'Bangladesh RMG sector is Wal-Mart of the world' – CEO, Beximco
Mr Syed Naved Husain
The economy of Bangladesh is very much dependent on exports from the garment industry which realizes a value to the tune of US $11 billion and provides direct and indirect employment to millions of people in the country, particularly women of Bangladesh.
But the tsunami like economic crisis and the resultant slowdown has put brakes on the high flying exports industry which was chalking phenomenal growth rates in the last few years and has the potential to weaken the economy of the country, brought about by falling exports since the last few months.
In our continuing series to bring to our reader the impact of the crisis on the textile and apparel companies of different countries, Fibre2fashion spoke to Mr Syed Naved Husain, CEO of Beximco's Textile Division and South Asia's largest and best-known vertical textile operation, which he helped setup.
Mr Husain grew to fame by successfully focusing Beximco's massive operations on flexible manufacturing, speed to market and innovation, which resulted in bagging orders from globally renowned retailers like Zara, JC Penney, Philip-Van Heusen, Calvin Klein, H & M, MotherCare, Perry Ellis, and C & A.
We began the interview by asking him the impact of recession on Bangladesh, to which he said, “The impact of recession has been small in Bangladesh, as it has relatively low cost labour, a huge young work force, and cheap water and energy and moreover, with over 30 years experience in garments exports, Bangladesh has a very high standard of needle work”.
He added by saying, “The productivity is rapidly increasing as more sophisticated factories have been set up with world class industrial engineering as well as planning systems. Wal-Mart is doing better than most retailers in USA and in many ways Bangladesh has became the "Wal-Mart" of the world”.
Next we asked him to reveal his company's reactions and strategies to counter the crisis, to which he said, “Beximco is a full service vendor; i.e. from fibre to garments and trims to washing, as well as large international design and product development facilities. We have focused on 'innovation' and 'speed' as our primary drivers”.
He explained by saying, “We deliver orders from fibre to garment in 50 days and reorders in 30 days. We have invested heavily in design and product development in Bangladesh, London, Italy and Hong Kong and every eight weeks we come up with a catalog of new looks, apparel and collection of fabrics”.
He continued “Our Design Studio makes collections for several leading retailers and achieves an acceptance rate of over 70 percent. It has taken us many years as an organization to achieve these analytical and creative abilities and also a 'mind set' to be market driven and ready to change course on short or no notice”.
“I feel thatmany self confident companies see the recession more as an opportunity than a threat. At Beximco we continue to invest heavily, expanding and hiring more people and those companies who get scared and cut back, will in my view surrender their future, he concluded by saying.