Mr. Faruque Hassan is an iconic character with a lot of identities i.e successful businessman, promising RMG leader, great personality, happy husband and father, very well educated and so on. He is the Managing Director of Giant Group; Honorary Consul General of Greece; Member, Board of Trustees, BGMEA University of Fashion & Technology; Vice President of Centre of Excellence for Bangladesh Apparel Industry (CEBAI); Immediate Past President, Dutch – Bangla Chamber of Commerce & Industry; Member of the Advisory Board of the RMG Project of Telenor Health; Member Expert Advisory Board (EAB)of Deltacap Project, Bangladesh Delta Plan; Co-chair of the Steering Committee of Partnership for Cleaner textile (PACT) project jointly implemented by International Finance Corporation (IFC) & BGMEA. Mr. Faruque Hassan has completed his Master degree in Management from Dhaka University. He has started his career in garment industry from 1982 & became the business emblem of the industry. Mr. Faruque Hassan has declared himself as Panel Leader from Sammilita Parishad on the upcoming BGMEA Election 2021-2023. Mr. Faruque shared his views with Denim Focus team regarding BGMEA Election. Key points of the discussion are mentioned below for our readers-
Faruque Hassan, Managing Director, Giant Group; President Candidate from Sammilita Parishad, BGMEA Election 2021-23
Denim Focus: How did you start your journey with BGMEA?
Faruque Hassan: Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) works to protect and promote the interests of the apparel industry and accounts for about 83% of the total export earnings of the country. I have been involved with this organization since 1994 and have played multiple roles. I was a part of the standing committee. I was also the coordinator at BATEXPO. I was elected director at BGMEA for 2 consecutive tenures 2001-2002 under the presidency of Mr. Kutubuddin and 2003-2004 under the presidency of Mr. Quazi Moniruzzaman. I also served the trade body as vice president for consecutive terms from 2009-2010 and 2011-2012. and as senior vice president from September 2015 to 2019. And now I am the president candidate from Sammilita Parishad for the upcoming BGMEA election to be held on April 4, 2021.
Denim Focus: How are you observing BGMEA Election as panel leader of Sammilta Parishad?
Faruque Hassan: During my journey with BGMEA, I always thought for the overall development of Bangladesh hinges upon the sustained growth of this industry and so also tried to contribute to the sustainable development of the Bangladesh apparel industry. Through this entire journey, there were many difficult times, many ups and downs. Each time, we tried our heart & soul to overcome the difficult moments and transformed the industry into a better & stronger one, than before.
For the sustainable growth of the textile industry of Bangladesh, team playing has no alternative and that’s why a strong team is the 1st requirement. For this, we got a team, combining 3 categories of talented personalities who have the promise to support me for the development of the Bangladesh textile industry for the next 2 years – 1st category is those who have worked for a long time with the textile sector of Bangladesh and also with BGMEA, want to share their vast experiences and pieces of knowledge for the development of the industry. 2nd category is those who are a very successful businessman, knows every side of the business. They might not have worked with BGMEA before but now they want to work for the development of this industry. Last category — a bunch of young dynamic people who are experts with IT, Industrial revelation, robotics, etc. Combining these 3 categories of talented personalities and their experience, I dream to work for the development of BGMEA as well as the Bangladesh garments sector and overcome all the challenges.
Denim Focus: What are the Present Challenges and Opportunities for BD Textile Sector from Your Perspective?
Faruque Hassan: From May 2019 textile market started to fell. And in 2020, due to COVID 19 pandemic, the market situation started to become more negative. As a result, now (in March 2021), our total export is 27 Billion USD. We had the vision to reach 50 Billion USD in December 2021, on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of Bangladesh’s Independence which we could not reach due to the pandemic situation. Again, our production cost is getting higher day by day – raw materials, transportation cost, business cost, utility costs everything is getting higher. And so our demand or competitiveness in the textile sector is not as the same as before. From my perspective, the challenge is how we can grow our textile industry despite negative market growth and increasing costs every moment.
Previously in the global market, the market share of cotton fiber products was 75% and the market share for manmade fiber products was 25%. But now global market share is changing. At present time, the global market share for cotton fiber products is 25% and the market share for manmade fiber products is 75%. Though the global market scenario has changed, Bangladesh’s working area with cotton and manmade fiber products – is still the same, 75% and 25%. Many may criticize this scenario. But I take it as an opportunity. In the global market, the market share of cotton fiber is 25% where Bangladesh owns 75% of that. It is a great achievement. On the other hand, in the global market, where the market share of manmade fiber products is 75%. Bangladesh owns 25% of that, which means we have vast scopes to grow and explore in manmade fiber products.
Denim Focus: What are your Plans for BGMEA and RMG sectors?
Faruque Hassan: Keeping in mind present challenges, I have identified especially some priorities to focus on-
- Ensuring Government Policy Support for The Sustainable Growth of the industry.
- Partnering with Key Stake-Holders Including Brands to Transform Bangladesh, As a Producer of Premium Apparel.
- Branding Bangladesh as a Safe & Sustainable Sourcing Destination.
- Exploring New Markets to Enhance the Growth of Bangladesh’s Apparel Export.
- Skill Development to Best Equip the Industry for the 4th Industrial Revolution.
- Covid 19 tackling and industrial recovery.
- Development of medium and small garments industry.
- Transmission of life in BGMEA.
- Ensuring and smoothing foreign trade policy.
- Reformation of Customs Policy.
- Restructuring of Tax and Vat policy.
- Product development and diversification.
Denim Focus: How will you help new entrepreneurs who want to start a business in this sector?
Faruque Hassan: We know now it is an open market. Everyday market demands, market trends are changing. So, we are planning to create an Advice-Self that will do market researches and give proper advice to new entrepreneurs about the market situation and producing which type of textile product will be beneficial to them.