Laila Group is one of the major garment manufacturers in Bangladesh. Md. Imranur Rahman, Managing Director, Laila Group has been leading the company very successfully. In a current discussion with Textile Today, he shared the backstage story of the success.
Textile Today: We know that you have started business successfully in the textile industry for a long time with your father’s guidance. Please share about yourself and your success story.
Imranur Rahman: I have completed my graduation in Business Administration from California State University and MSc. in Marketing Management from the University of Luton, Bedfordshire, UK. Then I came back to Bangladesh. After coming here in Bangladesh, I didn’t join my family business at Sterling Group. As my father Mr. Siddiqur Rahman, former President of BGMEA and Chairman of Sterling Group, always inspired me to do something innovative on my own.
My father’s mantra was not to join in a well-set company but to take up some challenging role in a new set up and try to shine.
Inspired by my father and completely under his guidance, I started my journey in Bangladesh RMG sector back in 2005 with Bando Design, today it’s a 22 lines woven factory with 3000 workers. I tried to learn and involve myself from the construction until it was fully operational. In the same way, I had started our LEED GOLD certified factory Laila Styles from construction to operation.
I feel that I am responsible for my employees. I have always seen my employees as my extended family. And it is my utmost concern to ensure their wellbeing and sustenance. As a Managing Director, I am always available to my workers. I make sure I am beside them at any given point of time to hear from them and especially from the female workers. So, the exemplary working environment prevails in my factories.
|Laila Styles Ltd. at a glance|
|Production facility||389803 sq. ft.|
|Production capacity||1.3 million pcs/month|
|Product mix||Casual Trousers, Shorts, Skirts, Denim Trousers, Swim Shorts, Nightwear, Dungarees.|
|Buyers||H&M, MATALAN, C&A|
|Certifications||LEED Gold (USGBC)|
Textile Today: Why did you choose this business track and how are you surviving this business?
Imranur Rahman: For me, everything was set in the Sterling Group – my family business. So, there was no challenge for me. And with ‘Bando Design’ I got the opportunity to start from zero and try to learn as much as possible. I was involved with every process of the factory with a very dedicated team; most of them are still with us.
Although the mainstream textile and RMG industry is not based in Europe or the USA. Still, there are lots of top-notch textile and garments factories available in the first world countries. With keeping that in mind, I just hope even when the number of garments factories will decrease in Bangladesh, this factory ‘Laila Styles’ will remain with the other great factories in Bangladesh for a very long time.
Yes, it is extremely challenging to survive in this sector. And especially, after the Rana Plaza incident, the entrepreneurs had to work really hard to facelift the reputation of Bangladesh textile and garments industry.
Our owners always give more than 100% dedication to improve steadily for the betterment of the business. Even the buyer, who came today in my factory from the US said, she didn’t feel that she is standing inside a Bangladeshi factory and I feel proud that lots of garment factories in Bangladesh today has achieved this kind of amazing reputation.
Textile Today: Recently government declared the new budget for 2019-20 fiscal year and RMG exporters got 1% cash incentive. What is your comment about this?
Imranur Rahman: See, after every wage increment – last year, and also 5 years ago – buyers increased some price in that particular season. And next season onwards back to previous low price or less! And it is getting tougher day by day. Surprisingly we are only surviving with passion and dedication for the industry.
As a country, we are lacking in key areas like highways, port, etc. The government is improving necessary services like developing highways, reducing port congestions, etc. On the contrary, we are yet to have a deep sea port, also struggling to provide electricity constantly, which is a basic prerequisite for industrialization. These obstacles and challenges should be overcome by the government in the long run.
This year the government is providing an export cash incentive to RMG exporters, but this is not sufficient. As the apparel prices are shrinking day by day. To sustain in today’s challenging textile and apparel industry, entrepreneurs need more support from our government. Also, it is vital for the government to bail out any industry.
Another vital point is the dollar rate. BDT is much more devalued compared to Indian Rupee or Pakistani Rupees against USD, which is a big concern for the export-oriented industry.
In neighboring India, Cambodia, Vietnam and other countries government give free lands for setting up factories, bank loan with the lowest bank interest rate and other benefits to provide a business-friendly condition. Without these grounds from our government, the future of this industry will be bleak and new entrepreneurs will not feel confident to invest here.
Textile Today: You are a football lover we all know that…
Imranur Rahman: Well (with a smile)! I am involved in football for a long time. I am very passionate about the sport. My wife Samira Alam is my inspiration to play football and my children are the reason, even at this age, I continue to play.
Our company’s football team has participated in various national and international corporate events. In these events, Bando Design by Laila Group draws high-level of love and respect.
And behind our success story my executives – we are playing together for a long time – Mubarak, Mamun, Mridul, Shakil, Rony, Rajib have immense contributions. For the last 7 years, we have been playing corporate football, and out of 25 tournaments, we have reached 23 finals, which shows the dedication and hard work of the team members. I am proud of my colleagues on and off the field.