Team Group, a leading garment exporter, has targeted to export goods worth US$ 1 billion by 2026, when Bangladesh is scheduled to officially make the United Nations status graduation from a least developed to a developing country.
To put this into perspective, Bangladesh earned US$ 4.85 billion from merchandise exports in January with apparel shipments accounting for about 85% of it.
Apart from manufacturing textile and clothing, the conglomerate has a garment buying house, a pharmaceutical company and real estate development firm. Among the ventures, the garment buying house’s exports last year stood at US$ 270 million, said Abdullah Hil Rakib, managing director of Team Group.
Last year, the group’s 4A Yarn Dyeing exported garment items worth US$ 36 million and at the end of the current year, Rakib expects to attain US$ 70 million. “I am very much hopeful that both the pharmaceuticals and buying house would be very important components in achieving the US$ 1 billion target,” he said.
The group has already been preparing to address the graduation challenges, such as erosion of trade preferences, so that its exports maintain robust growth. Mainly producing outerwear for customers in Europe and the US, 4A Yarn Dyeing has made strong improvements in compliance to laws and diversified its production base, taking on high-end value added garment items so that buyers pay better prices.
As a result, almost all important global clothing retailers and brands have been placing work orders in bulk quantity with 4A Yarn Dyeing. Last month it received the United States Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification of platinum standard.
Nearly all of the factory’s 7,000 workers stay near the production facility at Kaichabari, Banchabarri, Baipail in Savar under Dhaka district. So coming to work does not require transportation on vehicles, which helped reduced carbon emissions, said Rakib.
The factory is able to harvest 86.3% of the rain that falls on it premises while solar panels, LED lights and architectural changes making better use of sunlight saves up on around 50% in energy use.
With the higher inflow of work orders from international retailers and brands, Team Group is going for a massive expansion of capacity, said Rakib.
Currently, the factory’s production runs on a five lakh square feet space, creating mainly outerwear for brands like Guess, Next, Tommy Hilfiger, Calvin Klein, s. Oliver and many more European and American retailers and brands.
By 2025, the group plans on opening another factory of the same size just near the current one. The factory being planned will mainly produce manmade fibres to reduce import dependence on China, India and other countries.
Rakib said the next business of Bangladesh would be of manmade fibre and the group would mainly produce the garment items out of manmade fibre. The company is also upgrading machines to achieve higher productivity, and finer production.
Rakib has been transforming the production facility mainly targeting the LDC graduation as the country will not be able to enjoy the GSP benefit after the graduation.
“I have been gearing up my production facility in such a way so that the retailers and brands cannot ask any question regarding the compliances and production facilities, for bringing efficiency and for getting better prices in the time of fierce competition after the graduation,” Rakib said.