5:16 pm - Saturday May 24, 0814

Tech investment a must to achieve $ 50b target in RMG

Investment in technology is need of the hour to make the country’s apparel industry more competitive, sustainable and profitable, and also to achieve the target of earning the goal of US$50 billion in fashion exports by 2021.

Besides, infrastructure bottle necks and capacity constraints, which are the threat to prosperity, needs to be removed to attract more investment in industry, the life blood of the country’s economy.

The observations came after an intense brainstorming panel discussion at a seminar on “Bastra Shilper Adhunikayan (Modernization of Apparel Industry)” by ThreadSol, an innovative apparel software solutions provider in partnership with Independent TV, a leading private television channel, at the Radisson Blu Hotel in the city.

The objective of the seminar is to iron out a solution for making the dream of earning additional rmgbdUS$22 billion from garment exports in next five years into a success. The panel comprises from different sectors, including high government and non-government, banks, RMG industry, think tanks and IT officials.

Senior Secretary of the Ministry of Commerce Haydayetullah Al Mamun, Siddiqur Rahman, president of BGMEA, Nazneen Ahmed, Senior Research Fellow, BIDS, Showkat Aziz Russell, Chairman & Managing Director, Amber Denim and Mansij Ganguli, Co-founder & CEO ThreadSol were the discussants at the seminar. Mohammad Zahid Hossain, special affairs editor of Independent TV moderated the panel discussion.

Speaking at the panel discussion, experts said globalization is widely forcing textile producers to use technology that improves productivity through process improvement, product innovation and new worker skills, and helps serve the customer more efficiently.

Manasij Ganguli said intelloCut was developed to give manufacturers the edge to reduce their material wastage by using the effective concepts of fabric utilization and streamlined cutting room processes, while at the same time boosting profits by upto 60%.

Investment in equipment and new technology will enable output per worker to increase and raise productivity and profitability, the panelist added that this will ultimately help achieve the goal of earning $50bn in exports within the next  five-year.

The panelist were also of the view that as the country already has the enough manpower resource, technology is the only way to reach the goal by minimizing the production cost and maximizing the profit.

Use of technology in Bangladesh garment industry is at a nascent stage; they pointed out and called for a full-blown intervention of technology down to unit or operator level to increase efficiency from production to distribution level. However, large scale manufacturers in the country are starting to look at global technology for their business.

Manasij said, ThreadSol entered the Bangladesh garment market in 2014. In less than 2 years of operation, the largest manufacturers including Pacific Jeans, Dekko Group, Unifil Group, Hirdaramani’s Kenpark and Regency, Fakir Fashions, Epic Group, Urmi Group, are users of ThreadSol. But to achieve US$50 billion we need all the manufacturers to view the benefits technology can bring into their production floors and move towards more efficient manufacturing.

The panel noted that the country’s many RMG factories failed to reap the benefit of advanced technology because of the backdated technology use.

Along with investment in technology, the seminar also put emphasis on attracting more investment in developing infrastructure and building capacity.

After the discussion, the panelists came to the conclusion that to achieve US$50 billion export target earning in the next five years, there is no other choice than the application of technology.

It is noteworthy to mention here that in 2014, the World Economic Forum rated Bangladesh’s infrastructure 127th out of 144 countries evaluated. In order to accommodate additional earnings in RMG exports, the Bangladeshi government needs to make significant infrastructure investments in the coming years, the Forum suggested.