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Submitted to Submitted by:

Sheikh Morshed Jahan Group-3
Associate Professor BBA 20

Institute of Business Administration (IBA) Section A
University of Dhaka 27
April, 2014

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Letter of transmittal

April 27, 2014

Sheikh Morshed Jahan
Associate Professor
Institute of Business Administration
University of Dhaka
Dhaka 1000, Bangladesh

Respected Sir,

In compliance with the requirements of the Bangladesh Studies course, we are pleased to submit the
following report on the study of Banarasi saris from a SME perspective that you have authorized us to
work on.
After interviewing the managers of famous retail outlets of Mirpur Banarasi Palli, we were able to link
the primary data with the secondary ones collected from the internet. The data gathered by the
aforementioned means was then evaluated and with the help of the theories taught in the class, we
were able to plan the outline of our report. Clearly, the guidelines from the Bangladesh Studies course
as instructed has helped us both to prepare and write this report.
We thank you for this opportunity to present to you on such an interesting product as sari which is
commonly known as a symbol of traditional fashion amongst women of Bangladesh.


Group 3
BBA 20

Section A

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Table of Contents


Market segmentation...06

Doing business with local Banarasi Sarees.07

Sustainable Market Enterprise Condition..08

Grid Of Mandate 09

TTF Model 10


Key findings..14


Bibliography 16

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Executive Summary
This study was done on the current market scenario along with the marketing methods used by the
present businessmen involved in the industries Banarasi. Throughout the report, Banarasi essentially
refers to the Banarasi Palli of Mirpur. The report presents three models which highlight the significance
of this industry and has been analysed after the data collection. Inaddition tothese models this project
presents some key findings which was realized during conducting the primary survey.
The research on the aforementioned type of sarees brings forth the rich history that has let these
unique works of art come to existence. In fact, the history of Mirpur Banarasi plays a crucial role in
understanding their current market scenario. Hence, the report has been designed in such a way as to
make sense of the different features of their market, as well as the developing problems that are
hampering the progress of the business of these sarees at present through a brief background of their
origin and development through time.
Historical data was collected mostly by means of previously done reports available in the net, along with
other facts from articles published in well known daily newspapers like The Daily Star, New Age,
Financial Express, etc.
On the other hand, present information about Mirpur Banarasi sarees were gathered from both primary
and secondary data. The former form of data was collected by means of interview sessions with the
shopkeepers, owners and workers in Mirpur Banarasi Palli.In addition, a survey was carried out by
surveying 30 entrepreneurs or representatives of different ages and social backgrounds with a
questionnaire. Limitations were met especially in the collection of the primary data. Some of the major
ones were:
The survey done through the help of the questionnaire was not a census. Respondents were
only 30 men of different ages and social backgrounds.
The respondents might have deliberately or unknowingly given the wrong answers.
The shopkeepers and/or the manager interviewed in the field work might have exaggerated
the prices and other information about the sarees.
More time could have allowed further extensive research. These facts posed a limitation to
the study.
Despite the limitations, the process followed in collecting data added sufficient knowledge to the
understanding of the local Banarasi industries and guided the report to its conclusions. Therefore, the
report is a research based study on Mirpur Banarasi sarees to highlight their ongoing business dealings,
and the marketing strategies in effect at the time. It concludes with a brief recommendation from the
group regarding the improvement of the current scenario of this industry.

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I ntroduction:
A saree is one of the traditional clothing of Bangladesh. A saree is said to accentuate the beauty
of a women. There are various forms of sarees. One of the national heritages of this nation is
Banarasi Saree. It has been much prevalent amongst Bangladeshi women, that when they hear
about Banarasi, they think of bold colours like red, or purple with intricate designs called
brocades embellished in it. This type of silk cloth has been the frequent choice by women with a
gorgeous look in mind, especially during weddings. The gorgeous look is created because of this
cloth being made out of fine silk.
Although the Mirpur Banarasi Palli is quite well known for their Banarasi sarees, the original
story of this cloth began almost 4000 years ago in the Northern city of India called Banaras. It
was in the Mughal era that this industry had flourished in the continent. In the 1930s, Dhaka
established its own Banaras Silk Industry Centre in Becharam Deuri, in the Old Town.
The political changes taking place in the 1940s from the Independence of India and then a birth
of a separate Muslim state, Urdu-speaking community from India packed up their hand-looms
and migrated to the South to the Parbatipur of Rajshahi and to some areas of the Old Town of
Dhaka such as Becharam Deuri, Kazi Alauddin Road, Kaiktuli, Tanti Bazar, Doyaganj and
Gandaria from Benaras in India. After the formation of Bangladesh, these migrants began to live
in the refugee camps in Mirpur set up by the then Government of Bangladesh and started earning
a living from the skills they inherited on weaving sarees. According to the Bangladesh
Handloom Board migrant community set up the Banarasi industry in Mirpur and
Mohammadpur areas of Dhaka city in 1950; thus, leading to the birth of the now famous
Banarasi Palli in Mirpur 10, 11, 12.

