Improve Skill and Productivity to Survive
According to Vivek Gogia of Alster International Bangladesh, factories should start taking the necessary steps to improve their competitiveness for maintaining and growing their share of the RMG market. Factories must diversify product lines (i.e., by producing high-value designed garments instead of only basic t-shirts) where there are very few factories and huge potential, as well as producing more value-added garments. To improve the design element, design teams should be created that travel to fashion centers around the world, keeping pace with the latest trends, designs, and fabrics. Accordingly, factories should invest in plant and machinery upgrades to keep a competitive edge in world markets. Factories should also maximize their productivity by investing in time and motion studies and creating separate planning departments to ensure smooth production flow and to optimize productivity. The marketing element is by and large missing at these factories, and remain dependent on their customers to bring orders into the country. Going forward, they should adopt a proactive approach and recruit customers that have not traditionally purchased Bangladeshi goods.
As the Bangladeshi textile sector keeps expanding, the country's weak infrastructure may potentially threaten continued growth. The industry has set a target of US$25 billion in garment exports by 2013, which would create an additional 1.4 million job opportunities within the sector and subsequently open up opportunities across different occupations. To make it happen, entrepreneurs are gradually moving to a higher value-added niche market, changing from factory-driven to market-driven processes, developing designs and collections, enhancing productivity, and strengthening the industry down the supply chain for the sector. The textile industry in Bangladesh may provide market alternatives to those looking for growth opportunities in the midst of the current global recession.