Rubana promises cell to improve price negotiation

 Published in: Dhaka Tribune on April 7, 2019
Rubana promises cell to improve price negotiation

Rubana Huq - Entrepreneur, Author, Columnist, Speaker

She also vowed to come up with measures in helping the small and medium entrepreneurs, who are struggling to survive, and to brighten the image of the garments industry

BGMEA President-elect Rubana Huq has promised to take measures to enhance owners’ price negotiation skills to earn better from sales of clothing products and reduce uneven competition in the apparel sector.

She also vowed to come up with measures in helping the small and medium entrepreneurs, who are struggling to survive, and to brighten the image of the garments industry.

Rubana Huq, managing director of Mohammadi Group, has taken up the helm of the apex garment industry trade body BGMEA with a landslide victory in the election, securing 35 directorships in the board.

She spoke to reporters at the BGMEA Building last evening.

“In price negotiation, we have been unable to take collective initiatives. Now, it is time to work together. From the BGMEA, we will form a separate cell, if the apparel owners feel that they need help for price negotiation,” said Rubana Huq.

“However, there are challenges and we should not engage in uneven competition in taking work orders. We notice that sometimes manufacturers cannot negotiate prices and they take work orders at lower prices,” she said.

“No matter what the buyers say, we should be firm and strong. There is no country that has the massive capacity as Bangladesh,” she added.

BGMEA needs to work for small and medium-size factories that can come out of crises with a little help, the veteran business leader said.

“We can help them with fire and safety compliance issues and help them move forward,” she said.

“No one is small, everyone is an entrepreneur. We have a responsibility, since we are the biggest sector that drives the economy. We need to be transparent and not lack in any effort to support the small players.”

Bangladesh has an image in the world as a supplier of the cheapest products.

“It is high time to call us competitive and not the cheapest. This narrative has to be changed, and we need to talk about all the great factories that we have,” Rubana said.

Addressing workers’ issues, the new BGMEA head said: “The story is not that a worker is exhausted. The story is how we can address her wellbeing.

“And these issues need to be addressed by owners and workers acting together; our big challenge is to address the lack of trust between workers and owners.”

Asked what the BGMEA would do about the relocation of its headquarters, she said the trade body had already relocated its new building.

“This is a matter of pride for us. We will move to the new location soon, but moving takes some time,” the president-elect said.

Almost 90% of the remediation work of Accord and Alliance was already done, and the task for the new committee would be to ensure a smooth transition, Rubana said.

“We are grateful to Accord for all the work they have done. The High Court has given them eight conditions, and they can continue for a limited time under those terms. They cannot stay forever,” she added.

“We do not want to hear any outsider say we are not ready. We will ensure the safety of our industry – we cannot take responsibility for any fire anywhere,” she said.

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