Bangladesh's e-commerce business saw a 166% growth in 2020 and its market size will be $3 billion by 2023.
Bangladesh Association of Software and Information Services President Syed Almas Kabir said this on Tuesday at the webinar "e-Commerce and Consumer Rights in the Time of Covid-19: Challenges and Way Forward."
At the Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI) organized programme, Syed Almas said internet usage in Bangladesh has risen 5.9% compared to last year. "The country is ahead of India and Sri Lanka in ICT adoption."
"Bangladesh has 36 million active social media users and the size of F-commerce (Facebook commerce) is Tk312 crore here."
Almas also called on bringing the E-commerce entrepreneurs under a registration process so that they can be monitored, regulated, and financed.
Consumers Association of Bangladesh President Ghulam Rahman said, "Registration system for F-commerce is needed to bring them under monitoring and accountability."
Also, Almas said: "We need to get rid of unreliable internet connections, ensure user-friendly payment systems, raise the number of skilled IT professionals to tackle unwanted cyber attacks, enhance technology adoption, build physical infrastructure, offer fiscal and non-fiscal incentives."
Commerce Secretary Dr Jafar Uddin said Covid-19 came as a boon for the e-commerce business. "The market of both e-commerce and f-commerce is growing manifold despite the dissatisfaction of the consumers."
"To use this huge potential, a digital cell has been set up in the ministry. An advisory committee is also working under the WTO cell to ensure consumer-friendly digital commerce ecosystem."
DCCI President Shams Mahmud said the size of the e-commerce market in Bangladesh is of about $2 billion now and it is growing 50% every year.
"Protection of consumer rights is a key factor for a sustainable e-commerce ecosystem in Bangladesh. Quality, conformity, liability, distribution, secured payment system and price of products are very much linked with consumer rights," Shams said.
Pathao Limited President and CFO Fahim Ahmed called on facilitating the local entrepreneurs so that they compete with the foreign players.
Bangladesh Bank Executive Director Mohd Humayun Kabir said they are trying to facilitate micro-merchants in the e-commerce ecosystem by easing the documentation process.
Television brand 'Marcel' is offering customers guaranteed discounts if they complete digital registration after buying a television.
This time, customers can avail of up to Tk 15,000 guaranteed discounts on television purchase.
The offer will be effective until further notice, the company said in a press release.
The campaign was inaugurated through a grand declaration programme on November 1 at the Walton Corporate Office, Dhaka.
Deputy Managing Director Eva Rezwana and Amdadul Hoque Sarker, Executive Director Humayun Kabir, Dr Shakhawat Hossen and Marcel Brand Ambassador Amin Khan were present at the programme.
Other senior officials of Walton were present at the event along with Deputy Managing Director Nazrul Islam Sarker, Executive Directors SM Zahid Hasan, Ariful Ambia, Firoj Alam, Senior Deputy Executive Director Shahjada Salim, Senior Operative Director Rabiul Alam, Marcel TV Product Manager Tanvir Mahmud Shuvo and Sheikh Tofazzal Hossain.
It was informed that importance is being given to providing high-quality TVs with the latest technology and features to the customers as well as providing maximum customer convenience.
Marcel is providing a five-year service warranty along with four years of replacement warranty on LED and smart TV panels.
Meanwhile, Marcel’s TV exchange fair is going on all over the country. Under this, customers can buy Marcel’s new LED TVs for Tk 8, 900 by submitting old or used TVs of any brand to the Marcel showroom.
Mitsubishi Power, Ltd., a subsidiary of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) Group, has won two awards at the Asian Power Awards 2020 in the Innovative Power Technology of the Year -Japan and Power Plant Upgrade of the Year –Japan categories, said a press release.
Mitsubishi Power received both awards fort-Point 2, its state-of-the-art combined cycle power plant validation facility.
Like its forerunner-Point, T-Point 2 is the only commercially operating power plant in the world specifically built to validate new power solutions.
