Engr. Mohammad Salim Reza from Tangail district completed his textile engineering in College of Textile Engineering & Technology, now Bangladesh University of Textiles (BUTEX). He has built his glorious professional career through his dedication, hard work, and consistency to develop himself. He is a successful organizer from his student life as was involved in different organizational activities. He is also Sr. Vice President of Institution of Textile Engineers & Technologists (ITET); Joint Secretary General 01 – Bangabandhu Textile Engineers Association (BBTEA), Joint Secretary-Tangail Somity; President-United 22 (A member organization of BUTEX 22nd Batch), Member Secretary-Greater Mymensingh Textile Engineers Association. (GMTEA). He had to struggle a lot to stand at present position. Textile Focus Technical Team Leader Engr. Abrar A Apu; Editor, M A Islam Riyadh and Special Correspondent Md. Mostafa Kamal recently talked with Engr. Mohammad Salim Reza in different issues. Key points of the discussion are mentioned bellow which can be beneficiary for young textile engineers.
Textile Focus: How do you enjoy your life as a textile engineer?
Engr. Salim: I enjoy my life as a textile engineer. Whenever I was student of textile engineering the scenario was fully different. Fortunately I am textile engineer. I was admitted at Khulna University of Engineering & Technology (KUET) in Civil Engineering. By the force of my friends I took part at the admission test at College of Textile Engineering & Technology now Bangladesh University of Textiles (BUTEX). I did not took the admission seriously as I was admitted at KUET, even I did not follow up the admission test result. After someday I received a letter to get admitted at BUTEX. Consulting with my parents and one of my senior brother I took the decision to postpone my admission at KUET and got admitted at BUTEX in the last date of admission. After that I did not have to look back. My result of 1st year and 2nd year was brilliant. But I could not continue the result flow as I was involved in different social and political activities. I wasEducation & Seminar Secretary, TECSU; Joint Secretary General, BCL; Founder President-Debate Club, Secretary General- Cultural Club.
After completing the textile engineering degree I had to pass a hard life as I was not receiving good calls for job. Most of my friends were joined in different factories and buying offices. I was a bit frustrated. One day Engr. Mir Mobasher Ali, Managing Director of Horizon Group informed me that Divine Group is searching for dynamic textile engineer for their factory. Then I went there and started my professional career.
Textile Focus: How do you compare textile engineering education you time and present?
Engr. Salim: Now the generation is changing its pattern rapidly. Now everything is very available. We can check with the latest happening staying anywhere in the world. In our time, these facilities were not available. We had to take the notes from the class and search a lot of references which were very difficulties to manage. Now students can get all relevant information by clicking at his mobile, laptop. Time is advancing rapidly. Future generation will get more advanced technologies. It’s a continuous process, for this positive attitude is very important. Now industry is exploring and more value addition is required. For this a textile engineer should be updated with all latest information and technology. Everyday new technologies are adopting and being a textile professional one should followup recent happenings. Now our textile engineers are doing very well and some are working in intentional textile market. So, comparison our time and this time is fully different.
Textile Focus: What qualities should be for a textile engineer?
Engr. Salim: As I said earlier now it’s time of technology. So, a textile engineers must be technologically sound. They must have leadership quality. In textile industry there are a lot of problems and a textile engineer has to handle a lot of people. Only a leader can take the right decision under pressure and can solve any arisen issues smartly. Those qualities can’t be adopted in a day, for this textile engineers should practice those quality from their student life. There is no space of emotion in professional life. They must be visionary. I want the future textile engineers’ with leadership, technologically sound, dedication and constancy to work qualities.
Textile Focus: What sort of challenges you faced in your professional life?
Engr. Salim: I joined Divine Textile as Production Officer. As there was arrangement of living at the factory area, I took the challenge and engaged myself at the factory most of my time. I believe in consistency. I started working hard at the factory floor and set the mind to develop myself. I was always asking the queries to my seniors and other seniors doing job in other factories. I started to develop myself.
At that time factory job was very hard and even there was no sitting chair for production office. I had to work hard in the hot dyeing floor. But I tried to make the best use of the opportunities of learning. I fully concentrated myself at the factory floor keeping aside other involvements I had in my student life.
I became Asst. Manger in five years. At that time our G.M sir Mr. Raja resigned the job. Our Managing Director sir became worried. Once he called me and advised me to run the responsibilities. As young it was very difficult to take the challenge. But I confidently accept the challenge and started working full swing with more efforts.
What I did, I filtered all the difficulties and set the relevant solutions to the problems. Then I started working on those. As a textile engineer I had the advantage of knowing the tricks and I always shared the problems with my senior textile engineers and seek possible advice from them.
Within a very short time our production increased and our Managing Director became very happy with the performance and he offered me Switzer Land trip to learn more techniques and technologies. I became General Manager and I devotedly worked hard for the factory. Finally Divine Group board of directors took the decision to promote me as Group Director. I started working on other department i.e admin, finance, marketing. I discovered my leadership capability whenever I started working with mass level to top level.
Textile Focus: To compete with the global textile market in which areas we need to develop?
Engr. Salim: Today’s textile industry is almost 600 Billion Dollar where Bangladesh’s portion is only 28 Billion Dollar, which is very few. We have a lot of scopes to work on, if we can increase the percentage, it will be booming. We have a history of 40 years in garments industry. This industry is movable. Once textile industry was in England. Then the industry shifted in to Taiwan, Turkey, Italy, China, and Bangladesh. We are passing very good time of our textile industry. Our textile industry has been expanded huge in recent years. Now we can produce world class value added products. We can manage locally 60-70% from spinning of our own demand. We have sufficient production in knitting. Now we have quality industry in accessories markets. We are now also exporting accessories. What we need to develop now is our transportation, energy issues. We export 80% of our garment products to Europe where it takes 35 days for delivery whereas Sri Lanka needs 30 days, China needs 21 days, and Turkey needs only 07 days. There is a huge gap on shipment and delivery as a result the hot cake product which to be reordered we miss that opportunity to send those again due to time barrier. As a result other countries get the orders.We have a great lacking in skilled manpower, our workers’ efficiency is 40-45% whereas in Sri Lank or China if the efficiency is around 70%. As China is in the process to shut down the garments factories there is a huge scope for Bangladesh to develop further. Currently 40,000 textile engineers are working in the industry and we still need more 10,000 textile engineers in the industry. We need a common platform to set up a proper guideline including Government, Stakeholders, Associations, Buyers, and Trade Bodies to reach the proper sustainable development.
Textile Focus: You are involved with so many social and institutional activities, how do you manage your time for those?
Engr. Salim: What I do is time management. I try to complete my tasks in priority basis. I get up very early in the morning and start my work after having exercise and breakfast. The benefit of getting early is I have enough time to work. I organize the works and perform those by maintaining a checklist. It’s true I have to engage in some social and organizational activities, for this can’t get enough time for family. But somehow I have to manage those. You know I am Sr. Vice President of Institution of Textile Engineers & Technologists (ITET); Joint Secretary General 1 –Bangabandhu Textile Engineers Association (BBTEA), Joint Secretary-Tangail Somity; President-United 22 (A member organization of BUTEX 22nd Batch), Member Secretary-Greater Mymensingh Textile Engineers Association. (GMTEA). I enjoy the involvements and try to take part is all positive activates for the betterment of textile community and the nation as well.