A leading player in the apparel accessories business for more than 30 years now, Kotak Group from India needs no introduction.
Actively involved in various business forums in India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, the company operates from one-of-its-kind integrated manufacturing facilities located at Khopoli and Bhiwandi near Mumbai (in Maharashtra), strategically located just 50 kilometres from the Nhava Sheva Port, giving it an added advantage in terms of easy and timely shipment of raw materials to its host of clients overseas.
Manufacturing a wide spectrum of clothing accessories for innerwear and outerwear including Bra Cups, Fasteners, Underwire, Boning, Hook and Eye,
TPU tapes/straps, Bonding Film, K2 Straps, Clips, Hangers, Elastics and Tapes and Bows and Motifs, Kotak Group is committed towards building an enduring relationship across the textile value chain as a trusted and reliable supplier of quality clothing accessories as it continues to build on its reputation as a trusted, reliable and co-efficient supply chain partner for clothing accessories to the apparel manufacturing industries of various countries including Bangladesh.
Kotak Group also boasts of a strong in-house team of skilled technicians from India and overseas who work closely with customers to develop specific and customised products while also develop new products based on the latest international trend forecasts.
Apparel Resources (AR) recently caught up with the young and suave Chief Business Development Officer of Kotak Group, Mayank Kotak for an exclusive interaction during his recent Dhaka visit, to know more about what Bangladesh as a market means for Kotak Group and how it is lining up its offerings and services to be an able partner to Bangladesh garment industry in its growth journey.
AR: What’s the importance of Bangladesh as a market from Kotak Group’s perspective?
Mayank Kotak: Bangladesh has always been a major name in apparel manufacturing and exports. It is not for nothing that it is today the second biggest apparel exporter globally after China.
And as it would have been, Kotak Group attaches paramount importance to Bangladesh. Our primary focus is on intimatewear and we are working with almost all the big names in intimatewear in Bangladesh, whether it is Triple Apparel, Euphoria, Chorkha Textiles, Brandix, Blue Planet, Mondol Group and others.
We are their supplier for a long, long time. But most of them are working basically with a certain profile- only trims. But we have much more to offer rather than just trims, I think it is time we explore more opportunities in the existing sector that we are catering to as over the years, we have added multiple folds of product categories, and in today’s age can compete with anyone (dealing in our product categories) in terms of pricing, consistency and quality.
AR: How do you foresee the growth of intimatewear in Bangladesh?
Mayank Kotak: The scope is just immense. At the end of the day, Bangladesh still has the advantage of cheaper labour on which it can leverage to ensure further growth in intimatewear. Even though Sri Lanka still dominates in intimatewear category but Bangladesh has its scope as well.
A bra can be stitched anywhere whether in India, Bangladesh or Sri Lanka, only the quality parameters need to be taken care of.
Currently, SOPs are so strong that everything is well-defined and there’s not much of a challenge in making intimatewear that one had to face earlier. So even if there are still a limited number of players in intimatewear section in Bangladesh, their number is going to increase significantly in the coming days as the garment makers look to differentiate from the rest while also move up the value chain as they grow and evolve.
AR: Do you have any office here in Bangladesh?
Mayank Kotak: Currently we are catering directly from our Head Office in India even though we are connected with all our clients here through telephone, mails and other digital platforms.
However, even though we are in regular touch with them, the personal touch is somewhere missing I feel.
The feedback that I am getting now is making us consider coming up with a dedicated local representative or a liaison office in Bangladesh and this is the only reason I have come to Dhaka to take stock of things as I understand we will have to cut down on the time consumed for day-to-day communication.
Going forward, for the nomination business, we may take care of the same from Mumbai itself but other parts of business including day-to-day sales and pitching could be taken care for by the Bangladesh-based team.
AR: Anything more in your agenda during this Bangladesh trip?
Mayank Kotak: I am also planning to meet the local brands that are operating in Bangladesh as the country has a vibrant retail sector currently where opportunities of working with them are massive. I will try to meet some of them; make them aware of our strengths and capabilities.
AR: Do you supply directly from India or have any production unit/warehouse here in Bangladesh?
Mayank Kotak: At present, we are supplying from India only. However, it’s not just Bangladesh, we are supplying directly to other countries including Sri Lanka, where we have some of our very big clients. As you would perhaps be aware, we are associated with around 90 per cent of the intimatewear brands, who have nominated us to supply raw materials for them and as a matter of fact, we supply to all the countries in the Indian subcontinent currently from Mumbai only.
AR: Any particular product/products (in accessories) that you think have very good prospects in Bangladesh?
Mayank Kotak: All kinds of trims. Also, as we have added to our product offerings over the years, we are now in a better position to cater to the industry’s requirements in all that they need including packaging hangers and clips.
We have such strong technical expertise now that we can develop any new item in the shortest lead-time.
Today, our modest growth has enabled us to easily offer products matching buyers’ parameters and I don’t think Kotak has much of a competition from anyone for certain products. We are in a continuous process is improving our production and processes.
AR: But the Chinese have the cost advantage, right?
Mayank Kotak: There’s not much of difference even if quality-wise we are far more superior. This was, however, not the case some 10-12 years back. But things have changed drastically over the years, and I must say we are quite competitive.
What’s more, due to the trade war with USA, many brands these days are looking at other sourcing avenues for trims and accessories which give an added advantage.
AR: How has this impacted you?
Mayank Kotak: There have been some positives for us for sure. Just to give an example, some of our Sri Lankan clients, who earlier used to source from China as well, has stopped doing so, which have opened up new opportunities for players like us in which they also benefit from the Indo-Lanka FTA & GSP for their exports.
AR: Any growth projections that you have in mind for Bangladesh?
Mayank Kotak: We are undoubtedly looking at substantial growth and we want to achieve that in the next one to two years. We are already working with a big number of industry players in Bangladesh even as we continue to pursue and develop potential clients.
AR: Any message for the Bangladesh garment industry?
Mayank Kotak: I see huge potential for Bangladesh garment industry to grow further. This, in turn, has also helped us to grow. In our 8 years of existence in Bangladesh, we have witnessed very encouraging growth so much so that even during the pandemic period, there was growth in Bangladesh.
So, as the Bangladesh garment industry continues to evolve to touch new heights, we at Kotak Group are ready to partner them in this growth journey. We are a one-stop shop for intimatewear manufacturing and offer complete package; any accessory, any article that they need, or any guidance required, we are always accessible for the industry.