Atlas Honda Limited recently signed a corporate partnership agreement with Karandaaz Pakistan and Meezan Bank to support the development of small and mid-size automotive part vendors in Pakistan. This is the first corporate partnership Karandaaz Pakistan and Meezan Bank have entered as part of the USD 50 million Corporate Vendor and Distributor Finance Program launched recently. The partnership will strengthen Atlas Honda’s supply chain and distribution channels by providing access to finance (capital investment and expansion working capital financing) for Atlas Honda’s small and mid-size vendors and distributors with growth potential by identifying local vendors and distributors with profitable growth potential and good operating and credit history, Atlas Honda will help identify and direct credit to strategic vendors and distributors and promote localization of automotive parts and broad based employment growth in Pakistan.
The signing took place at Atlas Honda’s head office in Karachi in the presence of senior management from all three partner organisations, including Mr. Saquib H. Shirazi, CEO Atlas Honda Limited, Mr. Ariful Islam, Deputy CEO & Executive Director of Meezan Bank and Mr. Asad Azfar, Chief Investment Officer at Karandaaz Pakistan.
Mr. Saquib H. Shirazi, CEO Atlas Honda Limited stated, “In the early years, industry in Pakistan owed its development to the support it received from the public sector DFIs. The role of institutions like IDBP, NDFC, BEL and PIDC can not be overstated. Later, Private sector institutions, supported by the World Bank and ADB, tried to bridge the financing gap for SME financing. Unfortunately, the results were mixed and a financing vacuum still exists. The initiative taken by Karandaaz and Meezan Bank is, therefore, timely and well targeted. As Atlas Honda’s vendor and service providers look to expand, the support from the two institutions can be an effective catalyst for their growth.” he added.
Mr. Ariful Islam, Deputy CEO & Executive Director of Meezan Bank, expressed the Bank’s utmost commitment to this partnership with Karandaaz Pakistan. He stated, “I delighted that Atlas Honda is the first customer to sign this agreement with us and I am confident that with their support Karandaaz will be available to provide much needed growth capital to the vendors that form part of the companies supply chain. This initiative will be an important step in realising the Bank’s Vision to establishing Islamic Banking as first choice by providing innovative financing solutions to the very important SME sector of the country. This Program is sponsored by United Kingdom Department for International Development (UKAid) and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and our role is to provide risk capital and infrastructure to implement the Program successfully.’
In his remarks, Mr. Asad Azfar, CIO Karandaaz Pakistan noted, “The Program is designed to leverage the visibility and influence of apex corporates and enable commercial banks to provide capital investment and expansion working capital financing to small and mid-size companies operating in the organized supply chains of the economy. These small businesses are vital agents of broad-based economic and employment growth and have had limited access to finance in Pakistan. The leadership and support of Atlas Honda in encouraging and supporting this Program is truly exciting and we look forward to adding more apex corporates to our partnership with Meezan Bank to finance SMEs at a large scale.”
About Atlas Honda
Atlas Honda Limited, established in 1963, is a joint venture between the Atlas Group and Honda Motor Co. Ltd., Japan and is the largest manufacturing and marketing company for the sale of motorcycles in Pakistan. The Company has two production plants – one in Karachi and the second near Lahore and is involved in the manufacturing of various hi-tech components in collaboration with leading parts manufacturers. AHL has undertaken to develop local manufacturing capabilities to the highest, economically feasible level. While a major role in localization has been assigned to vendor industries, the Company has the country’s largest in-house manufacturing capabilities at its production plants. Further, it has also executed various technical arrangements between local vendors and foreign manufacturers for transfer of technology.
About Karandaaz Pakistan
Karandaaz Pakistan (www.karandaaz.com.pk), a private company established in August 2014, promotes access to finance for small businesses through a commercially directed investment platform, and financial inclusion for individuals by employing technology enabled digital solutions. The Company has financial and institutional support from leading international development finance institutions; principally UKAid’s Department for International Development (DfID) and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP), a member of the World Bank Group, managed the start-up phase of the Company and continues to provide technical support.
The Company has three work streams, Digital Financial Services, Corporate Investment and Credit and Knowledge Management and Communications. The Corporate Investment and Credit line of business of Karandaaz provides wholesale structured credit and equity-linked direct growth capital investments in small and mid-size enterprises with compelling prospects for sustainable growth and employment generation in Pakistan. Karandaaz Pakistan is sponsored and governed by eminent Pakistanis, and is managed by an experienced team with core expertise in international investment management and digital finance.