Day 2 of Garmentech 2018, which is currently taking place at Bashundhara International Convention Centre in Dhaka (Bangladesh) remained a busy day for the exhibitors as many industry bigwigs were seen exploring innovations at the fair. Top bosses of companies such as Mahmud Denim, Palmal Group, Islam Group, Utah Group, besides many other small- and medium-level exporters were spotted on Day 2 of the four-day tech extravaganza and the search was similar – Automation and ‘value-adding’ machines, the value in terms of design and operational excellence.
Over the time, Bangladesh’s apparel manufacturers have realised that technology is their only way of survival in an industry where the search for the ‘cheapest’ destination is a constant endeavour. Despite being known as the hub of cheap labour, Bangladesh is now facing challenges like increase in the wage rates and higher cost on compliances along with several other issues that have led to an increase in the overall cost of production; hence, lower margins for the manufacturers.
For a country that has always been acknowledged for its open mindset and receptiveness towards technology, today, adopting new ways to improve efficiencies and better quality have become even more critical. Almost every technology provider that team Apparel Resources talked to, was highly appreciative of the upfront approach of the garment exporters in Bangladesh and their genuine curiosity on the latest offerings.
The proactiveness of manufacturers and their push to technology providers in offering technology, which a few years ago was unthinkable of in the country. This has started creating a synergy between both (apparel manufacturers and tech providers) that will surely help Bangladesh’s apparel industry achieve great heights. An example of same is Sthe great response received by H&H’s seam sealing machines and SmartMRT hanger systems (on display at Garmentech 2018), both of which are new to the Bangladesh market.
Another highlight that is catching everyone’s attention at the expo is the pedal for standing operations by Duerkopp Adler. The pedal is of great importance in terms of ergonomics for operators who have to stand while operating, thereby reducing the chances of a backache.
On Day 2, we observed an increase in the number of companies offering European technologies that are expensive than the Chinese counterparts but were seen as an assurance of reliability for long-term goals. Every technology provider has a set strategy to expand their share in the market but a common thread between all of them for the Bangladesh market is that they are taking small steps. With a clear vision that the need of the market is ‘automation’, they are focusing on this aspect only. While they agree that for few years Industry 4.0 will not be in demand in Bangladesh, they are in no hurry to introduce the concept in the market yet.
As for the visitors, the sizes of their operations don’t matter, what is important is the urge to adopt automation today to stay relevant in a market that is getting competitive by the day with many old and new markets giving tough competition to Bangladesh. The focus is now on new product categories, suits, trousers, lingerie and more value addition. Printing, embroidery, accessories all drew great interest on Day 2.
Apparel Resources will soon share the Day 3 review with you, so stay tuned and catch the updates.