Assessing the Impact of Establishing A Virtual Marketplace for Bangladeshi Apparel

Zahedul Amin
January 1, 2023
Assessing the Impact of Establishing A Virtual Marketplace for Bangladeshi Apparel

A Roadmap to Identify Value Generation Stream for Bangladeshi Apparel

LightCastle Co-Founder and Director Zahedul Amin recently attended a session titled: From global to local value chains – strategic alliance and collaborative capacity building for a diversified industry as a panel speaker at the Dhaka Apparel Summit. He presented a keynote on the opportunities for exploring digital channels for diversifying apparel sector exports.

Slide through the deck to access the insights from the keynote presentation.

This keynote presentation on establishing a virtual marketplace for the Bangladeshi apparel sector aimed to answer four main questions: the feasibility of establishing such a marketplace, whether the industry is ready for this innovative shock, the significant factors to consider from local and foreign entities when establishing this platform, and whether there is the market potential for this to survive and thrive.

The study discusses the need for a virtual marketplace due to the global transition from traditional to real-time retail fashion through technological adoption. It also discusses the impact of real-time retail fashion on the Bangladeshi apparel sector, including increased consumer spending on clothing and decreased duration of clothing use. 

The study suggests that the successful implementation of a virtual marketplace for the Bangladeshi apparel sector will future-proof the sector and help with Bangladesh’s growth story.

The study also discusses the pros and cons of setting up both B2B and B2C virtual marketplaces. For B2B, it would allow the Bangladeshi apparel sector to attract new buyers and markets at lower costs. For B2C, it would allow the sector to expand to greater value generation by directly connecting with consumers. 

Furthermore, the study discusses the necessary policy support to ensure the effective establishment of virtual marketplaces, including data protection, prevention of unfair price competition, digitization of export tracking methods, facilitation of return policies, international payment facilitation, and B2C export incentives.

The way forward suggested by the findings includes focusing on global dominance in the short term through B2B expansion and value chain diversification, focusing on “Made in Bangladesh” branding in the mid-term through digital expansion, and focusing on B2C expansion in the long term through the introduction of B2C platforms.

The Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) commissioned LightCastle Partners to conduct the study with funding from the International Finance Corporation (IFC). The study is going through its final review and we expect to publish that soon.

Watch the Keynote Presentation

The Dhaka Apparel Summit is one of the 17 physical events of BGMEA’s flagship event: Made in Bangladesh week. The event gathered buyers, policymakers, global fashion platforms, manufacturers, journalists, and development partners under one roof to especially highlight and discussed the impressive stories behind the ‘Made in Bangladesh‘ tagline.

WRITTEN BY: Zahedul Amin

Zahedul Amin is an entrepreneur and consultant with 14 years of experience working for development agencies, private enterprises and government entities. He co-founded LightCastle Partners—a consulting firm looking to foster inclusive economic growth for Bangladesh and beyond. He has extensive research experience and loves to solve development challenges adopting a systemic approach. He holds a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree from IBA (Institute of Business Administration), University of Dhaka. Zahed has extensive experience in private sector development, landscape studies, impact assessment, financial assessments, market entry studies, banking, non-profit, and private & development sector consulting across 20+ sectors in Bangladesh including the Apparel Sector. He has successfully led 120+ projects while working with top-tier clients like The Gates Foundation, WFP, IFC, H&M Foundation, The World Bank, UN Agencies, EKN, BRAC, SNV, Ashoka, WaterAid, among others. Zahed is an International Visitors' Leadership Program (IVLP) alum, an entrepreneurship Fellow at the State University of New York (SUNY) and an Acumen Fellow.

For further clarifications, contact here: [email protected]

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