Burdened with huge loans, Mother Textile is trying to survive by producing recycled yarn from scrap fabric, and is planning to take over 100 percent of the recycled yarn market.
It already has 70 percent of the local market.
The spinning mill, which once was the leading producer of export-quality yarn, is now the leading supplier of recycled yarn in the country.
Recycled yarn is used for producing towels, lungis, quilts, curtains etc. for the local market.
Piled-up bad loans forced the company to stop export-quality yarn production and go for recycled yarn since 2003.
The company, the top borrower of Rupali Bank, is stuck with a loan of Tk1,200 crore. It is now looking for foreign investment to restart its export business.
"We will not take further loans from local banks. Instead, we will bring foreign investment for expansion," said Aliza Sultan, managing director of Mother Textile.
Aliza, who used to be a homemaker, took the helm of the company a year back because her father-in-law Sultan Ahmed, who established the company, has been very ill for many years.
Aliza's husband, Shoeb Ahmed Sultan, who was supposed to take the helm as the successor, is sick as well.
Aliza took charge of the company at a point when it was dying because of a lack of leadership.
"Mother Textile currently has the capacity to produce 60 to 70 tonnes of recycled yarn daily. This will be expanded to 80 tonnes by modernising the machinery," said Aliza when this correspondent visited the factory.
The factory was set-up in 1993 on 70 to 80 bighas of land in Savar.
The recycled yarn market is growing in Bangladesh, and we are planning to capture 100 percent of it, said Aliza.
"At present, there is a daily demand of 100 tonnes of recycled yarn across the country. Since our export-oriented yarn production is suspended due to a cash crunch, we have focused on recycled yarn to continue paying the loan instalments," she said.
"The monthly turnover from the recycled yarn business is Tk25 crore now. When our company was at its peak from 1994 to 1998, we made a monthly profit of Tk40 crore," she added.
Aliza said the company is making a small profit now, but that is enough to pay the loan instalments regularly.
She added that they are negotiating with European investors who are considering investing around Tk500-800 crore to restart their export-oriented yarn production units.
We are cutting our operational costs by reducing the workforce until we get the new foreign finance, she added.
The company employs 2,500 workers at the factory at present, but it plans to reduce the workforce to 2,000. This will minimise salary cost to Tk2 crore from the existing Tk3 crore.
The company came into the limelight after becoming a big defaulter of Rupali Bank in 2009. Since then, the company kept its loan account regularised by rescheduling repeatedly as it could not recover from its losses.
In such a situation, Aliza with her only son Sohel Ahmed Sultan took on the challenge of pulling the company out of the red.
The company has earned Tk 100 crore in the last 18 months since Aliza took charge.