“We must focus on increasing earnings on existing facilities rather than cost cutting” – Engr. Md. Nasir Ullah, Country Manager, Officina+39 and Director Operations, Officina (BD) Ltd

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Officina+39 is an Italian Chemical manufacturer who has experienced team with common passion for textile world and fashion. Officina+39 offers a selected range of chemical specialties, dyestuffs and pigments, in particular, for denim and garment fields & auxiliaries for traditional textiles.

This company is successfully led in Bangladesh by dynamic Country Manager, Engr. Md. Nasir Ullah. Recently Team Denim Focus had a conversation with Engr. Md. Nasir Ullah, Country Manager, Officina+39 where he shared his views about Textile and Apparel Industry and addressed ongoing challenges. For our readers, the interview is highlighted below.

Figure: Engr. Md. Nasir Ullah, Country Manager, Officina+39

Denim Focus: How are you observing the Apparel Industry?

Engr. Nasir: The number of orders increased a lot in the industry which looks visually very impressive. But I think, we shouldn’t be happy right at the moment. Now it’s time to observe the situation and figure out the consistency of order flow in next few sessions rather than focusing on expansion investment immediately. It’s better to cover the order flow with subcontract deals or maximizing the current efficiency without the capacity increase which can lead to investment risk. If we see the same order flow in the next seasons also, then we can think of new investment and capacity increasing.

Still, there are lots of difficulties in terms of sourcing raw materials. Yarn, chemical, transport cost is much higher. As a chemical Company, we see that our sales have increased by almost 20%. But the profit, if we calculate will be obviously lower than the previous year. Our inventory cost & credit increased to double.

Denim Focus: How are you supporting existing customers with Price during the pandemic?

Engr. Nasir: In terms of price, we are still supporting our valued customers maintaining earlier prices. There are some other issues to clear that, before the pandemic, we used to get our raw materials for producing Chemicals with better price. Due to pandemic, the supply chain is abruptly affected, now no one is giving at a low price. However, right now, we are charging customers almost the same price just to support them. We are somehow surviving and observing the situation. If this situation becomes lengthy, then we will have to inform customers to increase the price of the products.

Denim Focus: What is the business scenario and Challenges of Officina +39 in Bangladesh Market?

Engr. Nasir: We started business in Bangladesh Market with Washing auxiliaries. And I believe we are one of the top players right now in the washing industry. We also have Auxiliaries for Textile Processing as well. Last 3 years, our business in this new segment is also good. We have almost 40+ valued customers in Textile Processing, as I said before, business is growing.

Supply chain difficulties are the main challenge right now. Our Manufacturing plant in Italy is facing raw materials sourcing challenges, which finally impact our customers to get the product in time. That’s why some of the cases Air shipment is being conducted. And you know air shipment how much cost..! Another issue I noticed through the media is that, China is having a huge power crisis. And that’s why some factories are shut down and some are running few hours in a day. Some of our raw materials (very basic ones) for chemical manufacturing goes from China. There is no much alternative sources that can provide those basic raw materials. If this situation continues, then there will be a disaster though the impact is already huge.

Denim Focus: What are the recent sustainability measures taken by Officina +39?

Engr. Nasir: I have some observations in terms of sustainability. There are usually 3 main areas from where sustainable output comes. Product, Process and Machine/ Technology sustainability. As our part is only product & process so we are focusing now on the products that can be used in existing machines because if we talk about sustainable machines there are very few laundries can invest on that. The waterless enzyme is such a product that can be used in conventional machines and can illuminate the use of stones & the process is without water. Such products help in cost saving compare to existing process. So, I think Product & Process sustainability is much more convenient in Bangladesh.

Denim Focus: Any plan for setting up a new plant in Asia?

Engr. Nasir: Before the pandemic, we planned to set up a new facility in Asian region. But Pandemic let us hold this decision and we made another plant in Italy. But still, we are in discussion of setting up a plan in Asia. I am also hoping that this plant can be in Bangladesh, we are studying on that project. I hope we can finalize soon.

Denim Focus: Any Message to the industry?

Engr. Nasir: Our Industry is matured enough, but still, we are focusing on basic products & facing price reduction pressure every moment from buyer. My message to the industry is – We need to work very smarty for changing the Buyer’s mindset of low-price sourcing by introducing value-added products. Few steps from now can make a huge impact in near future. Another issue is Cost-cutting which is making the workforce demotivated. I don’t think this policy will work, because we obviously need to reduce the cost but not making our workforce demotivated. We must focus on increasing earnings on existing facilities. Motivated workforce is the biggest asset for the company.

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