The young Bangladesh republic was starting to come out from the turmoil of the liberation war in 1971. Despite its great economic difficulties Bangladesh began to develop in all areas, especially in textile sector. It was during this time, Mr Abdus Salam and late Prof Nurul Bari Chowdhury founded Bangladesh Thread Industries (BTI)- the humble foundation to today’s leading industrial Group of companies- the WellGroup. WellGroup is manufacturer and marketiers of industrial sewing and embroidery Thread, Dyed Yarn & Ready Made Garments. It is not only dedicated to its efforts in textile sector, but has also extended its niche presence in Food sector and Real Estate. Today Well Group has 14 factories with state of the art equipments and annual turnover of US$100 million. It employs around sixteen thousands man power, and offers vast range of products in thread, carton, polybags, hanger, weaved/dyed yarn, and readymade garments. Mr Syed Nurul Islam is the Chairman of Well Group. He is a Bachelor in Management and Master in Marketing & Management, from Chittagong University. He is member of Bangladesh Garments Manufacturing and Exporters Association (BGMEA), he is also Director at Bangladesh Malaysia Chamber of Commerce & Industry, and Chittagong Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce & Industry. Besides, he is member of Army Golf Club, and General Secretary at Chattagram Samity – Dhaka. In a discourse with Ms Madhu Soni, Sr Editor & Correspondent – Face2Face, Mr Syed Nurul Islam expresses his views on prevailing state of Bangladesh textile industry and issues impaling its growth.
Bangladesh began to develop in all areas, especially in textile sector post overcoming turmoil of Liberation war in 1971. Your Group also started its textile commutation during same year. How has this first move helped Well Group to catch the ‘worm’ of niche and popularity as ‘the early bird’?
It was really a great opportunity for us to start as competition was not that much strong. Beginning in late 1975, the government gradually gave greater scope to private sector participation in the economy, a pattern that has continued which helped and motivated the young entrepreneur to come into business and grow. In the mid-1980s, there were encouraging signs of progress in the textile sector. Economic policies aimed at encouraging private enterprise and investment, denationalizing public industries, reinstating budgetary discipline, and liberalizing the import regime were accelerated. From 1991 to 1993, the government successfully followed an enhanced structural adjustment facility (ESAF) with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) which we all were able to enjoy bringing the economy in a very upright position.
So, what notes would you like to make on prevailing state of RMG world?
The world economy, specially two big countries like China and India, are moving with over 8%GDP.This growth will definitely influence the garments/apparels industry. And, therefore, we all need to concentrate in developing the fabrics production in the garment making country like Bangladesh.
According to the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA), the total fabric requirement in the captive market is about 3 billion yards, of which roughly 85 to 90 percent is imported from countries such as China, India, Hong Kong, Singapore, Thailand, Korea, Indonesia and Taiwan. Fabric demand is increasing at the rate of 20 percent per year.
Although the industry is one of the largest in Bangladesh and is still expanding, it faces serious problems, principally because the country does not produce enough of the raw materials necessary for the industry to expand. The primary materials used in the spinning sector are raw cotton and man-made fibers such as viscose and polyester staple fibers. Unfortunately, none of these raw materials are produced in Bangladesh.
Please tell us about the selection trends that your present day consumers follow?
In 2006 the world’s consumers spent around US$1.8 trillion worldwide buying clothes. Around one third of sales were in Western Europe, one third in North America and one quarter in Asia.
Today, clothing and textiles represent about seven to eight per cent of world exports.Globally, the workforce in clothing and textiles production was around 31.5 million in 2006.
More than a quarter of the world’s production of clothing and textiles is in China, which has a fast growing internal market and the largest share of world trade. Western countries are still important exporters of clothing and textiles, particularly Germany and Italy in clothing and the USA in textiles.
Output from the sector is growing in volume, but prices are dropping, as is employment, as new technology and vertically integrated structures support improved productivity.
Growth in volumes is almost entirely associated with polyester – volumes of natural fibre production and use having remained approximately constant for several years.
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.