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Market segmentation of Banarasi saree
Banarasi sarees are well known for being the preferred wear by Brides on the main event of
the wedding. Its gorgeous look is what sets it apart from regular sarees that are not as bold-
looking and traditional. Behavioral and demographic segmentation below provides further
insight of the target market of local Banarasi sarees in Figures below respectively.

Demographics Segments
Age 23-60
Gender Female
Income Above or equal to 20,000
Occupation Homemaker, professionals, students
Religion Islam, Hindu, Christian
Nationality Bangladeshi, Indian, Sri Lankan, Pakistani

Figure: Market demographics of local Banarasi sarees.

Behavioral Segments
Occasions Wedding reception, Eid, Bangla New Year
Benefits Quality, fashionability
User status First-user, potential user, regular user
User rates Light user, medium user
Loyalty status
Attitute toward
Medium, strong
Enthusiastic and positive
Figure Behavioral segmentation of local Banarasi sarees

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Doing business with local Banarasi sarees
Banarasi Palli in Mirpur has some 110 shops, 20,000 weavers and salesmen whose sales are 40
to 50 crore taka per year. This banarasi is a delicate piece of cloth made from the thread of high-
quality silk imported from China, Thailand and/or Pakistan. The silk from these countries is
finer, and of much smoother texture than from Bangladeshs local Rajshahi silk. Silk thread
needed to make a Banarasi saree are found in Chauk Bazar and local market of Mirpur. India is
the main transit root of importing this high quality silk hence, adding substantially to the cost
of making a Banarasi saree. Often, the Banarasi saree is further adorned with a material called
Zari which gives a golden, shimmering look to it.This year Banarasi Palli shops sold sarees of
different catchy names such as Fulkali Katan, Dulhan Katan, Mirpuri Reshmi Katan, Millennium
Katan, Banarasi Cosmos, Organdy Katan, Tissue Katan, Brocket Katan, Chunri Katan and others
during the recent Eid seasons.

Description Price (in Taka)
Maslayis Katan 5,700
Banarasi 10,000-15000
Brocade banarasi 4,500
Carpet banarasi 5,000
Honeycoat banarasi 4,500
Rajkoat banarasi 5,500
Baluchori banarasi 4,000
Satin banarasi 3,800

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Business Model: Sustainable Market Enterprise Conditions

For any business, the sustainability of the business will rely on the following factors:
Profit profit is the driving force of all business; no matter what approach one uses for
conducting a business, it can be traced back to the core objective of making a profit.
Profit is the source of further investment in the business in order to retain its existence in
the long run.
Customers Customers are the main source of profit and maintaining good relations
with the customers by providing irreproachable service will help retain these customers.
Some business go so far as to say the customer is always right as a motto of the
business organization.
Employee This area is becoming increasingly popular as business organizations are
realizing how important it is to maintain good relations and taking proper care of
employees in to keep an organization running for a long time. However, in Bangladesh
this is not a popular concept yet.
VCA (Value Chain Adders) Distributers and retailers are the forward VCAs and
suppliers are the backward VCAs. Profit depends not only on the sales volume but also in
the cost of production and distribution. Having good relations with backward and forward
VCAs ensures an orgaizations sustainability in the long run
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Society Very few businesses (like green business) bother with this area as it deals with
how ones business affects the environment at large. This usually increases costs for the
organizations but it establishes deep roots for the organization in the environment and is
the ultimate way of remaining sustainable for any business.
Usually as an organization matures, it understands the importance of each step and so eventually
becomes sustainable. Increasing profits make it easier to attain each step of the model as time
goes by. Ideally, all long running businesses become sustainable by climbing each step one at a
time. However, there are some businesses which selectively follow some steps and disregard
others. Theoretically, they too will cover the misssing steps in the long run.
Producers and sellers of Banarasi Sarees usually follow only the first step of this model. This is
because customers rarely buy these sarees as a regular product and profit margin not being very
high, it means that the most of the steps are not even considered. Customers are treated highly
because of the large number of shops in comparison to the number of customers. However there
does not seem to be any thought for the care of employees and, except for their meager wages,
the employees do not have much to look forward to in working in any of these businesses. The
unsustaible nature and declining demand for Banarasi Sarees is a reason why many do not enter
into this business and why many leave it whenever they possibly can.
Grid of Mandate:

