The exclusive ‘Xperience Zone’ created by Dhaval Colour Chem (DCC) in Dhaka recently is much more than a beautiful showroom to display the art of printing. The Zone, which is the brainchild of Dhaval Dadia (Managing Director of DCC Group of Companies) is headed by H N Ashiqur Rahman, Country Manager, DCC, and having headquarters in India, is offering an entire range of printers – screen, digital and sublimation – and the aim is to make available printing technology and know-how to all levels of the industry so that the increasing focus on value addition by exporters in Bangladesh can be serviced. As of now only few selected players have access to and expertise of the technology; and moving forward, adding value to garments in a definite direction. The unique Zone will partner with companies to do free sampling for them so that they can fetch orders which currently are going to competitive countries just because of printing specialization. The Xperience Zone of DCC in Dhaka is also a place where buying offices can see designs and printing quality, and get references of exporters in Bangladesh who can deliver the same.
Spread over 4,000 sq. feet in the heart of the city, the Zone has on display a variety of machines, printing processes and samples. Just two months old, the Xperience Zone/showroom is the first-of-its-kind in Bangladesh which is offering complete solution/support as far as printing is concerned, be it certified training, complete raw material like ink to paper, machines, design development support and that too for the complete supply chain from fabric to garments, home furnishing to even signage industry. It gives a fair idea of how to create concepts that will appeal to buyers; in one such case a beautiful kids room has been recreated, displaying entire range of products which an RMG exporter can do for its buyers.
“The anticipation to our launch here was intense, and we are thrilled to have launched in the world’s second largest textile industry. We are confident that our integrated printing solutions, technologies, hands-on training and services will help Bangladesh companies add the missing piece of value to their product line which is key to achieve the US $ 50 billion export target by 2021,” maintained Dhaval Dadia.
“I think value addition is the key to achieve the goal as it will fetch more FOBs, without this the target doesn’t seem possible. Secondly, infrastructura issues are very important, for example: Dhaka to Chittagong route is presently taking 48 hours by road. Besides power and gas availability is also a major constraint; and last but not the least is political stability and which is most important.” – H N Ashiqur Rahman
Though DCC is already having many clients in Bangladesh, like Metro, Square, Dard Group, the company was not satisfied being only a technology supplier. “Whenever a Bangladeshi exporter visited DCC’s Mumbai/Tirupur (India) showrooms to get first-hand feel of the machines, they were highly impressed with the concept and many actually requested DCC to start a similar setup in Bangladesh as it would be cost-effective and provide hands on service for them. We conducted a market survey before we embarked on the project to know the requirements of the industry and found three major needs – showroom, initial free sampling and capacity building (training). This motivated us to step into Bangladesh with full force,” shares Rahman.
The initial response to the initiative has been much more than the expectation and 4-5 new customers have already booked orders for their services/machines. Not only that the kind of confidence it is creating in the minds of RMG exporters is overwhelming. “Exporters, who visited us, have informed their buyers that they are ready to take orders for value-added and complicated print designs. The way things are shaping up, even if we plan 100 installations of sublimation machines in next one year, we will achieve more than that as customers are very happy with us,” said Rahman, adding that even buying houses/liaison offices were happily surprised to see the samples at the Zone during the launching occasion. The launch event generated a stir and witnessed almost double visitation than the company’s expectations. The Zone is manned by a team of 10 experts in various applications.
Putting together the Zone was very challenging and even today printing work (for job-work) on fabric is going out of Bangladesh to India, China and Vietnam because nobody has the confidence that Bangladesh can do such products, but now more than 150 buyers/liaison offices that have visited the showroom are coming forward and getting samples done, the process of confidence building has begun. Issue of awareness is the main concern for DCC, even more than cost, but quality of printing and strong support is like a tool for DCC against these problems. “Buyers are recommending their suppliers to go to DCC for printing solutions. Top brands like H&M, Mango, and Zara liked the samples made by DCC and now vendors are in the process to get the orders of the same.” To train printing professionals, DCC has a tie-up with CEBAI (joint initiative of ILO and BGMEA), an institute for skill development in the RMG sector and also involved with R&D activities.
Looking to ride on the natural growth projectile of Bangladesh RMG industry, Rahman has many reasons to be positive of growth for DCC in Bangladesh, be it major shifting of Bangladesh towards product development rather than just doing basic or little value addition, efforts of exporters to fetch more FOBs, or growing need to reduce dependency on labour and comply with zero water requirement for printing expansion. “Currently Bangladesh is 70 per cent into screen printing (due to high cotton base) and same will continue to dominate in the next few years. With screen printing, a growing trend for digital, sublimation is a big opportunity for us. Reducing lead time, changing customer demand, small orders are also motivating RMG players to shift from screen to digital and sublimation printing. The companies already into screen printing will further go for direct to textile printing,” predicts Rahman, who doesn’t see any competition as of now for their concept, but welcomes it saying, “Like us, many more solution providers will come in the future, it will be helpful for us as industry will be more aware and the customer himself will come to us to know our offerings.”
Known as ‘Ashiq bhai’, Rahman who has worked for more than a decade with sewing machine company ‘Brother’, is a man who knows the industry very well and has strong relations within the industry. Moving from just a Sales Executive in Brother to becoming Head – Sales, he supported the company to achieve business of US $ 40 million per year. Overall, various kinds of professional training from home and abroad and exposure, has made Rahman capable of holding such an important role like Country Manager of DCC. “I have visited more than 2,000 factories in Bangladesh and now the sewing machine industry is almost saturated. This was the best time to explore new and bigger things where I can invest all my learning and earning, and DCC provides me that platform,” he concluded.