Local interior decors shoring up foothold | The Daily Star
11:00 PM, August 15, 2009 / LAST MODIFIED: 11:00 PM, August 15, 2009

Local interior decors shoring up foothold

Locally-made sanitary fittings are on display at a shop in Dhaka. Demand for Bangladeshi sanitary accessories is gradually increasing in domestic markets.Photo: STAR

Bangladeshi products meant for interior decoration are gradually getting a strong foothold in domestic market, as many local companies have sprung up over the past few years on increased demand for less expensive but quality items.
The items like sanitary ware, tile, aluminium products including doors and windows, bathroom fitting and cable now drive out foreign products.
Sector people attribute the present position to the local realtors' quest for low cost but quality interior materials to make apartments affordable to customers.
In a span of only eight years, local makers of such materials have been able to grab a major market share, they said.
Rashed Mowdud Khan, president of Bangladesh Ceramic Ware Manufacturers Association, said, “You can even buy a square foot of tile for only Tk 30 now, which was Tk 130-140 seven to eight years back. It has become possible, as local manufacturers in a bigger way have come into the scenario. Earlier, a major portion of the local demand for the item was met through imports.”
Khan also pointed to the fact that availability of cost-effective tiles has driven out mosaic largely from the market. “I guess local manufacturers account for more than 65 per cent market share of domestic tile consumption,” he said.
Around seven companies now exist in the market, of which where RAK Ceramics (Bangladesh) Pvt Ltd and Bangladesh Insulator & Sanitary Ware Factory Ltd are on the front line. RAK Ceramics is a joint venture with the United Arab Emirates, while the other is a state-run enterprise. These two companies also manufacture sophisticated bathroom fittings and other equipment.
"We produce around 2,700 pieces of sanitary ware every month,” a sales executive of RAK Ceramics said.
The chief of the trade body for ceramic ware manufacturing sector is also upbeat on the item's exports in a very near future.
Meanwhile, demand for local doors, made of wood, plastic and aluminium, is also on the rise.
“Even five-six years ago, most readymade doors in the local market were foreign, but things have changed with the entry of different local companies who make quality wood and plastic doors,” said M Shamim Ullah, proprietor of Shamim and Brothers, a door vendor and manufacturer in the capital.
Around 10 companies are producing doors with reputation, according to an official of a renowned furniture company.
"Now most buyers are enthusiastic about locally made doors because these are durable," said Ranjit Roy, an assistant manager (Sales and Marketing) of Akhtar Furniture Ltd.
Besides, local companies are making aluminium-made doors, windows and stairs as an alternative of wood products.
"Now the demand for aluminium-made interior material in the construction sector is fully met by local makers. But things were different just eight years back when the sector was import-dependent for such item, " said M Moniruzzaman of Ornate Thai Aluminium.
The annual turnover of the aluminium industry is around Tk 1,000 crore, according to industry insiders.
President of the Real Estate and Housing Association of Bangladesh (REHAB) Tanveerul Haq Probal said realtors prefer to use local products as manufacturers offer warranty and also provide after-sales-services.
“People in the downtown prefer locally made interior materials as those are cheaper,” he added.

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