in Pakistan and stand for quality and reliability. Switzerland is known here as a country of expensive but high-quality goods.

What advice do you give to Swiss companies wishing to establish themselves in Pakistan?
Swiss products are synonymous with quality. So, maintaining the quality standards is the most important point. Apart from sales, support is another key factor. Companies need to be in the market to serve this market.

About Bühler Pakistan

Bühler Pakistan is your competent partner when it comes to machines, plants and services for grain and food processing, as well as for producing high-quality materials. Bühler has been operating in the country since 1985 and in 2015 inaugurated a modern office and workshop complex in the Sunder industrial estate. As the market leader, Bühler Pakistan offers comprehensive solutions and systems to suit specific customer needs. It provides the entire range of products and services of the Bühler Group, with its main activities being in wheat, rice and feed processing. Bühler Pakistan coordinates all sales activities and handles the entire customer service in the region. More than 46 employees take care of the individual needs of all customers based in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Food Processing Mission to Pakistan – join us!

Would you like to find out more about the Pakistani market and the opportunities in the food processing sector? Then join us from September 23-27 on our business trip to Karachi and Lahore in Pakistan. The varied programme includes B2B meetings, business lunches and company visits so that you can get to know the market better, establish contacts and examine your business opportunities. Another highlight of the programme is a visit to the "International Exhibition for Food Equipment and Technology" in Lahore.


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