The Founder President of Islamabad Women's Chamber of Commerce and Industry (IWCCI), Samina Fazil has always been a firm believer that it is important to take action rather than sit around and wait for good fortune. Samina, who
The Founder President of Islamabad Women's Chamber of Commerce and Industry (IWCCI), Samina Fazil has always been a firm believer that it is important to take action rather than sit around and wait for good fortune. Samina, who started her own small garment retail business in 1989 in Islamabad, is now a well-known women entrepreneur in the country. She is owner of Minhas Collection.
Her garment business outlet initially catered to the needs of local customers, however with the passage of time, Samina started exclusive designing for traditional, bridal, party and casual wear. With a start-up cost of Rs 100,000 from family sources, Samina now is an exporter and exhibits in international garment exhibitions.
Samina started her garments business with a children's garment small unit, which opened the doors to Mishas Collection in Islamabad and became the first garment business in the city owned by a women. She focused on traditional garments with hand embroidery and embellishments. There were skilled hands in her surroundings, who did have skill but no work to utilize that skill. Samina gathered them all and trained them accordingly and in 1991, she opened a shop on the Main Muree road Rawalpindi.
The biggest challenge Samina faced was the lack of guidance in running and managing the business as there were no proper guidelines that from where to get the raw material, the trained tailors, which now IWCCI offers in starting the business as well as in marketing.
Nevertheless, with the passage of time, she learnt the basics and applied those tools in her business. She always makes sure to meet her timelines before they become ‘deadlines’. So basically it’s the time commitment, providing the customer the quality product and a lot of passion, hard work and persistence.
Initially, for Samina the biggest challenge was to deal with suppliers in this male dominated society. Not only that, she was the only women entrepreneur in the whole market in Islamabad. Her commitment to provide consistent and the best quality products helped her survive and prosper.
Samina started marketing of her clothes through personal selling. Subsequently made use of newspapers, fashion pages model shoot, brochures and participated in different exhibitions. She also gave her dresses to different TV dramas for promotion. These marketing techniques worked for Samina’s business.
In addition to patience, persistence and team building, Samina's experience as an entrepreneur is to develop skills required to become a professional. She does not believe in short-cuts, and considers continued learning an important factor in her success.
Apart from managing her business, Samina actively participate as President Islamabad Women Chamber of commerce and Industry to continue to create economic and leadership opportunities for women, which is clearly a proof of her abilities and management.