Japan based Fast Retailing Co Ltd announced that it will establish a new wholly-owned subsidiary in September 2010 to launch a social business in the People’s Republic of Bangladesh. The objective of the subsidiary will be to help solve social problems, including those related to poverty, sanitation and education issues, in Bangladesh through the planning, production and sale of clothing.
Muhammed Yunus, Nobel peace prize-winner and the founder of Grameen Bank, said to the media that Fast Retailing’s decision sends a big message to Japanese companies to use their technology to solve the problems of the people.
Fast Retailing operates the Uniqlo brand(http://www.uniqlo.com) of clothing and it’s president, Tadashi Yanai, is Japan’s richest man.With the launch of this venture Fast Retailing joins other companies such as Adidas in creating a social business in Bangladesh.
Fast Retailing is expected to own 99 per cent of the new company with Grameen Healthcare Trust holding the other 1 per cent. The venture, which has been temporary named Grameen Uniqlo and will be used to sell products such as underwear, blankets, raincoats and school uniforms to families living in poverty at affordable prices which might be about a $1 or less.
Grameen Uniqlo is plans to employ 1,500 people within three years, the vast majority of whom will be sales people, who will use techniques such as door-to-door selling to market the products produced by the venture.