No Samsung mobile handsets will be imported to Bangladesh after March next year as its local plant is capable of meeting the domestic demand entirely.
The plant in Narsingdi is currently assembling products that account for 96 percent of Samsung’s smartphone sales in the country.
Samsung Bangladesh and its assembly partner Fair Electronics Ltd announced that the globally reputed mobile brand will start assembling its Galaxy-branded flagship products within next few months.
They shared the info at a press conference at the Pan Pacific Sonargaon in Dhaka yesterday.
Fair Electronics set up the mobile plant two years ago and began assembling a range of 4G smartphones in June last year.
In the last one year, the plant has assembled about 15 lakh units of smartphones, with prices ranging from Tk 7,500 to Tk 40,000.
Fair Electronics Chairman Ruhul Alam Al Mahbub said they are targeting to assemble 25 lakh units of smartphones in the next one year.
“We can assemble all the devices in our factory and Bangladesh will not require to import any Samsung phone after March,” he said.
He said like the garment sector, the tech industry has the potential to become the main driver of Bangladesh’s economy by way of assembling technologically sophisticated products.
“Our aim is to present Bangladesh as a technological hub to the world and we are moving forward in line with the goal,” Mahbub added. Thanks to the factory, Fair Electronics is adding about 35 percent value to its products and within the next few years, the value addition will go up to 45 percent as it is planning to set up a PCBA motherboard manufacturing system.
PCBA or printed circuit board assembly motherboard is the main component of products such as mobile phones, tablets, laptops, and computers.
Once in place, the system will be a milestone for Bangladesh, Mahbub said.
“With Samsung Galaxy flagship products, we will move to assemble tablets at our plant -- there is huge demand for tablets in the market,” said Mesbah Uddin, chief marketing officer of the company.
Of the total mobile phones in use in Bangladesh, only 30 percent are smartphones. Currently, Samsung is the top player in the smartphone segment in Bangladesh, with 31 percent market share in terms of volume and 48 percent share in terms of value.
While speaking about the challenges the market now faces, the high-ups of Fair Electronics said some companies are importing smartphones dodging taxes.
Seungwon Youn, country manager of Samsung, said it wants to be the major technological partner of Bangladesh as it was the first multinational mobile device company to set up an assembly plant in the country.
Samsung Mobile’s Senior Director HD Lee and General Manager Bomin Kim were also present at the briefing.
Fair Electronics also assembles Samsung’s home appliances such as refrigerators, air conditioners, microwave ovens and televisions.
SMARTPHONE IN INSTALMENT
Fair Electronics is planning to come up with an offer for entry-level executives and students, allowing them to buy mid-priced smartphones in instalments and at affordable prices.
Within the next 10 to 14 days, they will run the pilot project where customers can have the smartphones priced Tk 15,000 to Tk 20,000 in six to 12 instalments.
Interested customers can buy smartphones easily at almost zero down payment. They will only require to submit some cheques in advance, Mesbah said. No credit card payments will be required to buy the handsets.
Fair Electronics has already had offers for employees of a company and the scheme does not require them to submit any cheque.
The plant employs 1,000 skilled employees. Of them, 25 percent are female. A total of 50 engineers are employed there, including 10 from Samsung.