1857 to 1932
The year was 1857, the town of Merut lay asleep, as the silent orb rule the night. Suddenly shots crackled in the darkness; cries of agony invaded the gloom; as the deserted of the British army defied the might of an empire. Elsewhere in Delhi an old man got blown to pieces as he hurled stones and sticks towards an obstinate unit of the British army-it had begun-the mutiny of 1857; and with it came an idea, a dream, it brought a family together. They had a purpose in mind; a vision to supply man with on of his most basic needs-shelter. The need was there, all that was a needed was same insight, diligence, perseverance, and application to materialize the thought – that of making tents or the army and the units of the civil government.
The war was a brief glimpse; a stark realization of things to come. It was the potential portrayed by the needs of the army during the war which lead Mr. Haji Nizam Din to start manufacturing tents in the year 1869. The industry had been born, given proper care and nourishment, it could bloom. Flourish it did; with the growth of the British hold on the subcontinent, and the development of subsequent civil departments; the need far a variety of tents arose. The dream by Mr. Haji Nizam Din became a reality.
It was a humble beginning in the heart of the city, within the historic confines of Lohari gate, Lahore. Gradual development took place, and the firm’s fine workmanship earn it an impeccable reputation which resulted in the government placing the company on the approved list of contractors for the government, railway, and ruling chief of India.
Due to the increase in demand and lack of working space, management decided to move their premises to a more accessible and accommodating venue. At this stage the two sons of H.Nizam Din started taking an active part in the business. They managed to widen the sphere of business through frequent visits to several states, In the year 1932, the company shifted to Ravi Road; establishing a new production unit to cope with the increase in demand.
1932 to 1947
On the outbreak of the second world war in the year 1939, the founder of the firm, H. Nizam Din died, but the tradition lived on. Throughout this trying and hazardous period of the war, the firm spared on pains or trouble in straining themselves to the utmost in providing support for the war effort. The efforts were not in vain; the military authorities expressed their appreciation by relying on the Nizam name for the manufacture of numerous tents. These tents were sent to various parts of the subcontinent in conjunction with needs of the British forces; enabling them to act as the vanguards of the Nizam label.
Heavier military demand compelled management to open another factory in 1942, at 9 Tapp road. Through all these expansionary times, the firm never swayed from the principles adopted by the founder, which were, to always maintain the highest standards in its workmanship, but not at the expense of dependability and reliance, for those were the hallmarks that the founder had always strived for.
Since the inception of the firm, the Rental of tentage had been carried on from time to time. Management carried a large stock of tents of all sorts, Durbar Shaminas, furniture etc. They supplied all these goods to marriages, garden tea parties and other social functions at a moderate rental prices. During the war however, the company kept the Rental business at a minimum to divert all their resources to the war effort.
After the end of the war, a recessionary period started, and correspondingly the demand slackened for our industry because of its sensitivity to the environment. The reduced government spending following a exhausting and depleting war effort and direct consequences on the firm and left the company in a dire financial state, under excruciating circumstances.
The ‘Mullah’ climbed into the pulpit o the mosque to deliver the ‘Azam’, calling forth all the Muslims to a rendezvous with ‘Allah’. It wasn’t an ordinary occasion; the people had gathered to offer their gratitude to the creator for grating them “the land of the pure” Pakistan. The formation of Pakistan marked a new era; business was in the doldrums from the ravages of the war. The time was ripe for experimentation with existing resources, and the development of new avenues; it required a more aggressive approach, risks had to be taken, and the law of the wild reigned supreme in the minds of all businessman. The survival of the fittest would ensure a process of natural selection. The winner would take it all. It required a different breed of men; those with tenacity, ambition, and a sense of purpose to navigate their ships across the troubled waters.
1947 to 1965
In 1947, to search out new propositions Mr. Faiz Ahmad, grandson of H.Nizam Din arrived in the seaport of Karachi, which was destined to become the capitol off the infantile country. He started with a small retail outlet on Burns Road, selling cloth by the yard. These were had times demanding the utmost endurance and resilience. If not for the inspiration, initiative, and understanding provided by his wife; the times may well have proved too trying for one man. The support was always there which ultimately lead to reminiscence; during times when the newly formulated Rental business in Karachi might well have died in its cradle.
The Rental business started from scratch was to one-day envelope contracts with the army, civil department, hiring of shamianas for wedding, and semi-government organization. The mode of transportation for the supplies were sub-contracted carts pulled manually. From 1947-1960 the army was involved with 80% of our business deals.
In 1954 Mr. Faiz Ahmad’s elder brother died; the heavy administrative load on his shoulders over the year had finally taken its toll with the demise of his father in 1958; this was followed by the death of second brother, two-year latter. The final affliction of Mother Nature came in 1962 when with the passing of his s uncle elapsed another chapter in the saga of H. Nizam Din & Sons. With the non-existence of additional elderly members in the family the full brunt of the responsibility landed on his shoulders
By 1957, management was convinced that the real future of the tent industry in Karachi, resided in the manufacturing of tents. Keeping the vision in mind the firm acquired a 4.15 acres, piece of land in the Sind industries Trade Estates (S.I.T.E) district of Karachi. The tremendous potential foreseen by management was an inference from the persistence of the heavy military demand, and the development of a young export market in Pakistan. This was augmented by the encouraging government policy toward investment in the industrial sector.
