Interview with Mr. Naim Anwar — President & CEO, Crescent Star Foods Ltd
Mr. Naim Anwar is the President and CEO of Crescent Star Foods Limited, which owns Master Franchise of Texas-based American fast food chain Golden Chick and also Sindh and Balochistan rights of UAE-based chain Bombay Chowpatty.
Golden Chick has a large variety of products with Fried, Roasted and Grilled Chicken and it’s Golden Tenders enjoy a repute.
Roasted Chicken is oil free and healthy concept. Golden Chick offers a side line range of nine interesting products including its famous Corn Nuggets and it’s battered fries are worth a try.
PAGE: Your views on the performance of foreign chains of fast food sector:
NAIM ANWAR: Pakistan a country of 200 million population with a two-third spread of population between 19 and 30 years of age so there is a large scope for food sector and fast food.
Currently, there are many international big brands operating in Pakistan, however, the concentration has been on the first tier cities. A vast untapped potential lies in the second and third tier cities. Most international brands in Pakistan have done well and enjoy confidence of the principles who see Pakistan as their future large market.
PAGE: How would you comment on innovation in fast food sector of Pakistan?
NAIM ANWAR: Technology has a huge potential for food business and the delivery sector. With ever-growing traffic and the work pressure and the interesting change of gender mix in the working society the eating trends are changing fast with working families depending on delivery of food after a hectic day. Students and younger generation are also moving fast to the fast food concepts with look for efficient delivery. Technology of internet applications and efficient call center and structure of technology based delivery back up is the future.
PAGE: What is your take on competition in fast food sector of Pakistan?
NAIM ANWAR: Competition in Pakistan in food sector can be talked about between different categories. Firstly, we can term it as structured and unstructured organizations, which can be again spilt into roadside local vendors selling food, which is largely unhealthy and unhygienic food but serves a vast population of people meeting the price range they can afford moving on to local food concepts but one step above the road side and having a fairly decent place to dine but still way apart the proper restaurant that may serve all standards.
Moving ahead can be local brands in competition with international brands. There is a competition because of the difference of franchise cost between them, however, the franchise cost of international brands does offer a standard of hygiene and international standard process of preparing food under approved criteria. There is then a competition between international brands of repute. All looking towards the one of very fastest growing economies coming out very fast from a prolonged depressing period of security threats moving into a strong growth in middle class spending power and change of trends and spending habits due to a substantial percentage of population spread of age brackets.
PAGE: What is your take on the government support to the fast food sector in terms of import of raw material, machines and taxation?
NAIM ANWAR: There is no special support in this sector to develop this business, however, traditional old rules covering foreign exchange remittance of franchise costs and royalty payments are a blockade on the growth and needs urgent attention of the government to revise the amount allowed for purpose.
For example the State Bank allows $100,000 as franchise payment for agreements for the territory rights. One can wonder which established brand would allow country rights within this allowed amount. The government must look at areas governing such rules. Further custom clearance and valuation of duty and the tariff of duty and taxes have to be looked into afresh to promote more renowned brands to look into Pakistan, the country to invest in.
PAGE: Your views on investment in fast food sector of Pakistan:
NAIM ANWAR: It is indeed a challenge still to sell Pakistan to established brands convincing them to enter and invest in Pakistan. However, while they look at this huge market and the potential they would like to have some assurance from the government with promotion and attractive terms of investment and we return to convince such brands and to offer good security to the brands.