Policy Advocacy Knowledge

BDS Networking and collaboration

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Policy Advocacy: This is applied by the Unions when they approach the government to
implement new business policies. Example of such policies are the lowering of import
duty taxation rates and lowering the interest rates as well. Mirpur Banarasi Palli has only
one such union called Mirpur Banarasi Palli Malik Shomiti. The problem with is the
fact that these businessmen are not as unified as is required for their business to flourish.
They take little or no initiative to make the government advance any such business
Knowledge: This refers to the industry potential as unions try to capture knowledge to
gain business advantages. Basic education is a must in this era and all the workers must
have minimum training and knowledge on their specific working field. The workers and
owners in Mirpur Banarasi are quite knowledgeable at what they do but to hold the
current level of expertise, future workers and entrepreneurs must be familiar with these
trainings and knowledge,
BDS This is for training and consulting entrepreneurs. This is a very important program
where the emerging entrepreneurs get the lime light and this is also very important for the
business sector of our country.
Networking and collaboration : This refers to the unions keeping in regular touch with
each other as they collaborate and present their proposal to the government which in turn
results in change in business policies. In the case of Mirpur Banarasi though, only one
union exist and networking and collaboration even within them is not really good to be

Triple Triangle Framework

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Organizational Layer
Capital: Capital is wealth in the form of money or other assets owned by a person or
organization or available or contributed for a particular purpose such as starting a company or
investing. It is essential to start and run a business. The Benarashi Sharee sector needs much less
capital compared to other businesses. This is the main reason for many of the entrepreneurs to
come to this industry in the first place.
Capability: This refers to the human or technological competencies. Capability can also be
defined as the potential of an organization. In Mirpur Benarashi Palli, all the individual
businesses have potential to grow and thrive. The businesses are almost homogeneous in nature,
so their potential is also similar.
Culture: Culture indicates the work ethics, visions, management etc. The work culture of these
businesses is very sound. Employers are in harmony with the employees and vice versa. The
owners also keep good relations with each other.

Industrial Layer
Customer: Customers are the spirit of any business. In the Mirpur Benarashi Palli, the sellers
know this, thats why their main concern is customer satisfaction. All the businesses offer almost
the same level of service and treat customers with utmost importance.
Competitor: As in this industry the products are similar, there is much competition between the
businesses. But the competition is fair, due to the homogeneous nature of the businesses. Each of
the competitors has their own techniques and business tactics which help them survive in the
long run.
Collaborator: Collaborators are value chain actors- distributors, suppliers etc. They ensure that
the products reach their due destination. Although VCAs play a crucial role in the industry, their
roles are hardly ever acknowledged in this sector. Most of the entrepreneurs think they dont
have any responsibility towards the suppliers and distributors. So VCAs are widely neglected in
the Benarashi sharee sector.

External/ Macro environmental Layer
Technology and Innovation: In the Benarashi sharee industry, new innovations are atypical.
The only major technological improvement that took place in several years is the use of power
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looms instead of hand looms. The only innovation that is common in this sector is in the design
of sharees. New variations in design take place every once in a while.
Globalization and International forces: The globalization factor has a huge impact on this
sector. Indian sharees are slowly taking the market shares. Due to excessive demand, some
sellers are selling more of the foreign sharees rather than the deshi ones. This can have dire
consequences on the deshi sharee market.
State and Society: By selling Benarashi sharees, this industry is upholding our culture and
heritage. The owners of the business are concerned about the society and are determined to serve
the nation with the best products, for altruistic as well as survival purposes.


