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THE DAWOODS

THE DAWOODS The Dawood industrial house got its name from Ahmad Dawood, the head of a Memon family that migrated to Pakistan from India at the invitation of Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the country’s founder Like a number of other families that came to dominate the industrial sector in Pakistan, the Dawoods were originally merchants The family belonged to the village of Batwa in the Kathiawar peninsula of what is now the Indian state of Gujarat The family’s initial success came from supplying commodities and equipment to the Indian armed forces fighting in World War II The family established its headquarters in Karachi and actively participated in Pakistan’s initial efforts at industrialization The Dawoods seized the opportunity presented by Pakistan’s first trade war with India, in 1949 The conflict with India over the question of the value of the Pakistani rupee persuaded the leaders of Pakistan to launch a massive industrialization drive to achieve selfsufficiency in basic consumer goods Generous incentives were provided to private investors to set up such basic industries as jute and cotton textiles, leather goods, food processing, and building materials A number of people, particularly those who had reaped rich benefits from the commodity boom associated with the war in Korea, took advantage of the incentives provided by the government The Dawoods concentrated their investments initially in cotton and jute textiles



In selecting jute, they took a calculated risk in going to distant East Pakistan (present-day Bangladesh) Ahmad Dawood’s jute ventures turned out to be enormously profitable and encouraged him to diversify his holdings in East Pakistan In the early 1960s, he purchased the massive Karanaphuli Paper Mills, built in East Pakistan by the Pakistan Industrial Development Corporation (PIDC) After Ahmad Dawood’s death in 1998, his industrial empire split into two parts, with most of the large enterprises inherited by his son, Hussain Dawood The other part was taken over by his nephew, Razaaq Dawood, who apart from managing the industrial units he inherited entered politics when General Pervez Musharraf assumed power in October 1999 He served as commerce minister for three years in the first military administration headed by General Musharraf

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