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Q&A

Question of the month: December 2020

Context: 2020 was a great learning and surviving year for the whole world due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Bangladesh’s textile and garments industry also hit hard this year. Though now the situation is becoming normal as end-users accept the new normal life. Brands have started to put orders for next season a bit consciously and manufacturers are also now starting to breathe again.

Bangladesh-apparel-exports-2020
Figure: Throughout the year 2020, Bangladesh’s apparel export observed struggles as we as it is turning back to the track too while end-users accepting the new normal life- arose due to COVID-19 pandemic.

We have taken some comments from manufacturers, suppliers and brands on 2021 expectations and how the new year would be.

Engr. Md. Shafiqur Rahman CIP, President of ITET and Managing Director of HAMS Group

Shafiqur-Rahman-President-ITET

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Bangladesh’s textile and apparel industry surprisingly has performed well. We have not collapsed despite the challenges of canceled orders, delayed or discount payment, or order shortage – I will highlight the fact that local apparel entrepreneurs are really brave to take this kind of unprecedented global calamity and continued producing apparel.

Besides, the timely financial aid from the Prime Minister aided the sector immensely. And some global brands were also very responsible for the industry. Most notably, vaccine availability will certainly provide confidence among consumers.

Not to mention apparel order availability in the coming season is quite good to signify that the year 2021 will be a good one. At the same time, the coming future seems bright for the Bangladeshi textile and apparel industry.

On the bright side during the COVID-19, consumers moved toward functional fashion. Though our industry is cotton fiber centric, due to the increasing demand, started focusing on functional products. But we need to move more toward producing manmade fiber-based value-added products.

There is a shortcoming in raw materials for producing functional wear. Which we need to overcome.

Abdus Sobhan CIP, Managing Director, Auko Tex Group

Abdus-Sobhan-Auko-Tex-Group

The readymade garments industry acts as a catalyst for the development of Bangladesh. The “Made in Bangladesh” tag has also brought glory for the country, making it a prestigious brand across the globe. In Coming Year 2021, the apparel sector will continue adding fresh ideas and modules like business intelligence, state-of-the-art technology, modern management practices and production techniques. These are indeed the manifestations of its relentless efforts to the global standards what was once considered unparalleled to emulate techno-based advanced economies.

The Pandemic is affecting our Textile sector in many ways, so it’s crucially important to be continually alert in how the crisis is affecting, and how brands are behaving and maintaining legitimacy in these uncertain times.

Collaboration and Partnership is must especially in the time of Crisis and Difficulties. Though Brands have had canceled/hold the orders at the beginning of the pandemic later everything started back to normal. We are hopeful that brands will extend their support in the time of crisis and hold some liability to share profit and losses.

An organization where leadership, management and workforce do not prepare them for the unprecedented risk seriously will eventually suffer the consequences.

Our organization practices effective risk management. Throughout the year we have focused on our Partners Satisfaction. We have already modified our Method of Management -“Three Steps Management-Department Set Up Management, Pre-Start Preparatory Management and On-Line Running Management” to cope up with Increased Business Challenges in terms of Quality, On-Time Delivery, Price, Sustainability and Newness in Products, Compliance”. We are dedicated and continuously enhancing our Proficiency accordingly.

Naim Hossain Abir, Managing Director, Panama Composite Textile Mills Ltd.

Naim-Hossain-Abir-Panama-Composite-Textile-Mills-Ltd

Bangladesh garments industry is the quintessential example of a buyer-driven commodity chain. Due to the buyer-driven nature of the garment value chain and to the utilization declaration system, manufacturers make production decisions based on the export orders they receive which we have already experienced during this COVID-19 pandemic. But it is high time to define our position by our experience and capacity.

We have come into garments business from 2020 and we have divided our capacity considering the market potentiality like 40-50% capacity for value-added products. That is what all new investors should do right now to remain competitive in this critical business situation.

Additionally, I think from South Asia region should have some international brands to ensure business sustainability other than solely depending on the westerns. Hence, we all should focus on that since South Asia is moving towards becoming the center of global growth.

Many high-end buyers do not place an order here. We can focus on them as well as we should build our capacity to manufacture demand-oriented fancy items. We are doing RMG business for more than 40 years but still, we do not have a sustainable material sourcing channel. Mostly our industry depends on China which shouldn’t be.

