A fully vertically integrated entity with yarn, fabrics and garmenting facilities (Unit 1 – Garments, Unit 2 – Spinning, and Unit 3 – Fabrics), Silver Composite Textile Mill Limited (SCTML) is part of the Silver Line Group owned by entrepreneur M.A.H. Salim. It is also the only vertically integrated yarn dyed woven fabric manufacturer in Bangladesh, catering to large retailers from Europe, USA and Asia, including names like H&M, ZARA, GAP, TOM TAILOR and NEXT, for all of which SCTML is the nominated fabric supplier for many years. In garments, SCTML primarily manufactures men’s and ladies’ casual and formal shirts, with production capacity of 6,50,000 pieces/month from its 26-line, 1505-machine strong fully compliant production unit. Plans are now afoot to foray into denims. What also distinguishes SCTML from many other vertical setups in the country is its forward integration – starting with spinning, it moved into fabrics and subsequently to readymade garments. Call of Denim/Indigo Dyed “Our industrial complex in Hotapara (Gazipur), spread in over 100 acres, houses all our facilities, including washing plant, printing and state-of-the-art ETP,” informs Helal Mohammed Nuri, Chief Operating Officer, Garments Division. The washing facility equipped with latest machines from Tonello and washing capacity of around 1,00,000 pieces per day (50,000 pieces of non-denims, 30,000 pieces of denims and 20,000 pieces of assorted products) is one of the chief motivators encouraging SCTML to think of producing denim Tops & Bottoms. Blessed with in-house facility of quality fabrics and a planned green factory (exclusively for denims), the company is rather bullish about its future performance. The presence of multiple established players and also the upcoming names in denim is the last in the list worrying SCTML. Having done its groundwork well in terms of planning, the company is aiming to setup new benchmarks in denims in Bangladesh! PD for value-addition Recognising the crucial role of product development in keeping businesses relevant to buyers early, trying to maintain healthy profit margins amidst rising competition even as the industry works relentlessly to shrug off the tag of cookie-cutter manufacturing hub, and stamping its position as a matured and evolved garmenting destination in the global arena, SCTML has put in place a two-pronged strategy in product development – at the basic yarn and fabrication stage as well as at the final product stage.
Headed by Raashid Ashraf Khan (CEO – Textile Unit), an expatriate from India with rich and diverse experience in textile manufacturing and product innovation, and working for some of the best known mills in India, Bangladesh and Turkey, SCTML spends approximately six per cent of its total investments in R&D (in yarns, dyeing, weaving and finishing). Om Parkash (Head of Design & Development), also from India, is the ‘go to man’ for all innovations as far as fabrics are concerned. “Innovations start from the fabric stage itself. We have two people completely involved in design development besides another R&D team of around 6-7 people working in the factory to come up with interesting developments,” informs Om Prakash, who globe-trots frequently with his team in tow to attend various events and exhibitions to get a first-hand feel and understanding of what is in trend. SCTML periodically comes up with its own forecast based on buyers’ inputs as well as feedbacks received from various events, which it subsequently presents to the clients. The company uses latest software/CAD – Design Doddy & Design 3D – from TEXTRONICS Design Systems (India) and Penelope (Italy) for designing. The design team interacts directly with the factory-based R&D arm regularly to minimize development lead time. Its automated power sampling unit is also equipped with latest CCI looms from Evergreen & Karl Mayer Sample warper, to cut down the handloom and Sample development lead time even further. “We have also set up a facility within our industrial park for the clients where they can stay. It gives them the advantage of being physically present during the various stages of development and give valuable feedback and suggestions,” adds Helal. Training, motivation and professionalism, the way forward Renowned globally for abundant and affordable labour, Bangladesh has witnessed substantial wage increase over the years. Alongside, dwindling profit margins and greater than before overhead costs, has rendered running apparel business a rather tough proposition. Automation and increasing workers’ efficiency are the only ways out of the given scenario, and SCTML is working on both the fronts to remain viable. If on one hand it has introduced IE in production, workers’ training has also gained equal significance lately. “Recently we have started a workers’ training centre for garmenting in association with BGMEA where fresh and inexperienced manpower is trained to make them ready for absorption in the industry,” mentions Helal. SCTML pays a fixed stipend to the trainees to keep them motivated while for those already in its payroll, the company has started a provident fund scheme along with a host of other facilities. For people in middle-management, SCTML offers free family and bachelors’ dormitory facility within its complex. Going a step further, SCTML is now trying to infuse a professional and corporate working culture which is evident from the fact that two CEOs have been given responsibility to run the show independently for the garment and textile wings, respectively. “With more and more vertical set ups in the offing, it has become difficult for an individual to control everything single-handedly. In Bangladesh, I will not say all the CEOs have authority; but in my case I have full power and independence to take decisions… This culture is yet to develop in the industry,” laments Helal. The CEO of the garment division is a strong believer that if an industry is to grow and develop, it is the duty of people at the helm to not only delegate responsibilities but also train those under them, which Helal feels will enable one to deal with the age-old problem of weak middle management. “I have developed the same way under the guidance of my seniors which I want to pass on to my juniors now. I take them along for meetings with clients to understand the nitty-gritties of clients’ handling and price negotiations, discuss with them management issues to help them develop as managers, and ready to take on to responsibilities independently when the right time comes,” signs off Helal.
Silver Line Group at a Glance
M.A.H. Salim, Managing Director Garment Division The company is into manufacturing high-end premium quality shirts for large retail brands around the world. Silver Composite Textile Mill Ltd (Unit 1) is equipped with world class machines from Japan, Germany, USA and Thailand, capable of manufacturing over 7.8 million shirts per annum. The shirt manufacturing unit of SCTML has earned the International Compliance Certificates through WRAP and SEDEX Certification, Alliance, ISO, BSCI, Sedex, WRAP, GOTS, ISO 9001, ISO 14001, ISO 18001, ACORD, Alliance, BUET Building Safety – Green, etc. Spinning Silver Line Composite Textile Mill Ltd. (Unit 2) represents the yarns business, which is the largest strategic business unit of the Silver Line Group with over 38,000 spindles and a capacity to manufacture over 20 MT of yarn per day. The company offers wide range of specialized greige yarns in cotton and also manufactures value-added products like organic cotton, core spun yarns, slub and cellulose yarns for knitting. The company uses latest technology for high quality ring carded & combed yarns in 100 per cent cotton. Fabrics Silver Composite Textile Mill Ltd (Unit 3) is a leading producer of yarn dyed fabrics in Bangladesh with fabrics contributing about 30 per cent to the group’s revenue. It is the only vertically integrated yarn dyed fabric supplier in Bangladesh producing fabrics for both tops and bottoms in the apparel segment serving large retailers in Europe, USA and Asia. Besides, it is also the only one cotton/nylon/stretch, cotton/viscose, cotton/modal, cotton/linen and blended fabric manufacturer in Bangladesh. The company has weaving capacity of 1.5 million yards per month across wide specialty of fabric ranges following very strong process control, which gives high quality and reliability along with good service.