Interview with Mr. Abdul H Sarker

Mr. Abdul H Sarker
Mr. Abdul H Sarker
Purbani Group
Purbani Group

The EU and Japan’s relaxation in GSP terms will encourage people to buy yarn at a cheaper price.
The word ‘Purbani’ (Pur-baH-NEE) is derivative of a Sanskrit word that means "eastern incitement" or "the drawing together through eastern influence". The Purbani Group itself shares that modality since it was never designed as a formal group of companies but only later was drawn together through a common influence and took on such a form. The group’s first venture was M/S Purbani traders in 1973. Since then, the Purbani group has grown into a leading group of companies in Bangladesh by virtue of its dynamic management approach, competitiveness, efficiency, and clear single-minded vision. The company has an annual turnover of US$ 100 million and a total investment of US$ 55 million. It is currently employing 6000 people. With nine companies in its textile fold, the group enjoys loyal patronage from a broad client-base all over Europe, Northern America and the Far East. Mr. Abdul H Sarker is the Founder of Purbani Group. Soon after his post-graduation degree in Management in 1970, Mr. Sarker involved himself with international trade and business. Over these years of his presence in the industry he has gathered commendable experience in promoting and administering various industrial and business enterprises including Purbani Group. Mr. Sarker, considering the importance of financial sector in the economy, has also set up a commercial bank under the name, Dhaka Bank Limited of which he is the founder Chairman. He was President of Bangladesh Textile Mills Association (BTMA) for two terms. He was Vice-Chairman of Bangladesh Association of Banks (BAB). He is now the Director of The Federation of Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI). In an interview in Face2Face, speaking to Ms. Madhu Soni, Sr. Editor & Correspondent, Mr. Abdul H Sarker shares his stance on current textile and clothing industry globally.

Face2Face feels pleasure to see industry through your stance, Mr. Sarkar. Can we go ahead with the talk on the current global market pulse?

Demand and requirement of Textile and Clothing are never ending. But due to present global economic recession, quantity of their use has comedown. Moreover, prices of raw material are increasing constantly. Same is the case with production cost. But the buyers are not increasing prices to keep up with the high cost of production. Thus it is becoming difficult not only for our country but for all the Garment Producing Countries of the World.

So, how has Bangladesh textile and clothing industry been able to be a favourite sourcing hub for global players?

Bangladesh is a proven source of knit garments in the global market. Nowhere in the world will any buyer get around 100 composite factories located in one region, that too close to the capital. We have 3/4 such regions in and around Dhaka. A buyer can come, select a factory, negotiate and finalize an order in one day and go back. Moreover, the ports are only about 200 – 300 km from the locations of the factories. We have an inherent advantage of low labor cost, skilled manpower, good working environment, adequate backward linkage etc. As per report of Export Promotion Bureau our export in fiscal year 2010-11 is worth US$ 22.93 billion compared to US$ 16.20 billions in 2009-10. It is about 41.47 percent growth from the previous year. In fact, we are the highest foreign currency earning Industry of the country.

In this success, what role Supply chain management has played?

Well managed supply chain and timely services are the main pillars. Without a proper supply chain management and timely services no industry can sustain in competitive market these days. For success in sector full of cut throat competition, one has to ensure timely and quality production to fulfill the buyer’s requirement; there is no alternative to it.

Bangladesh government has increased its efforts coining good trade policies, lobbying for slashing down bank interests etc. What is your take on this?

The Government had taken keen interest and helped a lot in establishing this industry initially and had given adequate incentives. Presently also, the Government is trying to help but these are not sufficient for this industry to sustain in a huge competitive market. The EU and Japan’s relaxation in GSP terms will encourage people to buy yarn at a cheaper price. Thus our own Spinning Mills will suffer badly after buying cotton at a higher rate. We are negotiating with the Government to workout an amicable solution to this problem. Coordination between BGMEA, BTMA & BKMEA- the three major organizations should be enhanced so that they identify each other’s problems and work together ensuring each others interest. Government has to ensure uninterrupted supply of electricity and gas, at the same time keeping prices of diesel and furnace oil within reach. Moreover, the Government should develop Mongla port to provide export facility as well as enhance efficiency of Chittagong port.

Latest news say; Sri Lankan Government is looking forward to synergize with Bangladesh, using its Least Develop Country status, for apparel production. How good shall this work for industry?

Sri Lanka is a very experienced garments producing country. Their experience coupled with the advantages available in Bangladesh as explained earlier can definitely create a very good synergy in this region.

May I request you to also share with us your Group’s approach for saving Environment, Bettering Lives, and Getting Profitable for its stakeholders?

Ours is a compliance factory, where all facilities for the workers in terms of timely payment of salary, health and safety issues, maternity and childcare are ensured. Welfare of workers is being monitored and ensured through our welfare committee. A proper ETP is ensuring that the environment is not polluted and the factories are not health hazard for the population around. If the company makes profit, these are shared with the workers in the form of giving production bonus and overtime amount permitted by the compliance, thus ensuring reasonably happy and healthy lives of our workers!

Many thanks Mr. Sarker for joining us on Face2Face, and providing such insightful comments!



Published on: 05/09/2011

DISCLAIMER: All views and opinions expressed in this column are solely of the interviewee, and they do not reflect in any way the opinion of

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