The laptop market in the country was worth $165 million in 2017 and $175 million in 2018
The country’s laptop market is growing fast, thanks much to people's preference for ease stemming from portability of the state-of-the-art technology.
Bangladesh Computer Samity President Shahid-ul-Munir says: "We have potentials to grow as an assembling market of laptop, which is expanding with growing spending capacity of people.”
“Improving internet infrastructure and enhancing government initiatives such as digitization and encouraging entrepreneurs are also positively influencing the growth of the market,” Shahidul tells Dhaka Tribune.
According to market intelligence firm International Data Corporation (IDC), the size of IT-based technology product market in Bangladesh is about $1.5 billion while the laptop market in the country was worth $165 million in 2017 and $175 million in 2018.
According to Bangladesh Computer Samity, currently 10 lakh laptops are imported every year, with the growth rate between 15% and 20%, whereas the number was just around 20 to 25 thousand in 2008.
Saikat Das, market researcher of Flora Limited, says: “Of the buyers, 75% are corporate customers and 25% students including entrepreneurs. Besides, some people buy laptops for entertainment and gaming purposes.”
Most of the imported laptops, around 60% of the total imports, are coming from China, Singapore, the USA, Thailand and Malaysia.
HP accounts for 36 percent of the laptop imports, followed by 26 percent of Dell, 17 percent of Lenovo, 14 percent of Asus, 4 percent of Acer and 18 percent of other brands, according to International Data Corporation (IDC).
Bangladesh is an important market for technology-based products. Price of HP brand laptops ranges between Tk23,500 to over Tk1 one lakh, says Mishkat Hossain, HP and Lenovo sales representative in Bangladesh.
Prices of Lenovo brand laptop range between Tk20,000 and Tk2.5 lakh while its market growth with revenue is over 125%, he says.
Dell's projected laptop shipment for 2018 is five to six lakh, according to Abdus Samad of Rayan Laptop Ltd, another importer of laptop.
Dell Inspiron 14-3473 N4000 is priced at Tk24,500, Lenovo Idea-pad G4135 at Tk23,000, HP 15-db0000au Tk23,800, Asus X540YA and X407MA Tk22,800 to Tk24,000, Acer Aspire ES1-533 at Tk23,000 and Lenovo IP110 Tk24,800 are most popular in the market, Abdus Samad says.
Local brand Walton launched an assembling plant in Gazipur in 2018.
Zeng Rong (Ryan), head of marketing of Huawei Technologies (Bangladesh) Ltd, has told Dhaka tribune: “Currently Huawei laptop is in a pretty good position. The brand enjoys high exposure and the company’s laptop are recommended to a wide variety of target audiences for home and business use.”
Laptop exports from Bangladesh
Walton, after assembling at its plant, exports laptops to Nigeria, Bhutan, Nepal and some other countries.
The company is also trying to manufacture laptops, towing the government policy of digitalization, says Liakat Ali, CEO of Walton Computer Product.
“The company has an annual target of selling one lakh laptops while it produces pen drives, keyboards and mouse at the plant,” Liakat adds.
The plant was set up with German and Japanese technology with a monthly assembling capacity of around 60,000 laptops, and 30,000 desktops and monitors, he informs.
Walton is currently marketing 23 models of laptops, 13 models of desktops, 4 models of monitors along with various models of gaming and standard keyboard and mouse, pen drives and earphones. The price of Walton laptop ranges between Tk19,990 and Tk79,950.
Doel, a government initiative
State-run Telephone Shilpa Sangstha (TSS) Ltd in 2011 launched a brand of laptop named after the national bird, Doel, to make it available to people at an affordable price of Tk10,000.
But it failed to catch the market for its not-so-good quality and low configuration.
According to Posts and Telecommunication Division's 2016-17 annual report, TSS assembled 63,245 laptops of 11 models till date and managed to sell 58,750 units.
Problems in developing local brands
Dhaka University Professor Belayet Hossain, Department of Marketing, says: “We need proper branding of export quality products as well as market intelligence platform for promoting local products.”
Mosharaf Hossain Sumon, general secretary of Bangladesh Computer Samity, says: "Although some parts are locally produced, vital components of laptops are still imported. So, the local companies cannot be called manufacturers."
"The government is pursuing a policy of promoting small local IT and ITES-based companies so that they can turn into manufactures without importing products," he adds.