Interview with Mr. Waheed Ahmed — Patron-in-Chief, Pakistan Fruit & Vegetable Exporters, Importers and Merchants Association (PVFA)
After completing his early education in Karachi, Mr. Waheed Ahmed graduated in business administration with specialization in marketing from American Intercontinental University, London. Thereafter he joined family-owned business, the Iftekhar Ahmed & Co (IAC), Karachi. The company has been engaged in fruits and vegetable handling business as grower, packer, processor, wholesaler, exporter of fresh fruit, vegetable, fruit pulp and clarified juice concentrate.
Mr. Waheed Ahmed was given the responsibility to strengthen the marketing & sales department with a vision to make IAC a reputable organization. In order to attain this objective, he demonstrated his visionary commitment by devoting his efforts and marketing skills to introduce IAC on the international platform. He represented his company around the globe and attended international trade fairs and exhibitions i.e. SIAL, Paris; Anuga, Colon; GulFood, Dubai; Big Seven, Johannesburg; Fruit Logistica, Berlin; World Food, Moscow; Halal Food Exhibition, Tehran etc.
Due to his hands-on experience with leading players from around the world in both his analytical and marketing capacities, he is also frequently called upon to contribute his wealth of experience to many knowledge based seminars and conferences. He has been continuously an active participant of the business panel discussions with food & beverage industries at international forums i.e. Asia Food Congress, Euro Food Congress, World Juice, Middle East Congress. He had been a member of the business contingents and governmental delegations visiting Russia, Ukraine, Germany, Poland, UK, Hong Kong, Netherland, France, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Thailand etc.
As the admiration of his untiring efforts for the development of horticulture sector in Pakistan he was elected as Chairman of Pakistan Fruit & Vegetable Exporters, Importers and Merchants Association (PVFA) in 2009 for one year and was re-elected in 2012. He has been the Director of Pakistan Horticulture Development & Export Company (PHDEB) and a member of Export Development Fund, Ministry of Commerce, Government of Pakistan. He also plays a pivotal role in Federation of Pakistan Chamber of Commerce and Industries (FPCCI) committees on agriculture sector and serving as Director, Pak Russia Business Council of FPCCI and Director, Pak Ukraine Business Council of FPCCI.
His visionary leadership converted IAC in to a diversified business leader entrepreneur with the scope broadened from fresh fruit and vegetable handling to processing of fruit pulp/puree by installing state of the art fruit processing unit in 2004 at Karachi which was further expanded to the capability of multi fruit processing, installed in 2008 for clarified juice concentrate production.
PAKISTAN & GULF ECONOMIST sought perspective of Mr. Waheed Ahmed, Patron-in-chief PVFA regarding the spike in the prices of onions. Following are the excerpts of the conversation:
The PFVA has voluntarily imposed self- ban on export of onion effective from 3rd November 2020 for a period of fifteen days (15) and objective of this initiative is to ensure stability in price at the local level besides getting good price of onion for growers of the Sindh province the forthcoming crops. This sincere effort by PFVA is in line with the struggle of the Government of Pakistan to effectively control price hike. The Food Commissioner of Pakistan has also been informed about this decision. The PFVA would review its decision of ‘self-imposed ban’ after fifteen days. The export of onion would remain suspended for fifteen days and by mid of November 2020 the local crop of onion would be available in the market, which would further assist in getting the price lowered and achieve further stability in the local market.
Prior to this ‘self-imposed ban’ on export of onion, there was a tendency to stock onion leading to an increase of Rs. 800 in price of onion within a week bringing to a level of Rs.2800 per maund. It is an irony that to export onion the raw onion of the forthcoming crop was being harvested, however, with a temporary ban on export by the PFVA, harvesting raw onion would also stop. The growers of Sindh would get a better price of the onion as a result of the timely initiative of the PFVA in imposing a temporary ban for a specific period.