Apparel Group kicked off 2024 with a robust expansion, unveiling the inauguration of 47 new stores across the Middle East and India in the first quarter

Apparel Group kicked off 2024 with a robust expansion, unveiling the inauguration of 47 new stores across the Middle East and India in the first quarter
Sima Ganwani Ved, Apparel Group Founder and Chairwoman emphasized on ‘Diversity, Equity and Inclusion’ and her unwavering dedication to fostering inclusive workplaces and promoting gender equality within the retail sector across the region.
  • Sima Ganwani Ved, Apparel Group Founder and Chairwoman emphasized on ‘Diversity, Equity and Inclusion’ and her unwavering dedication to fostering inclusive workplaces and promoting gender equality within the retail sector across the region.

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates, May 06, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Apparel Group, a global leader in fashion and lifestyle retail, proudly announces a series of remarkable achievements in Q1 2024, solidifying its position as a leader in the industry.


Apparel Group commenced the year with the prestigious 5-Star Award from the European Foundation for Quality Management (EFQM), recognizing its commitment to business excellence, strategic foresight, and fostering a culture of innovation and quality in the dynamic retail sector.

Additionally, the World Woman Foundation proudly announced Sima Ganwani Ved, Founder and Chairwoman of the Apparel Group, as a distinguished speaker for the World Woman Davos Agenda, held during the World Economic Forum week on January 18 in Davos. Sima Ganwani Ved’s participation highlights Apparel Group’s dedication to championing women empowerment and diversity on a global stage.

The month also witnessed the launch of Bliss Bites, a revolutionary gut-healthy food brand and café introduced by Apparel Group, catering to the growing demand for wellness-focused products among consumers.


In February, Apparel Group was announced as Headline Partner for RLI MENA Awards and Lifestyle Partner for RLI MENA Connect in Riyadh, KSA. Additionally, Apparel Group was honored as the MENA Retail Partner of the Year at the prestigious RLI MENA Awards 2024, highlighting its continued success and influence in the region’s retail landscape.

Moreover, Apparel Group made significant strides in its retail partnerships and industry recognition. The company was unveiled as the Headline Partner for the 10th Retail Leaders Circle MENA Summit 2024 in Riyadh, KSA, reaffirming its commitment to driving innovation and excellence in the retail sector.


March marked another pivotal moment for Apparel Group as it celebrated the grand opening of the inaugural Nysaa store in the GCC region, a joint venture setup with Nykaa, India’s largest omni-channel beauty retailer. This collaboration blends Apparel Group’s retail prowess with Nykaa’s expertise, offering consumers a world-class shopping experience in Dubai.

Additionally, Apparel Group expanded its luxury portfolio with the grand launch of Forest Essentials at Dubai Hills Mall. The event showcased an exquisite décor, immersing guests in the world of Luxurious Ayurveda. Vibrant-colored blooms and striking product displays highlighted the natural ingredients central to Forest Essentials’ ethos.

In a strategic expansion, Apparel Group extended its partnership with Crocs, bringing this iconic brand under its wing in Kuwait. This move broadens the company’s presence in the GCC, where it already operates 88 Crocs stores.

Complementing its expansion efforts, Apparel Group collaborated with Dubai Holding for the ‘Gift It Forward’ initiative, aiming to support over 8,500 Dubai residents during Ramadan. This initiative underscores the company’s dedication to social responsibility and community engagement.

The month also saw the return of the highly anticipated Great Online Sale by Apparel Group, offering exclusive Eid shopping deals with discounts of up to 80%. This sale further reinforced the company’s reputation as a leader in retail innovation.


As the momentum continued into April, Apparel Group intensified its expansion efforts with the unveiling of 47 new stores across the Middle East and India in Q1 2024. These new openings exemplify the company’s commitment to providing exceptional shopping experiences and meeting the evolving needs of its diverse customer base. This expansion included the launch of Qatar’s first Forever New store, the fourth in the GCC, as part of a joint venture expansion plan to open 40 locations.

Moreover, Apparel Group proudly reaffirmed its commitment to excellence by becoming the Platinum Partner for The Retail Summit 2024, held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. The partnership underscores Apparel Group’s dedication to driving transformative discussions and initiatives in the global retail arena.

