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“The second generation will be blessings for the industry if they learn dedicatedly from the first generation” – Md Taifei Azmi Irfan

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Classic Group is one of the finest Garments industries in Bangladesh and has been contributing to our economy under the leadership of Md. Shahidullah Azim, Vice President, BGMEA since 1991. Now this company’s steer has been taken over by two Young talented sons of Mr Shahidullah namely Md Taifei Azmi Irfan and Tahsin Azim Shezan as Directors. Recently Team Textile Focus had a conversation with Mr Irfan and he shared his experience, business growth, and some important suggestions for the upcoming second generation. For our readers, the conversation is drafted below-

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From Left: Tahsin Azim Shezan & Md Taifei Azmi Irfan, Directors of Classic Group

Observation of textile and apparel business during the pandemic:

There were orders before the pandemic. Due to the global bad situation, some orders were held. When the world again became stable, those orders were again shipped. According to buyers, there is a vibe of business growth in the future for Bangladesh apparel industry. As there is some unrest in India, Myanmar followed by Anti-China feelings among Americans and Some Europeans. Then it can be easily predicted that some orders will come to us. However, it all depends on the Covid situation in BD. So we need some balancing among covid situations. 

What is the business strength of Classic Group?

Basically, we started our journey with Shirts, then we moved to Bottoms. Recently we have started knit item productions. To be vibrant in the market with product diversification considering market trends up-downs we are focusing on these 3 category products. So that our business stays balanced always. However, we are specialized in shirts.

As an entrepreneur from the 21st century, we are very time-bound and follow Time and Action Very Strictly. Schedule date is followed by every department to make the business always live. 

In which market are you exporting? 

We always look for new markets. As you know, the market is very competitive and our costs are very tight. As the Govt provides 5% incentives for new market exploration. We are taking advantage of it and continuously searching for new markets like South America, Mexico, Chile, etc.. We are also exporting products to regular markets like the USA & Europe.

How do you evaluate the Second Generation in the industry, as a Threat or Advantage?

In a sense, it could be both but depends on the learning and implementing curve. If the second generation learns about business from the first generation very dedicatedly then they won’t be a threat. 

On the other hand, If any second-generation thinks that after having graduated from abroad he will not go to the factory and decline to work with workers and operators, then he/she won’t be able to learn from the core and will be a threat for the industry.

Any Further investment plan of Classic group? 

We are focusing on activewear. As people are buying smart now, there is a huge market. Unfortunately in our country, we have very few factories specialized in activewear. Most of the top-rated buyers like Puma, Nike, Addidas source from Vietnam, Pakistan. I have a strong wish to move into Activewear. 

Any suggestions for the young generation?

From my experience, our Industry is very Labor oriented. That’s why we need to have very good communication from workers’ level to gradually top level. Every young entrepreneur or new generation who enters into the industry should start from a factory and at least 1-2 years need to work in the factory, and not to take any decision within this learning period. Then they should move to the merchandise, commercial and finally banking sector.