Silver Line Group is the largest conglomerate in the textile and apparel sector in Bangladesh. The Spinning unit of Silver Line Group began operations in 2004. Since its inception, it has been successful in its production and delivery of high quality 100% cotton yarns. The company has also been successful in the export-oriented knit fabrics and apparel units.
In 2013, the company was able to leap forward by vertically integrating into fabric and garment manufacturing. By doing this, the company has managed to become a world leader in the business of manufacturing high-quality garments. To shade more light into his ambitions and goals, recently Samit Hassan, Director of Silver Line Group, shared his views to Textile Today.
Textile Today: How did you prepare yourself for the textile and RMG sector?
Samit Hassan: My dad was the owner of a textile company. He used to send me to the factory and help out in a few things so that I can gain experience and learn from the grass-root when I was the age of 17. Slowly I learned to deal with machines and interact with other workers. That is how I was able to gain experience and managed to become a leader who can run the show. I normally go to the factory to oversee things and have meetings in the conference room. Whenever we have a staff meeting or brainstorming on a particular niche, I encourage everyone to participate. Every idea, suggestion or opinion is essential, that is why I encourage everyone present in the meeting to share their views. I also like to listen to other workers as it can give me a comprehensive picture.
Textile Today: How do you see the importance of R&D in the textile sector?
Samit Hassan: Research and Development (R&D) is key to the development of any company. Without R&D, the textile and apparel industry cannot progress or grow at a good pace. If the textile sector fails to undertake R&D and product development, then it may fail to offer and come up with new products and ideas in the market. With research and development, the textile will be able to avoid any new surprises that may be presented with different sectors. I am always looking for what the end consumers want, what difference we can offer to the fashion market. Because if you cannot satisfy your market or the customers, then you cannot sell your products. Everyone will not wear the 40*40 cotton poplin forever. You need to create value-added products.
How long will you sell the basic things and move along? If you are not willing to take the risk of stepping out and trying to invest in something that you believe in, you are not good enough.
Textile Today: How do you see the second generation who are involved in this industry?
Samit Hassan: There might be some difference in the mind-set among different generations, but the era has also been changed. The challenges we face today are multi-pronged, global, and competitive that have intensified many folds. We are learning and willing to learn to deal with different challenges. We are willing to hear things first and then make a holistic decision. There is a stigma that MD’s son has abruptly become the director.
But it is not so easy. If a leader fails to do the groundwork first, the workers will not follow him. Working with your team to solve issues is the ultimate goal. Top level management needs to talk tothe people who are working from ground zero to learn from them. This humble mindset will be an additional strength rather than a threat.
Textile Today: What is your plan for the next five years with the Silver Line group?
Samit Hassan: We will soon go for a washing plant on a huge scale. We are expanding our garments into bottom categories. Now we only produce tops and zippers/slippers; still, we do not produce bottom categories. But our line is getting expanded. In a couple of months, it will be up and running. We will also try to get into the market of jackets like light wear, medium-heavy jackets, etc. Our current production is 1,200,000 per day. Within the next five years, we will increase about a hundred more looms. Our new spinning is coming up for high-quality yarn like the 40s, 50s, 60s, 80s, 120 double, 120 single, etc. Also, we are adding ten to twenty thousand more spindles.
In total, we will have around 50,000 spindles, and we are making it fully automated. So, the manpower will be less. We are renovating the whole spinning mill, and we are making it completely new. So, the structure will be there. But all the machinery from blow room to finishing will be a hundred percent automated. We have expanded our yarn dyeing sector. We have added other 18-color regions and digital rotary printing. We have also added a new center in the finishing. We also added one more yarn dyeing machine in the weaving preparatory stage. We have five warping machines, of them, four are from Karl Mayer. In our company, we are using a hundred percent branded machine not to compromise with the quality. You cannot compare our finishing with any finishing floor in Bangladesh and that I can guarantee you.
Textile Today: As you have a vertical set-up, what are your challenges?
Samit Hassan: Now the buyers want vertical set-up along with having our design studio. That is where I see we can prove ourselves compared to other apparel manufacturing nations. When I think about challenges, I keep on asking myself what is next. What will the next fashion trend be? Will the old 90’s things come in the future?
We at Silver Line left no stone unturned. From silk to hemp fibers, we are always up for the challenges. To run hemp fiber in a regular production line is nearly impossible. But we are the first company to develop hemp in a factory like that. We are also diversified our product basket. Cause at the end of the day, making value-added products is the need of the hour.
Textile Today: You are a young entrepreneur. What is your suggestion for the new entrepreneurs who want to come to the industry?
Samit Hassan: I will say to the young generation that we have to learn to be humble and work from ground zero to learn to deal and take on challenges. Building relationships with employees/workers is essential. In this regard, entrepreneurs need to listen to people. You have to be a friend to your people. The person who wants to cope with this business, they have to take things seriously, they have to respect their people, no matter who they are.
Textile Today: How do you see the impact of Coronavirus in the Bangladesh textile and apparel industry?
Samit Hassan: Currently, it is a danger, but the Coronavirus will not stay for long. Bangladesh textile is becoming big, as China is shutting down its textile factories. China wants to go to the tech industries. Orders are moving to Bangladesh; however, there are lots of challenges as the global apparel market is also shrinking due to the Coronavirus. But we have to work together to tackle this global human health challenge.
Textile Today: How are buyers changing in the textile and apparel industry?
Samit Hassan: Recently, we have experienced a surge in the number of buyers that want us to mass produce their orders. Besides, the clients are now requesting that we bring them designs so that they can remain trendy and fashionable. For this reason, my company has to multitask, which is something we had not expected in the Bangladeshi textile industry.
Textile Today: How did you receive this demand, and how did you manage to address it?
Samit Hassan: We are always up to the task, and I am always optimistic about any challenge or issue; therefore, I did not panic. Such greed makes me crave more for knowledge. Such demands from the customers push me to bring better designs and also allows me to push them so that together we can push the trends to the people. Also, I have learned from my marketing team is to never say “No”, because once you say “No”, you are transferring your negativity to your buyers and you end all possibility of a deal.
Textile Today: What are your last words?
Samit Hassan: I would like to tell the young people who are aspiring to become a businessman to not fear the failure. As Winston Churchill said, “Success is not final; failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”