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This Bangladeshi buying house is diversifying into fabric manufacturing, launching in-house brands

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The second biggest garment exporter globally, Bangladesh is home to a large number of buying houses (more than 1,000 officially enlisted as per reports), giving rise to cut throat competitions, which at times borders at undercutting the competitor(s), to rope in new clients and bag orders. The result…? Some perished for ever while others managed to live through to fight it out some other day. In-between these two groups, there’s an emerging lot of buying entities that have opted to innovate and diversify into allied business to ensure a better future. Chittagong-based Nandan Textile and Garments Solution is one amongst those rare few.

Started by husband-wife duo of Nurul Afsar Mazumder and Amena Islam Kochi, Nandan Textile and Garments Solution has today grown from a buying house to exporting apparels (manufactured using its own fabrics) to owning its own brands – ‘Mandolin’ and ‘Mr Shirts’, which it supplies to a host of clients overseas besides selling through the website www.mandolin.com.bd and their own store, located at Khulshi Town Centre, Khulshi, Chittagong.

Nandan Textile and Garments Solution is a one-stop service provider for a wide range of products for men, women and kids as well as fabrics including woven and knit. In RMG, Nandan Textile and Garments Solution’s product range includes men’s shirts, padding shirts, casual shirts, western shirts, trousers, shorts, shirts, underwear etc. Mandolin makes a range of ethnic wear in men’s and women’s section including punjabis (for men) that have a good demand amongst the locals and non-resident Bangladeshis.

Amena Islam Kochi, Co-founder, Nandan Textile and Garments Solution

“After working in commercial department for six years for Mamiya OP Bangladesh Limited, which manufactures and exports golf clubs to Japan, I joined a reputed buying house named ComTextile Hong Kong Limited in merchandising. After marriage, me and my husband, who is also a fabric consultant, decided to start our own apparel business and thus started the buying house Nandan Textile and Garments Solution..,” reminisces Amena speaking to Apparel Resources.

One amongst the handful, Chittagong-based buying house Nandan Textile and Garments Solution diversifies into fabric manufacturing and introduces in-house brands ‘Mandolin’ and ‘Mr Shirt’, to evolve and prosper.

“We are also working with US buyer (for brand Revolv Jeans) for which we make 30,000 pieces of denims per month in the FOB range of US $ 20 to US $ 25 per piece,” underlines Amena, adding, “For the main clients of Nandan Textile and Garments Solution we get the sketches and fabric content from them based on which we make samples and send those back to them with trim proposals, and once they are finalized, we go for production.” However for the in-house product range including shirts, Amena and her husband share the responsibilities of product development and innovation.

“Our future plans are big… We now want to take our brands to new markets and establish them as global entities…” – Amena Islam Kochi, Co-founder, Nandan Textile and Garments Solution

“My husband looks after the men’s categories including punjabis while for ‘Mandolin’ and ‘Mr. Shirt’ we work in tandem… I always prefer to select the fabric first and trims after which I make the designs. This is because we have to create the design based on the fabrics in hand or else fix a theme first and then start creating the design, followed by fabric selection keeping with the theme,” explains Amena.

Working primarily with 3 factories for shirts (for clients like Fresco, Etokin, Walmart, Sears, etc.) and a few more for other product categories including jeans, Nandan Textile and Garments Solution is very particular about selecting the supplier units. “Before placing orders, we have to check many factories, including the concerned unit’s strengths and weaknesses, its antecedents and accreditation and even the financial standings,” underlines Amena, who also exports ‘Mr. Shirt’ to USA and ‘Mandolin’ to USA and Indonesia.

Willing to support the client regardless of the order quantities, Nandan Textile and Garments Solution recommends the clients to place minimum order quantity of 5,000 pieces per style or 2,000 pieces per colour while maintaining that higher the order quantities, more competitive would be the prices. Spearheaded by a supply chain manager who carefully tracks the status of raw materials, accessories, knitting, dyeing, sewing, etc., and daily follow-ups by a qualified team of merchandisers with the supplier factories, Nandan Textile and Garments Solution is fully committed to on-time delivery.

Going forward Amena’s plans are to take the in-house brands to new destinations while also growing in textiles and also as a buying house. “As both me and my husband are involved in apparels business, there’s no question of diversifying into any other sector. Our future plans are big…; I want to move forward in a more organized manner, bring in new equipments and machineries for ‘Mandolin’ and ‘Mr Shirt’ to increase productivity and ensure improved quality and excellence. We now want to take our brands to new markets and establish them as global entities,” winds up Amena on a positive note.