In Old Dhaka, small factories switching over

Dhaka,  Fri,  22 September 2017
Published : 11 Aug 2017, 21:39:10 | Updated : 12 Aug 2017, 16:07:09

In Old Dhaka, small plastic factories now switching over to toy manufacturing

Mohammad Wazed Ali

Many plastic recycling and manufacturing units in old Dhaka are switching over to production of different kinds of toys and other small diversified products mainly for their sustainability and profitability, sector insiders have said

According to them, as toy market is lucrative both in local and international markets and other important plastic products are being produced by large established companies, they are switching to produce different kinds of toys and other small plastic products.

Mohsin Alam, a manager of plastic factory at the city's Islambag area, told the FE two years ago they used to produce different plastic items like jug, bucket etc but now they are only producing different kinds of toys.

"At that time, we struggled to survive with the traditional plastic product manufacturing but now our condition is much better," he said.

Mr Mohsin Alam said there is a huge demand for toys in both local and international markets.

"We see a lot of companies of our sector also moving to toy manufacturing from other products because of increased demand and profitability," he added.

Mr Shah Alam, owner of a plastic factory at Chawkbazar area told the FE that after struggling with traditional recycling products, they stopped their factory one and half years ago.

"Eight-nine months ago, we started producing different kinds of toys along with a small quantity of home appliances. Now we are in a comparatively good situation," he added.

Talking to the FE, office secretary of the Bangladesh Plastic Good Manufacturing and Exporters Association Mohammad Jony said the number of such units is continuously increasing in different parts of the old city.

He said now there are around 500 to 600 such small units scattered at various parts of the city most of which manufacture toys and small home appliances.

He said the important thing is that such small factories are also upgrading their technologies which also give them the opportunities to ensure quality and varied products at low cost.

"Besides quality products, we see that such technological upgradation also helps them to reduce labour costs significantly though a large number of workers were terminated," Mr Jony said.

However, Mr Jony said interestingly the terminated workers are also doing well.

"They have been provided training by different organisations and now they are working in different renowned factories with salary that is double of what they used to get earlier," he said

He said their association also provided training to about 250-300 workers who are now working for different renowned companies.

Mr Tushar Uddin, who worked for such a small factory, told the FE that he also lost his job one year ago as the owner opted for automation manufacturing from the traditional one.

He said there were around 12 workers at their unit and five of them lost their jobs after the upgradation.

"Though we passed tough time after losing jobs, all of us are now comparatively better than our previous days as we have got the opportunity to work in various established companies with lucrative compensation after training," he added.

Md Selim, secretary of the Bangladesh Plastic Business Association told the FE that these manufacturers have been playing crucial roles in meeting local demand and fetching foreign exchange through exports.

 He said if a toy manufacturer gets required support including financing at single-digit interest and modern technologies, it will be possible for them to raise the volume of toy exports after meeting local demand.

According to the Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) data, the country's plastic product exports registered about 31 per cent growth in FY 2016-17.

The EPB data shows that in FY 2016-17, exports by the plastic sector earned about US$ 116.95 million and in FY 2015-16 and FY 2014-15, the earnings were about $ 89 million and $ 100 million respectively.
Editor : A.H.M Moazzem Hossain
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