It was commissioned in April 2020 and located within Takasago Works in Hyogo Prefecture, Japan, which also houses centers for research and development, design, manufacturing, and short-term component testing.
Connected to the grid, it is also the only plant of its type in the world to function as both a technology demonstrator as well as an electric power producer and supplier.
The combined cycle power plant validation facility entered full commercial operation in July 2020 with an enhanced J-Series Air-Cooled (JAC) gas turbine that sets the record for output and efficiency.
It has the industry’s highest turbine inlet temperature at 1,650°Cand a record-setting combined cycle efficiency greater than 64 per cent. This greater efficiency also means that lower carbon emissions and heat loss are achieved, thus significantly reducing the environmental impact of T-Point 2.
The facility boasts a robust long-term validation process that minimizes risk for customers and gives assurance of product performance and durability even before installation.
Osamu Ono, Managing Director and CEO of Mitsubishi Power Asia Pacific, spoke of the company’s mission to bring the most advanced energy solutions to market.
“The awards that we received for T-Point 2area testament to our commitment to develop innovative power generation technology and solutions,” he said.
“We recognize the need to ensure that energy remains reliable and affordable, while we also work to minimize the environmental impact of power generation. We continue to engage closely with customers, governments, utilities, industry leaders and our sister companies within the MHI Group to also address the foremost energy challenge of our time: creating an energy future that works for people and the planet.”
The presentation of the 16th edition of the awards, which recognize ground-breaking projects and trailblazing initiatives in the region’s power sector, was held during a virtual ceremony on October 30, s a id the press release.
Barely three months after reporting a net debt of some USD 21 billion, India's billionaire businessman Mukesh Ambani-owned oil-to-telecom conglomerate Reliance Industries announced its debt-free status in June this year -- all thanks to an unprecedented fundraising spree that helped cheer up the country's bourses amid Covid.
Reliance had, in fact, raised USD 15.2 billion by selling stakes in its telecom unit Jio and another USD 7 billion through rights issue just in the first quarter of this fiscal that saw the shares of the conglomerate hitting an all-time high and helped both the benchmark indices, Nifty and Sensex, shrug off weak global cues during the Covid-induced slowdown.
“I am both delighted and humbled to announce that we have fulfilled our promise to the shareholders by making Reliance net debt-free much before our original schedule of March 31, 2021," Ambani, the chairman and managing director of Reliance Industries, had said at the virtual shareholders' meet in July, while announcing the first quarter results.
But the haste at which Ambani had signed of the back-to-back deals with some US-based firms between April and June -- which also fuelled Reliance's market capitalisation to cross USD 150 billion, the first Indian company to reach this milestone -- can be attributed to its "hard efforts" to list Jio as a separate digital company on the country's bourses next year.
Jio has attracted some 370 million subscribers to its network since its mega launch in 2016, despite being a late entrant to India's telecom sector. By offering free voice calls and data at the world's cheapest price, it has already changed the country's digital landscape that was earlier dominated by the duopolies of domestic Airtel and British MNC Vodafone.
UNB has learnt that the top management of Reliance Industries is aggressively planning to take Jio public in the second half of the next fiscal, given the fact that the parent company has already managed to cut its net debt to zero. "By that time, the proceeds from the rights issue will be entirely received from retail and institutional investors," sources said.
The rights issue was structured in such a way that investors paid only 25% of the value of the shares they applied for, while they would have to cough up the remaining in two equal instalments in the first quarter of the next fiscal. "So, once all the funds are in, time will be right for Reliance to take Jio public as a separate entity," the sources said.
Reliance Industries has traditionally been in the oil and gas sector and chemicals business, both highly cyclical as compared to the defensive consumer and digital plays. And experts say the idea behind taking Jio public stems out of the fact that the pandemic has increased digital adoption across the world, including in India.
"Over the years, Reliance has become a conglomerate by diversifying into telecom and retail businesses, which have turned the tide for the company. In fact, the consumer-facing businesses now contribute nearly 35% of its operating profit. By listing Jio, Ambani wants to cash in on the growing digital dependence," said Delhi-based economist Nayana Singhal.
