“BGMEA leadership is a service. It’s not about the political power”- Imranur Rahman, Managing Director of Laila Group

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Md. Imranur Rahman, Managing Director, Laila Styles & Bando Design is a candidate for the upcoming BGMEA election 2021-2023 from Sammilita Parishad. Mr. Imran has 17 years of experience in RMG industry. He is also Director of Sterling Group and former Chairman- BGMEA Standing Committee of Foreign Mission Cell. He completed his M.Sc in Marketing Management from University of Luton, UK and B.Sc in Business Administration from California State University, USA. Recently Mr. Md. Imranur Rahman shared his views with Denim Focus team. Key points of the discussions are mentioned here for our readers-

Denim Focus: What was your inspiration to be involved in BGMEA Leadership?

Imranur Rahman: Bangladesh has developed a lot in the area of industrialization. We all know that Bangladesh Garments Industry impacted the most for this development. That’s why we must not forget how this garments industry came to today’s position. No one can disavow the contribution of late Mr. M. Noorul Quader to this garments industry. In 2002, when I graduated from California state university, and in 2004, when I completed my MSc from the UK, I could have settled myself there. I returned to my country back for my affection to this country & Bangladesh Garments industry. Let me explain how we had been inspired, when I was young, I saw Former BGMEA president, Mr. Redwan Ahmed. There are very few persons like him in Bangladesh who relentlessly worked for both Factory owners and workers, not for his own business. I would love to mention Abdus Salam Murshedy, who was a popular footballer. There were many popular footballers, but no one had the successful journey as industrialists like Salam Murshedy. We all know his current position as a leader. When he talks about anything, we keep hearing him charmingly. We the young entrepreneur want to be like him. The current mayor of Dhaka North City Corporation Mr. Atiqul Islam is holding this position by his own capabilities. How he tackled the terrible situation of the garments industry when he was BGMEA president is known to all. Without a dynamic leader like him and an excellent team, it wasn’t possible to control such incident. Similarly, if we talk about Md. Shafiul Islam Mohiuddin, who was another successful BGMEA President, I must say, what a nice person he is! Can we find someone like him who can work by hugging every owner and worker? We are also grateful & inspired by another strong leader Mostafa Golam Quddus. I would like to mention another person Mr. Kutubuddin Ahmed, Chairman of Envoy group who was also the president of BGMEA. He speaks so beautifully and guides us in a way that it always seems like he is blessing us with each word.

Our Hon’ble Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is helping this Garment sector with open arms. Our current commerce minister Hon’ble Tipu Munshi is a freedom fighter. He must be renowned for this identity who gave us our country after fighting with the enemy, not only by as an industrialist. Our young generation has to know this history.  The Commerce minister entered into politics with his own competency, not only with his business identity. When He talks, everyone hears him so passionately.  Neither everyone can say everything nor everyone can make others listen like he can. Every person has their own quality. This quality should be respected. Our current BGMEA Vice president Mr. S.M. Mannan (Kochi), does nothing for his own garments factory, always running for helping others. He is always working for every garment owner & BGMEA.

Our Panel leader, Mr. Faruque Hassan, served BGMEA for a long time. We all know his dedication & effort for the Garment industry, textile education and BGMEA. We will feel proud if a kind-hearted, soft-spoken, educated leader like him comes into the leadership of BGMEA.  What I exactly want to say is that these seniors who led BGMEA at different times didn’t get enough time to concentrate on their own business. Because BGMEA needs more time and they had to be concerned about all policies, govt. access, problems, hurdles and many more issues. This is how they sacrificed their lives for serving the garments industry. God has given us the opportunity to be by the side of such nice persons.

Denim Focus: How are you inspired to set up green factory?

Imranur Rahman: When I go to Epyllion factory and hear from Reaz Uddin Al Mamun I feel inspired. When his younger brother Junaid Abu saleh Musa shows the entire Epyllion factory I feel that this is how all our factories should be. When respected businessmen Mr. Md. Sajjadur Rahman Mridha (Shipon) & Miran Ali talks about their Green Factories Vintage Denim & Remmy Holdings, we become inspired and learn from them to make a good factory. I dream one-day buyer will say, “This is beyond Bangladesh; the garments sector of BD is above everything else. Nowhere else it is happening like this & Bangladeshi Owners have taken their factory standard to such a place.”  With this long perished dream, I have established a green factory.

Denim Focus: What is your message to the second generation?

Imranur Rahman: My biggest message to the young generation, “Don’t forget those who sacrificed their lives for our Garments Industry.” Many from the young generation have studied from abroad. We experienced the outer world broadly, However, we will be lucky if we are able to contribute 10 percent of the before-mentioned persons.

“We will work for Research & Development and Digitalization. But we all have to remember the history and sacrifice. The garment industry is now booming and needs to be taken further. Last 2 years we faced a lot of problems. Problems will come and we must have the ability to face them. And I believe that together we all will work for this by uniting owners and workers.”

Our young generation is working for BGMEA with a different dimension. A new organization namely Bangladesh Apparel Youth Leaders Association started its journey for developing and branding our garments industry. Such initiative is praiseworthy. We will work for Research & Development and Digitalization. But we all have to remember the history and sacrifices. The garments industry is now booming and needs to be taken further. Last 2 years we faced a lot of problems. Problems will come and we must have the ability to face them. And I believe that together we all will work for this by uniting owners and workers.

Denim Focus: What is your observation about the upcoming BGMEA Election?

Imranur Rahman: We have to keep in mind that, if we want to save our garments industry we must save our workers, and in the same way, garments owners can’t be neglected either. We must not forget the contribution of every garment industry owner. BGMEA must stand for Garments owner. BGMEA leadership is a service. It’s not about political power. When someone comes into BGMEA, he sacrifices his life for BGMEA keeping his own business aside. And that should be the real practice of BGEMA leadership, I believe. In today’s world, we see many success stories, but very few know about the struggle behind this successful journey of the garments industry. Currently, BGMEA is struggling more for developing business policy. We also have to work on exit policy, Chittagong seaport, airport, transport and congestion, workers’ wellbeing, & especially post covid situation. We must look after small to medium factories. Recently our country has developed a lot, our safety and security upgrades are being appreciated by the rest of the world. All those garments owners who are our brothers and sisters always work for single agenda – we have to continue to develop our industry

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