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Nadir Ali Shah and Imranulla Shariff

PIQC Institute of Quality, Pakistan

Authors Background
Nadir Ali Shah is the Head, Academics of Pakistan came into being on 14th August
PIQC Institute of Quality, Karachi, Pakistan. 1947, as a result of a long struggle for
His specialization is in Quality Management independence by its founding father; Quaid-
and Supply Chain Management. He earlier e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah. It was a
served as the Principal PIA Training Centre bruised country, recovering from the harsh
and General Manager (Production) at and brutal treatment it received during the
Precision Engineering Complex. He also process of independence. It didn’t get any
served in Pakistan Airforce as Wing industry worthy of economic sense caused
Commander. He has extensive experience by this geographic division. The country got
in the field of quality and has involved in a few ginning mills located in the cotton
industries and academics. producing belt, very rudimentary sugar mills,
only two cement factories, and several
Imranulla Shariff is Executive Director and tanneries. No government-owned enterprises
Principal Consultant of PIQC Institute of existed to prompt industrial engagement.
Quality, Pakistan. He has an MSc Physics Most of the people were involved in
with specialization in Quality Management agriculture and Pakistan was self-supportive
from AOTS, Japan. He is a Lead Auditor in food for its people. The overall education
and Lead Tutor of ISO 9000, ISO 14000 and level was below the minimum literacy level
OHSAS 18000. He is a certified Six Sigma except in the big cities. People didn’t know
Black Belt. He has consultancy experience much about their privileges as consumers
in more than 100 firms in Pakistan and other because businessmen were controlling
countries. He is a co-author of the book, distribution and retail channels. There was
‘Practical Guide to ISO 9000’. He is a proctor however, a feeling of uneasiness with the
in Karachi of American Society for Quality. economic system governing the daily lives
of urban population. Late forties, fifties, and
sixties were smooth for the stomach but
uncomfortable for the destiny. Some kind of
thinking on quality and standardization was
taking shape in prudent minds.

This article provides the history of Quality
Movement in Pakistan and how it expanded
and grew over the last six decades. It explains
the key features and challenges faced at the
government, industrial, business and
academic levels. The country has developed
a reasonable forward looking infrastructure
and human resources for modern quality
development at the industrial level. However,
it is facing significant challenges at the
government level. A lot of indigenous work

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Nadir Ali Shah and Imranulla Shariff
PIQC Institute of Quality, Pakistan

has been observed in industry. Rapid History and Culture of Industrial

development is also observed in the fields of Standards
education and training of quality assurance As the government started organizing to
and management. However, a complete bring discipline and smoothness in public life,
national infrastructure is still not complete. organized improvements took place in the
This article covers: (1) Standardization Urge, agricultural sector; some of the mega
(2) Quality Promotion and Training, (3) ventures were; Mangla Dam, Trabela Dam,
Quality in the Industry, (4) Status and Warsak Dam, and Barrages up-graduation
Effectiveness of ISO 9000, (5) Consumer stayed in focus of prevailing governments.
Rights and Preferences, (6) Six Sigma The bureaucracy believed that better
Message, (7) Future Challenges, and agricultural land would halt the inflow into
Conclusion. big cities of rural masses, easing the pressure
on city dwellings and the industry-in-making.
Four Eras of Quality Management in That was a wise, but not truly a
Pakistan standardization approach in the context of
quality of life.
Moosa (2007) defined the journey of Quality
Management in Pakistan into four eras: (1) It was in the early seventies after the ravages
Before 80s (2) 1980s to 1990 (3) 1990-2000 of 1971 War that the rebuilding of the
and (4) 2000 to the present. These stages industrial economy popped out every where.
and their key attributes are shown in the A number of Power Houses, Pakistan
following diagram:

Table 1: The four Eras of Quality Management in Pakistan (Moosa, 2007)

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Nadir Ali Shah and Imranulla Shariff
PIQC Institute of Quality, Pakistan

