Serai is the digital B2B platform by HSBC that makes global trade easier for apparel businesses. Serai connects apparel buyers, suppliers and manufacturers digitally to build trusted relationships with simple information sharing. Recently Vivek Ramachandran, CEO, Serai talked with Team Denim Focus and shared his personal views on Digitalization in Bangladesh Apparel Industry.
Denim Focus: How do you evaluate the recent marketing strategy of the Bangladesh Textile & Apparel Industry?
Vivek Ramachandran: We believe that Bangladesh has a huge opportunity to secure a larger share of the global RMG export market if local manufacturers use digital tools to showcase their products, capabilities, and credentials to international buyers
It’s still a very offline industry and we’ve found that many manufacturers don’t have an online presence. Obviously, this has presented a key challenge for them in growing their business this year due to COVID-19. We’ve had to work closely with many of the local businesses in educating them of the benefits of going digital and even helping them build digital profiles. On the positive side, we’ve found that many Bangladeshi RMG manufacturers are receptive to going digital but lack the knowledge of how to do so.
Denim Focus: As the largest exporter how can Bangladeshi companies utilize established alternative platforms like Serai?
Vivek Ramachandran: Serai is uniquely positioned to connect apparel suppliers, buyers and brands worldwide, allowing them to build new relationships or strengthen existing ones. We are investing in bringing both large and emerging global and local brands to join the platform.
Serai’s platform allows Bangladeshi manufacturers to showcase their strengths, services, products and facilities. We offer a platform where suppliers and manufactures can create a company profile and highlight key areas of their business which include certifications of sustainability and compliance. Members of the platform also get exclusive access to industry news, views and data shaping global trends in the apparel sector.
We continue to build on the platform to introduce valuable features to our customers so that Serai becomes a one-stop portal for facilitating global trade. For example, Serai recently launched a solution aimed at providing apparel companies with the ability to track their supply chains from end-to-end.
The platform is easy to use and offers an intuitive user interface. We’ve built a large network of over 4000 apparel companies on the platform, with almost 700 of them from Bangladesh including well-known Bangladeshi manufacturers such as Envoy Textiles, DBL Group and Viyellatex.
Denim Focus: What are the services Serai provides and how it will help for sourcing international buyers?
Vivek Ramachandran: Serai is the digital B2B platform by HSBC that makes global trade easier for apparel businesses. Members can build new relationships and strengthen existing ones. Companies can share information about their business, products and services to create a trusted ecosystem across the supply chain. They can create a company profile for free where they can highlight key areas of their business which include certifications of sustainability and compliance.
We recently launched a Request for Quotation (RFQ) service where buyers and brands who are actively looking for specific products or services can post their quotation requests on the platform, making it much easier for manufacturers and suppliers to directly respond to interested parties.