Denim is one of the most popular types of clothing around the world and almost everyone has a favorite pair they pull on when all else fails.
Bangladesh is the number one exporter of denim goods to the European Union, while the third largest in the United States. Recently Textile Today has met Mohiuddin Rubel who is the Managing Director of Bangladesh Apparel Exchange (BAE) and Director of Denim Expert Ltd. He also elected as the Director of BGMEA for the year 2019-21.
BAE established to promote the Bangladesh apparel industry, and it offers a platform for the exchange of knowledge and expertise, combined with best working practices by arranging an international event.
Mohiuddin Rubel shared about innovation that will change the future of the industry and overall activities of Bangladesh Apparel Exchange (BAE).
Textile Today: Can you briefly inform the aim of establishing Bangladesh Apparel Exchange (BAE)?
Textile Today: Bangladesh Apparel Exchange (BAE) is a limited company for event management. My elder brother Md. Mostafiz Uddin is the Chairman. I am the Managing Director and my younger brother is acting as Director of this company. Basically, we are the three key role players to run this organization.
The formation of BAE is to plan, organizing and coordinating of Bangladesh Denim Expo (BDE), Sustainable Apparel Forum (SAF), Bangladesh Fashionology Summit (BFS) and Dhaka Apparel Summit (in collaboration with BGMEA) as well as upcoming new events under one umbrella.
Because each event is different in its nature so the process of planning and execution of each event differs and for this reason, BAE is conducting all the events as a whole.
Textile Today: Recently the 10th edition of Bangladesh Denim Expo (BDE) and 2nd edition of Bangladesh Fashionology Summit has been arranged by Bangladesh Apparel Exchange (BAE), how will you evaluate the success and expectation of this hosting?
Mohiuddin Rubel: Bangladesh Apparel Exchange (BAE) is arranging both the Summit and the Expo that can play an important role in branding Bangladesh for the rest of the world. The 10th Denim expo will create an available opportunity and build an international platform for Bangladesh denim.
In an attempt to highlight ‘Digitalization – the Next Destination’ this time expo is hosted by 63 exhibitors from the local and international denim community. Our two days events displayed comprehensive insight of Bangladesh denim industry.
We are branding Bangladesh to enhance its image so inviting foreign delegates to come in the exhibition. Because Bangladesh denim industry is growing at a noteworthy rate and leading the US-European market!
We had a conversation over sustainable initiatives in all production process and responsibilities all across the industry.
The 2nd edition of Bangladesh Fashionology Summit has been highlighted the automation and technology. This exhibition is to mitigate the gap between traditional manufacturing industries and the feature of fashion. Because technology is changing the world’s production process.
Now automation and robotizing are taking in place of the unskilled workforce for higher productivity to save time and energy. Bangladesh has to adopt the latest technology if it wants to survive in a competitive world.
We will say the apparel summit is successful because people are talking positively about the exhibition and the branding of Bangladesh image now considered as good in the outer world.
Textile Today: Automation is good but without enhancing efficiency at workplace only adopting automation is now anxiety for all that this will result in the loss of jobs, how you will think this?
Mohiuddin Rubel: We always get the same question from different media that automation will cut the job from the industry. But this will not be logical to impose the burden on owner’s shoulder in one hand ask to increase the salary for the worker and on the other hand asking not to add automation to keep the job secure.
Automation is the key force of modern life so no one can avoid this in the industry. Actually, everyone has to understand the present demand for accuracy in manufacturing unit.
It can also reduce labor costs and increase output. This is possible only if automation added in the manufacturing unit. To survive in the apparel industry owners has no choice but has to engage automation because of salary hike as well as higher production cost. Without automation high-end product is not possible to manage only by using people’s hand.
We feel the government has to realize the present situation and have to divert the workforce from the apparel industry to other industry segments. Because excessive dependability in one industry for the job and work will bring catastrophically disaster in the near future.
But we have to be careful to utilize automation on a full scale rather semi-automation can be a good alternative in this case to keep both owner’s and worker’s interest. We should also work to enhance the efficiency level at the workplace.
Textile Today: Bangladesh Apparel Exchange (BAE) arranged Bangladesh Denim Expo (BDE) for the 10th time so why only denim has taken for exhibition and what is your plan for other apparel product?
Mohiuddin Rubel: Yes, we started our mission ‘Denim Expo’ with denim because we are a denim manufacturer. On the other hand, denim is the biggest marker in Bangladesh so there is a huge opportunity to build branding Bangladesh for denim.
But our plan is to showcase all other apparel products in the near future. We already started with Bangladesh Fashionology Summit and Sustainable Apparel Forum (SAF) to share knowledge on the sustainability of the clothing industry.
Textile Today: Do you have the plan to arrange summit and expo in the outside of Bangladesh?
Mohiuddin Rubel: 1st of all we are branding Bangladesh to enhance its image so inviting foreign delegates to come in the exhibition. Because Bangladesh denim industry is growing at a noteworthy rate and leading the US-European market!
At 30 denim mills in Bangladesh, we are currently producing 150 million yards of fabric a month. The expo is a new comprehensive showcase of the entire denim value chain: fabric-finishes-washes-accessories in Bangladesh.
A great number of visitors from the local and international arena attended the event. But arranging the same summit and expo outside of Bangladesh will be hugely expensive and our local visitors also cannot attend because of the cost and for legal issues.
We have plans to showcase Bangladesh denim product to connect with the top players of denim such as brands, retailers, manufacturers, and experts in the outside of Bangladesh.
Textile Today: What is your next plan?
Mohiuddin Rubel: To promote the Bangladesh apparel industry, we want to arrange a similar event in the future also. There are some big events on the BAE calendar to be held such as Denim Expo on November 5 -6, Sustainable Apparel Forum (SAF) on November 5 of this year and Innovation week Dhaka 2020 on May 2020.
All the events will carry the message to build a more competitive, green and innovative apparel manufacturing hub in Bangladesh with digital technologies.