Machine Tool Factory, Steel Mills, Textile meet domestic needs and cross the borders
Mills, Sugar Mills Fertilizers, and Food as export-earner, unification of quality
industries emerged, spear-headed under the cultures under mutually agreed
auspices of Pakistan Industrial Development standardization technique was urgently
Corporation (PIDC). The real awakening on needed. These efforts brought into being the
the quality–for–every–one took place when Pakistan National Standards. This led to the
Defence Production Division established development of around 4000 locally
Pakistan Aeronautical Complex, its first developed standards so far and the use of
factory. It was the opening of F6 Aircraft about 18000 international standards. These
Rebuild Factory in 1972 with the help of standards are being enforced through
Peoples Republic of China. A flood of quality government bodies like Pakistan Standards
control activities was let loose; moving away and Quality Control Authority (PSQCA),
from the age old practices of merely product Pakistan National Accreditation Council
quality towards process quality. Soon after, (PNAC), etc. However, the society is still
another project of Mirage Rebuild Factory struggling for strict enforcement of quality
was launched. All French quality procedures standards and this is still a challenge at the
linked with the concept of interdependence country level.
of the departments dealing with the
overhauling of Mirage Aircraft, became the Quality Promotion and Training
library of QA knowledge. At the same time, Quality-at-workplace is greatly
another aircraft factory for Mush-shak acknowledged by educationists,
aircraft was set up, producing local aircraft governmental bodies and the industry. The
with the help of Sweden. The latest entry is challenges that Pakistani industries were
the JF Thunder, a Chinese aircraft, totally working for the economic strength of the
developed by Pakistanis, an equivalent of the country were multi-dimensional. These were
American F-16. These leading edge lack of quality awareness, low education of
technologies have influenced the Quality and the workforce, poor or rudimentary training,
Standardization of defense production as well weak human resource function within
as commercial industries in the country. industries and improper business
management. The professionals of the early
In late 1980s, a number of Japanese eighties realized that conventional ways of
automobiles manufacturers entered the managing businesses can no longer produce
country with local production facilities. As a the desired results. In collaboration with
result, today there are five Japanese OEMs Defence Establishment, they started
and one locally produced car. This industry developing the ability to comprehend the need
has also produced around 800 direct vendors. for quality management. Widespread training
Thus, industrial standards were highly initiatives have been taken up by a number
promoted, mainly influenced by these of government and private sector training
automobile, aircraft and other heavy institutions. The most prominent of them has
industries. The culture of standardization been the PIQC Institute of Quality (formerly
eventually evolved into a great liking for Pakistan Institute of Quality Control), who
quality performance. Pakistan needed the have exclusively focused on awareness and
work force to operate plants and the advance level courses throughout the
machinery. To get these factories and plants

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Nadir Ali Shah and Imranulla Shariff
PIQC Institute of Quality, Pakistan

country. Over the last 18 years, it has development program was initiated and very
provided training to over 35,000 persons in effectively launched. The industries started
the country. This training includes seminars feeling comfortable with the output from
and courses of all levels and areas, including suppliers who benefited under the vendor
Quality Managers’ certification courses, development program directly supervised by
postgraduate and masters degree programs Japanese Auto industry experts. Yet, the need
specializing in Quality Management. Some for certified Quality Management System
of the other universities have also started was felt across the board. The 1980s crawled
such programs and now the level of with rejections, corrections, repairs,
professional competence and education improvements in a repeated cyclic manner,
levels of quality professionals, managers, until the formal arrival of ISO-9000 QMS
auditors and consultants is raised standards.
considerably compared to a decade ago.
These educated quality professionals are Promotion and Adoption of ISO 9000
now playing significant role not in the local QMS Standards
industry and organizations, They are also With Pakistan’s exports getting stabilized due
working in many nations in the Middle East to closeness with quality in several of its
and other developed countries. The trend of industrial and military installations, the
education and specialization in the field is confidence started mounting. Coupled with
currently being expanded in many a high-degree of conformance shown in the
institutions. Auto Industry, the people started feeling the
need for a universal code of quality
Quality in Industries compliance in the late eighties. Luckily, this
Pakistan is emerging as an industrial country. was the time when ISO-9000 Quality
There are around 2300 leather manufacturing Management System standard was picking
plants, 47 automobile (car and motorcycle) up worldwide recognition and acceptance.
manufacturing plants, 3 aircraft rebuild and With the active involvement of entrepreneurs
one manufacturing plant, 80 sugar plants, 11 who had by early nineties occupied a portion
fertilizers plants, 25 cement plants, 87 oil of quality landscape in the manufacturing
mills, 1100 chemical plants, 750 software sector of Pakistan, ISO-9000 QMS landed
houses, 370 construction firms and 130 ISPs with full bloom. The Ministry of Science &
(Ref: Pakistan Engineering Board). By late Technology started giving subsidies to the
70s and early 80s, there was a flood of SMEs. Thus, it got the sponsorship of the
Japanese goods. Auto industry took a fresh government. A number of certification
meaning in the world of reliability. Quality agencies entered the country in the late 90s.
got a new shape. Basic quality management
tools were introduced by Japanese OEMs in Observing the power of performance
their factories, as well, as in some of their enshrined in ISO-9000, Export Promotion
vendors; especially, Quality Circles, Kaizen, Bureau and Ministry of Science &
Just-in-Time, etc. Exports also expanded Technology joined hands with PIQC to
during this era. Exports oriented organizations promote the growth of this international
had direct pressure from their consumers standard, as well as the message of defect
demanding quality products. Vendor free products. Around 10,000 firms are now