There are various problem relating to this industry and it is difficult to implement government
initiatives due to lengthy Policy implementation process, the presence of middleman, etc. There
also is a lack of government and non-government partnership work in this sector. As a result, the
number of craftsman, handlooms and outlets are decreasing day by day

At a glance, these problems become visible:
Narrow and damp working places.
Insufficient air, lighting and toilet facilities.
The workers suffer from various types of occupational health hazards, like pain in
parts of the body, eye problem etc.
The people involved in Banarasi do not have enough idea about the changing taste of the
There is a lack of communication among the workers of different sectors and within the
same sectors (such as weavers, designers, thread processors etc).
According to the men workers, these problems consist of:
High cost of the raw materials - The raw materials of Banarasi are imported from foreign
countries like China, Japan, Korea, Vietnam, India, Taiwan and Pakistan through
different agencies with 25 percent import duty, which is then sold to the local markets.
They have to buy the raw materials from local market at a very high rate. As a result
production cost increases.
Decreasing demand of Banarasi - Open market policy pursued by the Government has
opened the country to Indian sarees. Indian sarees for their cheaper prices, varied designs
& availability usually lure more local buyers. Besides that, the expansion of Banarasi
industry in different areas of the country, such as Tangi ,Kaligang, Rupganj, Shirajganj has
increased the supply in comparison with the demand. So gradually the sale is declining.
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Lack of variation in design - The design of Banarasi sarees are almost traditional. The
local designers do not have any institutional training and have no interaction with
professional designers. So lack of variation in design is one of the causes of decreasing
demand of Banarasi.
The wages of the Banarasi workers are not sufficient and not regularly paid.
Because of inadequate financial and technical supports the entrepreneurs cannot produce
standard quality of sarees in large amount.
The market of Banarasi is mostly limited within the country. As there is no attempt for
exporting Banarasi, so it has no access in international market.
The publicity of Banarasi saree is not sufficient.
Customers taste is changing day by day. Their preference for foreign products is also a
cause of declining the sale of Banarasi saree.
Low production rates due to length of time required to make one saree.
According to the women workers,
Income - Weekly earning of the respondents varies from Tk 200 to Tk 500, which is
about one fourth of the family income. With their income they meet the family expenses
and cannot have any savings. Rather, they have to take loan from their relatives,
neighbours or employers.
Wage - The current wages of the female workers are Tk 200-250 for Karchupi and Tk
400-800 for reeling Bobbin on average. They get this wage on weekly basis. But they do
not get their wage regularly. Some times it depends on the sale of the saree. Previously
they used to get Tk 500 per week, which was more or less acceptable to them. The
women do not face any gender discrimination in case of wage. No male are involved in
reeling Bobbin. Some male and boys are involved in Karchupi work but their wage is
equal to the female. Male members work full time. As such their working hour is longer
than the female and so their total income is higher than female. But the wage per hour is
same for male and female.
Occupation - Most of the women mentioned that, they were engaged in this profession to
support their family financially. Some of them are the main earning person of the family,
as they do not have any adult male earning member. The women generally work 4 hours
daily besides doing their household works. Sometimes they have to work 8-9 hours per
day. Although because of the declining demand of Benerasi their working pressure
remains same throughout the year, in some emergency cases they work even at night. The
other members of the family help them in household work when they are busy in
Karchupi or Bobbin work. Most of them do their work at their own home. So they do not
face any special problem as a female in their working place. A few of them who work in
the factory get necessary support from their employers, though some male weavers do not
behave with them properly. They are more or less satisfied with their working
environment. As they have to work continuously (specially Bobbin workers) they often
suffer from pain in hands, shoulder and waist. If the machine, which they use for their
work can be run by electric motor, it will be more comfortable for them. But they cannot
afford to do that, as it is costly to them. Most of them are not interested to continue this
profession, as they are not hopeful about the future of this industry. They are willing to
leave this job if they get better opportunity of earning more money.

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There are also some environmental concerns: a large number of silk dyeing units are
necessary in this trade are chemical dyes which cause pollution in the Ganges River.
However there is a movement towards natural dyes
Key Findings

Seasonal demand: The demand for Benarashi shares is mainly high during the months of
December to January, which means during the winter season. This is mainly because
Benarashi has more demand in occasions like marriage, and marriages mainly take place
during the winter. Because of this seasonal demand there is always ups and downs in the
business of Benarashi and it is impossible to maintain constant sales throughout the year.

