Walton Hi-Tech Industries Ltd is going to set up a subsidiary company named "Walton Corporation United States of America" as part of its plan to expand its business globally.
The home electronics maker plans to invest $0.5 million to purchase ordinary and preferential shares to form the new company, subject to approval from the Bangladesh Bank and other relevant regulators, according to Walton.
Walton US will provide import, export and procurement services in North America, reveals Walton's posting on the Dhaka Stock Exchange website.
Besides, Walton's board has decided to open branches or liaison offices in India, South Korea, Nepal and the United Arab Emirates through which they want to expand the company's market and develop technology worldwide.
Walton also plans to apply for the enhancement of foreign currency limit to operate the proposed foreign branches and liaison offices.
It will be the first local electronics giant which is going to set up its company in the US, said a company official, seeking anonymity.
Golam Murshed, managing director of Walton, told The Business Standard, "The vacuum in terms of expansion considering domestic needs we now have will not be there in the next two or three years. So, our aim is to become a global brand by 2030. That is why we have started to open new offices in different countries as part of our vision.
"We want to become one of the five leading brands in the world by 2030."
The company is now running its domestic business under two brand names – Walton and Marcel.
In 1997, when five brothers led by the eldest one SM Nurul Alam Rezvi started importing black-and-white television sets, they could not imagine that they would become so big and a household name in Bangladesh.
After their success in selling televisions, they began thinking big and set up Walton Hi-Tech Industries in 2006 to manufacture electronics in Bangladesh.
Walton started out with motorcycles and refrigerators, but the motorcycles did not get as much popularity as their refrigerators did.
At present, the electronics giant controls over 60% of the electronic household product market. Occupying over two-thirds of the local refrigerator market, and around half of television and one-third of air conditioner markets, the company is now heavily pursuing its dreams to flourish in the global map. Currently, the company exports home electronics to around 40 countries.
The local brand now eyes a one-fourth share in the domestic market for lifts even though it is a new entrant to the market segment.
Murshed said, "We have been selling our products in the US through Amazon since 2018. We are also exporting several products to the country. The demand for our home appliances in the US has encouraged us to expand our market there."
Walton is a company that has been working to ease people's lives as well as create employment opportunities in Bangladesh, said the Walton's managing director.
"Apart from supplying high standard consumer goods to the domestic electronic market, Walton has ensured over 25,000 direct and about 1 lakh indirect employment for people. Now, we are exporting our products abroad," he said.
Walton's marketing network spans the country, with more than 350 sales points called Walton Plaza and over 25,000 dealers.
In the fiscal 2019-20, Walton sold electronic products amounting to Tk4,107 crore and made a profit of Tk726 crore. It also exported products worth Tk14 crore in FY20.
During the fiscal year, the company sold refrigerators and compressors worth Tk2,767 crore, air conditioners worth Tk348 crore, televisions worth Tk713 crore, electronic appliances worth Tk227 crore and home appliances worth Tk184 crore.
In FY20, because of the pandemic hit, Walton registered a 39% decline in its refrigerator sales year-on-year, but saw a 55% increase in air conditioner sales, 93% increase in television sales, a 1,685% increase in electronics appliance sales and a 151% increase in home appliance sales.
The listed hi-tech giant posted a 16% year-on-year jump in revenue over the nine months of the current fiscal year alongside ten-time export receipts, according to Abul Bashar Howlader, its additional managing director and chief financial officer.
Over the third quarter (January-March), the company's sales crossed Tk1,600 crore, while it secured Tk2,665 core in revenue over the first six months of the fiscal year.
For the nine months, its revenue grew to Tk4,292 crore.
Sales of cooling products – refrigerator and air conditioners – grew, but television sales outpaced all other segments, both at home and abroad.
In the first nine months of FY21, Walton's export grew nearly ten times to over $8 million, said the chief financial officer, adding that markets across continents now order more televisions from his company than the previously dominating cooling products.
However, the cooling product segment is also growing and made more than two-thirds of the company's total revenue for the first three quarters, Abul Bashar said.
In 2020, Walton Hi-Tech Industries Ltd got listed on the stock market. Currently, the company's per share is being traded at Tk1,286 at the DSE.
As per its shares' values, the company's market cap now stands at Tk37,832 crores.
Walton gave a 200% dividend to its investors last year.
On Monday, Walton's share price rose by 2.97 or Tk37 at the DSE.