Dr. Khurram Tariq

From Least to Lasting: Developing Innovative Sustainable Organization

  • Name:                Dr. Khurram Tariq
  • Position:             CEO
  • Organization:     Kay & Emms


  • The Innovative Approach

The knitwear sector in Pakistan has experienced rise and fall causing disappearance of many giants. In the same period Dr. Khurram made Kay & Emms a multinational in knitwear. The CEOs cried for increase in business cost due to energy and interest rate. He further increased his business cost by adding huge R&D budgets. The layoffs become the norms of industry and he hired engineers to run the even traditional operations.  OMG, what a madness?

He succeeded by doing opposite to his sectors success formulas. Simply, because, he innovated the business model, he was not taught in his highly standardized education in medicine. This business model turned a week small unit into a multinational operating in EU and USA.    


  • The Pre-Entrepreneurial


He was born to a family in textile business in the city of textile Faisalabad Pakistan. He parted the way and took medicine for education and profession. Being part of family in textile, he had to observe business practices, listen to business news, interact with business community and visit his father factory occasionally.

According to our observation, he got two different education as conscious education and sub- conscious education.  The farmer was about anatomy and medicine and the later was about entrepreneurship. Apparently they are two mutually exclusive educations but they both joined hands in the personality of Dr. Khurram Tariq. Both educations together developed a Dr. Khurram Tariq who can run in the opposite direction of heavy winds of the time.

He was a bright student and was asked to choose medicine as the norms of that time. He did not choose the business initially. He was directed by his sub-conscious to go for business after a heart attack to his father. The medicine taught him how to analyze symptoms and reach to the roots of illness. He learned how to take preventive actions before disease occur. He got training on how to do post-partum of business problems and challenges.

His business observations taught him what is being missed or done wrongly in the knitwear sector. He understood the vicious circle of industry problems and got the cue on how to break it.  

He got few things from his mother like discipline, independent thinking, and daring attitude. He is God gifted in few things like believing in right and principles, taking care of values, respecting people, helping others to grow, making social contribution, sparing time for spirituality, attracting talent and maintaining relationship with others.


  • The Start of Entrepreneurial Journey – Sustainability of Kay & Emms

He sacrificed his chartered plan of health care venture and decided to save family business. He was a considerate and values-oriented person therefore he preferred his family over his ambitions and goals. His family business in textile was hitting bottom and was in financial crunches. His earlier challenge of entrepreneurship was to get his business back on road to survive, sustain and grow. The history of organizations shows that mostly business leaders are known for business growth and acceleration. The business history is very short in providing examples of CEO who get industries out of crisis and pull back to growth. The biggest example is IACOCCA who joined a dying Chrysler and relived it in few years.

The New York Times covered his story and wrote;

“LEE A. IACOCCA has become a best-selling author and his Chrysler Corporation is making more money on each car and truck it sells than even the mighty General Motors Corporation. A company that six years ago was teetering on the edge of bankruptcy and begging for Federal help has emerged as a small, effective and feisty combatant in the increasingly competitive automobile business”.

Dr. Khurram did the same as IACOCCA of Chrysler did. Dr. Khurram took the challenge head-on, faced the debtors bravely, analyzed the situation deeply and made a comprehensive plan to get the boat out of dead-sea. He never hides himself behind the curtains to see what is happening. He leads by front and faces the challenges directly and personally. He takes responsibility and entrust all the stakeholders with hope and commitment for a better future for all.

He spent first 10 years ensuring sustainability, smooth operations, honest working and commitment for delivery of Kay & Emms.   The good time back again and Kay & Emms was ready to fly.


  • The Demonstration of Entrepreneurial Leadership –The Culture Change

The medicine graduate Dr. Khurram was driving Kay & Emms to next level of fast growth. He started with making house in order first. He knew that traditional foremen and supervisors are good for maintaining production but cannot support next level of international moves. He has done scanning of international changing scenario in value-added textiles and was getting ready to respond it.  He hired international firms to train and build capacity of his team and invested heavily in this area. He developed an open culture with high spirit, task delegation and goal orientation. He knew the art of breaking resistance and culture dogmas so he managed to introduce fresh thoughts gradually.

Kay & Emms is known for company of engineers having the largest number of specialized and diversified engineers in the industry. These engineers were given good salaries, detailed training, flexible time to learn and digest and single task to get the industry advanced in every area and aspects.  Kay & Emms was turned from a traditional textile company to R&D led innovative company in value-added textile.

