Dr. Jawaid Ghani (Professor of Strategy & Market Research) a renowned expert in the industry provided insights on “Consumption Patterns of Pakistan’s Middle Class” based on his latest research. His research stemmed from decades of studying data, and a conviction to portray the true reality of Pakistan’s economy, in particular the strength of consumption within an average household.
The presentation was held at the KSBL campus on April 18, 2017 in front of a fully-packed auditorium.
Dr. Ghani commenced from a very optimistic viewpoint, stating how we stand today at the precipice of pivotal turnaround in Pakistan’s economic strength. He spoke of the phenomena of lifestyle changes once the population has a degree of financial independence and how increases in ownership of basic home appliances suggest Pakistan is moving towards a tipping point of unparalleled growth.
Some key highlights of his talk were the significant shift in poverty line and movement across income brackets from 1990-2015; the rise of Asia’s booming middle class (replacing that in the West as their population levels off and they surpass basic living standards), such that these shifts in population (increasing adult, working bracket) and spending patterns implicate that consumption in Asia will be driving Global consumption in the next 20-30 years. Dr. Ghani built on these developments in contrast to the situation in neighboring China and India, to show how this will shape trade, economic dynamics, potential sub-contracting in the region with ripple effects across Africa and the world.
The lively Q&A brought forward questions on if this growth was sustainable (considering a lower general savings rate), what it means for upcoming businesses and entrepreneurs and how niche markets are the place of potential.
Dr. Jawaid Ghani’s research narrative is unique in that it offers a counter-narrative to Pakistan’s portrayal in the international media. Remarkably, The Wall Street Journal published an article based on his work in February, 2017. The story is available here: https://www.wsj.com/articles/pakistans-middle-class-soars-as-stability-returns-1485945001
In conversation with Dr. Ghani on the context of his work, he spoke of the importance of a deeper economic analysis and the need to address the gap between what is reflected in government policies and the true reality of consumption strength plus business potential. There must be access to objective information, not a subjugation to the international perspective. For this to happen, the need of the day is for young academics, researchers to take regard of the momentous change that is happening and to document it, so the essence in time is captured. An endeavor that is currently being taken up by students and faculty at KSBL.
Dr. Jawaid A. Ghani
Professor of Strategy and Marketing Research, KSBL
Co-founder Gallup, Pakistan
** This event was part of the KSBL Eminent Speaker Series. This series aims to enhance both, inter-academia and industry-academia, engagement by providing a platform of mutual learning.