Bangladesh refrigerator manufacturers are now supplying about 80 percent of the domestic demand of the product, according to a study.
Of them, Walton tops the list covering 66 percent of the local market while others including Marcel, Jamuna, Vision and Minister are grabbing the remaining part, finds the study conducted by Marketing Watch Bangladesh (MWB), a non-profit organization, which deals with real time data and market scenario.The findings of the study were released at a press conference at the Department of Marketing conference room at the University of Dhaka on Monday.
The MWB at the presser seeks government’s policy support for the sector’s growth as it has the potentials to increase foreign currency earnings.
The country’s refrigerator industry has witnessed a rapid growth during the past two decades as more people in rural and suburban areas are increasingly buying this household appliance.
“One of the reasons that more people outside the cities are buying the product is affordable prices,” said Dr Md Nazmul Hossain, one of the co-founders of MWB.
According to the study, the reasons also include rise in people’s income, growth of small families, rise in female employments and improvement of living standards outside the cities.
The field survey was conducted among 2,440 refrigerator users (1,778 in the field and 662 online), 10 focus group discussions, 10 retail store audits, 10 expert surveys, 3, 860 online buyer responses, 196 public posts analysis and 9 TVC analysis from eight organizations.The growing demand for domestic brands is driven by the use of new technologies, such as automatic temperature control systems, energy efficient inverter technology, real-time temperature displays, holiday mood, turbo mood and supercool mood etc.
Walton, Marcel and Jamuna are playing a leading role in the use of such technology among the domestic brands, the study said.
It also examined the level of customer satisfaction and dissatisfaction of refrigerator users on various topics.
As it turns out, most buyers are satisfied with the domestic brands.
Most of the buyers think that domestic companies have been able to bring relatively good quality refrigerators to the market at relatively low prices.
Besides, the study found that buyers pay more attention to the cost of refrigerators, durability, energy saving, design, compressor, warranty, after-sales service and use of new technology.
However, there are some complaints from users, according to the study.
These include low cooling capacity, high noise of water leakage compressors, excess power consumption, high ice accumulation, reduced compressor efficiency over time, and so on.
In addition to the research, some recommendations were made for domestic companies. These include increasing online marketing activities, improving customer relationship management (CRM), increasing the quality of sales service, and checking refrigerators at the company's initiative after a certain period of time.
It is mentioned that the level of respect among the users will increase if the refrigerator companies try to solve it by taking the complaints into account.
Based on the findings of the research, the MWB at the press conference said the kind of large investments made by domestic manufacturers and using modern technology will increase the demand for refrigerators in near future.
It will also be able to earn foreign currencies by exporting to the international markets.
The researchers called upon the government to provide all kinds of logistical support so that the domestic brands could do better.
They also said that the government could play a positive role in the development of the industry by adopting special policies.
This will save a lot of foreign exchange costs, as well as benefit of domestic manufacturers.
The research team was consisted of Marketing Department Chairman Professor Mizanur Rahman, Associate Professor Md Nazmul Hossain, Associate Professor Rafiuddin Ahmed and researcher Sakhawat Hossain.