Pockets of change
A centre to display SME products
Md Fazlur Rahman
The SME Foundation has opened a product display and information centre in Dhaka to help small and medium entrepreneurs market their goods and products, bridging the gap between producers and consumers.
The centre, located on the second floor of Royal Tower in Karwan Bazar, is currently showcasing over 500 products by 58 entrepreneurs.
Before opening the centre, the foundation sent letters to entrepreneurs inviting them to display their products at the centre.
“We got an immense response from the entrepreneurs. A huge number of products were sent over, but we cannot display all of their products,” said Syed Rezwanul Kabir, managing director of the foundation.
Industries Minister Dilip Barua, also chairperson of the foundation, said the centre would add a new dimension to the marketing of SME products.
“The SMEs have long been demanding such a centre so that they can market their products.”
The minister said the small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are being deprived of fair prices as many of them cannot market their products.
Barua also said one display centre is not enough for all the SMEs in the country. “The lone centre will not serve all and it would be tough for the rural SMEs to display their products in Dhaka.”
“So we plan to open this type of a centre in every district of the country. In phases, we will also open the same at the upazila levels. The foundation has also taken steps in the regard.”
Officials said establishment of the display centre is a unique way of familiarising the products. It is the best way to promote products and showcase skills of the manufacturers.
This will help manufacturers establish a bridge between buyers and sellers, both in local and international markets.
Kabir said it is a time-befitting step and a step forward in improving the country’s SME sector.
“Although we have started in a small way, the centre will help entrepreneurs immensely.”
Kabir said the centre would help entrepreneurs showcase and market their products in a more organised way. “So far, entrepreneurs have not been able to market their products with international buyers. They market their products separately, in a scattered manner. As a result, they failed to tap the market although they make world class products.”
He said the products displayed at the centre are of high quality and can be sold at any store in the world.
The foundation chief said they would ask the foreign ministry to promote the products. “Whenever a trade delegation visits the country, we will ask the ministry to arrange a visit to the centre.”
Kabir said the foundation also plans to showcase more products. “We have not been able to give space to all the entrepreneurs. We have to open more centres to accommodate more products.”
He urged the government to come forward so that the foundation can open offices across the country. “We have to increase the capacity of the Dhaka office. Besides, we have to open offices in at least the divisional cities. Now there is no scope to control everything by sitting in Dhaka.”