Stocks like Amazon, Netflix, Apple, Facebook, Google have all seen strong buying interest due to their digital capabilities and lower impact on the business during the Covid pandemic.
Some of these tech titans have also invested in Jio platforms, between April 22 and May 8, notable among them being Facebook. The social networking giant has become the Indian conglomerate's largest minority shareholder, with a 9.99 per cent stake, by investing USD 5.7 billion in Reliance.
"Also, talks are ongoing between Reliance and Saudi Aramco over the latter's USD 15 billion investment. All these indicate that we would see Jio on the country's bourses in the next fiscal. Moreover, being the cheapest data seller in India, Jio could well dislodge the other two telecom companies," said Ajai Misra, a telecom veteran based in Delhi.
India has the cheapest mobile broadband prices in the world. As per an international study, users in India pay USD 0.26 for 1 gigabyte (GB) of mobile data as compared with USD 12.37 in the US, USD 6.66 in the UK, and a global average of USD 8.53.
Leading consulting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers estimates the number of internet users in India is likely to grow to 850 million in 2022. So, if Jio, said to be the cheapest data seller in the world, becomes public next year, it could well change the dynamics of the telecom sector in the Indian equity indices too, say experts.
"India is one of the world's largest telecom markets. But neither Vodafone nor Airtel is in a good financial position, grappling with financial constraints to cough up AGR or adjusted gross revenue dues to the government. Jio, on the other hand, being a late entrant is more or less saved from paying huge AGR dues. It's a win-win for Jio," Misra said.
It may also be mentioned here that Reliance is already in talks with a number of fast moving consumer goods companies in this country to deliver daily-use domestic essentials at the doorsteps of consumers via Jio's e-commerce venture JioMart. Facebook's chat service WhatsApp has tied up with JioMart to make consumers connect with local groceries.
Walton has launched its ‘Digital Campaign’ of TV with the declaration of guaranteed cash discounts of up to 50 percent on the purchase of any model of its LED and Smart TV.
The campaign was inaugurated at a Declaration Programme at the Walton Corporate Office in the capital on Sunday.
It was attended by Walton’s deputy managing directors Md Nazrul Islam Sarker, Eva Rezwana Nilu and Amdadul Haque Sarker, executive directors SM Zahid Hasan and Ariful Ambia.
Among others, Walton’s executive directors Md Humayun Kabir, Dr Shakhawat Hossen and Md Firoj Alam, Senior Deputy Executive Director Shahjada Salim, Senior Operative Director Robiul Alam, Walton TV’s Product Manager Tanvir Mahmud Shuvo and Marketing Co-ordination Sk Tofazzal Hossain, Media Adviser Enayet Ferdous and other senior officials of the company were also present.
At the programme, Walton officials said customer will get maximum 50 percent cash discounts through completing digital registration after buying a television. The benefit will also be available on the purchase of Walton TV at EMI.
The offer will be effective from November 1 onwards until further notice.
Walton TV’s Chief Executive Officer Engineer Mostafa Nahid Hossain said they are manufacturing and marketing different models of LED and Smart television with excellent graphics and sound quality, which are elegant as well as affordable.
“And thus, ‘Made in Bangladesh’ tagged Walton TV has been exporting to the developed countries of the world,” he said.
Walton TV’s Product Manager Tanvir Mahmud Shuvo said Walton emphasised on high standard television with elegant design and advanced features, along with maximum customer’s benefit.
That’s why, he said, Walton has been giving maximum four years replacement guarantee on the panel of its televisions as well as service warranty for five years.
With the goal of providing consumers a rewarding purchase experience, he said, Walton has declared guaranteed discounts for the television’s customers.
Apart from the digital campaign, Walton’s ‘TV Exchange Fair’ is going on all over the country. Under this, customers can buy Walton’s new LED TV at only Tk 8,900 in exchange for their old or defaulted televisions of any brand.