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A successful Women Entrepreneur in Pakistan

MARIA.B

Maria B. the woman is a fine confluence of art and enterprise. Her fashion house by the same
name is the only one in Pakistan that has a standardized sizing system, comes up with 5 new
collections each year, exports 3 product lines, does textiles and couture bridals under one roof,
markets 5 different product lines and is headed by Maria; a trained designer.

©ow she Became a successful entrepreneur?

Childhood of Maria.B:
Maria B¶s father was in the army. She stayed at beautiful places like Quetta and 2  where
she used to play in the "wild" for hours on end. She was quite the proverbial natures child.

uevelopment of Fashion and Business sense in Maria .B:

Œrom quite an early stage, seeing her mom dress up was a favourite hobby for her.Though she
was really young, she still remember the bold and vibrant prints of the late 70s and early 80s-
she always loved dressing up.

Education:
She did her O and A level from Karachi.
In 1994, she was offered a place at the prestigious St. Martin School of Œashion in London but
chose to be at the Pakistan School of Œashion Design where she went on to top for four
consecutive years. The staunch patriot defends her decision back then saying, ³I wanted to stay
in my country and be close to the people and fabrics I was to work with later. The PSŒD was
also syndicated with the La Chambre Syndicale in Œrance which is the best fashion school in the
world, so I didn¶t need to go elsewhere.´

Acheivements:
Her brilliance manifested while she was still in school. As a third year student in 1997, Maria
represented Pakistan along with some of her batch mates at the prestigious µLes Etoiles de la
mode¶ World Young Designers Award held in Belgium. Competing against 22 countries, Maria
finished among the top three in the final world rankings. .

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Maria .B (A name)
She wanted to change the Pakistani fashion mindset by introducing a brand name based on the
designer, which is the international norm, at the time my advertisement agency presented her
with a few options for a memorable brand name for her and she stuck with MARIA.B.short for
Maria Butt.

First outlet by Maria.B


A media darling of the local press, Maria B. opened her first outlet in 1998 in DHA Commercial
Block, Lahore at a time when her peers and seniors were still operating from their homes, or at
rented houses.

Vision of Maria.B
Back then Maria¶s vision was ³to become Pakistan¶s first International brand in fashion´ and she
had to start out in a country where her field of specialization was nascent. Her unique selling
proposition and her individual philosophy has been in her words, µto provide high fashion with
affordability¶. Her vision was to develop the ready-to-wear market.

Success:
One success led to another and today Maria B. is the largest retailer of women¶s designer wear in
Pakistan.´
Her success is phenomenal from a business point of view. What started out ten years ago as a
shop in Lahore with 10 employees is now a million dollar company; the only Pakistani designer
label to have reached out to the maximum number of women through its diverse product range,
affordable pricing and distribution across 4 cities in Pakistan with more outlets in the pipeline.

A spirited Enterprener:
The spirited entrepreneur¶s label holds the unique distinction of designing, manufacturing and
retailing a wide range of prêt, couture and unstitched lawn .

Production of Maria B¶s Company:


According to Maria her company¶s production is the highest among the local fashion industry for
these three lines on a monthly basis.

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nline selling:
Maria B. is also the only Œashion House in Pakistan that sells online and gets shipping orders
from as far as the Netherlands.

A inspiration for fashion students and for entrepreneurs:


Maria¶s consistent triumph through her career is an inspiration for both business and fashion
students. She has lectured frequently on entrepreneurship at LUMS where the MBA students are
required to do a case study on her. She has also conducted workshops for PSŒD students besides
being on PSŒD¶s Board of Governors and acting as Jurist for the school¶s events.

Latest offering:
Not content with lapping her prior achievements and basking in their glory, Maria keeps coming
out with new brands each year. Her latest offering is the Mgirl brand for young women with a
global fashion sensibility.

Future goals of Maria .B:


Œor Maria to achieve her first goal of going international has not been enough. She says,
³whenever I fulfill a goal, I have 10 new goals lined up ahead. My new goal is to become a
lifestyle brand within the next ten years. The reason behind the success of Maria B. is the
combination of a creative sense and a business acumen´

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©ow Maria.B pool the resources for her business:
In start her parents fully support her morally and financially aswell.After success of her first
outlet she earned high profit and she invested that profit in stocks and earned money for next
oulet.She earns high profit from her business and invest that profit further and by this she is
expanding her business year by year.She invest in Real estate aswell.

Problems faced by Maria B:


×c Her success can perhaps also be attributed partially to her philosophy of µmaking high
fashion affordable. She recalls how she used to frequent a boutique in Karachi when she
was in her teens and found the clothes very expensive. Says she, ³The manager of the
boutique used to treat me like a nobody because I couldn¶t buy the stuff on my own. It
really put me off and I used to tell my mother that I¶d open a shop one day that would
have clothes for everyone. That everyone would be welcome in it.´ That is the culture she
has tried to develop in her shops all over the country.

×c The biggest hurdle was to train women to look beyond embellishments and focus on
trends and cuts that suited them.

Political forces:
Changes in tax and labor laws, can directly affect an industry¶s revenue and growth structures. A
rise in the rates of these laws can increase business expenditures and may decrease
revenues.So political factors are the hurdles for MARIA.B

Economic Forces
Economic forces that impact an industry¶s activities include interest rates, income levels etc.If
income level is highe then people buy expensive items otherwise not.So the negative economic
factors are the hurdles for MARIA.B

Socio-Cultural Forces
As Maria.B is popular all over the asia and west side and culture an taste varies region to
region.So Maria.B usually face these problems of cultur and taste.

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