Interview with Raashid Ashraf Khan

Raashid Ashraf Khan
Raashid Ashraf Khan
Silverline Group
Silverline Group

Bangladesh has moved beyond the Rana Plaza incident
Silverline Group started as a yarn supplier in 2002, and has vertically integrated into yarn dyeing, weaving, continuous dyeing and finishing, and garment manufacturing with state of the art technology. In an interview with fibre2fashion.com, Raashid Ashraf Khan, CEO-Silverline Group, states the current and future plans of the company and the textiles industry in Bangladesh.

What would be the size of the global composites industry as per your estimate? And what is the pie that Bangladesh would like to claim for itself?

The size of the global composite textiles industry is USD1500 billion annually. Bangladesh would be claiming 14 per cent of the total size globally, and growth is more than 8 per cent annually.

Which are the emerging hotspots from where Bangladesh sources its raw materials for yarn manufacturing and dyeing?

Bangladesh sources its raw materials like cotton mostly from the erstwhile CIS countries, the US, Africa and India; dyes and chemicals from China, South Korea, India, Turkey and Europe.

What is the type of government support that this industry receives?

The government gives incentives to garment, fabric and yarn exporters and duty draw back facilities to imports of raw materials against exports.

What new demands would the industry put forth to further accelerate growth of business in the country?

Stability in government, increase in infrastructure for transport and ease in availability of fuel are the major demands from the industry for accelerating growth.

Which countries do you export to? Which countries do you intend to tap in the near future?

The countries we export mostly to are US, UK, Germany, Spain, Denmark and Turkey. Brazil, South Africa, Japan and Australia are the countries which we intend to tap.

Has Bangladesh emerged from being a mere cookie-cutter manufacturing hub to a region from where design, innovation and trends are also suggested to international clients?

Bangladesh is gradually improving from a regular 'garmenter' tag to being a design and innovation centre for fabrics and garment manufacturing.

What is the type of R&D that Silverline has come up with in recent times?

Silverline is focusing into establishing itself as a consistent supplier of exciting innovative products in the fabric space with regards to various compositions, weaves, finishes and dye techniques.

What percentage of your profits is allocated towards R&D?

We invest approximately 6 per cent of our total investments in R&D, i.e. sourcing different types of yarns, dyeing in different colours and techniques, weaving in different designs at desk-looms and bulk-looms, and finishing with various trendy finishing techniques.

Which are the five not very commonly practiced HR policies followed by your company? What are the future plans in this direction?

(i) Appraisals of each employee is now done on a weekly basis as a part of HR policy to boost the spirit of the high-performing employees and to motivate the low-performing ones; (ii) hospital, day-care and canteen facilities are provided in the campus for all employees; (iii) bonus allowances for full attendance and discipline are being provided to workers; (iv) night allowances are provided to workers to work with full potential during night shifts; (v) uniforms, safety apparel and equipment are being provided to employees, and their health and safety are ensured.

How have the recent two tragedies (Rana and Tazreen) impacted the textiles business?

Bangladesh has moved aheads. Now, garment factories have learnt their lessons and equipped themselves with all the safety measures to comply as per the international compliance accrediting bodies like WRAP, BSCI, Sedex, Accord and Allianz.

What has been the growth percentage in the last six years?

We have maintained a steady growth of approximately 10 per cent annually from the last 10 years. This year, since we started our fabric composite unit, the growth is expected to rise 18 per cent on an annual basis. The garment exports are also slated to increase by approximately 12 per cent on an annual basis.
Published on: 09/06/2015

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 Fibre2Fashion.com.

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