Walton has recently made a remarkable debut on the stock market; its price has hit the ceiling every day since the trading began. What factors do you believe have contributed to such favourable views from the investors? Can Walton play a pivotal role in regaining investor confidence in the stock market which doesn’t have a glorious history when it comes to conserving investor’s confidence?
Yes, we witnessed an incredible trading debut of Walton Hi-Tech Industries shares on the stock market. Over the period, Walton has become a trusted brand in the domestic market, confidence generated on investors. Mentionable, Walton Hi-Tech was listed in the capital market with the highest EPS recorded during the IPO. Walton Hi-Tech’s performance over the decade and future potential are the primary reasons behind such enthusiasm from the investors. The quality and reliability of the products have enabled us to secure more than 70 per cent market share in the domestic electronics market. Walton Hi-Tech is poised for substantial future growth as it has been making strong footprints on the global market through carrying out export operations in more than 40 countries.
Despite the pandemic, Walton witnessed higher profits in the first nine months (July-March) of the current fiscal year compared to the previous year’s corresponding period.
As a result, Walton IPO subscription received an application from the general investors for more than nine times higher shares against the allotted shares.
On the back of such a response, I believe the listing of Walton Hi-Tech Industries will play a pivotal role in restoring consumer confidence in the stock market and make it more appealing for future investments.
How important is it for Bangladesh to locally manufacture electronic products as opposed to importing from abroad? What is the size of the market?
Manufacturing electronics locally is essential for Bangladesh. There was a time when the demand for the electronics sector was entirely dependent on imports. The establishment of manufacturing unit Walton Hi-Tech Industries Limited at Chandra, Gazipur was the turning point of the sector in our country.
It paved the way for Bangladesh to become self-reliant on electronic products and facilitated a robust growth of the domestic manufacturing sector.
The emergence of the local electronics manufacturing industry accelerated the country’s industrialization process, created substantial employment opportunities and contributed to the country’s current account balance by eliminating the necessity to spend foreign currency on imported products. Conversely, we are earning money through the exports of finished products which are enhancing Bangladesh’s image as a manufacturing hub.
What are the challenges that the electronics manufacturing industry is facing that might impede future growth?
The current government has prioritised transforming Bangladesh into a manufacturing-based economy from primarily agricultural with the aim of becoming a middle-income country by 2021. Concurrent policy support and infrastructure development have facilitated the robust growth of the local manufacturing sector.
Walton has been visionary in utilising government incentive in establishing the leading electronics manufacturing brand in the country. Bangladesh government’s strong policy support has been pivotal in Walton’s rise.
To ensure sustainable growth, the government must continue its policy and support to the local electronics manufacturing industry.
How crucial has been the role of innovation behind Walton’s rise as the country’s top electronics manufacturer? Can you please share some details about your R&D operations?
Innovation has been the key for Walton in ensuring customer satisfaction and becoming the leading Bangladeshi electronics brand. We are strongly committed to producing high-quality products with state of the art technology. Walton has been making considerable investments in R&D (Research and Development) from the inception of its journey, including the establishment of the country’s largest R&D centre. We have set up an individual R&D department for each of the products our brand offers. They are equipped with state of the art facilities and some of the most highly-skilled engineers in the country. Concurrently, Walton formed an outstanding R&D team with expert engineers from Italy, Korea and Bangladesh, who are working on products’ designs and quality standards considering the world’s each market. Similar initiatives are also on the cards of other regions of the world, including America, Europe, Australia, Middle East and Africa.
Walton is currently the leading exporter of electronic products from Bangladesh. Can you share some details about your export portfolios?
Walton has been exporting wide ranges of products which are ‘Made in Bangladesh’ to more than 40 countries in the regions of Asia, Middle East, Africa and Europe.
Among its wide range of products, Walton is exporting refrigerator, television, air conditioner, compressor, laptop, smartphone, washing machine, electric fan, microwave oven and various sorts of home, electronics and electrical appliances.
What is your vision of the future with Walton?
As the company’s managing director, I have planned my future tasks in line with my vision to turn Walton into one of the top five global electronics brands by 2030.
Therefore, we are focusing on expanding the exports to developed nations, including Australia, USA and Europe.
Concurrently, Walton is emphasising on partnering up with the leading brands in the individual international market to expand the export business.
We have been successful in taking the “Made in Bangladesh” label to new markets across the world. The International Business Unit (IBU) of Walton made a milestone in expanding exports to Europe’s potential markets, including Germany, Poland and Greece.