The company also concluded its role as the Platinum Partner at The Retail Summit 2024, hosted at the renowned Atlantis, The Palm. The summit, held on April 23rd and 24th, brought together prominent figures in global retail, exchanging invaluable insights and strategies pivotal for the evolution of the retail sector. Neeraj Teckchandani, CEO of Apparel Group, participated in a panel discussing the strategic importance of market expansion in the GCC and the need for innovative approaches to redefine omnichannel experiences. Sima Ganwani Ved, Founder and Chairwoman, also honored the summit with her presence in a panel discussion on the vital topic of ‘Diversity, Equity and Inclusion – Inspiring the Next Generation of Retail Talent.’

Commenting on these achievements, Neeraj Teckchandani, CEO of Apparel Group, stated, “We are thrilled to announce our continued growth and success in Q1 2024. These milestones reflect our unwavering dedication to excellence, innovation, and making a positive impact in the communities we serve. As we look ahead, we remain committed to pushing boundaries, fostering partnerships, and delivering unparalleled value to our customers.”

For more information about Apparel Group and its latest initiatives, please visit the official website at

About Apparel Group LLC

Apparel Group is a global fashion and lifestyle retail conglomerate residing at the crossroads of the modern economy – Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Today, Apparel Group caters to thousands of eager shoppers through its 2200+ retail stores and 85+ brands on all platforms while employing over 22,000+ multicultural staff.

Apparel Group has carved its strong presence in the GCC and expanded thriving gateways to market in India, South Africa, Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, and Egypt. Additionally, clear strategies are in place to enter emerging markets such as Hungary and Philippines.

Apparel Group has created an omni-channel experience, operating brands originating from the USA, Canada, Europe, Australia, and Asia. The brands include leading names in fashion, footwear, and lifestyles such as Tommy Hilfiger, Charles & Keith, Skechers, Aldo, Nine West, Aeropostale, Jamie’s Italian, Tim Hortons, Cold Stone Creamery, Inglot, and Rituals.

Apparel Group owes its amazing growth to the vision and guidance of its dynamic Founder and Chairwoman, Mrs. Sima Ganwani Ved, who has taken the company from strength to strength since its inception in the last two decades.

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at

GlobeNewswire Distribution ID 9110933

Kistpay Emerges as Champion in the Pitch Competition at IsDB Group Annual Meetings 2024

Kistpay, a leading innovator in digital and financial inclusion solutions, proudly announces its victory as the champion of the platform Pitch Competition at the prestigious Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) Group Annual Meetings 2024. The event, held in Riyadh, KSA on April 29th, brought together representatives from 57 member states, where Kistpay represented Pakistan with distinction. The Competition, a highlight of the IsDB Group Annual Meetings, provided a platform for companies from private sector across member countries to showcase groundbreaking innovations. Kistpay's success underscores its solid commitment to excellence and driving positive change through technology for the underserved communities. At the forefront of Kistpay's success stands Asif Jafri, the visionary leader whose unparalleled determination and passion for innovation have taken the company to new heights. Asif Jafri's captivating presentation not only highlighted Kistpay's vision but also inspired the audience and judges alike. ' We are incredibly honored and humbled to present our solution in the competition at the IsDB Group Annual Meetings 2024,' said Asif Jafri, Founder and CEO at Kistpay. He added: 'This win is a testament to our dedication and commitment to pushing the boundaries in the digital and financial space. Our main mission is to connect every human being with the internet through Sharia-compliant smartphone and laptop financing. By providing accessible and innovative financial solutions, we aim to bridge the digital divide and empower individuals to participate fully in the digital economy, regardless of their financial means.' Kistpay extends its deepest gratitude to everyone who supported the company on this remarkable journey. It is a significant milestone and reinforces Kistpay's position as a leader in the digital and financial solutions industry. In addition to the competition success, Kistpay had the opportunity to network with industry leaders, potential partners, and investors during the IsDB Group Annual Me etings. The event served as a platform for collaboration, knowledge sharing and exploring opportunities for future growth and expansion. Source: Pro Pakistani

