People Magazine
Interviews

An exclusive Interview with Ali Wahid- Category Head-Cooling – Dawlance.

Question1: Tell us about your professional journey and your time at Dawlance? There have been many milestones that the brand has achieved.

After competing my Double Master’s in Mass Communication and Business Administration, I started my career with Dawlance more than a decade ago.

After acquiring different flavors under various domains like Customer Services, Sales Operations, Strategic Development; I pursued my passion to serve brands which brought me closer to Marketing around 5 years back. Currently, I am the Cooling Category & Export Division Head at Dawlance. Additionally, I am also playing my role in educational development for the youth by teaching as a visiting faculty in University of Karachi (Mass Communication department).

I have been lucky to be heading the Cooling Division at Dawlance, which contributes more than 50% of the Overall Dawlance revenue. It has been a dream come true, along with the Dawlance team I cultivated many success stories. Dawlance Refrigerator has enjoyed being the No.1 category  for decades in Pakistan. But still the strive to success under this category, I have cultivated many success stories for the years to come; I introduced the initial concept of Glass Door Inverter Technology in Pakistan, the first of its kind Health-zone series, introduced the first of its kind aesthetically looking Glass Top Freezers, turned around Split AC business for Dawlance by enhancing its portfolio. Also, proudly initiated the First Smart IOT Refrigerators in Pakistan and First IOT based Split ACs for Dawlance which proved to become a huge success. In 2020, the biggest success came along with Biggest Refrigerator Revamp in the History of Dawlance which garnered very positive response from the market.

Overlooking export division at Dawlance, I gained successful export business from various countries like Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen, Turkey, Srilanka and Bangladesh for Dawlance – many of which were for the first time. Export business has always been a key priority and in the upcoming years will further explore new regions to expand this business and further expand the foundations of Dawlance in International markets as well.

 

Question 2 What are the major challenges the pandemic brought upon Dawlance and your category particularly?

Covid-19 came along with its own set of challenges & opportunities, where we observed people adapting to new normal with newer ways & lifestyle behaviors. We noticed that the consumer expectation from the white goods industry has risen under new normal. A lot of people were adapting new ways to increasing food preservation, reducing frequent grocery runs and spending more time in the kitchen preparing food. Overall, it resulted in them seeking appliances that could ease their everyday lifestyle and provide convenience such as seeking bigger freezer storage options, storing more fresh items, looking for more organized freezer, cooking preparations etc. Cooling category (Ref, Freezer, WD) particularly observed consumer inclination towards larger freezers and bigger capacity refrigerators in order to store more food items which served as a blessing in disguise as Dawlance has always maintained its leadership on bigger Refrigerator & freezer sizes and capacities.

Question 3: What other challenges and opportunities do you foresee in the years coming ahead?

We see consumer goods category will flourish in the upcoming years, as consumer lifestyle is upgrading with time they are now seeking appliances that are smart and offer better performance and convenience to them than before. So, with this we are expecting more demand of Smart & Innovative appliances with more value-added features & differentiations focused upon health & hygiene. Recently only, Dawlance is amongst the first & the only brand that has launched its new refrigerator range with innovative features inspired by Nature which helps to keep items fresh for 20 days through its Nature lock technology as well as helps in strengthening immunity through its Vitamin Fresh Technologies. So, as we speak such innovative features & technologies will be name of the game in the upcoming years.

 

 

Question 4: Can you tell a bit about the special edition products that have been launched recently?

This year is special for Dawlance and for all the Dawlance customers, as we celebrate the 40 years of Dawlance. It is Dawlance’s reliability that speaks volume of its products and has been since last 4 decades. Today, Refrigerator is synonymous with Dawlance and therefore enjoying the No.1 Position in Pakistan. Today, as we celebrate the 40 years of Reliability with our prestigious customers,

our customers have been our pride and joy for all these 4 decades and brought us where we are today. Dawlance has always taken pride in introducing products specifically designed as per the needs and preferences of Pakistani consumers and this has been the success mantra for Dawlance.

On this 40th Anniversary celebration we unveil a Special Edition Product line-up from Dawlance range. These 40th Special Edition products are a manifesto for all the customers who have enjoyed the Dawlance products in all these years which over the years have enhanced & improved their lifestyles. Our Special Edition product line-up introduces Refrigerator, Vertical Freezer, Water Dispenser, Split AC, Microwave Ovens and Washing Machine. This is an exclusive range, exquisitely designed for the occasion.

All the Special Edition products have been keenly designed keeping in view the vision and 40 years legacy of Dawlance. Our Special Edition products comes in a beautiful never-seen-before Elegant White Range inspired to achieve hope & well-being during this unprecedented times with all those customers who have been part of Dawlance journey & wants to celebrate this joyous occasion with Dawlance, they are intricately designed to enhance the overall ambiance of the living room space.

Question 5: We have heard about Dawlance Inverter Vertical Freezers. Can you please tell how this product is more beneficial for consumers?

