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A Brief History Of Walton

May 28, 2016

It is hard to come by any tech products manufacturers in Bangladesh. Historically, we used to consume imported goods. However, Walton is one of the few exceptions that successfully made its transition from an importer to a manufacturer.

Over the years, the company has outgrown many of its local contemporaries. While growing its existing portfolios, the company has also successfully expanded into new domains including mobile, home appliances and more.

Over the years, Walton has also shown a healthy sense of tenacity and ingenuity. In an interview with the Daily Star, SM Mahbubul Alam, a director of Walton Group said that the company takes innovation and R&D quite seriously and is investing heavily in the both areas. “We have already realised that R&D would be the only weapon for us,” said Alam, “if we want to sustain our run in the market.”

While Walton is quite a success story, like many other companies, it is incredibly hard to come across any well-researched information about the company. Recently, we took the time to put together a host of information about the company from a couple of sources.

1. Walton started its journey in 1997. It used to import black-and-white television and distribute in the local market.

2. Walton, like all major local conglomerates in Bangladesh, is largely a family business run by four brothers.

3. Walton Hi-tech Industries was set up in 2006 but it did not start manufacturing right away.

4. Instead, it started assembling products, TV sets, motorcycles etc. The company used to import parts from China and do light assembling in Bangladesh.

5. It did not have any manufacturing operation in Bangladesh until 2010.

6. It started with manufacturing motorcycles and refrigerators and then air conditioner.

7. Walton controls 80 percent of the local refrigerator market in terms of unit sales.

8. It controls 30 percent share in the local television market.

9. In 2014, Walton Group's annual turnover came to about Tk 3,500 crore.

10. According to Walton, the company’s annual production capacity is 1.4 million refrigerators and freezers, 300,000 motorcycles, 300,000 air conditioners and 1 million television sets.

11. Walton employs about 14,000 people.

12. Walton currently exports to 19 countries.

Data source: Walton, The Daily Star

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Ibrahim works as an Intern at FS. He takes interviews, writes features, and meets entrepreneurs and makers and doers.

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