In the intricate landscape of business, triumph is often the result of a blend of foresight, strategic planning, innovation and adaptability. One entity that exemplifies these principles, carving a path to extraordinary achievements, is Bangladesh’s distinguished knitwear manufacturer and exporter, Urmi Group.
The genesis of Urmi Group traces back to a modest brickfield in 1955, established by the father of the current Chairman and Managing Director, Fakhruddin Ahmed. This foundation led to a progression in civil construction and inland water transportation – a strategic move in a riverine nation like Bangladesh. The subsequent establishment of the group’s first apparel manufacturing unit in 1980 marked a pivotal moment.
Mir Ashraful Hossain, Director and Group COO, affirms that their approach has always been to stand out. “From the very beginning, we were strategically inclined and wanted to do things differently,” he asserts. Backward integration, a common practice among garment manufacturers, saw Urmi Group establish its own textile manufacturing unit, Fakhruddin Textiles.
This state-of-the-art establishment boasts 84 knitting machines producing around 25,000 kilograms of knit fabrics.
In the realm of readymade garment (RMG) manufacturing, Urmi Group operates an expansive facility of 800,000 square feet, housing over 90 production lines and possessing the capacity to produce 1,50,000 pieces of diverse knitwear items daily.
“It all differs from brands to brands. Some are concerned about styling while for others, fabric matters the most,” shares Hossain. This tailor-made approach aligns with their diverse clientele, which includes renowned names like M&S, H&M, Decathlon and many more.
Their pursuit for differentiation led Urmi Group to specialise in activewear and athleisure, capitalising on a growing niche.
The group’s joint venture with Japan’s Toray Inc., resulted in a LEED-certified green factory – UHM LTD – the largest seamless apparel unit in Bangladesh, producing 300,000 units daily. Toray also emerged as their key client in Japan.
“Even though our main market is Europe where we ship almost 80 percent of our offerings, Japan also came up the ranks strongly,” acknowledges Hossain.
Embracing technology, the group incorporated Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) into their operations. “We were introduced to RFID by some of our clients who wanted to ensure packing accuracy of the finished goods,” holds the group COO of Urmi.
RFID has revolutionised inventory management, ensuring precision, efficiency, real-time updates and automation. “RFID has helped us tremendously in annual audits (of yarn), which earlier used to take months but is now completed within hours,” explains Hossain.
Urmi Group’s design studio underscores their commitment to innovation even as backward integration empowers them to offer value enhancement from the fabric stage.
“It’s all about delivering what the client values most,” reflects Hossain.
Working with a diverse clientele, Urmi continues to innovate and collaborate to elevate fabric functionality.
Guided by principles of vision and innovation, Urmi Group exemplifies a narrative of success marked by strategic moves, transformative technologies and an unwavering spirit of progress.