Almoiz Group pays Rs12 billion per annum in terms of taxes, duties to support national economy

| Says Vice President Corporate Affairs, Communications & CSR Mr. Iftikhar Babar in an exclusive interview with The Nation

Q1: Can you highlight the brief history of Almoiz Group and its area of operations?
Almoiz Group has carved a very vibrant and dynamic conglomerate with history for itself, while it continues to diversify and thrive for the past fifty years. Our portfolio is exceptionally diversified with businesses in sugar, energy, steel, animal feed, textiles, food and beverage sectors. Additionally, the group also manages PepsiCo’s national and international award-winning franchise located in Gujranwala.

Q2: How has the group been contributing to the country’s economy and progress?
Our revenue contribution to the national exchequer in terms of taxes and duties stands at Rs. 12 billion per annum to support the national economy, while the group generates employment for around 10,000 professionals, especially focused on rural areas such as D.I. Khan and Layyah to uplift their economic and social status. The company paid Rs. 25 billion alone to the growers and interest free loans worth Rs1.5 billion in 2019. We also serve as a source of livelihood for around 50,000 retailers and distributors that further employ a workforce of around 200,000, hence strengthening Pakistan’s labour force base that contributes around 61 per cent to the national GDP.  

Q3: How does Almoiz Group facilitate sugarcane farmers since they play a crucial role in providing essential raw material for sugar production?
More than 40,000 sugar cane farmers across Pakistan benefit from our technology enabled farm advisory services. Through mobile platforms such as ‘Agri Connect’ and Farm Advisory Services (FAS), our field teams are able to help these farmers at every step, guiding them on maximizing crop yield. Our digital advisory strategy uses all possible mediums like broadcast, SMS, Facebook and WhatsApp to reach out to growers and keep them informed. Special trainings and financial assistance is also offered to farmers on utilizing quality inputs to produce the best quality product. 

Q4: What does it mean to be a grower centric organization?
Being a grower centric organization means to seek our success in the success and prosperity of these farmers. Our grower loyalty program is amongst the best in the country, where growers’ performance is evaluated through a transparent mechanism and rewarded through premium prizes and gifts. Soon we are also planning to introduce “Friends of Almoiz” growers club to further improve grower experience. The Group believes that our real success comes when our growers are satisfied and prosperous.

Q5: While general crops require 300-500mm of water to complete growth cycle, sugar cane requires much higher volume of 1,500-2,500mm. In context to Pakistan’s water scarcity issue, how is Almoiz Group helping to resolve this issue?
Monthly water requirement for sugarcane is 150mm which is at par with cotton and soybean and less than half when compared with paddy. Almoiz is further reducing water footprint of cane crop using latest technologies and techniques through laser levelling, trash mulching, soil moisture sensors, high efficiency irrigation systems (pivot). We are also promoting Sugar beet crop in our region that is a short duration crop and consumes less water.
Q6: How can the per acre yield of sugarcane increase through modern farming methods and latest agriculture technologies and how is Almoiz leading the way?
By considering agronomic factors and precision farming, per acre crop yield can be effectively increased. Almoiz Group is leading the way by introducing new seed varieties and latest industrial machinery and technologies for the first time ever in Pakistan. Through our partnership with IFC and their world class foreign consultants we have developed model farms using world best practices.

Q7: How is the Group giving back to society, especially helping the less fortunate during the pandemic?
During COVID-19, Almoiz distributed food ration bags with total value of Rs. 50 million to more than 25,000 deserving families residing in the vicinity of our production plants. In addition, Almoiz Group also donated Rs. 50 million to the PM COVID Relief Fund to help Government limit spread of this virus. PPEs were also donated to all the district hospitals nearby our mills. Besides the pandemic, we supported Government initiatives for nation building such as PM Dam fund, managing the IDP crisis etc. and steered various educational and health related initiatives to support the local population, especially in under privileged areas of Pakistan.

— Mr. Iftikhar Babar is a renowned figure with local and international experience spanning over 36 years, having served at key government positions in various public-sector roles. With a rich experience of management, planning and steering high level public policy matters, he has now stepped into the private sector domain representing the Almoiz Group in an executive management role looking after Corporate Affairs, Communications and CSR affairs.

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