Bangladesh adds 20 lakh middle-income, affluent consumers each year: report


Bangladesh is adding 20 lakh middle-income and affluent consumers each year who are highly optimists about future and value foreign brands, a report of global management consulting firm Boston Consulting Group said on Thursday.
According to the report, only 7 per cent or 1.12 crore of Bangladesh’s population of 16 crore currently is classified as middle-income or affluent — compared with 21 per cent in Vietnam and 38 per cent in Indonesia.
The BCG in collaboration with local partner SD Asia launched the report titled ‘Bangladesh: The Surging Consumer Market Nobody Saw Coming’ at Gardenia Hall in the capital Dhaka.
The BCG conducted a survey on 2,000 local customers for the report and analysed their consumer pattern.
‘Bangladesh is one of the greatest untapped growth markets in Asia, yet has been off the radar of most major consumer product companies. Companies that move now to get into position have an opportunity to build a lasting competitive advantage,’ said BCG partner Zarif Munir, who is also a co-author of the report.
‘Bangladesh’s MAC population is projected to 34 million by 2025. Consumer wealth is also dispersing beyond the major cities of Dhaka and Chittagong, within the next decade, 63 cities are projected to have MAC populations of at least 100,000, compared with current 36,’ said the report.
The BCG survey found evidence of huge potential demand for branded consumer products — but also revealed that a willingness to spend is tempered by wariness of taking on debt.
‘So, if you can unlock that fear of debt that will be huge plus for your product,’ Zarif said.
Bangladeshis focus more attention to the immediate needs of their large households than do consumers in many other large Asian emerging markets.
‘For example, households still purchase most of their goods with cash and at traditional mom-and-pop retail outlets, rather than at more modern channels, such as convenience stores and supermarkets,’ said the report.
Bangladeshis are also rapidly adopting an advanced mobile internet technologies as 41 per cent of consumers surveyed — and 68 per cent of MAC consumers — own internet-enabled smartphones.
‘Around 14 per cent of online purchases are conducted through the online payment service. 81 per cent of consumers said that they trust what they read online, and 66 percent search for product information online,’ said the report.
State minister for ICT Zunaid Ahmed Palak and Bangladesh Association of Software and Information Services president Shameem Ahsan also spoke on the occasion, among others.
Source: New Age


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