From buying house employee to owner of industrial group

From buying house employee to owner of industrial group

Rakibul Alamchowdhury got a job at a buying house shortly after he graduated with his bachelor’s degree.

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He was able to see the entire process of exporting a product, from its production to its final sale, firsthand. He also continued his postgraduate studies.

In August 2002, he set up a garment plant in Chattogram’s Bahaddarhat with a capital of Tk27 million. He also had Tk9 lakh saved from his salary and Tk18 lakh in family loans.

Rakibul Alam began his journey as an entrepreneur in garment industry with 78 workers, 36 machines and a 6,500-square-foot factory called HKC Apparels.

He has established six factories that are fully export-oriented over the past 20 year. These manufacturing units of RDM Group employ approximately 6,300 people, and their products are exported to Europe as well as America.

Rakibul is not only a garments company, but also has businesses in IT and agriculture.

RDM Group currently has a turnover of around Tk5,000 million annually.

Rakibul Alam stated that hard work and dedication were the key to his success as an entrepreneur.

He also attributed his success to every worker in his factories.

“I consider every employee a member of my family,”He said.

Rakibul’s business has taken off somewhat unhindered since he set up his first factory in 2002 and has never looked back.

Rakibul also launched RDM Apparels in five years. The factory, which covers 39,000 square feet, was founded with an investment in Tk80 lakh and began operation with 350 employees and 120 machines.

In 2009, he took over a 42,000-sq-ft old factory named Combined Apparels in the Atura depot area of ​​the port city.

Three years later, he opened another factory called SAMMART Fashion on 27,000 sq ft. 400 workers operate with 180 machines.

Uni Garments was purchased by Rakibul in 2018. The manufacturing plant is located on a 1.6-acre parcel of land and employs 1,100 workers.

Uni Chem Limited is another manufacturing plant belonging to the industrial group.

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These factories produce knitwear, outerwear and lightweight woven products. 70% of these products are exported to America, while 30% are exported to Europe.

The group exported products to the Middle East for a time, but then the Covid-19 pandemic stopped them from doing so.

The eight-acre parcel of land has been given to the industrial group in Mirsarai’s Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Industrial City. It will be able to set up a textile factory by investing Tk200 crore.

Rakibul has also invested Tk6 million in an agro farm, where there are 132 cows at the moment.

He started a company named “IT Sector” “DATA Exchange”.

RDM Group currently holds five bonds licences and is currently in the process of acquiring one more.

Are there any obstacles?

The BGMEA vice president answered the question, “What obstacles did he face?” “The biggest problem we are dealing with in Chattogram is a scarcity of skilled manpower in mid-level management. Besides, there is a shortage of manpower to build green and compliant factories. Even though a skilled workforce has been created in merchandising over the past two years, there is still a crisis of textile engineers.”

He said that traders in Chattogram are not as likely to get bank loans than those in Dhaka and the surrounding areas.

“No high-ranking officials of banks, except for regional managers, have offices in Chattogram. Officials in charge in the port city do not dare to send any files of large loans from new entrepreneurs to Dhaka. I myself was the victim of such an incident while taking over a garment factory.”

He claimed that Chattogram is not home to any good entrepreneurs because of this.

He stated that Chattogram’s garment industry has not had a gas connection in two and a-half years, while other industries are getting it.

He said that once, even small entrepreneurs could start garment factories by investing between Tk20 and 30 lakh. But now, even with Tk30 million, it is difficult to establish a garment factory.

He also stated that the high land prices are another reason for the sector’s backwardness in Chattogram.

Chattogram is the country’s commercial capital and has a large gap in land prices when compared to other areas, he explained.

RMG is looking forward to brighter days

Rakibul stated that Bangladesh’s garment sector will see a lot more orders in the next five-years.

“I have one request to the government – if we get logistical support, we can bring the businesses coming out of China to our own country. To this end, the Bangladesh Bank and the National Board of Revenue have to play a major role.”

He said that China still imports 90% of the country’s fabrics and that there has not been a substitute market.

“If we can achieve self-sufficiency in 2-3 years, we will not have to depend on China,”He concluded.

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