During the ongoing pandemic, the ready-made garment (RMG) sector is playing a crucial role in spearheading the growth of our economy – but what about the wellbeing of these fearless workers? In these trying times, Pmart, a subsidiary company of Prefeex Limited, has taken up an exemplary initiative to ease their lives. On the 8th of July 2021 ‘P-mart Bhorosha Store’ was inaugurated at Mahmud Group for the well being of their 15,000 work force.
During the inauguration the following people were present- Rafee Mahmood, Director Mahmud Group, Helal Uddin Head of HR, Admin & Compliance Mahmud Group, Rifat Yasin Co-CEO Pmart, Riadul Hasan Head of operations Pmart. Eventually, Pmart aims to expand this chain to all factories across Bangladesh.
“It is quite difficult for garments workers, especially female workers & mothers, to travel and work for hours during the lockdown and manage enough time for shopping their essentials. With the pandemic on the rise, our country is under strict lockdown protocols with fixed timing for shops to stay open at public areas. Also price hikes are a big burden on the low-middle income working population. It is very difficult for the workers to get quality food and maintain Hygiene & shop at prices which are more affordable. Quality of Food, Hygiene, Affordability & shopping at convenient timing becomes difficult to manage all at the same time” says Mr. Yasin, CO-CEO of Pmart. “So with these problems in mind, we approached a few large & medium sized manufacturers with our idea; – Mahmud Group, thinking of their worker’s safety & affordability have allowed us to make this idea come to reality. With our big success at Mahmud we plan to expand to more factories as soon as possible. ”
Pmart Bhorosha Store is not just about reducing the monthly expenditure of workers. It promises to- provide quality branded products to its customers; maintain Hygiene at all its stores; bring products at affordable prices; keeping stores open according to the workers convenient timings; build economical & social sustainable solutions for better living standard for the general low-middle income working population of the country. Keeping our Hon’able Prime Minister’s vision in mind to make this country a ‘Digital Bangladesh’; Pmart promises to provide digital solutions for the general working populations to help them adapt to the future digital transformation of industry 4.0. Workers can now enjoy what is probably their closest experience of purchasing from a supershop – at prices up to 7-10% less than the MRP. Pmart claims to have joined hands with over 140 brands which allows it to procure high quality goods at affordable prices for the low-middle income working population of the country. Plus, payments can be made digitally using Mobile Financial Services like bKash/Nagad. But that’s not all – this store is determined to shelter the workers with facilities which will help them benefit on economic inflation as well. “Our seamless ERP software also allows permanent workers to avail credit facilities – which means they can purchase in advance from our Bhorosha Store without having the need to pay right away. This will be managed by integrating with the factories HR payroll where purchases are automatically adjusted from the next month’s salary. Our credit facilities are carefully designed according to their monthly income so that they do not go beyond their affordability.” explains Mr. Yasin. In the future Pmart will be bringing in many more exciting facilities for their end customers.
The Pmart Bhorosha Store values ‘being sustainable’. The whole concept of these stores are focused on building social and economical sustainability for the working low-middle income population. Also these stores have been built in used scrap containers and are powered by solar keeping the environmental sustainability in mind.
“During the pandemic, the export oriented Textile & RMG sectors are fully operational with full Covid-19 precautionary measures, keeping the factory environments sanitised, making our premises free from the spread of virus as much as possible. Even though our factory managements are trying their best to educate the workers about the Covid-19 awareness and strictly maintaining the Covid-19 precautionary measures, there is still a chance of the Covid-19 spread if the workers are ultimately going to open crowded marketplace.” says Rafee Mahmood, Director of Mahmud Group. “We believe with such initiatives like P-mart Bhorosha Stores, we will be able to effectively save our facilities from the risk of covid-19 spread. The management of P-mart is bringing in hygienic products from all brands at affordable prices and having their stores in our facilities, will help the workers to shop at more convenience; saving their time & money and most importantly saving their surroundings from the risk of Covid-19 spread. We hope other factories adapts to P-mart bhorosha stores as all we had to do is provide them with a location and the rest expense and operation is all done by P-mart management at their own expense.”
Upon the successful inauguration of the first Bhorosha Store located in Gazipur, Pmart has also announced its plan to launch 10 more stores within the next year.