By The Daily Star/ANN
A Chinese technology company plans to set up a mobile phone assembling factory in Bangladesh in the shortest possible time to grab a slice of the fast-growing smartphone market.
“Through the budget, the government has given tax incentives for setting up mobile assembling plants and we are seriously considering establishing a factory here,” said Arif Chowdhury, vice president of Transsion Holdings.
He revealed the plans as the company rolled out three smartphone models in Bangladesh at a programme at Sonargaon hotel in Dhaka yesterday.
The smartphone models – i7, i3 and Camon CXAir – carry a price range of 10,690 Taka to 19,990 Taka and will be sold under the company's premium brand TECNO Mobile Bangladesh with the youth as targeted customers.
The company also plans to launch two more smartphone models within a short time. Transsion's two other mobile brands are itel and Infinix.
Transsion uses a multi-brand strategy, launching different brands at different time phases based on the situation of target markets and the various consumers' needs, according to the company's website.
A few months ago it rolled out low-priced brand “itel” in Bangladesh and is now exploring the potential to introduce the Infinix brand. “Bangladesh is a priority market for us and we are planning keeping that in mind,” said Rezwanul Haque, chief executive officer of Transsion Bangladesh Ltd, at the launch.
For 2017-18, the government withdrew customs duty on all sorts of mobile and laptop assembling accessories, which was earlier 10 to 25 per cent. The government has also imposed new tax on mobile handsets imports.
“Our Bangladeshi venture will be successful if the government allows us to export handsets from the local assembling plant,” said Chowdhury.
He said Bangladesh has already become a very big mobile market and now the smartphone penetration would increase.
At present, only 30 per cent of the total mobile handsets are smartphones.
An assembling plant can be viable if it can produce 10 million units of smartphones every month, and fortunately Bangladesh's demand is much more than that, said Chowdhury.
Bangladesh imported 3.1 crore handsets last year, up 11 per cent year-on-year, at a cost of 80 billion Taka, according to Bangladesh Mobile Phone Importers Association.
Of the imports, the number of smartphone units was 8.2 million worth 65 billion Taka.
Transsion has factories in China and Ethiopia and has started to set up one factory in India. It also has four replacement factories. It has business in 58 countries and is the market leader in African countries.
The Chinese company offers some other technology products and home appliances and plans to introduce them in the Bangladesh market in phases, said Chowdhury.
(USD 1 = 79.50 Taka)