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“We are satisfied with the projections for the upcoming season”

Visionary leader Mirza Shams Mahmud Shakti has been successfully leading SM Sourcing which is a 100% export-oriented garment manufacturing company. Established in 2013 with a vision to contribute in the growth trend of Bangladesh apparel industry.

Recently Mirza Shams Mahmud Shakti, CEO, SM Sourcing shared his vision and strategies to overcome this troublesome COVID-19 pandemic situation with Textile Today.

Mirza-Shams-Mahmud-Shakti-SM-Sourcing
Figure: Mirza Shams Mahmud Shakti, CEO, SM Sourcing.

Textile Today: We are passing highly uncertain times with internal changes, external regulations and market fluctuations. How is your company tackling this situation?

Mirza Shams Mahmud Shakti:  Since the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak began in China at the end of 2019, its impact has been felt across the global apparel and textile sector. But we at SM, are an extremely resilient bunch and we realized that now is the time for us all to work closely together to support and sustain each other.

The power of our individual and collective actions, and the support and compassion we show to each other, offers our company a unique advantage as we deal with this unprecedented situation. We have decided to tackle this situation by implementing technological change, improving working conditions beyond what is established by the local law, redefining the power relationships with our buyers and setting the examples for others to follow.

Textile Today: What types of products are you making? What are the new product ranges you are working with? Or is there any plan for going to a new product range? What should be the consideration to start any new product range?

Mirza Shams Mahmud Shakti:  We specialize in all kinds of knit products for our mostly Europe based buyers. We plan to continue our work as a one-stop solution for all kinds of knit products, from idea conceptualization to final product manufacturing.

The difficulty of receiving payments through International Online Platforms created a big hindrance for Bangladeshi entrepreneurs.

The new fashion retail landscape emerging in the post-COVID-19 pandemic is already leading to dramatic and permanent changes. So it is important to consider producing right product for making sure better value for money for the customers. Manufacturers should elaborate on a new type of costing to internalize the externalities produced along the supply chain.

Also, research is ramping up around the world to develop new technologies that tap into the growing demand for antimicrobial, virus and bacteria-killing fibers and fabrics generated by the pandemic.

Textile Today: How does the order cancellation or suspension impact your business? How is the recent order flow going on? Do you have enough orders for upcoming new seasons?

Mirza Shams Mahmud Shakti:  SM Sourcing, like others, has suffered because of the initial cancellation and suspension of orders. But thanks to the Almighty, the sheer determination and forthrightness of our team, we managed to overcome those difficulties.

We are already back in doing what we do best, which is to manufacture quality products for our buyers. The order flow is back to almost normal and we are satisfied with the projections for the upcoming season as well.

Textile Today: Many industry experts are encouraging online marketing through international online platforms like Alibaba, Amazon, etc. How do you see the scope of utilizing a digital platform as a new marketing strategy?

Mirza Shams Mahmud Shakti: To be honest, utilizing International Online Platforms like Alibaba, Amazon etc. is not a new marketing strategy. It is also true that Bangladesh has not been able to rip the benefits as much as some of our competitor countries.

But that is largely due to a couple of factors, including the difficulty of receiving payments through these platforms, which mostly works with escrow systems, which is not available at the moment in our country. And also, unfortunately, because of some past incidents, our businessmen do not enjoy a very good reputation when it comes to being dependable and trustworthy.

This is a big hindrance when it comes to getting large orders from international buyers. But if these two issues along with some other minor issues are properly tackled.

We should also concentrate on building up on the consumers’ sentiments and preferences on e-commerce and take advantage to build warehousing facilities in the main markets’ hubs and domestically, making use of the existing stocked amount of garment products.

Make the supply chain more transparent and efficient by investing in digitalized systems to better monitor the seasonal variation in production and track and trace practices along the supply chain.

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