On 16 May 2017, an inception workshop was organized by Centre for Entrepreneurship Development (CED) of BRAC University at BRAC Centre Inn. The inception workshop was intended to describe the project’s goal and objectives with the sector stakeholders. Representatives of international brands and buyers in the ready-made garment (RMG) sector in Bangladesh participated in this workshop and they were introduced with the project titled ‘Digital RMG Factory Mapping in Bangladesh’ (DRFMB). The project aims to create a digital map of RMG factories in Bangladesh to provide much needed robust information of factories of Bangladeshi RMG industry. The project is being implemented by CED, funded by C&A Foundation and co-ordinated by BRAC USA. Bangladesh Garments Manufacturer and Exporters Association (BGMEA) is the strategic partner of this project.
The workshop started with the welcome speech of Professor Dr. Rahim B. Talukdar, Advisor, CED. He mentioned that, the RMG sector of Bangladesh has come to a level where the sector is expected to become 50 billion-dollar industry and it will not be achievable without the help of brands and buyers and the entrepreneurs of this sector.
Ms. Afshana Chowdhury, Program Manager, CED, demonstrated a presentation about the goals, objectives, outcomes and phases of the project. In this presentation, the Digital RMG Factory Mapping was defined as creating a database on the universe of RMG factories all over Bangladesh through a comprehensive census to be plotted on a map to identify the location and corresponding variables of factories.
Ms. Parveen S. Huda, Project Manager, DRFM-B, moderated the workshop and started the discussion session by mentioning that brands and buyers are the first audiences and stakeholders the project reached out and the project sought suggestions from brands and buyers to improve the sustainability of the map.
The discussion session was stimulated by the active and vibrant participation by the representatives from brands and buyers such as Walmart, S. Oliver, Vectra International, Gap, Hermes-OTTO International, and PVH. Mr. A.N.M Saifuddin, Director, BGMEA, and Ms. Naureen Chowdhury, Program Manager, C&A Foundation (Bangladesh Office) also took part in the discussion. Mr. Saifuddin agreed that RMG sector of Bangladesh lacking reliable database. Ms. Naureen Chowdhury expressed the delight on behalf of C&A Foundation to be the partner of BRAC University and BGMEA in this project.
The workshop ended with the closing remark of Professor Dr. Rahim B. Talukdar. He thanked all the participants and ensured that the project will try to address those issues raised in this discussion.