Robintex Group, a Germany-Bangladesh Joint venture, is a globally renowned company for its continual accomplishment in exporting quality knit apparel to the international markets from its establishment in 1996. Since its inception, ethical practices along with industrial and social compliances have united Robintex with its employees and the local as well as international communities in excellent harmony.
The thorny journey smoothly underwent due to one man’s vision to make a sustainable textile and apparel industry. Sakhawat Abu Khair Mohammed, the Managing Director of Robintex Group has made this seemingly impossible journey possible with his visionary leadership.
Recently, Sakhawat Abu Khair Mohammed shared his insights, plan, and vision with Textile Today also shared details on their recently installed state-of-the-art MS LaRio. Here are the key highlights of the discussion for the readers.
Textile Today: How Robintex Group successfully blends western and oriental industrial aspects. What is the driving factor behind this?
Sakhawat Abu Khair Mohammed: Understanding the market demand, I invested in knitting and dyeing set up on a small scale back in 1995 with the high-end German technologies – I have never compromised with quality. At that time, there were no capable human resources to accomplish those delicate technologies.
I have always kept the environment in my mind in every aspect. Robintex signified the sustainability and environment first in the investment decision as I was akin to the German industry for a long time. Back in 1996, when I started the factory, I installed an ETP when it was unthinkable.
Instead of setting up conventional dyeing, we set up CPB (Cold Pad Batch) for continuous bleaching and dyeing of knit fabric. The CPB was 30% cost saving to chemical, energy and water consumption altogether. It also offered us salt-free dyeing that was environmentally friendly.
Besides the world-leading machinery, technology and expertise from Germany, the USA, UK, Japan, Switzerland, Australia, Italy, Singapore and India, Robintex has been resolutely shaped to qualify to be a full-fledged vertically integrated composite knit premise.
Now today, we have come this far with [around] 12000 skilled workforce members are working in a model environment to produce about 0.1 million pieces of high-quality and diverse types of knit garments every day.
Textile Today: Robintex Group has recently installed the state-of-the-art MS LaRio, the first and fastest ever single-pass digital printing machine in the world. Can you say something about its pros and cons?
Sakhawat Abu Khair Mohammed: MS LaRio is the first and fastest ever single-pass digital printing machine in the world to rule the arena of AOP printing. In Robintex, we already have enough printing machines to fully serve our customers, and the investment is huge. Besides our lead-time was 7-8 weeks. In this super-competitive apparel industry, the speedy delivery is the ultimate game-changer.
I preferred investments in state-of-the-art technology that can produce with 20-30% efficiency and can lower 20-30% production cost down.
MS LaRio cut our lead-time by 2-3 weeks. Meaning we can ship orders in orders within 4-5 week. Its super-fast production speed is vital to achieving right time delivery to our customers. In western countries, fashion trends are short-lived. Compelling fashion buyers to bring fashion items in real quick time to get the proper price.
Robintex ensured that we will deliver the right product at the right time to achieve the right price.
Also, MS LaRio’s impact on environmental sustainability is minimal. Incredibly it achieves almost zero waste. Which is the most vital factor for Robintex.
Textile Today: How long does it take to get the return from the investment in the expensive MS LaRio machine?
Sakhawat Abu Khair Mohammed: As I have said earlier, Robintex acquired this costly MS LaRio machine to achieve zero waste. As other printing methods produce a lot of hazardous waste.
So far, we are using MS LaRio’s 70% capacity. From this season onward, this mammoth investment will bear fruit. Hopefully, within one and half years we will recover the full investment.
Textile Today: Is there any new investment plan for Robintex Group in near future? In which area do you want to expand?
Sakhawat Abu Khair Mohammed: At this moment, I will not go for any new segment. We are quite content with the knitwear and printing establishments we have. But we will explore other avenues of innovation – environmental sustainability and productivity – within the existing range.
Textile Today: What strategies and techniques did Robintex Group implement during the first phase of COVID-19, and how are you handling the 2nd phase of the COVID-19 wave?
Sakhawat Abu Khair Mohammed: Since the first wave entered our country, Robintex Group has been following strict health guidelines according to the WHO, and the government’s health ministry to ensure workers’ health safety. COVID infection in our factories has been to the minimum level.
Moreover, if a worker had any medical issues, we gave full medical leave with salary. Workers’ comfort is one of our top priorities since the beginning of my business journey. As I think taking care of the workers will give me extra milage in the business. In the last 9 years, Robintex grew 3 times more.
Amid the pandemic, we have 30% more orders than the previous year. The only reason I see is that our buyers are confident about our overall business process.
Textile Today: As an innovation-centric company how will Robintex evaluate Textile Today’s innovative initiatives to transform Bangladesh’s a textile and apparel industry?
Sakhawat Abu Khair Mohammed: As an innovation platform, Textile Today has been making an amazing contribution to Bangladesh’s textile and apparel industry. Effectively and efficiently working as an ‘innovation hub’, this greatly supports, facilitates, innovates, and enhances factory suppliers, professionals, apprentices, professionals, learnings.
As you know, recently Robintex Group has come up to bring innovation in the textile and apparel industry jointly with Textile Today Innovation Hub being one of the ‘Textile Today Platinum Associates’ to foster new ideas.
Vice-versa by partnering with Robintex Group, the ‘Textile Today Innovation Hub’ will expand to a larger scale.
As a leading global textile media platform, it has been globally branding our RMG industry for the last 14 years. I highly appreciate this initiative, as the apparel manufacturers need to be heard in the international arena.
Textile Today: As an experienced industry leader what are your suggestions for the advancement of the industry?
Sakhawat Abu Khair Mohammed: We have come a long way over 40 years. Now Bangladesh’s textile and apparel industry is one of the top sustainable industries in the world. However, every day we face a lot of challenges and thankfully with the dedication of our people, we successfully deal these.
Indeed, we have not progressed much in the non-cotton segment but we are gradually overcoming it. To develop the manmade fiber section, if any foreign investor wants to invest and start manufacturing here, they are welcome.
On top of that, government support is crucial to achieving a seamless delivery of RMG. Flawless connection of power is paramount, as well as the transport system and port facilities. To put it in a nutshell, ease of doing business should not only benefit the textile and RMG but the whole economy of the country.
Textile Today: The industry leaders are underlining digital marketing. What are the best ways to go for digital marketing? As a country of bulk production, how can Bangladesh utilize the established alternative marketing platforms?
Sakhawat Abu Khair Mohammed: In this new global situation, digital presence is paramount for apparel manufacturers. Though we lag in this, it is high time that we build a strong presence in digital marketing. It can be done by going to established platforms or setting up our platforms. But this is the need of the hour.
One of the vital aspects of marketing is developing our unique fashion items. For this R&D is a prerequisite. We must have our R&D rather than the present trend of copying buyers’ designs.