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Hatil Complex spreads wings to Australia, United States

DHAKA, NOV 6: Hatil Complex Ltd, one of the leading furniture and doors manufacturer of Bangladesh, has launched its first ever showroom in Australia. The single-brand Hatil showroom has recently been inaugurated in Sydney.

Hatil’s Managing Director Selim H Rahman

Hatil’s Managing Director Selim H Rahman

“This is just the beginning and the furniture industry, as a whole, is preparing to capitalise on the huge export market for Bangladeshi furniture,” said the company’s chairman and managing director, Md Selim H Rahman.

Hatil Complex Ltd. has an annual turnover of Tk. 75 to 80 crore. The factory of the company, located in Gazipur, is capable of producing furniture worth Tk. 200 crore, on an annual basis, added Rahman.

The franchised Hatil showroom in Australia is showcasing the company’s existing product lines. “As the customers’ feedback is highly positive, Hatil is scouring new markets, such as Canada and other parts of North America, and Italy, in order to expand its global market,??? he added.

The company recently signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Paul Robert Inc., a furniture wholesaler from the US. Taylorsville, North Carolina-based Paul Robert has selected Hatil as its manufacturing partner in Bangladesh, after conducting its research for a long period of time.

Paul Robert Inc. has initially placed an order worth USD 150,000, which will be supplied mainly to markets in the Middle East and the US, said Rahman.

“The supply agreement with the US company is another breakthrough for the furniture industry of Bangladesh,” he said.
Talking to The Independent, the Hatil chairman said, “In fiscal year 2012-13, Hatil’s sales were approximately Tk. 70-80 crore.”

“Hatil’s relentless efforts to improve the quality, design and functionality of its furniture has enabled the company to achieve success globally,” he stated.

The constant pursuit for achieving excellence in the quality of products and customer service has enhanced the company’s reputation and reliability, besides earning it the trust of its customers, he added. A total of 61 Hatil branches now operate across Bangladesh.

“The furniture sector can become the second large export-oriented industry, after the readymade garments sector, in Bangladesh. Furniture sellers, who used to import products from China, are now looking to Bangladesh, as the cost of doing business is rising in China. Bangladesh will be the best option for sourcing furniture because of its low cost and high quality,??? Rahman replied, when The Independent wanted to know about Hatil’s future.

According to Hatil’s chairman, the total size of the furniture market is Tk. 1,000 to 1,200 crore. There is a huge potential for the country’s furniture stakeholders to explore business possibilities in foreign destinations, but a few challenges are hindering the country’s potential in the global furniture market, he pointed out.

Most of the raw materials for furniture have to be imported from various countries. The furniture business is also hamstrung by a dearth of skilled labourers and designers. The duty draw-back system is also not business-friendly, added Rahman. Inadequate supplies of production technology and consultancy and limited access to quality inputs are also obstacles to the expansion of the furniture business, he pointed out.

“In order to boost exports, some of the areas that need to be addressed are, improvement of quality, particularly related to finishing and packaging, improving Bangladesh’s image in relation to social and environmental issues, and increasing the design capacity in the country,??? added Hatil’s chairman.

To complement the continued efforts to innovate new ideas for clients, Hatil has introduced, for the first time in Bangladesh, the ‘natural wood-tone lacquer’, which will satisfy clients who wish to see the tones of natural wood in doors and furniture. The latest edition is the antique colour lacquer finish, he added. Aided by its proficient research and development (R&D) team, Hatil has launched its corporate furniture line under an associate brand, Hatil Plus. Hatil has crafted a difference in terms of design and overall quality, in this newly introduced corporate line, he said.

The government has fixed a target earning of USD 37.69 million, from furniture exports, in FY 2013-14. In the last fiscal year, the sector had earned a total of USD 31.41 million. It is possible to achieve the export target if the government removes the obstacles, the Hatil chairman pointed out.

The industry, having around 41,560 enterprises, has generated employment opportunities for 1.80 lakh people, both skilled and unskilled, according to data from the Export Promotion Bureau (EPB).

Rahman also suggested that the government should introduce a furniture design diploma, to ensure the expansion of the skilled workforce in the country.


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