Lastly, I would like to say that to do profitable business we should think and act faster and professionally. Otherwise, there is a risk of losing the business opportunities which are coming after all these global changes. And here a new generation in the industry can play a vital role in bridging the gap.

Md. Amanur Rahman, Managing Director, Dysin International Ltd.

Amanur Rahman-Dysin

Undoubtedly, the Covid-19 pandemic has brought new challenges for the global textile industry. Dysin Group faced the challenges–emerged during the pandemic–very smartly, also hunted opportunities lay ahead. Even during this year of Pandemic, we have invested highly in expanding our manufacturing capabilities of Textile Dyeing and Printing Auxiliaries, which are GOTS certified and ZDHC enlisted.

I think, industry professionals are well informed that the Testing and Calibration Laboratory of Dysin Group, which is accredited for ISO/IEC 17025:2005, has been enlisted by the Directorate General of Drug Administration (DGDA) for testing of personal protective equipment (PPE) products related to COVID-19. We are glad to convey our support to the industry by leveraging our expertise in chemical manufacturing. Innovative products can attain business and environmental sustainability in the coming days. We have launched highly effective, low-cost disinfectants and cleaning agents under the D-Care brand, which is a subsidiary of Dysin Group.

We earnestly believe that Bangladesh Textile Industry shall strongly grow in coming years and our efforts for local value addition through chemical manufacturing must be increased. We seek support from policymakers and stakeholders from the Industry in this endeavor.

Syed Mohammad Ismail, Country Head, Archroma (Bangladesh) Ltd.

Md-Ismail-Archroma

Business leaders should treat the problems as an opportunity to re-correct and flourish. COVID pandemic has opened such an opportunity for our Industry. We exposed ourselves towards idea generation for renovation and innovation and put those for implementation. Long overlooked performance Indicators Involving people, finance and product have been critically revisited during this time in successful organizations.

COVID crunch has helped industry leaders put proper light with innovative thought on human capital and financial capital for optimized productivity. We experienced that least CAPEX Investment and productive workforce have still delivered similar or even more in revenue facts during recent months, which is encouraging for the business competitiveness of Bangladesh.

Innovation is the key to sustainability. Innovation in terms of the product cost, product diversification with new product and new market, value addition and environmental footprint in the product life cycle will be the driving force for a successful business during 2021 and beyond.

In Archroma way we call in “Safe, Efficient and Enhanced”. Every business, every stakeholder, every function and every individual should contribute their innovative thoughts towards this direction for value addition. Like rowing upstream, we have to strive to make advances. Customer and market-centered focus will help drive unique experiences and create great products with the right value.

Will 2021 be a year that defines you, or are you going to define it? Everything changes, as we work to meet the challenges that arise. If we define it through stretching ourselves with innovative minds and see what it brings rather than what it takes away, we will lead ourselves and others onto greater achievements.

Shivam Saraf, Director, Apna Organics Pvt Ltd

Shivam-Saraf-Apna-Organics-Pvt-Ltd

COVID-19 has affected everyone somehow around the globe and it has had a majorly adverse effect on the businesses but we at Apna Organics see a major opportunity for sustainability here.

Due to the shortage of pumice stones, there has been a significant demand for our Stone-Free enzyme in liquid (DENZYOL – NCLT and DENZYOL- SFE) that can be used in spray or Nano-bubble technology. Customers are now willing to try non-conventional products, which were not possible before. Also, there has been a significant push from the buyers as well, who want to introduce their sustainable products around the world which indirectly will allow us to reduce cost of these expensive processes by achieving economies of scale. I do believe that the future will be of amalgamation of technical textile with fashion garments.

Engr. A.S.M. Haider, Chairman, Euro Group, (Local representative of Trutzschler)

Haider-Chairman-Euro-Group

“We have to live with it” is the reality of today. “We have to technologically upgrade ourselves instead of cost-cutting” is the principle of Truetzschler.

These two statements complement each other and that exactly sets the way forward for us. Truetzschler is the only back process manufacturing company in Europe (Germany), which is striving towards excellence and always sets the benchmark emulating its own. The company has already introduced artificial intelligence, distance monitoring and controlling of machines and self-optimization of machines reducing human interference with absolute precision level.

