Coats plc, the world’s leading industrial thread and consumer textile crafts business, is celebrating 25 years in Bangladesh. This historic milestone is being marked by the announcement of the opening of a new state of the art zips factory in Chittagong, Bangladesh, at a gala event in Dhaka on Sunday 19 October, attended by over 400 customers and suppliers. The event was also recognized the highly successful joint venture in Bangladesh with AK Khan Group.
The Ready Made Garments (RMG) industry has been the mainstay of Bangladesh’s economic growth since Coats was established there 25 years ago, when exports were worth US$624 million and the sector employed 320,000 people. By 2004 exports had grown to US$6.4 billion and the sector employed 2 million people. This year exports are expected to reach over US$25 billion and employment will reach over 4 million people.
Coats has world class manufacturing sites in Chittagong, in the south east of the country and Gazipur, near the capital Dhaka, which operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The new zips factory will open in the early part of 2015 and is being established in response to the growing demand from global brands manufacturing apparel and footwear in Bangladesh. The new factory will create over 100 new jobs locally and over time will manufacture the full offering of zips.
In the celebration programme Paul Forman, Group CEO, Coats plc, said, ‘Coats is extremely proud of our world class operation in Bangladesh and the support and relationship with our joint venture partner. Our business has seen significant growth and development, particularly in the last few years and the opening of our new world class zips factory is a demonstration of our commitment to an ever growing presence here.’
He has also discussed that the market dynamics driven by the longer term mega trend of the growth of the Asian middle class, as the Asia-Pacific region moves from being primarily a manufacturing base to the world’s largest consumer market. He also added about the global apparel sourcing ‘heat map’, with Bangladesh being one of the main hubs in the hot spot of South Asia. Mr. Paul also cover key influences on the sector going forward including: cost inflation and productivity, time and speed as the basis for competitive success and the use of digital technologies to drive efficiencies in the supply chain.
Coats particularly focus on the influential and informed customer base in Bangladesh to test and launch new products and services. In April 2012, it was one of seven countries where Coats Colour Express, the world’s first fully digitised web based colour matching service, was previewed. The full global roll out for the now award winning service took place later in 2013.
Mr. Ranjan Chakhaiyar, Managing Director, Coats Bangladesh, said in his opening speech, ‘we have a very strong, talented and dedicated team here which has helped make Bangladesh one of the flagship businesses of Coats. We have built a strong foundation for the next 25 years.’
The Bangladesh business has gone from strength to strength in recent years. Coats conducts an annual global employee engagement survey and Bangladesh has experienced the most significant improvement; in the 2013 survey the engagement score was 87%, up from 46% in 2010. Earlier this year, it was awarded ‘Coats Business of the Year’ and also received the inaugural CEO Award for ‘Health and Safety Excellence’, having reached over five million accident free hours.
Coats feel proud by handing over Special Crests to the Partners those have contributed magnificent marks in business in passing days.
The highly successful joint venture between Coats and the AK Khan Group started in October1989. Coats Bangladesh’s head office is located in Tejgaon, Dhaka, and the first factory opening in 1990 in Chittagong followed by a second factory in Gazipur in 2000. Both factories have continued to increase capacity to manufacture an ever increasing and diverse range of products to supply both the growing requirement of Bangladesh and global exports.
Coats Bangladesh produces many of Coats newest and most innovative products including flame retardant threads, Hemseal (adhesive thread for hems), Eloflex (thread with high extension properties for use stretch fabrics), Aquamelt (water soluble thread for temporary stitching applications) and Drybond (water resistant, strong and durable anti-wick threads for use in sports equipment).
In November 2014, Coats will be celebrating another corporate milestone in the region as it marks the 25th anniversary of its highly successful joint venture with Phong Phu in Vietnam.