Thursday, November 3, 2011



No matter how old you get, if you can keep the desire to be creative, you're keeping the man-child alive. John Cassavetes.

Creativity with Quality is always the most wanted element in the world of fabric. Keeping this characteristic alive proves the vision and dedication of the business. Bombaywala is one such business. Founded in 1947, by the forefathers of Mr.Shahzad, Bombaywala is the pioneer of Block Printers and Dyers in the world of Block Printed Fabric in Pakistan. It has been running the business successfully from the last 60 years, satisfying the needs and desires of the customers in an outstanding way. Jewel Time enjoyed the great company of Mr.Shahzad who’s looking after the business of his forefathers in a responsible and a flourishing way.

Q.Share something about your professional background.

I have done my MBA in business management. After completing my MBA, I decided to move towards my family business. The proper business got started from the outlet in Defence in the year 2003.The first exhibition was held in Lahore in 2010.Then we had our exhibition in Islamabad and then in Dubai. I have learned about block printing and dying from my father and forefathers. It has been our family business so I have always been having good knowledge of block printing and dying. I have properly been in the line of formal line dresses from the last two years.

Q.Bombaywala keeps a long lasting history. Tell us about the history of Bombaywala.

Yes, Bombaywala does keep a long lasting history. It’s in the industry from the last 60 years as it was started in 1947.We are the pioneers of block printing and dying.Initially,this business used to run on small scale, started by my forefathers. Then the business started to grow successfully after getting a tremendous response. People liked this idea as this idea was first brought by my forefathers in Pakistan. In the year 1980, our block printing suit started to reach towards a greater level and from then, we have been getting a good response every other day.

Q.Bombaywala was found in 1947, which was the time of Independence. Did Bombaywala face any initial difficulties? What was the criterion of business at that time?

1947 was the time of the independence of Pakistan so the overall social and economic difficulties ultimately created many obstacles for the business. As that was the initial stage so they had to suffer a lot of problems but, by the hard work and dedication, my forefathers managed this all and kept on with their business in a successful way.

Q.What is the history of block printing and dying?

According to the records, as far back as the 12th century, some centers in the south, on the western and eastern coasts of India became well known for their outstanding printed cotton. On the southeastern coast the brush or kalam (pen) was used. Printing and dyeing of cottons was specially developed in Rajasthan, in the medieval age. Besides that, the use of wooden blocks for printing was more common in Gujarat.Tents were created from printed fabrics. They became a necessary part of royal processions. Trade in cotton cloth is said to have existed between India and Babylon from Buddha's time. Cheaper printed cloth came from Ahmadabad and other centers, and strangely enough Sanganer was not such a famous center for printing as it is today.

Q.How many outlets do you have? What are your futures plans regarding your outlets?

We had our first outlet in Burns road, that is basically the production and the factory outlet. Besides that, we have one outlet in Defence.We have plans to expand our business and initiate outlets in other regions of Pakistan and abroad as well.

Q.Is Bombaywala running its business on International basis as well?

We have recently held exhibition in Dubai, which was very helpful for the business. We have plans to hold more exhibitions on international basis. Besides that, we have clients from US and other parts of the world as well.

Q.How will you differentiate and compare block printed fabric with other fabric?

One of the basic differences is variety. Block printed fabric have more variety as compared to other fabrics. We have blocks of many different designs and these blocks can be used at a time for one print.

Q.What kind of material and chemicals do you use for block printing and dying?

We try to use more durable and fast chemicals. As for fabric, we prefer the good quality fabric. Basically; we buy our fabric from Faisalabad. We manufacture our own fabric as well. Above all, we use the process of Discharge printing, in a unique way, through block printing.

Q.How would you explain creativity?

Creativity is the art of using colors and design in a unique way. Whatever you do, do it in a unique and attractive way.

Q.In order to produce the product of better quality, what kind of compromises do you have to face?

As compared to other designers, our prices are very reasonable. Our main goal is also to be reachable to the customer, that’s why our prices are not very high.

Q.Bombaywala is observed to have a high belief in creativity? How do you do that?

I believe in broader thoughts. I feel that one has to think broader. Broader thoughts let you think of the broader ideas.

Q.What is your observation towards the fashion world of Pakistan today?

Fashion world of Pakistan is at a good stage. Our fashion world is full of creative and talented people.

Q.What is your message to the readers and the new entrepreneurs?

Whatever Bombaywala is and whatever Bombaywala do and did, it’s all because of your support. Always remember, your business will run in a better way if you will have a family support. As for the entrepreneurs, I would say that be encouraged in coming to this field. It’s a very creative and challenging field. Try to educate and groom yourself in as best way as possible, before coming to this field.

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