JBS Vol 16. Num 1_2. 2014 - Transforming the Furniture Industry of Bangladesh: The Case of Katalyst Project


This paper explores the furniture industry of Bangladesh and how it was transformed from a cottage-based inward-looking industry into a semi-mechanized industry with strong export potential. The article discusses the case of Katalyst, a multi-donor funded private sector developmental project in Bangladesh, and how it contributed to the transformation of the furniture industry. The paper discusses how underlying constraints in the sectors were identified by the project, and then systemic changes were triggered in the market system by working with the private sector. Katalyst’s experience is shared, especially focusing on deal making, strategic outlook, market analysis, and private sector engagement. The conclusions drawn from its work are discussed, which can benefit other donors or projects working in the industrial sector and trying to encourage systemic change.