Just after China, Bangladesh is the world's second-largest apparel exporter of Western fast fashion brands. Products from groups like Inditex and brands like Levi’s are made here in factories that have vertical processes, from yarn to the final garment.
So, one month after joining Smartex as Customer Service Technician here I am with Francisco Mateus (see his Uzbekistan blog here!) & my toolbox for my first time ever in Asia.
Our mission here is to install our Smartex CORE inspection system and do some assessments for new projects on knitting machines models.
As soon as we stepped off the plane in Dhaka, we were hit by two shocks. The first was the intense heat, and the second was the traffic. The roads were densely packed with noise and drivers honking constantly, and it was unclear if any traffic rules existed.
Of course this is connected with the fact that it is the eighth-most-populous country in the world, with a population of around 169 million people packed into an area of 148,460 square kilometers.
For context, here it is compared to Russia:
We arrived at night after 24 hours flying so, once in the hotel we get checked if the street cables are all correctly connected and went to bed. (Just kidding, that might take a lifetime).
On our first morning in Bangladesh we went to the first factory to start working.
After spending two hours in traffic (we spent about four hours per day just to travel 30km), we had many pleasant interactions with Bengalis, and we already feel welcomed and appreciated by all of them. This was crucial for us because it helped us with our work, and we genuinely believed they were as interested in learning more about our country and culture as we were with theirs.
Our friendly distributor (Norsel) was really great and helpful. We can’t forget to thank them for all the support and resilience. Working in 40 degrees (Celsius) temperatures is not the easiest thing in the world but even though we sweat A LOT everything went well. 🥵
When it comes to cuisine, you'll find all the spiciest flavors you can imagine, and maybe even more. It wasn't my favorite thing in the world at first, but after the first week, I began to get accustomed to it. Luckily, chicken and fried rice are very popular, so you can find them everywhere.
We have a lot to do here but not everything is about work and who doesn’t like to drink a beer at the end of an stressful day, take a dip in the pool, & admire Dhaka?!
As I mentioned, it was my first time in my life in Asia and also first time spending my birthday far away from my family but it was very good to be surprised by my friends at the hotel. 🎂
The biggest one
We didn't have much time to visit many places, but one thing that left us awestruck was the size of the Jamuna Future Park. It is the biggest shopping mall in all of Asia. The complex even has an amusement park inside, so be careful not to get lost in it!
To Keep 🔑
The things that I will remember most fondly from this country are the peoples kindness and concern about our well-being. Their culture is very rich and they really care about others and how they can make your day better.
Of course, after just one month at Smartex I have to admit that was an impactful challenge that forced me to learn more and more in a place that I never imagined I’d be.
Portugal, here we go…back
After almost a month, it is time now to leave! But this is not a good bye, it’s more of a “see you soon, Bangladesh!” 📅
Do you want to join our growing Operations & Field Engineering Team? Check out some open positions here!