Product management is the heart of Dawlance, we have always taken pride in introducing products that are way ahead of time and offers value for money to Pakistani consumers, by understanding their requirements and that is why Dawlance has maintained reliability for the last 4 decades. It’s an ongoing cycle, in which product management works very closely on consumers insights to explore new ideas and innovations.

In 2020, when Covid-19 had hit the markets globally and in Pakistan, lots of new habits, behaviors and usages were explored by the consumers adapting to the new normal. Dawlance did not stop, we identified Pakistan’s consumers needs and preferences to introduce products to the market that not only add convenience to everyday lifestyle but also due to the economic stand back during the Covid-19 thought of introducing products that are energy saving and offer enhanced performance to the consumers. Today’s customer is looking to upgrade its lifestyle along with performance-oriented products that can support them in their everyday usage. So, energy consumption of appliances is always their priority.

One such product is our New Inverter Glass Door Vertical Freezer which we have recently introduced to the market. Dawlance takes pride in introducing the concept of Vertical Freezers in the market for the first time in Pakistan a decade ago, since then we have been proudly the sole local manufacturers of this product. This time we have expanded the range of our existing vertical freezers and introduced for the first time in Pakistan Inverter Vertical Freezers. Consumer of today, is quite aware of the benefits of Inverter technology. The idea of introducing this product was to offer our customers uncanny convenience as well as enhanced performance. With its inverter technology, this product now upto offers 55% less energy consumption, it works on as low voltage operations and can run on alternate power supplies such as solar, generator or UPS. Apart from the performance itself, vertical freezers are known for its value-added convenience and organized storage, it has 7 multiple compartments that organizes all the frozen food items and with its multiple prevents from odour mixing of items. While most of our consumers are females, we also identified according to the studies almost 40% of Pakistanis suffer from various back pain and to provide comfort to them this new product offers better reachability and accessibility without the efforts of bending. Apart from its feature qualities, we have taken a lot of consideration while designing its aesthetics, it comes in a Beautiful Mirror Glass Door colors that enhances the overall ambiance of the living room while occupying only 33% of the living room space. All in all, this product is a keeper in any household, with summers now on the peak and consumer requirement of Frozen food, Ice and other items is growing, this product will look great and perform even better.

 

Question 6: What is your passion and what aim have you set forth in life?

I have always been enthusiastic about meeting people and creating a broad social network which has also developed me to acquire a vast exposure of Local & International network, languages and cultures. I have travelled nearly half the globe on various assignments and projects for Dawlance. Known as a people’s person, I have a strong inclination towards cross-functional teams & development. My drive to excel under project management & my aptitude towards Business Intelligence has enabled me to soar higher in my career and therefore was entrusted with additional role of Heading the export division at Dawlance. I wish to travel the world, explore different cultures and learn from them and adapt them into Pakistani work lifestyle.

 

Question 7: What has been the best project to work with under the cooling and export division?

Apart from the many successes we created at Dawlance, 2020 was  a special year. Along with it came the biggest success with the help of Arcelik’s biggest investment in which after 40 years I successfully revamped the complete Refrigerator range for Dawlance, being leading category of Pakistan and being associated with consumers for nearly 40 years, it was a big changeover. By far it came along with the biggest investment project under Arcelik & for Dawlance. In this revamp we completely revamped the entire Refrigerator range of Dawlance and offered the most technologically advanced refrigerators in Pakistan market. With their prominent technologies inspired by Nature; Nature Lock Technology, Vitamin Fresh Technology & Hybrid Cooling Technology. This is for the first time in Pakistan such technologies were introduced to Pakistani customers, it garnered great success & positive reviews from Pakistan market.

Under export division, I paved many success stories for Dawlance, after Arcelik’s acquisition in 2016, I introduced the First ever Water Dispenser production line for Dawlance & proudly exported the CE certified Water Dispensers First time to Europe (Turkey). In addition to this,  I initiated & successfully exported the first ever Microwave ovens to Bangladesh which was also the First time Export for Pakistan as well.

 

Question 8: Since the acquisition, we have seen a great change in Dawlance in terms of new products and marketing campaigns etc.  How has the overall change been in your perspective?

Dawlance has always enjoyed the No.1 position in the market & with Arcelik’s acquisition the position of Dawlane strengthened further. Apart from the multi-cultural influence we paved many success stories after Arcelik’s acquisition. With Arcelik’s strength and Expertise today Dawlance stands amongst the league of International brands in Pakistan. Not only in terms of Investment but they have invested in all other areas like R&D, Production facilities, Quality Standards, Technology, Human resource and made Dawlance a multi-faceted household appliance company with a range of products. Overall, the change has been very positive, with Dawlance roots Arcelik has only strengthened and given wings to it. I believe Arcelik’s one vision approach has expanded Marketing & evolved it into multi-dimensional wings with now more emphasis on digital transformations, E platforms & 360 approach.

 

Question 9: What new ventures are we looking at in the near future?

Dawlance has always been an innovative brand, looking for new initiatives and ventures. In the upcoming future making sustainable products and giving back to the society will be our key focus through our sustainability appliances, eco friendly appliances and may also venture into new product categories.

 

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