Chaudhry Muhammad Saeed hailed from Gujranwala where he worked as an officer in the Industry Department of the government of British-India. He moved to Lahore alongside Chaudhry Mohammad Hussain and Chuadhry Nazar Mohammad with high hopes, perseverance and an entrepreneurial spirit to succeed.
This young pair started their journey with small-scale manufacturing of leather products and soon stepped into retail under the name of Hilal General Store. Following independence, they received their first contract from the Pakistan Army for supplying leather footwear. And so the brand “Servis” shoes came to life.
Establishing Firm Roots
As business expanded, a shoe manufacturing factory was set up in the Gulberg Industrial Area of Lahore, and a company by the name of Service Industries Limited was formed. In addition to local distribution, the company extended sales to international markets.
Establishing the LCCI
In order to strengthen trade relations and ties with the business community, Muhammad Saeed, along with a group of leading businessmen, helped establish the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), and thus acquired the title of a founding member.
The foundations of a future focused on textiles were laid down with the initiation of a spinning unit under the name of Service Industries Textiles Limited. Construction began in 1962 and the plant for ready for its first lot of production by 1964.
Rapid Expansion & Booming Business
Footwear sales sky-rocketed thanks to an aggressive export strategy paired with a unique retail sales model pursued by the founders. Incredible success and rapid expansion paved the way for the setup of another manufacturing unit in Gujrat, broadening the focus towards complementary products such as Tubes & Tires, and Tanneries.
Owing to the rapid growth and increase in exports, the company began receiving recognition and awards from trade bodies including the Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI). The predominant sales of the company came from exports that were mainly to Western Europe, North America and Africa.
The First 100
During this time, the company reached the landmark of 100 retail stores across the country.
Expansion into Dairy Products
Pioneering a brand new sector in Pakistan, Muhammad Saeed launched a pilot project alongside his sons, Ijaz and Mumtaz Hameed to produce packed dairy products – a venture that became operational in the early 80’s.
Birth of Prime
The first dairy plant in the country, the company launched its products under the brand name “Prime”. This plant was established using imported machinery from Sweden and Italy that laid the foundation for creating an exclusive packaging line. State of the art technology coupled with a vision for success created the first-ever packaging food plant in Pakistan - Prime.
Launch of Rocco
The company introduced an expansive range of dairy products as well as an ice cream line under the name “Rocco”. It created its own refrigerated distribution setup – a foreign concept in the market at the time. Thus, Prime Dairies became the first to introduce the “cold chain” concept by facilitating the launch of a refrigeration company named Kold Kraft.
Stepping into Weaving
Shortly after, a new weaving mill, Service Fabrics Limited, was also created. Housing novel shuttle-less looms by Sulzer Switzerland, the company achieved rapid growth and recognition for its cloth exports to the Far Eastern markets.
As part of the “vertical integration” process, a garment manufacturing unit, under the name of Delta Garments Limited was set up in partnership with our founder's very close friend Mr. Muhammad Saleem Minhas. It hosted the latest modern stitching, sewing and dyeing technology in machinery imported from Japan, Hong Kong and Germany.
Taking on the Digital Markets
As the new millennium dawned, a new venture was founded in the growing field of Information Technology. On its basis, a partnership was formed with a Turkish company which is the largest software company catering to the textile sector. Making use of IT infrastructure and rapid Internet growth around the world, an online customized clothing business was launched, aimed at the U.S market. In 3.5 years, the first web store garnered revenue worth US$ 1 million by selling high-end clothing.
From there, a QA/QC consulting and advisory company was established not long after. It soon acquired esteemed Fortune 500 clients and demonstrated rapid growth owing to the sharp increase in transit trade from Pakistan to Central Asian countries.
Traversing the Coal Market
Expansion continued, and a coal trading division was launched in partnership with PITCO and HMS Bergbau AG to develop the local coal market. Not only was this a rapidly developing market, but it was also one that was on the rise due to the shortage of natural gas.