The Ingenious Idea of Asif Ali Gohar and a Multi-Million Dollar Industry in Pakistan

All great entrepreneurs operate on three pillars: risk, uncertainty and prediction. Entrepreneurs use these three to determine if a market is big enough, so that they could make a profit.

Prediction refers to the idea of predicting market trends. Risk taking requires handling variance or anomalies. In this case a general trend or data is present, however, no localized data or information about local consumers / market is available. Hence the entrepreneur has to take risks since there is a possibility that things might not go as predicted. Uncertainty is when there is no data or historical trends present in the market for analysis, and entrepreneurs only rely on their expertise and situation handling techniques to enter the market.

The idea of introducing a vegan alternative to leather by Asif Ali Gohar represents risk, uncertainty and prediction in a perfect way.  His idea is original, new and extremely innovative. If explored at its full potential, it can change the leather industry of the country. Instead of using animal skin, Asif used rice to prepare leather slime that can be processed into refined leather. Rice is the main agent of the process, but it is coupled with yeast and acetic acid bacteria to achieve the desired consistency.

Asif began working on this project while he was a student at the University of Hamburg in their program of Business Administration. He would use both the lab of the university and his home to do experiments to finesse the process. Towards the end of his degree, he was happy with the leather quality achieved.

Asif Ali Gohar wants to implement his idea into the Pakistani market. Veganism is on the rise in the country. Many vegan shops have sprung up all across the country that provide people with vegan-friendly items, but no one is producing or selling vegan leather. Hence he sees this as a market gap and wants to build on that with his unique business model. Moreover, Pakistan has an abundant raw material supply available. Similarly, it has a huge leather market.  Pakistan is the 10th largest rice exporter in the world, which produces 8% of the world’s total rice output. Furthermore, Pakistan exports a total of $847 million of leather.

Like all great entrepreneurs, Asif Ali Gohar is ready to take the risk and introduce a new product in the market. He is currently looking for wealthy individuals or corporations that would help him finance and conduct business in Pakistan. This includes rice producers and tanneries. Once all of this is figured out, it is to be seen if he can change the leather industry of Pakistan forever. 

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Jennifer Alex

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