With the advent of 60’s, first export order of tents was generated from the Iranian embassy; and in the process of manufacturing them; H. Nizam Din & Sons entered another realm. They became the first tent manufacturers in Pakistan to export tents to a foreign country. To facilitate the manufacture of tents for export, and catering to demand in the local market primarily consisting of defence supplies, a small shed measuring 100’by 30’ was constructed at the new site.
Tent stitching at this stage was crafted by hand. There was no place for amateurs in the stitching of tents, the labour was highly specialized and resourceful; each stitch seemed like a small pearl etched on the sturdy canvas background. Management trained new employees from thier very inception into the form and gradually groomed him into a skilled craftsman with an impeccable desire for perfection.
1965 to 1985
In the early sixties a Saudi army delegation visited Pakistan and placed on order through the defence purchase department for export of military tents to Saudi Arabia; which was followed in 1965 by another order through the Saudi Embassy for Hajj Tents. When the tents were delivered the purchasers were astonished at the quality of the tents, at prices, which were very competitive with European manufactures.
Saudi market was further developed in this era however,owing to the 1965 Indo-Pakistan war which necessitated the supply of tents for the army and production resource had to be diverted from export oriented work, to the supply of tents for the army, in 1966 the focus shifted back on Saudi Arabian market. Our company submitted quotations to their ministry of defence, and succeeded in getting a large order from the defence department for military use.
The beginning of the export trade lead to the mechanization of production, which had previously been done manually. For that very purpose; weaving looms ,automatic power driven jiggers waterproofing plant industrial sewing machines .These expansionary moves had been carried out which the utmost vigour, and their immensity hallmarked management’s commitment to the specialized cause of manufacturing tents.
During the decade 1960-1970, strenuous effort were made to increase exports; which were followed by repeated visits in the accompaniment of different delegations to middle eastern & North African countries.
The efforts were converted to export merits recognized by the international Export association with recipient Gold Medallion Award for our services rendered in the exports arena.
In 1975, the partnership was converted into a private Limited to limit the liability of the directors to numbers of shares they held in the company, and to facilitate change in the management structure. The prestige of the company was a natural beneficiary of this paper shifting and of the company was a natural of this paper shifting and reorganization of essentially the same, existing century old enterprise.
Mr. Naveed Ahmad the eldest son of Mr. Faiz Ahmad joined the business operations in June 1977, after completting his M.S Industrial Engineering from University of Michigan Ann Arbor.
Keeping the vision of the family for expanding export markets and continous improvement and mordenization; Mr. Naveed Ahmad after visiting and exploring new markets in U.S & Europe concluded that buyers demand and had expressed interest in canvas cloth of wider width. A major BMR was made in 1978 based on the market assesment; a continous dyeing range from M/S Goller Germany & Automatic Shuttle Weaving Looms from M/S Picanol Belgium were aquired with a vision to service U.S & European Canvas Fabric and Camping Tent markets. Pakistan Tentage Industries was set up as the weaving unit for H.Nizam Din & Sons Pvt Ltd.
1985 to Present
The Early 80’s were spent consolidating the Middle Eastern markets, succeding in the camping tent programs in Europe; Germany, England, Netrherland & U.S Markets. Hundred of thousands of camping tents were being produced annually at heist ! How ever this business was short lived as Polyester/Nylon tents came out and finished the cotton market tents. Hence causing the management to re invent the business.
The late 80’s presented an opportunity of supplying Tents to UNHCR a leading Aid Organization. Nizam was selected to supply 50,000 Tents to Afghanistan Refugees, this contract was the single largest contract of tents ever signed between an Aid Organization and private company. The contract was executed succesfully. The 90’s were focused on this new business division servicing Relieft Tent needs of leading Aid Organizations. How ever in early 1999 Mr. Faiz Ahmad passed away. He had been leading the Nizam brand for 5 decades succefully and evolving the company in to a symbol of trust worldwide for Canvas Tents, Fabric & Allied products. Mr. Naveed Ahmad took over as Managing Director after his sad demise.
Mr. Ali Ahmad eldest son of Mr. Naveed Ahmad joined H.Nizam Din & Sons Pvt Ltd in August, 2000 after completing B.S Finance & Economics from Indiana University. The commencment coincided with one of the single largest contracts executed by Nizam as a joint venture with M/S Alpinter Relief for the supply of 10,000 Flame Retardent Tent worth US $ 5 Million to Turkish Red Crescent through American Red Cross. The succesful execution of this contract led both Alpinter & Nizam closer and formation of a partnership in the Humanatarian Relief Business. Major man made & natural disasters were witnessed in this last decade. Hence this scenario allowed Mr. Ali Ahmad to establish a comprehensive Humanatarian Relief Supplies division based on sourcing and providing timely solutions to leading Aid Organizations in a one stop window operation for all their Emergency Humanatarian needs. The devstating 2005 Earthquake in Kashmir resulted in a major catastrophe. The demand for rehabilitation after the emrgency phase was paramount. In order to service our customers needs the management undertook engineering reconstruction projects in Kashmir & NWFP effected Aread. The engineering division had reconstructed over 800,000 Square Feet of Prefabricated Hospitals, Dispensary & Self sufficient houses for earthquake victims with in one year on behalf of leading Aid organizations.
In the last decade Nizam has reinvested almost all of its earnings in the modernization of allied machinery; Weaving, Knitting, Dyeing/Finishing & Stitching. Infrastructure upgradation at Karachi factory and building state of the art Tent Stitching factory in Pakistan to meet the growing tent business needs.