Case of Tania: how relevant degrees help grow business faster

Shamima Dola: Many Bangladeshi believe, you just need to have courage, capital and luck to success in business. Very few would believe that relevant education and degrees would help them grow.
Most pupils of Bangladesh go for higher studies to be an employee, not an employer. Doing business is always their second choice only if they fail in the job market. So all the experts, MBAs, Engineers and other professional degree holders are employees.
Most successful employers of Bangladesh either have irrelevant education, or they do not bother higher education, sometimes do not even bother education at all. In countries like Bangladesh, workplace is the most effective school, who would drain his valuable time in classrooms if he want to be an entrepreneur? But there are people who may think otherwise.
No doubt, they are very few in numbers. Tania Taslima, a growing young RMG entrepreneur is one of them. Tania wanted to thrive in business very early in her life. She even did not take the opportunity to study Law in a reputed Public University, instead she went to a college to study Management.
“Many people expressed their exclamation! Who would leave a Public University for a college?” Tania said to News Now Bangla. “But I always knew that I would be an entrepreneur in future and a Law degree would be lesser help for that than a Management degree”, she said.
“Even I started my own production company during my graduation.” Tania started investing money in TV drama production in early 2000 and she produced many popular dramas for BTV and other satellite channels. But Tania was looking for something more stable where growth opportunities are more. No doubt RMG is the best sector for this in Bangladesh context.
Now she needed to be ready for that. “I can do it, but first of all I have to learn it in classroom, not in the field. I believe in preparing myself before act”. Recalling Tania. Then Tania went to Bengaluru to learn fashion designing in Apparel & Leather Technology, popularly known as ALT. After returning Bangladesh it’s time to have some experience.
“I always believe in doing intern. It is a part of the learning process”, said Tania. She started internship in Kumudini Handcrafts ltd, one of the oldest fashion house of Bangladesh. After finishing the intern,
Tania set up her first textile endeavor in Rajshahi which was a silk mill. Tania started producing finest Rajshahi silk there and most of the fashion houses of Bangladesh became her clients within a short period.
Tania had to work with Kumudini also a couple more years, because they were not ready to lose their best intern yet. They made Tania the Chief Designer of their fashion house. But that was only Tania’s day job.
At the night her own works starts and every weekend she rushed to Rajshahi to oversee her silk production. When the silk business became bigger, Tania found, there are leftovers. She drew her scissors and measurement tapes to design outfits with the leftover silks.
Then she bought some sewing machines and set up a small factory nearby her house. It was 2007. That year’s Eid season Tania sold 50 lacs taka worth of silk outfits in the local bulk market, all designed, produced and marketed by herself. Business started growing.
But Tania never ignored the importance of training. She attended every workshops and fashion shows around. “There are many teachers of mine in the industry, now we may be sitting in the same table but I always address them as sir or madam”, said Tania.
She has attended many fashion shows in USA, UK, Netherlands and many cities in India with her own fashion collection. She got the chances to work with many international fashion designers. In 2009 an Italian designer sent her sketchbook to Bangladesh to produces some designer clothes.
Her agent was searching from door to door to create samples using those sketches. But he got nobody to do so. Every factory said to him, you give us sample we produce for you. But how can we produce samples from just a picture? One day the agent reached to Tania’s door and ask if she could do that. Tania replied, “I am a designer.
A sketch is enough for me because I can read other designers sketchbook. Let’s negotiate the price”. That year Tania scored her first export business worth 10 thousand euros. The next international buyer was a Japanese.
It was Yusuke Yamaguchi’s first visit in Bangladesh. He was planning to produce some denim products. He was sending back from every door because they did not risk to give Mr. Yamaguchi the guarantee of Japanese standard quality. He ended up at Tania’s door.
The following year Yamaguchi flew back to Osaka, Japan with 20 thousand pieces of women’s denim sexy shorts made in Bangladesh. The next flight back to Dhaka Yamaguchi carried only 3 pieces of sexy shorts with him which failed the Japanese quality standard.
Tania recalled, “Yamaguchi asked me to alter those three shorts in his next visit. Can you imagine, a man carrying only 3 pieces of garments with him from Osaka to Dhaka for little alternation!” After then
Tania became famous for all the critical production. She started sending fancy dresses for Halloween in different European destination each year. In 2020 during the first lockdown to tackle the coronavirus in Bangladesh when every owner is struggling to run their factories.
Tania first designed fabric masks following the instructions of CDC, USA on April 2020. Her first client of those mask ICDDR’B in Dhaka. She also thrived in Mask business, though first couple of months of Coronavirus outbreak Tania only sold masks for production cost only.
This year Tania is producing kid’s and men’s ware for different European, American, African and Middle Eastern destinations. Her delivery capacity is one hundred thousand units each month.

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