A STORY OF ENTERPRISE AND DEDICATED SERVICE
S. M. ILYAS & SONS LTD. – ALLIED MARKETING (PVT) LTD. 100TH ANNIVERSARY
THE PIONEERS OF DISTRIBUTION IN PAKISTAN
S. M. Ilyas & Sons – Allied Marketing (Pvt) Ltd. is a well known, well established and time honoured business house.
Having been associated with leading multinational companies since long, they are the ones behind the distribution and easy availability of many household products whose brand names are as familiar to us as our own names.
1898 It all began
Late Haji Sheikh Muhammad Din and Late S.M.Ilyas started high class crockery business by the name S M Ilyas & Sons in the Dabbi Bazar Lahore, the then hub and center of commercial activity. Soon, they undertook the manufacture of steel suitcases as well.
1905 Initiation of association with Imperial Tobacco Company of India Ltd / Pakistan Tobacco Co. Ltd.
Distribution of ‘Scissors’ awarded followed by all other brands.
1912 Beginning of association with Woodwards & Thompson
For their high grade cigarette brands.
1914 Lever Brothers India Ltd./ Lever Brothers Pakistan Ltd.
Began with the distribution services for their famous brand ‘Sunlight’ – This was soon followed by other soap brands and toiletries, thus establishing reliable distributors of such consumer products.
1923 Lipton Ltd.
Awarded the exclusive sales agency for significant sales regions like Lahore, Lalamusa, Khanewal etc.
1930 British Boycott Movement
The All India Congress Committee launched a countrywide Boycott Movement of all British goods. All the Non-Muslim distributors supported the move. SMI was the only distributor who continued to market the products of Imperial Tobacco Company and thus saved its stocks from picketing. With their efforts, Imperial Tobacco Company was removed from the agenda of the Congress committee and the company was saved from irrecoverable losses.
SMI was entrusted with the distribution of the products of Imperial Tobacco Company in the entire Kashmir region.
Imperial Tobacco Company extended the area of distribution to include Ferozepur.
1937 Strike at Saharanpur Factory
Another attempt was made by UP India Congress Committee to ruin the cigarette industry and to dislocate the workers who were mostly Muslims. SMI counteracted the anti-cigarette propaganda and circulated an impassioned appeal to the workers which had the desired results and Muslims dissociated themselves from strike “enmasse” thereby completely foiling the evil designs of the organizers.
Ardath Tobacco gave the distribution rights for their “State Express” brands.
A Wanders appointed distributorship for Ovaltine and other products.
1941 Initiation of Association with ICI
Starting with the agency of ‘Cerium Flints’ followed by products namely ‘Perry’s confectionery’, chemicals, Fertilizers, Pesticides, Insecticides and Pharmaceuticals.
1939 – 1945 World War II
It was an extremely difficult time for India’s economy which suffered severe setback. Despite the problem of non-availability of railway wagons, SMI succeeded in overcoming this seemingly unsurmountable task by ensuring prompt delivery to its principals and public.
1947 Partition and Independence
This eventful year saw the birth of Pakistan, but communal riots broke out throughout the subcontinent and there was complete chaos and anarchy within the two dominions. There was mass immigration of refugees from both sides and all commercial centres were either abandoned or closed and business activities came to a standstill. Even though the firm was located in a pre-dominently Hindu locality, it continued to distribute the products, at great personal risk. They won the support of Lever Brothers when they accomplished the impossible task of distributing their products lying at various stations.
In return to the ceaseless efforts to deliver the products, Lever Brothers appointed them as their distributor in Lyallpur (Faisalabad) which was a rapidly expanding industrial zone.
PIDC gave their cement agency and fertilizer was entrusted in 1963 followed by Fauji cereals corn flakes porridge foods etc in 1967.
1959 Conversion into a Private Ltd. Company.
The concern which had so far worked as a joint enterprise, was converted into a private ltd. company in October 1959.
1969 Death of S.M. Ilyas
The Chairman S.M. Ilyas died and S.M. Ilmas who was the Managing Director of the company since long took over and along with his brothers worked hard to improve the overall business. He still heads the organization.
1989 Induction of Fourth Generation / Professional Management
Mr. Ahmad Hasnain S/o S.M. Ilmas was inducted in the business after completing his M.B.A from Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS).