Textile Industry of Bangladesh

This NPR post called Nixon And Kimchi: How The Garment Industry Came To Bangladesh gives the history of garment business as its set its foot in Bangladesh, a country that is now a major exporter of garments. Not much has been written about this industry. I did not know that the roots of this industry lie in the quota system that the west has put in place for imports from individual countries that were exporting garments in 1970s. This created a need for setting shops in new countries for many established exporters and one of them happened to be Daewoo of Korea. At the same time a Bangaladeshi entrepreneur was looking for avenues to set up business to get out of poverty. This led to him putting together a team of workers to take to Korea for training. Both the native and the visiting teams went through their cultural challenges, they learnt to live and work with each other and the result is a burgeoning garments industry in a young developing country.

To me this story sounded something Malcolm Gladwell would love to analyze and present. 3-4 disjointed factors coming together and leading to the creation of an industry that not only provides livelihoods to many but also becomes the identity of a new born nation. It is also a good example of policy makers that tells them the far reaching impacts of the policies they make for themselves primarily but may have far reaching impact. It talks about the pioneers who step out of the comfort zone and go out to explore the unknown world. They may fail at times but they are more likely to hit gold as they are more prepared for it.

Businesses and individuals can learn a lot from this story.

Anuradha Goyal