Bangladesh recently played host to four big international trade shows. Apart from everything, what caught everyone’s attention was many Indian companies coming forward to participate in the shows.
Technology giant IIGM; Ramsons Garment Finishing Equipments, a respected name in dyeing-finishing machinery; leading printing solution provider DCC, well known vertical integrated textile company GTN Industries, Winsome Yarns Limited, among others, marked their strong presence at the events. Most of these companies are happy with the growth opportunities in the Bangladeshi market as they have been in the country for a long time and have deep roots too.
But more and more emerging and medium level Indian companies are also foraying while Bangladesh is the comparatively new market for them. Cheran Machines India, Coimbatore; Aura Technologies, Noida, are few of them.
Apparel Resources explored what was attracting such Indian companies to Bangladesh and their strategies to flourish in a country that already has its own resources.
One of the most respected names in Indian garment machinery and technology segment, IIGM entered Bangladesh around three years back and has seen success. Along with the wide range of advanced machines and technology, now the company is also focusing on factory infrastructure products (ventilation and cooling solutions). This is a comparatively new portfolio for it and proved quite successful in India. “As minimum wage has increased, so there will be more emphasis on reducing manpower and moving towards automation which is in-fact a global trend. We are quite hopeful for good demand of factory infrastructure products in Bangladesh as the country is focusing a lot on safety, comfortable working environment, and energy efficiency,” informed Arjun Kapoor, Director of the company. “Our growth plan is pretty simple, we want to achieve here 50 per cent of what we are doing in India, in next three to five years.” So far, the company has not been keeping a stock in Bangladesh and its warehouse in Kolkata supplies any machine to Bangladesh overnight.
After doing thorough research on Bangladesh market, Deepak Choudhary, Founder and CEO, Aura Technologies, Noida was on his first ever visit to the country recently. He observed that overall Bangladesh will have a potential of about 2,000 machines per year in near future. “Bangladesh’s economic dependency on apparel export and industry supportive Government are two major reasons that attract any company to Bangladesh. Still, there is scope for exporters here to explore undiscovered possibilities in embroidery. How embroidery can help them to enhance their profit, to make them more competitive and supply better products to the buyers. It will take at least 2 to 3 years that Bangladesh will have a stronghold in value added garments too,” says Deepak. He further added that Bangladesh needs to improve on technology, compared to the current status.
As far as the company’s installations are concerned, for him, it is too early to say anything. “We will continue our study and effort to create space in this market as it depends on many things,” Deepak shared. So far, the company has not done any collaboration with any local partner but is looking for capable professionals or good partners.
Another such example is Coimbatore-based Cheran Machines India, manufacturer, supplier and exporter of garment/textile printing machineries. The company is almost 25 years old and has a stronghold in the Indian market. Being already into export, it has an edge over others of having experience in dealing with overseas markets. The company entered Bangladesh long back and did good business too with the Sri Lankan companies that had manufacturing facilities in Bangladesh. But it discontinued as it could not find a local partner. Now in 2019, the company is again geared up to tap the opportunity and has strong local partner Nabe Group of companies which is very well known in Bangladesh.
“Due to the current market scenario, Bangladesh is booming like anything and one can see the growth figures of the country in recent years. It motivated us to focus on this market. As we have many products to offer, Bangladeshi companies will definitely be benefited from our offerings,” says R. Mohan Kumar, MD, Cheran Machines India.
The companies entering into Bangladeshi market are of the strong opinion that nowadays there is a change in trend in regard to the country. Garment manufacturers of the country have more faith in Indian products and even in some cases, given priority to Indian companies as compared to China. Relations between India and Bangladesh are also creating positive energy. The second thing is the tilt of Bangladeshi garment manufacturers towards value added garments. It is like, few years back when Indian exporters had created their niche in the same product category. “Though the strength of Bangladesh still seems mass production but along with that they are doing ornamental kind of garments too. Even Bangladeshi companies are pulling Indian orders of such garments and competing with India in this regard as basic orders (regular items) are now going more towards Cambodia and Vietnam,” says R. Mohan Kumar.
Price sensitive but the quality is the priority
Though there are already similar technology suppliers in the country but Indian companies are confident of their success due to various reasons like quality product, best service, and customized solutions. Deepak does feel that as factories are very big in Bangladesh and they believe in long term investments, branded machines may have more scope here rather than just simple or non-branded machines. Some of the companies which are into trims or allied products have succeeded on these points, offering a wide variety of products like self-adhesive tapes, self-adhesive labels, holograms, barcode etc. Shree Lamipack, Ghaziabad is one such company. “Apart from numbering stickers, we don’t have any strong competitor in Bangladesh as our product range is different and unique. Bar code is our strength… No doubt it is ‘China’s market’ so the price is an issue but due to our strong quality, we do have an edge. We are not working with everyone here and trying to work with companies concerned for quality,” Apurba Chakraborty, Regional Business Manager, Shree Lamipack, Ghaziabad said. He further added that to tap new clients, the company is planning to participate in more trade shows.
Similar experiences and views on quality were echoed by Vijaya Kumar C, Manager (Marketing), GTN Industries, Hyderabad. The company is into this market from more than 10 years and is working with prestigious clients. “Quality, delivery as per commitment is the key as our client-base in Bangladesh does not bother much about price,” says Vijaya. The company is supplying high-quality yarn like yarn-from premium 100 per cent Supima Cotton and much more. Out to its total production, the company is sending around 20 per cent goods to Bangladesh. “Our major business here is through agents. Agents are good support for us as well as our clients be it our mutual communication or any other issue,” he added. From the last two years, the company is focusing on mercerised yarn in Bangladesh market which will increase in the future too.