Man behind the rise of Butterfly | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, June 11, 2021 / LAST MODIFIED: 05:40 AM, June 11, 2021

Man behind the rise of Butterfly

Butterfly Group has made its name in Bangladesh with its consumer electronics available on hire purchase, transforming in 34 years from just three outlets to employing around 2,000 employees and having an annual turnover of Tk 850 crore.

Working behind the scenes was its founder and chairman MA Mannan, who breathed his last on June 9 at the age of 78. He left behind his wife, two sons and a daughter.

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Mannan's life started off no different than any other ordinary Bangladeshi. Born in Gazipur's Sreepur upazila, he completed schooling from West End School, Dhaka, and graduated from Jagannath College (now Jagannath University) in commerce.

The turning point was a 22-year career at Singer Bangladesh. It gave him the confidence to start his own venture, Butterfly Marketing, with local and three foreign shareholders.

At that time investment was very low, recalls family friend Mahbubul Haque Sufyani, also a shareholder and director.

What caught on was its sewing machine, a symbol of the "emerging middle class" in the late 80s.

In 1995, it went through a major rebranding, turning into the sole distributor of renowned Korean electronics giant LG in Bangladesh. That year, Butterfly also turned into a public company.

In 2012, the group opted for backward integration through the inception of Butterfly, Butterfly Manufacturing and Butterfly Industries.

It established state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities through strategic deals with LG and Hisense.

Today, Butterfly offers 18 products such as TVs, refrigerators, air-conditioners, microwave ovens, washing machines, generators, rice cookers, blenders, dishwashers, fans and water heaters.

The company attributes its success to a long-lasting partnership with selective world-class brands, a robust line of skilled staff, convenient retail locations around the country and a vision to grow.

With the consumer at the core of it all, the most important aspect is seemingly its motto, "Committed to Care". 

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