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Nadir Ali Shah and Imranulla Shariff
PIQC Institute of Quality, Pakistan

certified. However, a lot of technical debate industries sharpened, the benchmark went
on its effectiveness became evident. The up. The urge to look beyond standardization
effectiveness of ISO 9000 was questioned spurred. There was the wind of new quality
by many. It also became the topic of research tools blowing from many developed countries
in many universities at the Masters and PhD who entered a new world of zero-defect
levels. The strengths and weakness of its products attained through Six Sigma!
implementation are today a hot topic.
The levels of training and competency in Six
Since 2000 and onward, sector specific Sigma programs are classified into various
Quality Management Standards like; TS- levels; Black Belt, Green Belt, and
16949, ISO – 22000, AS9100B, etc. started Champions. Companies implementing Six
getting popular and were introduced in many Sigma take five to eight years of coordinated
firms. Many organization have accordingly, efforts to realize 3.4 defects per million
upgraded their systems. opportunities; the equivalent of Six Sigma.
The promotion of Six Sigma and its installation
Consumer Rights and Preferences in Pakistani industries started in late 2000 and
As quality performance started showing is still in infancy stage. A number of leading
results through enormous reduction in firms have already adopted or are adopting
warranty claims, rejects, and gaining more these methodologies for process
repeat orders; the thirst for doing better with improvement. Its training and professional
fewer resources heightened. Consumers certification programs are also regularly
were now not falling for the products in the conducted in the country, mainly by the
first attempt. They would visit supermarkets; PIQC. However, seeing the level of
browse through the shelves, read labels, enthusiasm, it is highly likely that the decade
check prices, look for quality logos and decide starting with 2010, shall be the precursor of
to buy later, where they could get value for world-class quality performance for some
their money! They were critical in making product and service sectors. Already, many
choices and seeking compliance to the colleges and universities are readjusting
attributes they would want their products to curricula to encompass ISO-9000, Sector
demonstrate! A society for the protection of Specific Standards, TQM tools and Six Sigma
consumer rights started in function in the late to fulfill the increasing demand of industry.
nineties. An act was also passed by a Total Productive Maintenance (TPM) also
provincial government of Punjab in 2000 and got popular in the recent years. However,
is now being implemented. This has led to these initiatives are not yet organized in most
the start of the promotion of consumer rights organizations in the country.
and their protection. However, the area is
still challenged by consumers and they seek Quality and Productivity Society of
a lot of consolidated efforts. Pakistan (QPSP)
A national body representing the quality
Six Sigma and other TQM Advance professionals of Pakistan was formed in 2004
Tools and mobilized in 2006. It presently plays the
As the maturity grid of quality performance role of a catalyst for the spread and
for most Pakistani product and service enhancement of quality in the country.

