KARACHI: The International Finance Corporation (IFC) is investing in Pakistan’s largest fashion retailer to create jobs, promote gender equality and support the country’s crucial textile sector in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.
IFC will invest the equivalent of $25 million in Pakistani rupees for a minority stake in Khaadi Corporation, which has 57 outlets spread across Pakistan and also has a presence in the UK and GCC countries.
The funding will help the company accelerate its growth by expanding its retail footprint and global online sales. It will also indirectly support the retailer’s suppliers in Pakistan, many of which are small businesses.
“We are excited to begin the next chapter of our growth transformation with IFC’s first investment in Pakistan’s fashion retail sector. We anticipate that this investment will help us set new benchmarks in the organization of the retail sector in Pakistan and beyond, through strategic initiatives aimed at driving growth, corporate governance and diversity.” , said Shamoon Sultan, founder and CEO of Khaadi Corporation.
The World Bank Group organization’s investment is designed to support the development of the country’s retail and textile sectors, which provide 40% of jobs and account for about 9% of the country’s gross domestic product. About 30 percent of people working in the textile sector are women and supporting the industry will help promote gender equality in the country.
“The textile and retail industry is at the heart of Pakistan’s economy and a major employer of women, especially in the garment sector,” said Zeeshan Sheikh, IFC country manager for the Pakistan and Afghanistan.
“By channeling funding and advisory support to industry and partnering with innovative companies like Khaadi, we can help the sector grow, formalize, become more sustainable and create greater opportunities for business. economic employment for women.
In addition to investing in the retailer, IFC will advise Khaadi Corporation on improving its corporate governance structures, sustainability and gender diversification programs.
This investment is part of IFC’s broader effort to support the development of Pakistan’s private sector, which is critical to creating opportunity and fighting poverty in the country.
Since 1956, IFC has invested more than $1.2 billion in Pakistan, helping to support small businesses and spur the development of renewable, hydroelectric and wind energy projects.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2022