Bangladesh News Pran-RFL’s smartphone coming soon

Isa Khan

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September 19, 2022 7:56 PM

Pran-RFL, the country’s largest food processor and household products manufacturer, has now ventured into smartphone manufacturing.

The group will produce feature and smartphones, as well as mobile phone accessories in the local market under the brand name "Proton."

RFL Electronics, a sister concern of RFL Group, will operate the business.

The group has already set up a 30,000-square feet manufacturing plant at Palash, Narsingdi that has a peak capacity of producing 350,000 units of feature phones and 100,000 smartphones each month.

According to the group, the majority of the people in the country do not have the ability to purchase foreign smartphones and this is why they have ventured into this market.

The group has invested around Tk30 crore initially and more than 500 people will be recruited at the plant to begin with and plans to manufacture laptops, tablets, closed-circuit television, and smart home appliances in the future.

RFL will do semi knock down (SKD) initially, meaning it will depend on partially-assembled components, following which it plans to manufacture motherboard and mobile LCD (liquid crystal display.)

“This is the first time Pran-RFL is going to enter the information technology business by setting up this plant,” Kamruzzaman Kamal, marketing director of Pran-RFL Group, told Dhaka Tribune.

“Mobile phones are one of the most used technological devices by the modern generation, with the segment offering huge business opportunities in the local market,” he further stated.

The market size of mobile phones is more than Tk14,000 crore annually, Kamal mentioned.

However, according to insiders, the annual handset market stands at Tk11,000-Tk12,000 crore with the accessories market covering a quarter of the handset market.

The industry giant has been entering new verticals since its inception, successfully expanding business in dynamic fields, becoming one of the largest job producers in the country.

The group currently employs about 150,000 people directly through its businesses in various segments including agro processing, plastics, light engineering, furniture, electronics, bicycle, packaging and readymade garment (RMG.)

The group has factories at 25 locations across the country and exports to 145 countries.

More than 1.5 billion people across the world are consuming Pran-RFL products.

However, Pran-RFL Group is expecting to face fierce competition from both local and global companies.

In recent years, local handset production has made an impressive stride, aided by the government's huge tax benefits in the fiscal year of 2017-18 and several companies have already invested heavily in the segment and a range of devices are now being assembled or manufactured in Bangladesh.

Local brands have already started shipping smartphones abroad as well.

Walton Group is exporting smartphones to the US and Symphony to Nepal.

Walton now manufactures laptops, computers, printers, and tabs alongside mobile phones.

Global brands such as Samsung, Vivo, Oppo, and Xiaomi also hold significant market shares.

 

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