Abu Dhabi Group (ADG), one of largest foreign investors in Pakistan, is rumored to be planning divesting off its businesses in Pakistan which include some big names like Warid Telecom, Bank Alfalah and Wateen Telecom. This decision is mainly driven because of recent economic crises in ADG’s country of origin, UAE and group’s management desire to focus on its other ventures particularly Dubai. Although I haven’t heard it yet, but it is highly expected of certain circles of Pakistani media to purport this move because of ‘weak’ economic conditions in Pakistan (because that is more ‘crispy’ a news!). They forget this basic principle that when a multinational or global organization faces crises, divesting and/or consolidation is among the options on the table.
Also, we need to look at the success this group enjoyed in Pakistan for all these years and today its departure is not because it failed or Pakistani economy failed, its just a business strategy move fueled by their internal crises, having nothing to do with Pakistan.
Whether ADG stays or it leaves, the group enjoyed its stay for sure thing.
Story of Abu Dhabi Group in Pakistan which began around early 2000s, is that of a classic example to showcase to world, what Pakistani business scene is actually like.
ADG never had any problem running its businesses in Pakistan. It did whatever it wanted and grew while strongly respecting law of land and remained sensitized to the target market in every of its ventures. It hired professional management at all levels and they ran the business well and grew year after year. Ventures like Bank Alfalah, Wateen, Warid continue to be among best in their own categories. Interestingly, the ADG team quite ably sensed the sectors which could be targeted for successful ventures and went on to enter even in healthcare business and launched a success story, Al Razi Healthcare. Some of the ventures were not that big a success and were kept on backburners. Like Taavun which planned building one of the largest office buildings in the country on Ferozpur Road, Lahore.
Doing what you think is better and postponing the ones which are not feasible is what smart business is all about and this is what this group did. This group’s story in Pakistan manifests the fact that opportunities in Pakistan are humongous. It is only the matter of identifying what can be achieved in this country and whats needs to be done to achieve it and it will be achieved.
Here I remember an ad of Zong, which asks us, the Pakistanis, who find the other lands to be greener and not work on their own soil. While going abroad is not a bad idea or a bad move at all, it is certainly worth seeing, what others are seeing in your land.