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“We should plan smartly to face the pandemic coronavirus”

Shangu Tex Ltd is one of the pioneer companies in woven garments manufacturing in Bangladesh established by M. A. Mannan (1967 – 2010), late Chairman of Shangu Tex Ltd. He started this company with a vision in 2001. After his death, Mrs. Hasina Mannan took the reins of the company and built upon Mr. Mannan’s legacy. Now Maheer Mannan, the son of M.A. Mannan has been leading the company from the front successfully as Deputy Managing Director. Recently Textile Today FT Team had an exclusive interview with him.

Maheer-Mannan-Shangu-Tex-Ltd.
Figure: Maheer Mannan, Deputy Managing Director, Shangu Tex Ltd.

Textile Today: Global business is right now a bit unstable for the Coronavirus outbreak, how is your company considering this situation?

Maheer Mannan: The world is experiencing a pandemic virus which is very new for all of us. The whole world economy has been slowed down. Economic and manufacturing giant country China first experienced the terrible situation and now it is everywhere!

In the first phase of this global situation, we have survived quite well. As a company, we have shipped our fabrics and other raw materials from China before the Chinese New Year. We are also sourcing locally and from Indonesia, trying to source from India, Pakistan, Turkey etc. for the new orders. But it is still difficult for the industry because we source mainly from China and let’s see what’s the situation coming next. We should plan smartly to face this pandemic.

Textile Today: Bangladesh is still lagging in woven sector’s backward linkage supply chain, how it can be mitigated?

Maheer Mannan: When we talk about denim and knitting, we have surpassed the world already. But still, we are lagging in the weaving sector and this is an infant industry considering others. Maybe we don’t have enough expertise in this sector but we can build. We also have to keep in mind the cost-effectiveness.

The same fabric we procure from China with say 95cents, but it is 1.30 dollars here in Bangladesh. Buyers always try to squeeze the price and literally they do. So, we should be more careful in raw material sourcing, manufacturing cost and other factors to be cost-effective. At the same time, our owners should balance in investing. Because we should have the capacity in all sectors.

Textile Today: Why woven sector is not growing much compare to knit sector? What are the main obstacles and way-outs?

Maheer Mannan: My straight answer is knit fabric is easier to manufacture than woven fabrics. Another major cause is knit fabric can be rectified, if there are any problems but woven is more delicate to produce. Here, risk factors are more acute and that’s why entrepreneurs don’t feel confident to invest.

We are also doing knitted garments from the beginning and that gives us much more confidence and definitely, our expertise also has grown up in this sector. In terms of revenue, from woven garments, we can make double or triple revenue. Before that, we have to make ourselves ready. If we don’t try, we cannot gain expertise. If we want to fetch more value-added buyers, we have to make ready and smooth our woven sector supply chain. We should not rely much on other countries.

Textile Today: Shangu Tex Ltd is doing business successfully for more than 17 years, what are the growth plan of Shangu Tex in the next 10 years?

Maheer Mannan: As a company, we believe in diversification. Though we do woven tops mainly, but we want to put eggs in different baskets as the plan of a sustainable business model. We do not plan just staying in the woven sector or we are not planning to go in knits. What we are planning is to do the big value addition garments in the garments industry.

From last year we are manufacturing swimwear for an American brand. In Bangladesh there are not more than 7-8 factories producing swimwear, here we are seeing the opportunity. We have the plan to diversify our product ranges so that we can offer a buyer whatever they need. That is why we are expanding our capacity; within the next few years we want to have more than 50 lines and also our team is very enthusiastic and eager to learn.

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