- The company produces buttons for different global fashion brands only
- Monthly work order has decreased to Tk3.5 lakh from the pre-pandemic average of Tk16-Tk18 lakh
- The company seeks government incentive to turn around
Buttons and Trims Ltd, a fully export-oriented button manufacturing company in Noakhali, is struggling to recover from the losses inflicted during the last two years by the ongoing Covid pandemic.
Although the impact of Covid-19 pandemic has waned somewhat, the company that exports buttons to different European and North American countries are yet to make up the losses due to declining orders and manpower crisis.
Nevertheless, the company will be able to turn around within a short time if it gets government incentives, its officials hope.
Buttons and Trims Ltd, at the Bscic industrial city of Sonapur in Noakhali, started production in 2012. Since its inception, the annual turnover of the factory has been Tk2.5 crore.
The company sources said at present, about 80 male and female workers work 14 hours a day in two units of the factory, manufacturing buttons of various designs based on the orders. Button-making raw materials are procured from Taiwan and China.
Officials of the company said the company gets monthly orders worth Tk16-Tk18 lakh monthly on average, depending on the sizes of the buttons. But the amount of overseas orders has been declining since the beginning of the pandemic in January 2020.
Now, although the company receives orders from time to time, the number is much less than before.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, during the last 20 months, the factory has been manufacturing buttons worth Tk3.5 lakh per month on an average.
As a result of this decline in orders, the company is now struggling to keep the factory running, incurring losses. For a long time, the company has not been making any profit after paying the wages of workers and other maintenance costs.
Although the pandemic situation has been improving for the last two months, the number of orders have not increased much, said the company officials.
The machines of the factory are required to be run regardless of the high or low number of orders. As a result, they are struggling to pay around Tk3 lakh electricity and generator bills every month, after paying the wages of the workers.
Md Chowdhury Rahmat Ullah, manager (accounts and admin) of Buttons and Trims, said, "We have suffered huge losses during the last two years due to the pandemic. Now that the situation is getting normal, the workers are leaving the factory being lured by higher wages in other factories. We are in a dire state due to the declining orders on the one hand and manpower crisis on the other."
"Besides, there are electricity, gas and water crises in the Bscic industrial city. The amount of salinity in the water that is being supplied to us is so high that it has already damaged machines," he added.
The manager said the company will be able to turn around from the losses if they get government incentives.
Besides, authorities have to ensure uninterrupted supply of clean water from the municipality to the Bscic estate as well as adequate security measures by Ansar or Police.