IR 4.0 in the Apparel Industry of Bangladesh: Prospects and Challenges


Volume 14, No. 1, December 2022


Page No: 133-151, ISSN: 2221-2523

Sadia Sharmin1


  Abstract: Over the past decade, the world has been heading towards the fourth industrial revolution, with many countries adopting the latest innovations and technological upgrades, which essentially are meant to meet the growing demands of consumers in every sector of an economy. The research first reviewed the existing theories and concepts regarding IR4.0 and then utilized the “Industry 4.0 Readiness” model of Impulse Industry 4.0-Readiness of the Association of Germany’s Engineering Industry (Verband Deutscher Maschinen- und Anlagenbau) as the guiding framework for devising an original, suitable, readiness model to evaluate 135 RMG factories (big, medium and small) in Bangladesh. A mixed methodology approach is followed in the research, implying the utilization of both quantitative and qualitative tools. This exploratory research focused on how companies make use of technological tools and methodologies and how they are prepared to adopt the massive changes, brought forward by IR 4.0. Based on this study’s findings, apparel companies should focus more on using technologies such as AI, Sensors, ERP, SMV, GSD, Big Data, Cloud, M2M communication, etc. to boost Bangladesh’s global competitiveness. In addition, respondents believed that digital transformation could create a smart factory to optimize the manufacturing system, and it has a very substantial impact on industry 4.0. Furthermore, this exploratory study exposed that the apparel industries of Bangladesh are encountering major challenges in IR 4.0 strategy design and equipment organization to aid IR 4.0 demands.   Keywords: Apparel industry, Bangladesh, Fourth Industrial Revolution, IR 4.0 readiness, Impulse Industry 4.0-Readiness, Verband Deutscher Maschinen- und Anlagenbau (VDMA)

1) DBA Fellow, Department of Management, and Joint Secretary to the Government of Bangladesh.


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