Veganism is an ideology and way of life that seeks to eliminate, as far as possible and practicable, all forms of animal exploitation and cruelty. People who follow veganism prefer not to consume food, clothes and other products that are obtained entirely or partially from animals. This also includes avoiding products that are tested on animals. Asif Ali Gohar was born in Pakistan, Karachi in 1992. By the age of 12 his family decided to move to Germany and in 2004 they were settled in the city of Hamburg. He was fifteen when he realized that killing and sacrificing animals for your own needs is a selfish deed and a disruption in the ecosystem. Sooner or later, Asif became a vegan.
A school project further fueled his interest for veganism and the young kid began to explore the vegan world. Asif was curious about vegan alternative from the earliest of his days. During his time at the University of Hamburg he got the opportunity to conduct a series of tests that allowed him to produce vegan leather. Asif previously had conducted various home-based experiments so he had a basic understanding of the process. This time, given the adequate number of resources, Asif was able to convert rice into vegan leather. His idea was unique, scalable and cost effective. It uses rice as the main ingredient but also uses acetic acid and yeast. Yeast help for bacterial growth and acetic acid allowed for the leather slime to get a thick consistency. Asif could have used any other material but using rice was an informed decision not only because of scientific reasons but also because Asif is a patriot and loves Pakistan.
He wanted to develop an innovative product that would help Pakistan to increase its export and trade. Pakistan is one of the major producers of leather all over the world. It completely dominates the South Asian region but exporting most of its leather to the European markets. There are a total of 800 tanneries in the country that work day and night to produce animal-based leather. However, the recent surge in veganism would eventually make animal leather industry obsolete. Thus, there needs to an innovation in the leather industry of Pakistan, which can come through Asif. Pakistan is the also 4th largest rice exporter in the world. It produces a total of 8% of the world’s rice trade. Therefore, rice supply would not be a problem in the country. In fact, an additional demand would increase agricultural produce and promote the production of rice in the country.
As of now, Asif Ali Gohar is trying to build a network in the Pakistan that connects investors and consumer. This essentially means that Asif wants to initiate production in the country and is looking for a team. With such an innovative and cost-effective product, Asif and his might change the future of leather industry all together. Veganism is on the rise globally and it only seems logical to obtain benefits from the first mover advantage.