The original report was published in The Time on Monday, December 19, 2011
Quality products and caring policies make RAK a market leader
S.A.K. Ekramuzzaman, managing director of RAK Ceramics, outlines the benefits of manufacturing in Bangladesh, and considers the country’s requirements for further economic growth
Contributing to the nation’s economic success are companies such as RAK Ceramics, a manufacturer and marketer of ceramic tiles, bathroom sets and other sanitary ware established in 2000. With an average annual turnover of more than BDT 5 billion (over £42 million) in its 11 years of existence, RAK has established itself as one of the sector’s leading manufacturers.
Mr Ekramuzzaman, managing director of RAK, comments on the factors behind Bangladesh’s success. “We have a very enthusiastic workforce. The availability of labour is another strong success factor. If you offer a reasonable salary, the migration of workers is minimal.”
This, he says, has helped shaped present-day Bangladesh. “Bangladesh is now self-sufficient. The people are not starving and a large market exists here. There are explored and unexplored markets here, both for local and international entrepreneurs.”
Regarding the ceramic industry, Mr Ekramuzzaman’s area of expertise, he says: “I can say that, we have enough demand that we can sell what we produce in the same day. Our company is already booked for orders for the next six months.”
However, Bangladesh’s economy is in such a prime position that certain developments require urgent attention before economic growth continues, primarily infrastructure. Mr Ekramuzzaman shares this thought: “We have very poor infrastructure, which needs to be built up first. We need to develop roads, highways, gas, and electricity amongst other aspects of the country.”
Public-private partnerships have been introduced in Bangladesh, though they are in their early stage. RAK’s managing director is optimistic that “they will continue to grow so as to aid the growth of both infrastructure and the economy as a whole.”
RAK is also making its way into the housing sector, and has already embarked on a project to build 2,500 flats in Dhaka city to help the lower-middle class population. Another plan for 5,000 flats is under way.
RAK profits are shared with the community. “We are contributing approximately 2 per cent of profit to assist with health and education programs.”
Maintaining a quality standard of life of its workers is one of the company’s main concerns. “We employ 5,000 people and pay the best salaries in Bangladesh. We provide 100 per cent life insurance coverage to employees. The company contributes 5 per cent of its profit before taxes towards the Workers Profit Participation Fund and Welfare Fund. We are just like a family,” he explains.
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