Major players in Bangladesh’s textile and garment industry are strategically diversifying in different sectors. They are directing their considerable financial assets towards a range of sectors, with the objective of harnessing the momentum of the country’s prospering economic terrain.
These influential garment and textile manufacturers have now extended their reach into fields such as electricity generation, real estate, agriculture, dairy, hospitality, banking, technology, insurance, capital markets, healthcare, education, e-commerce, construction, pharmaceuticals, and economic zones.
Since the late 1970s, textile and garment manufacturers have played a pivotal role in the economy by not only generating foreign currency but also creating significant job opportunities. Their contributions have accounted for nearly 85 percent of the nation’s export earnings for more than three decades. Presently, over 100 textile and garment factories record annual export turnovers of $500 million.
Among the leading players, Ha-Meem Group, a top garment and textile manufacturer, stands out for its investments in sectors like banking, insurance, media, and tea estates.
“Despite my diversified investments, my primary focus remains on the textile and garment sector,” affirmed AK Azad, Chairman and CEO of Ha-Meem. The group is strategically expanding its presence in the textile and garment domain by increasing the production of denim and recycled fabrics to meet the demands of international retailers and brands.
DBL Group, a major textile and garment conglomerate, has made substantial investments in sectors such as tiles, ceramics, pharmaceuticals, digital technologies, agriculture, and dairy products. “These sectors present immense growth potential,” explained MA Jabbar, Managing Director of DBL Group.
He emphasized that while apparel and garments remain DBL’s core business, the group has successfully expanded into various domains.
Ananta Group, another key player in the textile and garment industry, has invested in real estate, e-commerce, hotels, and leasing companies. “While we have made significant investments in other sectors, our primary focus remains on textiles and garments,” asserted Sharif Zahir, Managing Director of Ananta Group.
A prominent textile and garment entrepreneur, known for producing high-value garment items for Western buyers, revealed investing millions of dollars in electricity generation. The entrepreneur plans to further invest in producing 1,600 megawatts of power.
Md Saiful Islam, President of the Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce and Industry, representing industrial conglomerates, highlighted that large groups are diversifying investments into different sectors due to lower risks in the domestic market and higher profitability.
“With the expanding economy and emerging opportunities, the time is ripe for Bangladesh to elevate its businesses to the next level,” he stated.
Md Amin Helaly, Senior Vice-President of the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry, emphasized that surplus wealth is driving entrepreneurs to venture into new sectors, aligning with the current trend in Bangladesh. For instance, Helaly pointed out that Bangladesh’s strength in the textile sector positions the country to excel in producing textile machinery.
Bangladesh, the world’s second-largest apparel exporter, has increased its share in the global garment trade to 7.9 percent in 2022 from 6.4 percent in 2021, according to the World Trade Organization.
Notably, the entry of large corporations into new sectors doesn’t signify a departure from the traditional garment and textile industries. On the contrary, substantial investments have been directed toward establishing environmentally friendly factories. The country has achieved a remarkable feat with 200 LEED-certified factories, making it a global leader in green building practices, while another 500 units await similar recognition.
As local garment and textile producers intensify their focus on high-end value-added apparel production, the industry is poised to yield higher prices compared to basic garment items.
Helaly concluded by emphasizing the importance of nurturing small companies to enable their growth into larger entities, envisioning a brighter future for Bangladesh’s business landscape.