Meet the pioneering geotextile manufacturing company in Bangladesh


Besides the production of geotextiles, the global textile, engineering, agro and software conglomerate is now heavily invested in technology to innovate and integrate AI into their business models.

November 28, 2021, 11:35 a.m.

Last modification: November 28, 2021, 11:36

Illustration: SCT

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Illustration: SCT

Along the shores of Cox’s Bazar or Kuakata, countless geobags can easily be spotted on the beach or the estuary. Bag after bag is poured into it to stop the erosion of embankments, shorelines or beaches.

A geo-bag is commonly used because it is cheap and durable. And so, commercially, its demand is exploding every day.

Geotextile is needed for development projects such as the construction of railways, roads (temporary and permanent), highways, MSE (Mechanically Stabilized Earth) walls, retaining walls and drainage systems.

A recent study by Grand View Research Inc. indicated that the global geotextile market is worth $ 8.24 billion, with Asia-Pacific countries being the largest consumers of geotextiles in this market. Bangladesh alone has a demand of Tk 10 to 12 billion per year.

And the entity responsible for the introduction of geotextile in Bangladesh is the DIRD group.

It all started with its founder and current president, Itemad Ud Daulah – who after completing his studies left the country to work for a multinational company – returned to Bangladesh 16 years later. Abroad, he always felt like he was missing something.

In 1983 he founded DIRD Garments Ltd. And over the next 28 years, the company branched out into several diverse industries and grew into a leading conglomerate in Bangladesh.

The parent group DIRD now has four branches – textiles, engineering, agro and software – managed by 20,000 people.

“We have a large family that is diverse in work, but we do not allow this to compromise the quality of our service,” Nabeel Ud Daulah, CEO of DIRD Group, told The Business Standard.

It was in 1989 that the DIRD group introduced non-woven geotextiles to Bangladesh. And within a few years, the geotextile was nationally accepted in the local market.

Today, there are seven local companies that meet 95% of the country’s demand for non-woven geotextiles. Interestingly, in the Padma Bridge project, DIRD Felt Ltd (DFL) alone supplied half of its geobags and geotubes, while also supplying other megaprojects.

Geotextile is needed for development projects such as the construction of railways, roads, highways, walls and drainage systems. Photo: courtesy

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Geotextile is needed for development projects such as the construction of railways, roads, highways, walls and drainage systems.  Photo: courtesy

Geotextile is needed for development projects such as the construction of railways, roads, highways, walls and drainage systems. Photo: courtesy

DFL claims to be the largest manufacturer and exporter of nonwoven geotextiles in Bangladesh. Its daily manufacturing capacity is 85 tons due to its huge demand in local and international markets.

In addition, DFL uses recycled PET (polyethylene terephthalate) bottles and transforms them into PET. This unique step helps them preserve the environment and achieve sustainability goals. To achieve their goals, DFL has built an upstream link that allows smooth production. DFL also uses polypropylene resin to make 100% PP products.

“We do not only sell the geotextile as a product. Along with that, we also provide 360 ​​degree solution, regarding application, modern design and technical support with high security. Our team is active to provide any assistance regarding the geotextile or other solutions, ”said Nabeel.

In order to continue its commitment to quality and international standards, DIRD has invested in a state-of-the-art materials testing laboratory called Bangladesh Material Testing Laboratory Ltd (BMTL) which is competent to produce calibration and test results.

Technology and geotextiles

In his academic life, Nabeel studied computer engineering at Columbia University, New York, and economics at the University of Cambridge, UK, which heightened his interest in the technological aspect. things and exploring new ideas.

He believes that integrating technology into different solutions can solve many problems.

Under the supervision of the President, the DIRD Engineering Wing recently introduced anchor block and reinforced tendon technology instead of traditional technologies. For testing, it was first used in the flyover of Mohakhali and it made the expense more than 50% profitable.

It therefore caught the attention of all national departments such as Roads and Highway, LGED, Bangladesh Bridge Authority, Bangladesh Army, etc. They recognized the effectiveness of this technology and began to integrate it across the country under the supervision of DIRD Engineering Ltd.

“Our software company Raven Systems limited has developed an ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) – a proprietary solution to automate various production and administration systems. It made our business easier, ”said Nabeel enthusiastically.

But how can an ERP make business easier? “It’s customized for our unique organizational needs actually. It allows full access to information and helps maintain interdepartmental communication related to resource planning, manufacturing, business processes, accounts, etc. Nabeel explained.

“This way our data flow is maintained and it is also easier for us to get all the data on one platform. The use of AI (artificial intelligence) has saved us time because it can independently project manufacturing data and solve specific problems too, ”he added.

He believes that simple changes or modifications in business can make a big difference. Because extracting the right information from the large volume of data and AI can help make timely decisions.

Beyond the company

In addition to producing geotextiles, contributing to the apparel industry, or mixing things up with technology, DIRD is also compassionate to its workers. She employs a full-time doctor in a clinic for her workers where they can get free treatment.

It also provides day care centers and will soon open subsidized grocery stores for its workers. DIRD believes in upgrading skills and promoting its employees. Anyone can join DIRD as an assistant, but the company will invest in them to ensure they can move up the career ladder.

The DIRD provides its employees with free access to the clinic and daycare. PHOTO: WITH AUTHORIZATION

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The DIRD provides its employees with free access to the clinic and daycare.  PHOTO: WITH AUTHORIZATION

The DIRD provides its employees with free access to the clinic and daycare. PHOTO: WITH AUTHORIZATION

To maintain accuracy, it introduced payroll digitization in 2018. And this month it was awarded by Bkash for its flawless performance in the category of digital payroll solutions to build a sustainable ecosystem.

“Since we have a big family, it’s risky to keep track of things manually. So we digitized the whole system so that our staff did not fall victim to various loopholes and inefficiencies, ”said Nabeel. “Surprisingly, we noticed that this transition had brought about a change. in many ways, from empowering women to maintaining security during the pandemic. Additionally, bringing workers together under one roof of digital payment methods allowed us to soon provide them with services like loans and insurance. “

The company has also built an art and music school for its employees. “It is questionable why art and music school, but our research has shown that extracurricular activities, which are not sufficiently targeted in traditional school systems, help students develop vital and social skills that are important to them. help to excel in their respective careers, ”said Nabeel.

DIRD’s textile section provides services such as knitting, dyeing, printing and embroidery, as well as clothing manufacturing.

Under the engineering wing, it offers a full range of services in the geotechnical, environmental and civil engineering sectors. Using modern technologies and ensuring safety, it produces geotextiles, geobags, geotubes and geocontainers.

And under the agricultural wing of DIRD, DIPTA Orchids Ltd. deals with different types of orchids, gerberas and other ornamental plants. Although it started its journey in 2002, it is already meeting the demands of 40 to 50 percent of the orchid market.

In the future, GERD wants to be recognized as an organization where innovation is part of its DNA.

“Technology is a means of innovation, but in our case we want to create an innovative mindset. We plan to integrate technology and develop a data-driven system to use AI and learning. automatic so that we can work and focus on developing our workforce, ”said Nabeel.


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