SECP Issues Position Paper on Shariah-Compliant Brokerage Services

The Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) has approved amendments in the Securities Brokers (Licensing and Operations) Regulations, 2016 for facilitating Shariah-compliant brokerage services for the securities market of Pakistan. The new Regulations are aimed at providing the brokerage house, intending to offer Shariah Compliant brokerage services, with various options that include the establishment of separate subsidiaries, offering these services through window operations, or converting to a fully Shariah Compliant brokerage house. Such securities brokers shall obtain a certificate of Shariah-compliant company in compliance with the Shariah Governance Regulations, 2023, and adhere to the Guidelines for Offering Islamic Financial Services issued by the SECP. The Regulations also require such brokers to implement appropriate internal controls and adopt policies to address any conflict of interest and protect customer interest. In continuation of the aforementioned regulatory amendments, the SECP has granted a license to ZLK Islamic Financial Services (Private) Limited, marking it as the first fully Sharia-compliant brokerage house. It is anticipated that the new regulations will streamline entry process for new entrants in the brokerage industry and facilitate existing brokers desiring to offer Islamic Financial Services. This will be instrumental in promoting sustainable growth in the market, encouraging long-term investments in key economic sectors and bolstering financial inclusion in the country. Source: Pro Pakistani

Telcos Claim FBR’s Order to Block Mobile SIMs is Illegal

Telecom operators have asked the Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunication and the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) to intervene to safeguard the interests of the telecom industry as well as its consumers with regard to the Federal Board of Revenue's (FBR) order to block mobile SIMs of non-filers. In a letter to the IT ministry and PTA, telecom companies said that the order issued by the FBR is illegal and ultra vires of the Constitution of Pakistan and the Telecom Act. 'We are of the view that whilst the intention of the ITGO and Section 114B may be to penalize non-compliant individuals or to coerce or encourage them to come within the tax net the specific measure being adopted has not been properly thought through; neither a legal analysis, guaranteed constitutional rights, or a cost-benefit review has been undertaken by FBR before passing and implementing ITGO,' the letter said. Telcos said that the Income Tax General Order (ITGO) being forced through with undue haste, will adv ersely impact the customers. This will gravely impact the customers' ability to get essential services which have now been defined as right to life under different judgments of superior courts, it added. Further, the letter said that the order is also detrimental to telecom operators' rights and their ability to operate (both financially and otherwise), who are fully compliant with their respective tax obligations and are not at fault. Any delinquent individuals should rather be sanctioned/penalized in a direct manner without involving and adversely impacting the telecom industry, the letter said. CMOs said they are obligated to provide uninterrupted services to their customers except in the circumstances mentioned in the Telecom Act and applicable regulations. There are no instances mentioned in the Telecom Act, PTA's rules/regulations, or license conditions that require or obligate telecom operators to disconnect/block the service of any customer who failed to file a return in the specified or given time by FBR, the letter said. If telecom operators comply with the order, the affected individuals whose names appear on the ITGO may initiate litigation against them, it added. Through the letter, telecom operators have requested an inclusive consultation that engages all stakeholders to develop a way forward that protects both the revenue interests of the government and the commercial concerns of the telecom operators. FBR's order Last week, FBR issued Income Tax General Order (ITGO) to disable the mobile phone SIMs of over 0.5 million persons who are not appearing on active taxpayer list but are liable to file the Income Tax Return for Tax Year 2023. The General Order issued by FBR said that the mobile SIMs in respect of 506,671 persons will remain blocked until restored by FBR or the Commissioner Inland Revenue having jurisdiction of the person. Through the order, FBR asked PTA and all telecom operators to ensure the compliance of the order with immediate effect and asked them to furnish a compliance rep ort to FBR on May 15. Source: Pro Pakistani

Budget 2024-25 Preparations Delayed As Govt Seeks IMF Input on Literally Everything

