Being secure in a market and enjoying a majority share certainly does not translate into complacency, at least not for market leaders like Lectra, a world leader in integrated technology solutions based in France. The brand working in Bangladesh through Aamra Group, has seen amazing growth over the last decade as companies search for automated solutions to run their factories better. In fact in 2012, Aamra Resources Ltd. the apparel solutions division of the group, held the 3rd position globally as the bestselling agent of Lectra. Powered by a dynamic leadership, Shamim Masudul Haque, Deputy GM – Aamra Resources, who has been with the Lectra brand for over 12 years, underlines the shift in opportunities for Lectra, as Bangladesh moves up the value chain.
Bangladesh is evolving from a CM manufacturing destination to FOB exports, and now also looking at design intervention; companies that are ahead of the trend are growing. “We have all the technical know-how and resources to implement a Lectra technology in any factory, however we are moving up to the next level by learning new skills,” admits Shamim. What he is referring to is the growing number of enquiries for the design software. The upfront team at Aamra that handles Lectra is now sharpening their understanding of design and requirements of a product development department in an export house to service the segment effectively. “It has been an interesting learning experience, as Bangladesh has many local designers, but their sensibility is Asian so they are not the right people to teach the nuances of international fashion,” muses Shamim. Now a designer with international exposure has been roped in and the ‘training’ continues.
Earlier this year, a seminar was organized by H&M and Lectra which focused on trends and market challenges and importance of working collaboratively across the supply chain when working with Lectra’s product development solution Modaris®. It was attended by more than 100 people from 51 apparel manufacturing companies. “It is only in the last two-three years that designing has become an upcoming market and we are working hard to master the segment like in other technologies,” says Shamim. He shares that there must be around 20-25 design studios in Bangladesh who are looking to invest in such technology as of now, and it is certainly a growth area.
Lectra entered the Bangladesh market in 1994 and has since captured 60 per cent market share mostly for CAD/CAM providing pattern and marker making solutions and cutting room technology. The brand has successfully communicated to the industry that though every cutter can cut, but there is much more to quality than that. Also the combination of advance technology and responsive service has worked well for the company.
“Today forward-thinking companies want data, they want to analyse their performance and build strategy of growth around that, and Lectra solutions are like partners who give much more than what they are expected to,” avers Shamim. Initially the focus was only on increasing productivity, but now it is about quality, saving fabric and monitoring/managing performance.
Despite such a major presence, Shamim feels that the industry at large is still not very much aware of what such a technology can do for them. “Every time I go to a customer I have to demonstrate my claims; they do not believe only on the strength of the brand, for them the question is always – Do I need to invest so much…? That is where our market development programme is all about. We continuously hold seminars and workshops to update our customers and perspective customers on new market trends and latest technology developments,” shares Shamim. Such workshops are open to all and not only for customers. Training is also a very important aspect of the market development programme which is regularly held in the Aamra office and at factories.
As a future strategy, Lectra is zeroing in and identifying the right customers to approach and then presenting the most appropriate technology. “Market in Bangladesh has really matured and now customers are not buying machines just to impress the buyer, but because they understand what the technology can do for them, so customers who approach us know why they are going for Lectra. Now it is for us to ensure they get the best fit for their needs,” says Shamim who is very proud that their technology is in most progressive companies irrespective of whether they are big players or not. Adds Shamin, “A progressive company need not be a huge company, someone like Ananta, which is young and still very new, but is led by a very upfront and forward-thinking team.”
Shamim claims that there are technically 18 competitors along the various solutions provided by Lectra, but they are the only ones who have the complete basket of solutions. As of today, Lectra provides integrated solution to 23,000 customers in more than 100 countries with annual revenues of US $ 264 million. “We start with small solutions and only when customers get comfortable do we move to the next level of investment. There is no push to take full solution in one go, also we encourage them to explore other competitors because they have to be satisfied that getting an integrated solution from Lectra is going to give them the maximum benefit, instead of substituting say a plotter with another less expensive brand,” argues Shamim.
Lectra is very confident of future growth as the potential for growth is huge not only in the traditional markets. “We already do apparel, home and footwear, but this year we have installed three cutters for car seat manufacturing for the first time in the country, so a new segment has opened for us. When production starts by the end of this year it may attract more investments. Diversification is happening and new markets are being introduced and for which Lectra is ready, as we have hardware, software and solutions,” concludes Shamim.
Key products for Lectra in Bangladesh…..
• Modaris® – THE WORLDWIDE STANDARD FOR PATTERN MAKING
Designed to meet the needs of fashion companies around the world in terms of lead times, quality, and garment fit, for more than 10 years has been the industry standard for the biggest names in fashion. It is the most popular software among pattern makers.
• Diamino® – THE MEANS TO ACHIEVE REAL FABRIC SAVINGS
With Diamino Fashion, Lectra offers the most powerful marker-making solution in the market for prototyping, production, and precise evaluation of material costs. Taking a greater range of constraints into account, this software enables users to generate more markers with greater efficiency and better quality, regardless of fabric and garment type.
• Vector® – THE MOST POWERFUL, RAPID, AND INTELLIGENT AUTOMATED CUTTING SOLUTION in THE MARKET
The Vector Fashion guarantees a better throughput, optimizes production costs, and reduces the risk of error, and increases capacity, allowing companies to fill a larger number of orders.