Strategic Analysis on the Multan Handicrafts

  • Giovanni Maria ContiEmail author
  • Anna Sara Zanolla Mancini
Part of the Research for Development book series (REDE)


The research programme proposed focuses on the territorial dimension as an asset able to act for the preservation, the valorisation and the development of the local culture, supporting and improving them. In the last few years, the importance of the territorial values of a specific region, restricted or intended like a macro-continent, becomes the strategic level for the creation of international and multilateral projects which the university confront itself with.

Pakistan, and in this specific case Multan City, is undoubtedly one of the Middle East countries that better represents the new challenges about the social, cultural and economic hybridisation, for all those Italian companies that want to approach to these markets and vice versa. This great interest originates from the fact that the historical textile tradition, as other handmade works as accessories and ornaments, and in general the handicraft products today become an added value and a potential factor of diversification in the complex fashion design landscape.

During the research, the aim was to understand more thoroughly the characteristics of Pakistani crafts, especially inside the Multan area: in this case, through a field research, the staff did a survey to understand which are the typical products sold there; the raw materials used to make them; the shapes, the colours, and the functions that they have; the resources that Pakistani territory has; and where they are sold (markets, handicraft shop, malls, etc.). The results of these activities define a common development strategy for the handicraft field as textile, jewellery, blue pottery, shoes and so on.

Pakistan is a country considered wrongly, in handicraft field, a delocalisation border, since it is possible to find affordable workforce. It is, instead, more interesting to consider the potentialities based on the great tradition and know-how for the creation and production of high-level handicraft products. For example, Multani textile tradition has very ancient roots and its quality enhanced by fancy materials, bright cotton and patterns that show unique visual suggestions. From this analysis, it emerged that from the design point of view, the actions on the handicraft sector together with Pakistani institutions would have involved two paths: the first pertains to the product innovation for its valorisation; the second aim was about the product communication for its promotion with the final goal of connecting the local craftsmen/artisans with the global market through digital and real platforms to build strong relationships with the Western partners.

In some way, research activities should be focused on the development of handicraft products that can preserve the tradition quality, working on performances, on functionality and on process efficiency, with the aim not to propose affordable but high-quality products, following sustainable development models even on the social field.

At the end of the research period, together with microcredit and entrepreneurial relationship teams (see Chap. 6.6), a handicraft system model was elaborated to be activated in the PIRC.


Pilot Project Industrial Design Product Development Process Professional Figure Brand Strategy 
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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Giovanni Maria Conti
    • 1
    Email author
  • Anna Sara Zanolla Mancini
    • 1
  1. 1.INDACO Department (Industrial Design Arts and Communication)MilanItaly

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