Made in Bangladesh phone will recognize Bangladesh as a producer in the world

Made in Bangladesh phone: Interview of Zakaria Shahid by Bangla Tribune

Made in Bangladesh phone: Interview of Zakaria Shahid by Bangla Tribune 

Zakaria Shahid, general secretary of Bangladesh Mobile Phone Importers Association (BMPIA) and managing director of local mobile phone brand Symphony, said the market for illegal mobile phones (gray market) is growing again in the country. As a result of government-initiated mobile phone registration, the gray market fell below 10 percent. Now it has increased again by 30-35 percent. The mobile phone market in the country is going bad at this time. He is hopeful that the market will turn around from February.

Zakaria Shahid further said that Symphony is exporting OEM mobile phones to Nepal. The phone is being sold outside the country under the name Symphony. In this way, Zakaria wants to spread 'Made in Bangladesh' phone outside the country. Said, Made in Bangladesh phone will recognize Bangladesh as a producer in the world.

What is the current state of the mobile industry in the country?

Zakaria Shahid: Overall good. This has been going on for the last one year. The market is generally slow from November to January of the year. From February onwards it tends to get better. I hope the market will get better from next month.

Tell us about the country's mobile phone market?

Zakaria Shahid: 22 to 23 lakh phones are sold in the country every month. At the end of the year it stands at three to three and a half crores. Earlier feature phones were sold more. Now the sales of smartphones have increased. Smartphone usage rate is now 40 percent. People are using this phone more during Corona. The feature-to-smartphone ratio is now 60:40.

How did Corona affect the mobile market?

Zakaria Shahid: Corona had an effect on the market for a long time. If normal activities start after February, everyone can get out, but the year will be better. The country's market is generally good from April to July. At this time there are two Eids. Business is done on both Eids. I hope it will be the same again. The use of online platforms has increased in the last year. The growth of the smartphone market is also 40 percent. The market share of feature phones is now 60 percent.

What percentage of the country's demand is being imported?

Zakaria Shahid: Imports are very low. IPhone is being imported. Some of Shaomi's phones are coming, Motorola is also coming. In addition, a few more brands of expensive phones are coming. 90 percent of the total demand is being made in the country's factories. However, the gray market has grown at an alarming rate. Un-official or non-channel 30-35 percent of the total mobile is coming. The gray market fell below 10 percent after the government introduced handset registration. Which is growing by leaps and bounds again.

How has the gray market affected the mobile industry? Will you have any initiative to stop it?

Zakaria Shahid: Sales of home-made phones have declined due to uncontrolled gray market. The government or regulatory body may take steps to close this market. The mobile phone registration initiative was good. We are an organization. Organizationally our capacity is limited.

There are 14 licensed factories in the country. How many factories are making mobiles? What kind of phone is being made more?

Zakaria Shahid: Although 14 factories have got licenses, mobiles are being made in 12 factories. All kinds of phones are being made. Feature phones, medium range, expensive — everything is being made. Home-made Five-G phones have also started coming.

What is the difference between the price of imported phone and the phone made in the country?

Zakaria Shahid: It is difficult to differentiate between prices. The country is supposed to be less. But the changing context has created complications. Prices of various mobile components have gone up. There are chip and panel crises. Naturally the price is a bit high. The value of the dollar has also increased, and the price of ships has also increased. Local factories were closed during the bad times in Corona. At that time the workers had to pay. As a result, this sector is moving forward under a huge pressure. Due to this, it is becoming very difficult to differentiate between imported and domestically made phones.

Home made phones are now being exported. Tell me about it.

Zakaria Shahid: Several brands are exporting home-made mobile phones. Our difference from others is that we have exported phones under the name Symphony. I call it OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer). The phones are being sent through four invoices. Two invoices have been sent. The phones cost between-80-90. We will soon be exporting to Vietnam, Sri Lanka, Nigeria and Oman.

I heard that you have an alternative proposal to encourage mobile phone exports.

Zakaria Shahid: If we export mobile phones, we will get 10 percent incentive. But there are many rules to follow to get this incentive. The incentive is conditional. We do not want conditional incentives. We want it to be open. When we export phones, 10-12 percent tax falls. 
We should be given cash incentives without tax cuts with incentives. We will pay whatever tax comes.

Interview and Source Credit Coutesy: Bangla Tribune.

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