Bangladesh RMG industry is passing a challenging time for both buyers and suppliers due to the current pandemic situation. We believe that BD will be in a good situation as global brands are planning to shift their export orders from China.
Abdullah Al Mamun, Business Unit Manager, Marks & Spencer. More than 12 years’ experience in this sector. As a brand representative recently he shared his experience & job opportunity & skills who wants to be a career in the RMG sector with Textile Focus.
Textile Focus: Why you have built your career in the RMG sector & share your working experience?
Abdullah Al Mamun : I have always dream to work for our country’s economy, and based on our economy I knew RMG is playing a big role where I want to persuade my career and wanted to do more value-added programs and work to contribute.
Just before one year of my graduation (from BUFT) I got opportunities to work as an Industrial Engineer in a group of companies and work for 3 months to understand the production process and breakdown, as I did a short workshop from BUET-IPE dept. which really helped me to understand quickly, then I move back to my university to finish my graduation as well as a Diploma in the Russian language from Dhaka University. However, on the day of my final exam (in the evening) I got an offer from a composite industry to work in the Merchandising team and join there instantly, that time my result and final project yet to submit but start my first Job with great confidence, and worked there for a year. After that, I submit my Final project based on my first job experience, accordingly my result published, and got a very good grade which was 3.73 out of 4 scales. After that I Join to a Singaporean based Trading company named Texebo International and worked there almost for 4 years, I think negotiation and business-critical analysis have learned throughout this time, and did my MBA in parallel. and then I move to an Australian big retailer named Woolworth Global sourcing and worked there for 1.5 years, I handled Kids wear dept. which added another dimension of learning, and all of a sudden, got an opportunity from M&S and faced for it, I could remember the toughest interview ever I have faced grabbing these opportunities, and honestly it was my dream job. However, I Join there in July 2014 and found it a little challenging as working for 12 hours a day but still can’t finish my assigned task, as it was a transitional time to move the business from FSV to direct, and today I am very proud as working as Business Unit Manager to lead Knitwear team, MSR and other international. I am also super proud of working with a great leader Shwapna Bhowmick who is the Head of the Country of M&S, and with her leadership, I am with M&S for more than 6 years now which is the highest ever I worked with any company, honestly, I found this is a great place to work where we can show our innovation; working with ownership; good work always being recognized and being rewarded, I am learning and focusing on leadership which is still is an ongoing process.
Textile Focus: Could you please share the recent scenario of the RMG sector?
Abdullah Al Mamun: Bangladesh RMG industry is passing challenging time for both buyers and suppliers due to the current pandemic situation. We believe that BD will be in a good situation as global brands are planning to shift their export orders from China to other countries like Bangladesh, Vietnam, India, Indonesia, and Cambodia but still we have to be very serious and keep the focus on improvements, as many of buyers affected by this virus especially in EU countries which are leading to cancellation, push back and creating a difficult time for manufacturers on their cash flow management.
On the other hand, US market share is increasing with BD as the US prohibited to source materials from China’s Xinjiang province might create opportunities to increase, and US market has increased one point to 8.1% in the first 9 months of this year. Expert opinion is it might create due to current trade tension between US and China. So here we can see some hope for our industry. And US market can grow in both Bangladesh and Vietnam, also product-wise some factories are facing overcapacity, for example, sleepwear and Jersey and other essential product demand have rocketed.
Textile Focus: Textile Students are most focused merchandising job after completed graduation what are your suggestions? What types of skill needs before a job?
Abdullah Al Mamun: Given my example, at first while I start my career as Industrial Engineer I found myself accelerating my career with rapid growth as after only a few months I got the opportunities to heading a big team as a team leader, but my dream was to build on Merchandising so eventually I move to this department, I know many textile Engineers their dream job is to work in this dept. and that is fine, but there are many other areas where you can explore and have less competition. For example, fit technologist, Wet processing, spinning, and Industrial Engineering, design and innovation, specially demand on Formal fit technologist is rocketing. Also, it depends on your personality, if you really want to communicate and being a very proactive and expressive person then you might select Merchandising job but remember you have to face a massive challenge as this is the most demanding job at this moment .or If you think you are a creative person and want to innovate then may select Design and innovation which also have a bright career, if you want to work with machines or production management then may select industrial engineering, wet processing or Spinning/ Knitting, just choice combining your feeling, dream, capabilities, and growth rate.
Before Job, I think some skills needed to grow, for example, communication skills, being active, self-awareness and being a good team member. Besides that, typing skills and computer literacy are highly important. Basic textile knowledge can accelerate the learning process and have to be a quick learner as well.
Textile Focus: How many scopes on working & opportunities in Brands & Retailers in the future?
Abdullah Al Mamun: As we know US market share will grow in our country hence believe there would be more opportunities to work for brands or retailers. We are also focusing on value-added products, so within a few years, this industry will look for more creative and technically advanced persons. As a result, more scopes will be provided to the young generation. Just believe that we are serving in a uniquely combined sector where we need plethora of types of skilled persons. So diversified career will surely be ensured specially by the Brands and retailers.