Preparations for the new Federal Budget 2024-25 are facing massive delays as the government prepares to consult on each and every item with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) before proceeding further. The lender's mission is expected to arrive in the coming few weeks, sources told ProPakistani. Sources said this has seriously impacted the planned schedule. The Budget Strategy Paper 2024-27, which was originally intended for approval by April 22, has not been finalized yet. Sources informed that meetings of the Annual Plan Coordination Committee (APCC) have not been convened as scheduled. However, it's anticipated that the National Economic Council meeting will take place in the second week of May. The completion of budget documents for presentation to the cabinet is expected by the end of this month. Subsequently, the budget for the upcoming financial year will likely be presented in Parliament during the first week of June. Prior to its presentation, the budget document will undergo approval by the federal cabinet after final touches by the IMF. Budget 2024-25 Timeline S# Activity Concerned Office Timeline 1 Issuance of Budget Call Circular Finance Division Feb-24 2 Laying of Mid-Year Review Report before NA Finance Division Feb-24 3 Submission of Form I i. Medium Term KPIs and Targets FY2024-25 to 2026-27 ii. Medium Term Performance Based Budget FY2024-25 to 2026-27 PAOs i. 11th March 2024 ii. Along with BO/NIS 4 Submission of Gender Responsive Budgeting - Form II PAOs 14th June 2024 5 Submission of Green Budgeting - Form III PAOs 14th June 2024 6 Federal Receipts (Non-Tax Revenue) Revised Estimates (FY2023-24) and Budget Estimates (FY2024-25) including proposals for new non-tax measures - Form IV PAOs 11th March 2024 7 Public Accounts Receipts and Expenditure, Revised Estimates (FY2023-24) and Budget Estimates (FY2024-25) - Form V PAOs 11th March 2024 8 Details of Bank Accounts/Investments - Form VI PAOs 11th March 2024 9 Submission of Revised Estimates (FY2023-24) Current a nd Development Expenditure - Form VII PAOs 11-Mar-24 10 Submission of Medium-Term Budget Estimates (FY2024-25 to 2026-27) Current and Development Expenditure - Form VIII PAOs 11th March 2024 11 Submission of Posts Proforma Federal Government Employees - Form X and/or XI PAOs 5th April 2024 12 Submission of Quarter-Wise Budget Estimates (FY2024-25) Current and Development Expenditure - Form XII and XIII PAOs 30th June 2024 13 Details of Assets - Form XIV PAOs 11 th March 2024 14 Sector-wise Details of Development Projects - Form XV Planning Division 11th March 2024 15 Submission of Foreign Exchange Revised Estimates (FY2023-24) and Budget Estimates (FY2024-25) -Form XVI to XXI PAOs 7th May 2024 16 Recommendations from Expenditure Wing on Revised and Proposed Budget Estimates Expenditure Wing 17th March 2024 17 Preparation of Medium-Term National Macroeconomic and Fiscal Framework EA Wing 3rd week March 2024 18 Budget Review Committee meetings Finance Division 22nd March till 5th April 20 24 19 Intimation of Exchange Rate Finance Division 18th April 2024 20 Approval of Budget Strategy Paper (BSP) FY2024-27 Finance Division 22nd April 2024 21 Issuance of IBCs for current and development budget (one line to M/o PDandSI) Finance Division 24th April 2024 22 Issuance of PAO Wise IBCs for Development Planning Division 30th April 2024 23 Submission of BO/NIS for Current Budget PAOs 29th April to 6th May 2024 24 APCC Meetings Planning Division 1st week May 2024 25 NEC Meetings Planning Division 2nd week May 2024 26 Submission of BO/NIS for Development Budget PAOs 3rd week May 2024 27 Completion of all Budget Documents, Schedules and Summaries for the Cabinet etc. Finance Division End May 2024 28 Presentation of Budget to the Cabinet and the Parliament Finance Division 1st week June 2024 Source: Pro Pakistani

CCP Announces Shocking Decision on PTCL-Telenor Merger

An investigation by the Competition Commission of Pakistan (CCP) has provisionally concluded that Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited's (PTCL) proposed acquisition of Telenor Pakistan (Private) Limited (TP) and Orion Towers Private Limited (OT) could lead to a substantial lessening of competition in the telecom industry. Pakistan Mobile Telecommunications Limited acquisition of Warid Telecom (Private) Limited reduced the number of network operators in 2016. Through the proposed merger, one out of remaining four players would also be eliminated from the industry. The CCP is concerned that this lessening of competition may result in higher prices or a reduction in choice or quality for customers hence, the transaction will be referred for an in-depth Phase 2 analysis. PTCL is a public-listed company and specializes in providing various telecommunication services such as cellular mobile telephony service, Wireless Local Loop service, Direct-to-Home television service and financial services through its subsidiaries across Pakistan, Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) and Gilgit-Baltistan (GB). Telenor Pakistan (Private) Limited and Orion Towers Private Limited are wholly-owned subsidiaries of Telenor Pakistan BV (TPBV) and are engaged in providing cellular mobile and allied services in Pakistan, AJK and GB. PTCL, which was founded in 1995, has already been declared as a Significant Market Power (SMP) Operator in Wholesale Domestic Leased Lines, Wholesale IP Bandwidth and Retail LDI Fixed-Line Telecommunication market by the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA). With existing overlaps, the CCP found that, should the deal go ahead, the merger is likely to reduce choice, options, and competition in markets where there are only very few competitors and could lead to worse outcomes for the customers. CCP said it aims to provide better services and products to the consumers of Pakistan by increasing competition in the telecom industry. Source: Pro Pakistani