Ha-Meem Group bets big on denim
শুক্রবার, মার্চ ২৪, ২০১৭
The Daily Star : Ha-Meem Group, a leading garment manufacturer, is going for massive expansion to double its export receipts to $1 billion in the next six years, said its chief. At present, Ha-Meem Group’s annual exports stand at $535 million, and it counts retail giants like Gap, Esprit, American Eagle Outfitters, H&M, Abercrombie & Fitch, Kohl’s, Tommy Hilfiger, JCPenney, Mango, Zara, Next, Tom Tailor and Oshkosh as its major buyers.
The group will invest $60 million in one year for the expansion, said its Managing Director AK Azad, adding that the expansion works will involve the denim plant in Maona. As per the expansion plan, Azad said a denim unit with a production capacity of 1.5 million yards a month has been set up and will go into operation from next month. Another one with the same production capacity will go into operation from June. Currently, the group produces 3 million yards of denim fabric in a month, so with the two new units the total production capacity would reach 6 million yards. Ha-Meem chose to boost its denim production as the demand for the fabric is rising fast around the world. “And denim would be the next big business opportunity for Bangladesh as China is losing its market share due to higher costs of production and a lack of skilled manpower,” Azad said. China exports more than $270 billion worth of garment items in a year. “If Bangladesh can grab even a minimum share of the shifted work orders from China, the country’s garment export will grow significantly.” Ha-Meem Group is also installing machinery to open a new factory in Maona to produce 2 million yards of woven fabrics in a month, he said. The demand for woven fabrics is also high in Bangladesh as the local weavers can only meet 40 percent of the annual demand. The rest of the demand for woven fabrics is met by imports mainly from China. Bangladeshi garment makers spend more than $4 billion for importing the woven fabric in a year. Currently, Ha-Meem Group has 23 units, of which 13 are garment factories and the remaining are spinning, dyeing, garment accessories and finishing units. Bangladesh already has some garment groups that either export $500 million worth of garment items in a year or are very close to this mark after undertaking expansion. Azad said the garment and textile sectors have long been suffering from a shortage of gas. But, he hopes that the gas crisis will come to an end next year: the government has assured that it has been drilling several gas wells across the country to increase the supply. Ha-Meem Group has already adopted some innovative ways to reduce the cost of production. The group uses solar panels and modern machinery with high production capacity and has introduced lean production system to reduce the repetition in production cycle. The group employed 50,000 workers in its different units and is looking for more workers for the expanded units. “We are also facing a shortage of trained workers,” Azad said.