Finding new buyers or suppliers in the readymade garment industry is a daunting task. This is even more difficult for small businesses. However, to change that situation, Merchant Bay has made arrangements to bring buyers and sellers under one roof with the help of information technology. Bangladeshi factories connected to the platform will be able to find domestic and foreign buyers online. Buyers can also order online if they want.
Merchant Bay has been launched at the initiative of Sayem Group, which has been involved in garment exports for over 20 years. So far, 1,170 garment and textile suppliers have joined the Bitubi platform from which 700 are garment factories and the rest are textile and equipment manufacturing factories and wholesalers. On the other hand, thousands of local and foreign brands and buyers are being contacted. They have already been added300 organizations.
Abrar Hossain, Managing Director of Merchant Bay, said the type of business of buyers and brands has been changing over the years. Fashion is rapidly changing due to innovations. Buyers are likely to call everyone who looks appropriate if there are only a few. In this case, having a profile of the supplier on the digital platform is helpful to get the buyer.
The Merchant Bay website contains detailed information, including a profile of the supplier, as well as pictures of several products. This will allow the buyers to easily find their desired suppliers. If the buyer wants, he can place a purchase order directly through the platform. There is also an opportunity to place orders through the Merchant Bay Authority. In this case, the company will act as a buyer like a buying house.
Merchant Bay debuted last month after working with that idea for a year. To join the platform, suppliers and buyers have to register online for free. Afterward, the staff of Merchant Bay will check and select them and will give them final approval to use their platform. If you are a verified supplier, then you have to pay annually 20 thousand Taka.
Many of the big buyers of readymade garments and brands have their offices in Dhaka. They complete all the processes starting from placing direct purchase orders. As a result, in response to the question of whether the purchase orders of big buyers and brands will be available on the online platform.
Abrar Hossain said, even if they do not place a purchase order, they will have the opportunity to check the price of clothes and equipment online. This will increase the chances of getting a purchase order in a competitive market.
The number of small and medium factories is the highest in the garment industry in Bangladesh. On the other hand, many small foreign buyers are ordering the production of 500 to 2,000 pieces of clothing. However, even with good prices, it is often difficult to find the desired supplier. Abrar Hossain commented that to get that purchase order Bay will play a big role.
International buying and selling using the Merchant Bay platform have not yet begun. Over the next year, they will focus on building trust between buyers and sellers.
Abrar Hossain, Managing Director of Merchant Bay is working not only with foreign but also with domestic buyers. For them, wholesale market traders like Islampur in old Dhaka are also joining the new platform. Local buyers and sellers have already started trading through Merchant Bay.
Although it is currently working with suppliers and buyers in the garment industry, Merchant Bay will work with entrepreneurs in various sectors including jute, leather and shoes in the future.
Also, the company will provide various digital services to increase production capacity and improve the management of the factory.
Abrar Hossain said international buying and selling has not started yet using the Merchant Bay platform. Over the next year, they will focus on building trust between buyers and sellers. Strict supervision is also in place to ensure that no party is deceived.