Engr. Md. Aminul Islam is a versatile and visionary leader. He has been serving as the President (for 2nd time in a row) Association of Textile Engineers & Technologists (ATET). At the same time, Engr. Md. Aminul Islam is the Managing Director of Dara Technology (BD) Limited. And A.T.I Corporation.
He has vast working experience in different textile factories and educational institutes.
Recently Textile Today team talked with Aminul Islam. Some of the key discussion has been published for the readers.
Textile Today: Share us about your company A.T.I Corporation its journey, recent status, challenges etc.
Engr. Md. Aminul Islam: A.T.I Corporation has transformed itself into a group of companies – with 5 sister companies. And the company is well-known for reliable machinery, garment equipment and textile testing equipment supplier in Bangladesh.
A.T.I Corporation focuses on innovation utilizing continual research and development of advanced engineering equipment solutions, ensuring not only meet but exceed the demands of our rapidly changing market.
Since 2006, the company has been serving to make the latest technology easily accessible within the express time and at the same time, the company wants to be the best option available in the market.
Nowadays, A.T.I is a recognized and lauded leader in the solutions that we provide and we have spearheaded the technologies that drive the country forward. Now A.T.I Corporation is a recognized and lauded leader in the solutions that we provide and we have spearheaded the technologies that drive the country forward., A.T.I Corporation is committed to working effectively to provide unparalleled after-sales support and services to our clients.
Talking about the challenges, undoubtedly it is the recent US dollar and the massive fluctuation against BDT that is the main crisis. For instance, we open a letter of credit (LC) in a fixed BDT – say, Tk95 against per dollar – but when we are converting it into USD, we find that the dollar rate has gone to Tk110. This is a choking situation for businesses like us. And if this scenario does not end right now then we will perish.
Textile Today: A.T.I Corporation is an importer and supplier of different technologies. Do you think Bangladesh can develop such machineries and technologies by its own? Do you have any plan to invest in developing this type of technology in Bangladesh?
Engr. Md. Aminul Islam: A.T.I Corporation has supplied laboratory testing equipment for textiles. We are also a sole distributor of a Türkiysh company. Other than that we import all types of textile supplying laboratory testing equipment and machinery from Italy, Germany, the USA, Taiwan, India, etc. countries.
Our customers are mainly the textile factories and most of the public and private universities, research institutes, testing labs, etc. Besides, A.T.I Corporation is also providing the clients’ ToT for better service. Here I want to add that recently we have supplied Bangladesh University of Textiles (BUTEX) with state-of-the-art lab equipment. For the last 16 years, we have been serving our clients with distinction.
In addition, I want to proudly share that we have designed and supplied all types of laboratory testing equipment’s and machinery to 9 marine institutes – including 5 diploma institutes and 4 marine academies – in the country.
A.T.I Corporation always brings in the latest and best equipment which in turn is transforming our textile sector and the institutions in a 360° way.
Textile Today: Is there any plan to build a manufacturing plant in Bangladesh instead of importing? There is a reserved mindset among some portion of the local community regarding locally made technologies – how can A.T.I overcome this?
Engr. Md. Aminul Islam: A.T.I Corporation has a well-underway plan to start building a manufacturing plant here. We are in the R&D phase.
As we all know that initiating manufacturing requires ensuring a lot of elements. For instance, an uninterrupted supply of raw materials is the main challenge. At the same time, this testing equipment needs top-notch software. Developing these here has some challenges.
We are on the right track and we will be able to provide complete support to the industry, and academia alike.
As for the reserve mindset – I will remind you that when the country started apparel export, the same mindset was there. But over the years, we have banished all these negativities. I will express the same here. And just like chemical manufacturing – lab testing equipment manufacturing is also a highly prospective sector for Bangladesh. As the country is setting up a high standard in quality and sustainability. So, developing lab testing equipment sectors will be paramount in the unstable global scenario and gain the edge. On top of that, it will save our valuable foreign currency reserve.
Overall, A.T.I wants to be the pioneer in making lab testing equipment.
Textile Today: ATET has been working to develop the skillset of Bangladesh’s textile engineer. When ATET has reached its 13th anniversary in 2022, how do you evaluate its goal? Has it been successful to transform Bangladesh’s textile engineers’ skillset?
Engr. Md. Aminul Islam: I want to express my gratitude to the wider textile community for electing me as the second-time President of ATET. ATET is a national association for the Textile Engineers and Technologists of Bangladesh. ATET has been working for the progress of the Textile Engineers who are the core of the Textile Industry since 2012.
As for setting its future goal, our main aim is to develop the skills of new textile engineers by establishing a training institute. As the international textile industry demands skilled engineers. ATET has an extensive array of experienced leaders who can develop newcomers with practical knowledge in a short course. It will make getting jobs easier.
We have almost 20,000 general members. ATET is trying its utmost to make the textile communities’ life easy. During the COVID-19 pandemic time, ATET as an organization worked hard to minimize the impact by arranging jobs and other social activities for a good number of workers and engineers. We also provide other assistance like medical aid to sick engineers, legal aid and other social activities.
Textile Today: According to some studies, foreign employees are still dominating our textile and apparel sectors holding a significant number of top level positions. We see foreign employees are not better than Bangladeshi employees in terms of technical skills, rather they are better in soft skills like communication, leadership, negotiation/bargaining etc. Can you please share your observation regarding this?
Engr. Md. Aminul Islam: Yes, in the earlier stages, a lot of foreigners – especially from India and Sri Lanka – have come into the textile and apparel (T&A) industry. But the scenario has changed. Now we have a skilled workforce and midlevel management. Because of these foreigners, our textile engineers are deprived of getting a proper job. And the media should highlight these.
Also, these foreigners are taking away huge amounts of foreign currency from the country without paying taxes – as they do not show their real salary – rather they only show 60% to 70% of their salary. This is a sorry state and the govt. must take a prompt step in this regard. Also, our mid to top level managements should improve their skills regarding communication, leadership, negotiation/bargaining etc.
Textile Today: Please mention some positive business aspects what you see for Bangladesh textile and apparel sector?
Engr. Md. Aminul Islam: Almost all the raw materials prices we import have gone up significantly. Also, the shipment cost has steeply increased. The US dollar is unstable. Despite all these, the Bangladesh T&A industry is a lucrative sourcing destination for fashion consumers. We have all the necessary elements – including available labor, an expert workforce and most crucially stable economic condition – for producing garments which is why we are hopeful about the prospect of this industry.
I want to confidently say that those who are portraying that the country’s textile and apparel industry will extinct – they are in complete delusion as we are continuously overcoming the global and local challenges. The RMG sector will be our economic safeguard and govt. should give more emphasis on this.