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Nadir Ali Shah and Imranulla Shariff
PIQC Institute of Quality, Pakistan

Presently, it has around 300 members with recognized accreditation system of

an annual election process. It regularly conformity assessment bodies. It means the
publishes a magazine in English called ‘Quest strengthening and wherever needed the
for Excellence’ and an Urdu magazine called establishment of an internationally accepted
‘Quality Digest’. It holds certification exams infrastructure of accreditation, certification,
twice a year called ‘Certified Quality testing, as well as education and training. The
Improvement Manager – CQIM’. One of widespread use and application of sub-
its committees has developed and presented standard products and services in the local
a ‘National Quality Improvement Plan’ to the market is a serious threat to the health and
Planning Commission of Pakistan. It holds safety of consumers in the country. There is
regular forum meetings of ‘Quality Forum’ an urgent need to protect the rights of the
and ‘Six Sigma Forum’. Presently, it has three consumer and establish a strong regulatory
chapters: Education Quality Chapter, framework. This is a truly daunting task for
Healthcare Quality Chapter and Engineering all stakeholders. Mechanism using accredited
Quality Chapter. The society, though still at laboratories, certification bodies and
its infancy, is playing the role of national inspection agencies to control the use of
quality leadership. The society and its substandard products and services in the
membership is steadily increasing in the market is a real challenge in the country.
country. Recognizing these developments, the
Government of Pakistan has committed to
strengthen and upgrade the national
regulatory, accreditation and certification
infrastructure to facilitate trade, enhance
export, accelerate economic development,
and protect environment, health and safety
of consumers. However, the pace of
development of quality in the government
itself is presently not very strong.

For this purpose, a national accreditation body

“Pakistan National Accreditation Council”
(PNAC) was formed to be responsible for
qualifying and approving the certification
bodies, consultants and trainers. PNAC is
Mutual Recognition Arrangements (MRA)
signatory with International Laboratory
Accreditation Cooperation (ILCA) and Asia
Pacific Laboratory Accreditation
Future Challenges Cooperation. Pakistan National Accreditation
In the present age of globalization of trade, Council (PNAC) initiated the work on
market entry requires compliance to National Quality policy (NAQP) in October
international standards and evidence of such 2000. In 2003, this policy was sent to the
compliance through an internationally cabinet for approval. As a result, the following
measures are still to be taken:

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Nadir Ali Shah and Imranulla Shariff
PIQC Institute of Quality, Pakistan

a) National Quality Council was There are loose-ends that need regular
established but is still not functional to engagements at government, industry and
develop strategies and promote overall academia levels. The inspiring thing visible
quality programs and campaigns. This to every Pakistani is that they are seeing the
Council comprises representatives race and its possible outcome! They
from private and public sectors. recognize that in the race for prosperity
through productivity, only quality wins. High
b) Promotion of Quality culture through accreditation engagement is critical to the
quality awareness campaigns. place Pakistan must reach in the comity of
regional quality performers.
In the year 2006, Pakistan National Quality
Award (PNQA) was launched. The PNQA Conclusion
is the highest accolade given to organizations
for business excellence. The award is The paper highlights the quality journey that
conferred on the “Best of the Best Pakistan product and service industries have
Organizations” in recognition of their joined since its inception in 1947. Various eras
attainment of world-class standards of of quality enhancement are seen in the
business excellence. The business excellence country. Integration with certification bodies,
model underpinning the PNQA is based on participation on international quality
universally accepted standards that are found symposiums, conducting quality
in the US Malcolm Baldrige National Quality improvements in curriculum, developing the
Award, the European Quality Award, National Accreditation Council, and instituting
Singapore Quality Award and the Malaysian National Quality Awards are the activities
Quality Award (Prime Minister’s Quality that are in place. Many institutions are already
Award). However, this award is still in a there and many are being formed to spread
dormant stage and has still not operationlized the promotion of quality in the country toward
as compared to many other regional world class quality.
Web source:
Regional efforts in the field of quality
competence of Pakistani products are gaining
momentum. Already the Defence Production vol1_issue3/pdfs/
Division has created a market for its journeyof_qualitymanagement.pdf
products. The biennial Expo conducted at
Karachi, Expo-Center, brings several
internationally renounced manufacturers.
Pakistan earns valuable foreign exchange
through this activity.

Export Promotion Bureau regularly presents

Pakistan products in globally organized
exhibitions – all based on quality performance
indicators! Yet, accreditation motivation and
adherence is far from being world-class.

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