The Pahela Baishakh, the first day of the Bengali year, is not only a source of festivities for Bengalis of all ages and religions but also good for business of the small and medium enterprises in the country. Textile manufacturers of household linen like bedsheets, bedcovers, napkins, etc. witness an increase in sales for Baishakh. The weavers of Sirajganj and Pabna produce textile products focusing on the Bengali New Year.
Sale of saris, kurtas, fotuas, dresses, etc. for the Nobo Borsho is phenomenal. The Baishakhi market size is no less than the Eid and Puja festival sales in the country. Targeting the Baishakhi festival market, the weavers, boutiques, design houses and manufacturers use traditional Bengali rural cultural motifs like dhol, tabla, flute, dala, kula, fish, birds, flowers, leaves, etc in the saris, dresses, bedspreads, fabrics, napkins, etc.The Baishakhi festival also increases the sales of earthenware items like serving dishes, plates, bowls, etc. The potters too make earthenware keeping the Baishakhi clientele in mind. Beautiful earthenware pots and pans flood the street sides of Dhanmondi and High Court area.
The Pahela Baishakh is celebrated traditionally by the local business people as the opening of the annual accounts ledger or ‘Halkhata’ for the next year. It is considered good omen to treat customers and clients with sweets and savoury items on the Pahela Baishakh. It also encourages people to visit the shops to enjoy the tasty delicacies on this auspicious day.
Majority of the SMEs serve the domestic market only. Some of them cater to niche markets and some produce for the local masses. Although there is a huge scope of profit in the domestic market but our PM Sheikh Hasina urged the local SMEs to explore overseas markets too. In Bangladesh, 10 lakh SMEs comprise 90% of total number of manufacturers and annually contribute 25% to the GDP. They also provide employment to lakhs of workers, artisans, apprentices, etc. Diversification of export items by SMEs can increase foreign exchange earnings for us.
Increased sales on the occasion of the Bengali New Year play an important role in boosting the SME sector.