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‘We have to boost our marketing competence’

Syed Nurul Islam, Chairman of Well Group, opined to boost the marketing efficiency of Bangladesh textile and apparel industry. Despite having top-notch production house that produces international standard products Bangladesh is lagging behind than India or other rival countries only for the poor marketing efficiency.

Well Group is the pioneer of embroidery and sewing thread in Bangladesh, established in 1973 by Abdus Salam, Founder Chairman of the Group. Well Group spread its wings into the Textiles, Food, Hotel and Real Estate sectors in Bangladesh. The recent growth rate of Well Group is over 25% and such growth in this competitive market is the outcome of a consistent combination of high quality of products and professional management system.

 Sayed Nurul Islam, Chairman of Well Group
Figure: Syed Nurul Islam, Chairman of Well Group.

Recently Syed Nurul Islam, Chairman of Well Group shared his 35 years’ expert knowledge with the Textile Today Team about their journey, industry challenges and way outs etc.

Textile Today: Kindly give us an overview of Well Group’s ventures and recent updates.

Syed Nurul Islam: Our main business is textiles although we are well known for Well Food. But only 10% of our total turnover is from Well Food and rest of 90% from textile and textile-related business.

Back in 1973, my elder brother Abdus Salam started a small sewing thread processing factory. I’ve joined in 1985 and started thinking about how to produce industrial sewing thread and concentrated on that.

Soon after we started a small sewing thread business with the name ‘Well Thread’. From 1990 we grew a lot and at present, we are one of the largest sewing thread producers in South East Asia. Because of our integrated facilities – from spinning, twisting, dying, finishing – all things combined I think we are one of the largest producers of sewing thread in this region.

Parallelly, we stepped on to the garment business by introducing Well Fashion Ltd. with 100 sewing machines in around 2005. Currently, we have 6 composite factories with over 3000 machinery.

We also do garment trims and accessories like sewing thread, poly bag, twill tape, hanger, gum tape, printed label etc. also we have a washing facility. And from sewing to finished product, means we have a complete package in the textile sector.

And we have our own spinning with 40,000 spindles, then we have in house twisting facility, and dye the yarn to make yarn dyed fabric. Which ultimately make Well Group a fully composite group. And our yearly export turnover is more than 100 million USD.

Textile Today: Out of all these Well Group’s concerns, which one is your flagship business?

Syed Nurul Islam: Although garment export is a good sum among the groups earning but our main venture is still sewing thread with Well Thread as the flagship business. And we feel proud to be the pioneer in sewing thread business in Bangladesh.

Well Group is one of the leading sewing thread producers in Bangladesh and exporting globally and we are competing with multinational companies like Coats, AMANN Bangladesh and A&E etc.

Textile Today: Currently Bangladesh textile and garment industry is facing many challenges like wage hike, raw material sourcing, gas price hike etc. Textile bodies like BGMEA, BKMEA or others they don’t give any concrete guideline except saying to increase efficiency and productivity overall. So, as a CEO of Well Group, what is your viewpoint?

Syed Nurul Islam: When we started the business back in the 1980s, there were also tremendous challenges. And challenges will be always there. As CEO of Well Group, from my experience, I should say that manufacturers have to be a lot more hard worker and exceptionally innovative. And yes, we must also have to increase productivity and efficiency. Otherwise, we can’t sustain this business. What I do believe, global competitiveness is very important.

If you talk about challenges, our neighboring competitor countries have higher labor wage, electricity is even expensive, and infrastructure is not far beyond the sun better than us. So, we shouldn’t highlight the negative things but positive happenings. At the back end, we have to work on our weakness.

Well Group Chairman Sayed Nurul Islam

Overall, Bangladesh has improved infrastructures in recent years, gas and electricity have also stabilized. And definitely price is a concern, but uninterrupted power supply has given us the extra mileage. Also we manufacturers can bear the justified utility adjustment I think.

Decade by decade the challenges has new turns. But we have to think far ahead and plan accordingly with innovation in mind. As well as we have to sales and marketing under a microscope to develop it. As Indians are far ahead than us in branding and marketing, however, we don’t see enough diversified and quality products in Indian production houses. But their marketing is of international standard. Whereas Bangladesh’s production houses provide top-notch international standard products but our marketing is very poor. RMG producers are lacking in policy and strategy.

We need branding. Unless we grow in branding and, marketing Bangladesh’s textile and garment industry will suffer immensely.

Textile Today: What Bangladesh manufacturers should do to increase the brand value?

Syed Nurul Islam: First we have to adopt the mindset of global competitiveness. Means not only we must increase our production, quality, and efficiency, but we also have to boost our marketing efficiency. We still are focused solely on the US and EU market. But we don’t see that India, China are potential markets; Malaysia, Thailand, Korea, Japan, and South American countries are also lucrative markets for us. So, we need to expand our existing market into a truly global aspect.

Also Read: “We believe in investing in people instead of investing more in machinery…”

If anyone has any feedback or input regarding the published news, please contact: info@textiletoday.com.bd

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