Of course, these developments which were highly appreciated by the market was innovated and introduced in ITMA 2019, but Corona 2020 perhaps just needed this automation. This is perhaps why in Bangladesh Truetzschler catered nearly 100% of the market share of 129 TC19 cards.

The world is returning to its pace catalyzed with several factors like a vaccine, global political stability and learning to live with “new normal” leading to confidence in investors and buyers which reflects in Dow Jones, S&P, Hangseng, etc. Bangladesh with no exception is also blessed with the RMG market share that improved yarn price to almost 50 cents per kg. But to support that “V” turn, we need technological developments which help to implement the “Non-Pharmaceutical Approach” that many countries have realized lately, as the only way for sustainability.

The research and developments of Truetzschler machinery are made exactly in that direction. Corona taught us to embrace technology that leads to a long term price-performance ratio and not just shrinking initial investment. Let us replace the 3 words “Cheap”, “Cheap” and “Cheap” with “Productivity”, “Efficiency” and “Automation”.

Biswajit Banik, Senior Country Manager (Bangladesh), Nicca Chemical Co., Ltd.

 

The virus word “CORONA” can be taken

as below:

Creating

Opportunity for a

Realistic and

Optimistic

New

Atmosphere in 2021 and the years ahead.

Biswajit-Banik-Nicca-Chemical-Co-Ltd

We do think that our industries as well as we as a company have learned a lot during this turmoil period of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020. And those devastating impact alongside learning and implementation of planned actions will take us forward in 2021.

The experts’ assumption tells the RMG industry in Bangladesh will have double digit growth (YoY) in 2021 though there are some challenges related to containers and vessel shortages. Our new approach of EHD (Environment, Health and Digital) will help us in bringing more sustainable chemicals for the textile industries and we look forward to serving the increased special finishing demand in the Bangladesh market.

During this pandemic time, we stayed beside our customers and our customers are all along supporting us. This togetherness has given us newfound strength and resilience to fight against any unwanted situation.

Shafiur Rahman, Regional Operations Manager, G-Star Raw

Shafiur-Rahman-G-Star-Raw

COVID-19 crisis is a humanitarian disaster affecting all living beings differently. So, all businesses are also affected either positively or negatively. Though COVID-19 has worked as a catalyst to think differently but also worked as a catalyst of global economic downtrend & the fashion industry suffering its worst the year 2020. To survive in the future – the industry should prioritize short terms planning along with long-term goals.

Short-term planning will play vital roles soon along with technological adaptation from the ground to end consumer as technology can be the best friend to increase efficiency. But surely the right technology, not any technology. Means frequent strategy review and change management will help to perform better

Probably business will be more stable by mid or end of 2021 if no major side effect of vaccine and new COVID wave. The demand for a more sustainable product, real sustainable products will accelerate as well as purposeful products will lead the future business.

More than ever, consumers will favor products/brands with a purpose, and sustainability will become a minimum requirement & who operate in ways that are environmentally and socially responsible like G-Star Raw.

Probably global apparel business volume in 2021 will be as closer to 2020 & less chance of increasing. But product wise business volume will surely fluctuate like the demand for casual wear will be more than formal wear.

Kazy Mohammad Iqbal Hossain, South Asia Regional Sustainability Manager, Lindex

Kazy-Iqbal-Hossain-Lindex

We, every citizen in the world are passing a very challenging time now. The global outbreak of the disease due to the COVID-19 virus changed the landscape of business all over the world. Right now, all business entities are looking forward to overcoming this critical time and secure future business. Lindex has a global fashion brand is on the same page.

As a company, we are very much looking forward to a good time in 2021. We already set our strategy to face the upcoming challenges as well as to secure ourselves in the future in case of a similar situation. In our language, we called it as future-proofing of business.

Our main strategies for 2021 would be more digital business expansion, produce products in a more sustainable way and of course to be more closure for our customers. In general, we do not see any changes in the product range in 2021 rather as we aimed to be more digital, more demand for quick product delivery may require for which we expect our business partners would be more flexible in all cases.

For example, instead of big volume orders more small orders may come. It is not easy to forecast the order volume in 2021, however as mentioned earlier like every other business entity, we are aiming to recover ourselves, so overall order volume may increase in 2021.

If anyone has any feedback or input regarding the published news, please contact: info@textiletoday.com.bd

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