The event brought together key stakeholders in the Ready-Made Garments (RMG) sector from around the globe and presented a platform where innovations in the sector could be shared and understood. The programme included panel discussions on topics such as “Digitalization of Supply Chain-To Cut Costs and Reduce Lead Times”, “Transparency in Global Supply Chain”, “Innovation for the Era of Fourth Industrial Revolution” and “Technology for Decent Work and Environment”. The keynote speakers represented buyers, RMG factory owners, international certification bodies, IT business organizations, NGOs, training service providers, commercial banks and development organizations. The Chief Guests included representatives from government ministries, development organizations, embassies, RMG business associations like BGMEA and FBCCI, and RMG factory owners. The Digital Tech Runway Show also brought together designers pioneering in bring fashion and technology from around the world. For the day-long event, Sarathi set up a stall to showcase the project and its interventions.
At the stall, Sarathi acquainted visitors with Sarathi’s means of conducting wage digitization. The project supports its partner commercial banks in establishing financial access points (ATMs, agent points, biometric POS machines, etc.) in strategic locations to enable enhanced access to banking services for the RMG workers and their family members through Sarathi partner RMG factories. As a facilitator, Sarathi, in collaboration with its partner commercial banks, also provides financial literacy training for factory staff, RMG workers and their communities. Most prominently, Sarathi and its partner commercial bank, Bank Asia Limited, have established the first RMG Digital Banking Booth at a Sarathi partner factory. This financial access point is located within the factory premise and provides dedicated service to the RMG factory. The booth is similar to a mini-branch, equipped with a vault and ATMs, and staffed by full time bank officers.
Sarathi also displayed and distributed the pamphlets and booklets used to promote financial literacy and create awareness about the benefits of availing formal banking services among RMG workers, their families and their communities. Visitors were also able to witness the impact Sarathi’s engagement has created for RMG workers and their communities around Sarathi partner RMG factory premises through photographs, videos, brochures and policy briefs displayed at the stall.
Sarathi- Progress through Financial Inclusion is a 30-month (January 2018- June 2020) financial inclusion project, jointly funded by MetLife Foundation and Swisscontact.