The most importantly planning units were setup to foresee the future and help Kay & Emms get ready to respond its challenges. Quality lab is set up and people in production are trained ensure zero-defect in the production. The supply chain was engineered and designed on very professional grounds to gain cost and efficiency advantages. The Kay & Emms is known for having the best supply chain program to ensure his supplies reach to customer destination safe, sound and timely. The production units are integrated through planning to manage smooth operations at every phase. New technologies were introduced and contracts are made with international consulting and technology firms to supply cutting edge technologies to Kay & Emms.

Kay & Emms regularly sent his teams and professionals to study the best practices in the world and introduced them back in the factory. This learning brought lot of new and modern concepts into the Kay & Emms culture.


  • The Demonstration of Entrepreneurial Leadership – The Rise of Kay & Emms  

Dr. Khurram after putting house in order and securing business at sustainable level, moved towards expansion. He knew that dying companies in his sector are at the same level. The sustainability at sector comparative level is nothing but a signal to death. He took a daring step and set up his R&D unit in Spain. This R&D unit helped the Kay & Emms bypass the death trap in Pakistan for knitwear industries. This death trap is respectfully called the buying houses. His R&D unit served the role of buying house and connected the company with the big brands of EU and USA operating in EU. He secured his sale with shop brands but jumped to global brands through own R&D centre in Spain. We never heard such a bold move exemplifying as high risk and high reward. This bold move paid back making Kay & Emms one of the largest suppliers of value added textiles in Pakistan. His team of engineers and professionals was already ready to make breakthroughs and meet requirements of Global demands.     


  • The Demonstration of Entrepreneurial Leadership –Kay & Emms from National to Multinational  

Dr. Khurram replicated the similar experience in USA by setting up R&D centre and exploring potential of local market. He gained significant experience by initially working with local brands and ensuring smooth supply according to international market standards. Later he moved to launch his own brand in the USA. The brand gained momentum slowly and now become the sustainable venture. The investment made in company culture, training, innovation drive and recruitment of engineers paid back many folds now. The own brand in USA market gave good profit margin and absorbed the highly innovative capacity of production of Kay & Emms.

This has also opened the doors to unlimited opportunities. The sky is no more the limit for Kay & Emms.

  • The Demonstration of Entrepreneurial Leadership –Serving Beyond the Corporate

Dr. Khurram is successful in his corporate venture. We observe he is more successful in life as a good human being. He participates in the boards of development organization and policy bodies. He served as chairman of many associations, committees of chambers of commerce and bodies of local and national industrial estates. He is active in business politics and leads the development causes of industry community.

Dr. Khurram is very active in social circles and contributes in many small to large welfare organizations. He is active donor in number of healthcare projects and set up own K-Foundation also. Kay & Emms runs a government school also. He also takes keen interest in academic institutions and contributes in various boards and committees of the universities.

  • The Demonstration of Entrepreneurial Leadership – The Entrepreneurial Leadership  

Dr. Khurram is a multidimensional personally which makes him a true entrepreneurial leader. He achieved his passion of medicine and left to survive his family business in textile. He transformed this small unit into multinational working with top brands of the world. He served his business community, contributed in social sector and participated in the boards of universities and R&D organizations.

He believes in continuous learning and kept himself on the path of life long education.  He took courses of the best universities in Pakistan like LUMS and Executive Education from International institutions like MIT, USA.

He developed a very unique entrepreneurial leadership style of blending the modern practices with local realities. You can see him sharing local jocks of the region he belongs to and stories of USA and EU too. He inspired team with vision and at the same time tracks their progress day by day. He empowers team but never let them miss the given targets. He invests heavily in R&D and future projects without ignoring bottom line statistics.

He is thinks globally but acts locally. He looks beyond the sky without losing touch with the ground. He empowered the team fully but keeps the control too.

Dr. Khurram has 28 years of experience where his start meets his last. He got dual education of conscious and sub-consciousness in the early period of approaching youth. His claim of being young is still valid as he excellently exercises dual role of leading towards future by managing the local realities.

  • The Summary  

Dr. Khurram gained exponential growth in the period of hues and cries of business community due to high business cost and energy shortage. He got the unique ability of connecting the available present and future growth. He ended the power boundaries when other CEOs made royal offices. He invested heavily on talented engineers when qualified people were being fired in the industry.  His investment on people paid him back with huge success.

We would like to attribute this case study to his people who made him a successful entrepreneurial leader.