Team Group is a diversified business conglomerate vertically integrated textile and apparel manufacturing facility. It has now concerns in Knit, Woven, Sweater, Shirts and Blouses, Denims, Jackets, Trims, Pharmaceuticals and retails. The group is supporting the medical professionals, staffs and others by giving free personal protective equipment (PPE) and hand sanitizers in the global crisis moment.
Recently Abdullah Hil Rakib, Managing Director of Team Group gave an interview where he talked about the recent circumstances of the industry and the future business opportunity.
Textile Today: Team Group always comes forward for social welfare. Recently Team Group has distributed PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) and hand sanitizers among the doctors and nurses in 154 hospitals to fight the fatal COVID-19 virus. We welcome your such support. Do you have any further planning to provide more support to tackle the pandemic?
Abdullah Hil Rakib: Thank you, actually we feel responsibility to our peoples, society and the country. The whole world is suffering, that’s why we have taken the initiative to distribute the PPE and sanitizers among the doctors and nurses in 154 hospitals, especially at upazila level health complexes to help them carry out their professional duties with safety and fight the fatal COVID-19 virus.
We will continue this as long as we have raw materials and we will try to manage more.
Textile Today: The Coronavirus affected apparel factories can avail funds from the government bailout package of Tk 5000 crore at 2% interest to pay their workers’ salaries for up to three months. How do you see the package? Does the package fulfill exporters’ expectation? How it could be better?
Abdullah Hil Rakib: Initially it was not clear whether it is motivational fund or anything else. Later we got understand that it is low interest loan and this is also appreciable in this crisis moment. But three months is very short, if it is 6 to 8 months then it will be more helpful for all. Because, initially it was thought that this pandemic will be under control soon and the industry will move normally in three months, but IMF and McKinsey reports warning that global economy can’t turn back at least before 9 months.
Those factories lost their orders, those who stored raw materials they are already suffering and will suffer till the next season. So, if the government relax the loan payback period, we may survive in 2021.
Of course, Alibaba, Amazon, eBay, etc. e-commerce companies have created an opportunity for us. These platforms can connect us with the international buyers easily, can reduce our travel costs, establish the digital communication modes among us. As a whole, this will reduce our operational costs and hopefully these e-commerce platforms will bring a new dimension in business for us.
Textile Today: When all the traditional marketing ways are almost stopped, in this scenario, how do you see the scopes of alternative marketing i.e. utilizing established platform like Alibaba?
Abdullah Hil Rakib: COVID-19 absolutely will bring a 180-degree shift in terms of thinking, strategy of business, in terms of marketing, in terms of going more digital etc. Like we are now doing office from home and this is totally a new experience for the world. If we can gain efficiency here, we can extend our managerial supports to the staffs.
So, crisis can create opportunity. It also helping people to think over to be more sustainable in all aspects of life and peoples are getting more sensible to the environment also. This thinking process will change the attitude of customers about us because Bangladesh have most green factories.
Of course, Alibaba, Amazon, eBay etc. e-commerce companies have created opportunity for us. These platforms can connect us with the international buyers easily, can reduce our travel costs, establish the digital communication modes among us. As a whole this will reduce our operational costs and hopefully this e-commerce platforms will bring a new dimension in business for us.
Textile Today: What should be our industry strategies to build a sustainable industry after the pandemic?
Abdullah Hil Rakib: I think, those who will survive 2020 and 2021 then we will experience a balanced environment of business and the growth will be sustainable also. After the pandemic, the pattern of the business will be more agile and smooth. And the ‘sustainability’ will play a massive role.
Like we say responsible price, responsible wages, living wages etc. Those who will communicate these with others, can brand themselves will get ease in business and will sustain for long time.