Bangladesh is one of the lowest-cost manufacturing countries in the world, and its thousands of workrooms and factories supply garments to most of the world.
Bangladesh is hard to avoid – particularly if you are out shopping for clothes. After gaining independence in 1971 (from then West Pakistan) and not least after democracy was introduced in 1991, Bangladesh has experienced rapid economic growth thanks to a flourishing clothing industry.
With annual GDP growth at 6.5% over the past few decades, Bangladesh vies with China to be the biggest garment exporter in the world. Political stability paired with a thriving private sector that operates in one of the world’s lowest-cost manufacturing countries have made Bangladesh the first choice for fashion retailers large and small all over the world. The US, Germany, the UK, France, Italy, Spain, Turkey, Belgium and Canada are some of the biggest importers of garments from Bangladesh, while recently added recipients include Japan, Australia and eastern European countries. Even China and India (the former manufacturing powerhouses of the garment industry) are now importing clothes from Bangladesh, which has decades of industry experience.
Besides clothing, Bangladesh’s dynamic business community also has a cornucopia of other exports – including pharmaceuticals, pottery, leather, footwear and light industrial products – while maintaining a balanced import of manufacturing machinery and raw materials, as well as food products and consumer goods for the country’s rapidly growing middle class.
Widening customer base
DSV Bangladesh has offices in both Dhaka and Chittagong where 70 staff members are ready to provide first-class transport and logistics services.
Benedict Rozario, Branch Manager in Chittagong, responsible for Ocean Freight: “We have a balanced team of experience and youth. They apply their entire range of market expertise and knowledge to provide customised solutions and streamlined services to our customers. This creates such good lasting relationships that I don’t remember losing a single customer over the past two years. At the same time, we’re able to widen our base of loyal customers on an ongoing basis,” he says.
United we’re stronger
After a few stagnant years, DSV Bangladesh experienced rapid business growth before the UTi merger. At the time, UTi already had a strong customer base in place. After the merger, DSV is now a powerful player among the country’s 950 transport companies.
Thanks to an efficient integration process, DSV Bangladesh quickly fielded the right team and was the first on the Indian subcontinent to link up its new UTi colleagues to CargoWise One (transport management system in the Air & Sea division). More importantly, DSV managed to retain its existing key customers during the integration process and the changes that inevitably go with it.
“Ongoing communications and assurances to customers were key to ensuring their continued commitment throughout the integration process,” explains Asifur Rahman, Head of Sales and Marketing, DSV Bangladesh. Afterwards, he retained customer loyalty by focusing on “excellent service” and, not least, adding a number of new people to strengthen the team. The sales team has comprehensive market knowledge and is keenly focused on procuring local business for DSV. But a significant part of the task involves supplying network colleagues with valuable leads from Bangladesh to generate as much business as possible in the DSV network.
“Bangladesh relies heavily on network support. Most of the business is generated in the exporting countries, so we need local information from our sales teams to bring in business,” Asifur Rahman says.
He adds that these efforts have enabled DSV Bangladesh to break all records in terms of revenue, gross earnings and cargo volumes processed since the integration. The company is now one of the very best in the DSV universe in terms of growth.
It is exciting times for both country and company. Bangladesh shows no signs of slowing down, and the market for DSV's services is growing day by day.
After the integration with UTi, we now have far more tools for reaching our customers and being successful.
Seminar on DSV values
Successful integration and new acquisitions have always been a DSV speciality. To get the best out of both companies and make sure that all employees are fully aware of their new possibilities, Namita Patwari, Head of HR and Strategy for the subcontinent, headed a two-day seminar emphasising DSV values, the new possibilities and the inherent synergies. Another purpose of the seminar was to define ideal operations and minimise errors across the new teams.
Employees were provided with information about basic but important topics such as communication (both oral and digital) and teamwork. On the second day, groups participated in various exercises that gave them practical experience and emphasised the necessity of teamwork.
--DSV Bangladesh is brimming with unusually talented employees with enormous potential to handle even greater opportunities and strengthen our business,-- Namita Patwari says.
The future looks bright for both Bangladesh and DSV. The country is becoming the world’s leading garment supplier, while new sectors are emerging and growing everywhere. The company had the honour of handling the first pharmaceutical shipment for the US last year. The goal was clear: The Bangladesh team wanted to stand out from the competition by providing first-class expertise and advanced solutions to save time and money for customers.
Danusha Gunawardena, Country Manager: “A market share of more than 60% makes us the market leader of shipments to Belgium; a position built upon a strong foundation of commitment and dedication from both countries. We are determined to spread this model to the rest of the world, and I am pleased that our friends in most other countries have already shown great enthusiasm and commitment to growing their cooperation with us,” he says, adding:
“Even the best plans and ambitious goals rely on our employees who are our most valuable asset. For the same reason, we give high priority to training and developing everyone so we are prepared in the best possible way to address our customers’ growing challenges. We play a key role in the fashion and retail trades, and we invite our colleagues and customers all over the world to join forces with us.”