Reaz Uddin Al-Mamoon is the Managing Director of Epyllion Group and Managing Trustee of Epyllion Foundation. Currently, Epyllion is a business house producing textile, garments, and garments accessories for worldwide export.
Would you please enlighten us regarding the journey of Epyllion Group?
I dreamt of starting Epyllion Group when I was a banker by profession. With a limited financial investment, I started Epyllion with an RMG factory of two sewing lines and 200 employees in 1994. It was located in Mirpur Industrial Area. With this factory, Epyllion started growing up and till this day, is still in its growing phase. The company is all about new initiatives, new ventures, new aims with rooted principles and ethical views. Currently, Epyllion is a business house with textile, garments, and garments accessories for exporting RMG products worldwide. With all these business units, Epyllion Group is now a pioneer in Bangladesh’s retail fashion industry. Soon we will also have a food & beverage unit which is currently waiting for its nationwide commercial launch. With a workforce of more than 16,000 skilled officials and ensuring environmental sustainability, Epyllion Group is sustaining and will sustain the optimum business development in terms of profit and people. It has positive growth in employment generation, annual turnover, and has maintained a sustainable supply chain. Epyllion’s focus point in its journey is to be an institution which will concentrate on human development and social contributions while profit will come as the byproduct.
“Epyllion’s Focus Point In Its Journey Is To Be An Institution Which Will Concentrate On Human Development And Social Contributions While Profit Will Come As The Byproduct.”
What are the main challenges that need to be overcome in the RMG industry?
The RMG sector is currently facing challenges from energy scarcity, lack of skilled manpower, system instability and competitive marketing and sourcing. However, we’ve reached a stage where we have become compatible enough to take on global challenges while receiving the global support and encouragement we need. Thus, we cannot let these instabilities hinder our future progress.
There is an abundance of labor available in our country but the lack of skilled labor, as you mentioned earlier, is still an issue. What are your thoughts on this and what solutions do you propose?
The skills we are talking about cannot be easily acquired. The people need the necessary training first. I have seen numerous non-government organizations working on skill development programs but they need all the help they can get. We all need to work together on this issue. If an organization is putting the effort in developing skilled manpower, we from the formal sector must allow them to place their trainees in our business. In the meantime, we must continue with our own on-the-job skill development programs. This training of our employees can lead to greater development opportunities for the business. Industrial Engineering is quite important in this case. It must be implemented throughout the total value chain of the operation which will enable the workforce to become more efficient. Group HR practices in labor oriented industries like garments have to be ensured to have a skilled labor force.
Your company is acclaimed for its CSR programs. Can you please tell us about the vision behind these programs?
From the CSR perspective, we thrive for sustainability. Being a socially responsible organization, we support the global views in social responsibility issues. When stating our full support to the Global Goals, we take the basic Social Responsibility principles from the core discussed issues of ISO 26000 and the guiding principles of the United Nations Global Compact. To meet societal challenges in the form of CSR, the Epyllion Foundation has been formed as an independent entity. This foundation was established in 2011 and started its operations from the 26th of April of that year. Since then, it has been continuously making efforts in improving the living standards of the community and advancing the potentiality of the society and environment. With its journey of five years, it has initiated and has been involved in social and environmental programs to meet global needs and challenges. Anything we initiate, anything we do as our social responsibility commitment, we make sure it is sustainable, feasible and meets the stakeholders’ interests. Nothing can bring fruitful results if we don’t know what our stakeholders are interested for. After all, they are the beneficiaries. Their voice must be counted. From CSR, Epyllion looks for human development, team building and corporate governance in business management.
Epyllion Group is a technology savvy company and has been working with green technology. What can you tell us about the importance of going green? What is your roadmap for the future?
Going green is our aim as we’ve made the environment one of our top priorities. We are all putting our footprints on the Earth so also have the responsibility of taking care of it. Going green may require a large amount of investment, but the return from such an endeavor goes beyond just financial returns, it is a lot more substantial. Saving our environment, conserving it for our future should be our main concern. Our time on this planet is limited, so we should at least consider leaving a better livable environment for our next generations.
In Epyllion Group, we look for sustainable business opportunities while focusing on the triple bottom line of sustainable development. This means we are focusing towards energy efficiency and sustainable resource utilization. We opt for international norms and standards along with certifications required for green businesses. Epyllion has a LEED certified industrial infrastructure with another one waiting to be launched. One of our garments factories is certified as a green factory and the commercial building of Epyllion, Ninakabbo is an award winner from the government authorities for being a provident in energy consumption.