Decreasing profits: In the earlier times, the Benarashi sellers used to have 15% profit on
an average. But now the profit margin has been reduced to around 10%. There are two
reasons behind this decline in profits.

(1) Increased competition has been one of the main reasons for decline in profit. The pool
of profit is now shared among more sellers and the rate of increase in the size of the
pool of profits is slower compared to the rate of increase in the number of sellers.

(2) The other reason is the shift in the consumer demand pattern. Nowadays, especially
the youth prefers western culture more over the Bangladeshi culture as far as dresses
are concerned. So the demand for Benarashi is undergoing a downfall.

Globalization is giving a better competitive edge to this industry: During the survey
as talked to the owners and store managers of the Benarashi polli, we came to know that
the globalization is playing a vital role in improving their business. Due to the import of
Indian Benarashi, now the sellers can offer a wider variety of choice to the customers.
This wider variety also contributes to increasing the level of customer satisfaction as
many customers prefer them. However one of the entrepreneurs gave us a different
perspective. According to him, due to the import of Indian Benarashi, the domestic hand
loomers are finding it difficult to thrive and due to lack of capital many of them as going
out of the market.

Efficient suppliers: As far as the opinion of the entrepreneurs is concerned, they believe
that the suppliers are quite efficient at delivering the sharees on time. They also added
that as long as the suppliers get their payment on right time they are ready to deliver
goods as required.

A mixed perception obtained as far as the concern for suppliers profit is considered:
One group of the entrepreneurs agreed to the fact that for them its their own profit that
matters and the suppliers profit is not a concern for their business as that is the concern to
be borne by the suppliers. Interestingly a few expert entrepreneurs contradicted this and
stated that they do make sure or at least try to ensure that their suppliers get a good share
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of the profit. They also added that without the suppliers their business end up in smoke
and therefore for the sake of the sustainability of the business they should care about the
profits made by their suppliers.

Generally high concern for employees: From the survey what we found is that most of
the owners are aware of the fact that in this highly competitive market it is imperative
that they provide high level of customer service and it is not possible to do so without a
satisfied group of employees. However, an exception was encountered when we talked
with a manager in a Benarashi store. The manager claimed that most of the employees are
dissatisfied with the way the industry is operating. Currently these employees do not get
any holiday in the week. And more importantly the owners have agreed to keep the shops
open even on special occasion like 21
February and 14
April. Previously they used to
get a holiday on Sunday every week. So, according to him, the level of concern for
employees has actually declined which is in full contradiction to the claims made by the


Our findings suggest that if proper moves are not taken this traditional heritage might on the way
to extinction. Some of the following moves can save the industries from possible extinction due
to factors like poor working conditions, Indian competitors taking over the market, and change
an abrupt change in womens fashion. However, these worst outcomes can possibly be avoided if
some of these actions are undertaken:
The weavers best interest must be met, providing them with fair remuneration and
Government should facilitate the business of these sarees by negotiating with India to
remove tariffs on the local Banarasi
More promotion steps must be undertaken to label these sarees for their traditional work
of art.
The middlemen factor must be eliminated as much as possible.
Continuous review and revision on design to meet the varied taste of the customers is
required to compete with Indian sarees.
Weavers must be trained and given more information on the present market.
Overall cooperation and goodwill must be increased from the Government, owners, and
customers side to increase the job satisfaction of the weavers who hand-loom these
sarees. This will ensure future generation of skilled weavers that will protect these
traditional sarees.
Fashion designers and entrepreneurs should come forward in making innovative wears
out of Banarasi and showcasing them on international fashion weeks.
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Democracywatch, The Socio-Economic Conditions of The Benarasi workers in Benarasi Palli: Present
Scenario and Future Prospect, 2008.
Boston Consulting Group (BCG) Growth-Share Matrix User Guide

The Daily Star, Lifestyle Benarasi fashion show held in London,
The Daily Star, Lifestyle Heritage on the Ramps,
Bangladesh News 24 Ishwardi Benarasi Palli Gears Up for EidFestival,
Dhakai Sharee A History of Pride,
Pakstan Defence Benarasi weavers caught in limbo,
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New Age Benarasi Palli gives in to Indian products,
Wikimania Mirpur Benarashi Palli,
Online Dhaka Banarasi Polli Mirpur,
Bangladesh Textile Residency Benarasi Weaving
The Financial Express Pictorial,

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