Square Toiletries, a concern of local conglomerate Square Group, is set to launch baby diapers to cater to the growing demand, an official said yesterday.
Malik M Sayeed, head of marketing of Square Toiletries, said the company plans to manufacture baby diapers considering market prospects and to diversify its product basket for baby care.
"We are introducing diapers to help parents take better care of their babies. We hope to launch our product by September," Sayeed said.
The company plans to launch the diaper under the name Supermom. The company had earlier introduced a Bangla web-portal with the same name for kids and moms.
Square is going to be the third well-known business house after Bashundhara and Incepta to put baby diapers on the local market to compete with the imported ones.
The domestic market for baby diapers is expanding fast due to the rising purchasing power of parents and a familiarity with the comfort of using diapers for newborns. "Baby diapers are essential now for a lot of working mothers," the Square official said.
Currently, the annual market for baby diapers stands at nearly Tk 300 crore, registering more than 40 percent growth a year. Bangladesh is expected to be one of the biggest markets for baby diapers by 2020, according to industry estimates.
"Business prospects look good as a very small part of the market has been penetrated so far," Sayeed said, adding that diapers are used for a mere one percent of babies here.
To promote local manufacturing of baby diapers, the government has offered duty benefits for the import of raw materials for fiscal 2014-15.
In his budget speech, Finance Minister AMA Muhith proposed to cut the duty on the raw materials to manufacture diapers from 25 percent to 10 percent, to protect the industry from 'unfair competition from imports'.
"It is very encouraging for the local industry," Sayeed said.
However, industry operators alleged that some businessmen import diapers by under-invoicing to evade duties and VAT, to sell imported diapers at much cheaper rates.
Sayeed urged the revenue authority to take steps to prevent misdeclaration on the value of imported diapers to help the local industry to grow. The government can also set standards to ensure the import of good quality diapers, he said.