Walton wonder goes global, truly.
In 1997 when five brothers led by 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.
They stopped producing motorcycles after several years but continued to venture into manufacturing many electronic items and air conditioners and compressors for refrigerators.
The rest is history.
According to Walton, only 14 countries can make compressors for refrigerators.
In its steady journey of over two decades, Walton has left behind many international brands in the domestic market.
Now it eyes export of "Made In Bangladesh" products to the United States and India.
Yesterday, it began exporting smart phones to the US and air conditioners and refrigerators to India.
The company also introduced its own lifts and all-in-one desktops in local markets at half the cost of imported ones.
At present, Walton holds almost three-fourths of the total share of the local refrigerator market. It has also gained a significant presence in the television and air conditioner markets, with 40 percent and 22 percent shares respectively.
The local brand now eyes a one-fourth share in the domestic market for lifts even though it's a new entrant to this market segment.
Walton is a company that has been working to ease people's life as well as create employment opportunities in Bangladesh, said SM Nurul Alam Rezvi, vice chairman of Walton Hi-Tech Industries.
"Apart from supplying high standard consumer goods to the domestic electronic market, Walton has ensured over 25 thousand 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 thousand dealers.
The company currently manufactures almost all types of electronic and electric goods, including fridges, television, air conditioners, desktops and laptops, handsets, home appliances, cables, chemical products, lifts, and even LED bulbs.
Officials say, Walton manufactures everything necessary to produce a refrigerator while raw materials are imported.
Walton has also started building computer motherboards.
Uday Hakim, Walton's chief executive officer, said the firm itself designs and develops its own products, with a strong research and development wing.
The journey abroad
Walton now has focused on making a strong foothold in the global market. At present, it exports products to 30 countries, with its biggest market in Middle East and Africa.
Besides, it sends goods to some European and Saarc countries too.
Recently, it has signed a deal with a US company to export "Made In Bangladesh" smart handsets to that country.
In order to sell 26 thousand units of air conditioners and 1 lakh pieces of fridges in the Indian markets for the next two years, Walton has also inked deals with Korean giant Hyundai and Indian Reliance.
Walton has also signed an agreement to sell Walton products on Amazon.
Walton will become one of the top five brands in the world by 2030, said Ashraful Alam, managing director of the company.
Walton has set up all of its plants at Kaliakoir in Gazipur at the outskirts of Dhaka.
Walton Headquarters, as the factory is named, has been established on 764 acres of land and divided into three divisions – Walton Hi-Tech Industries, Walton Micro Corporation and Walton Digi-Tech Limited.
Walton Hi-Tech Industries' top product is refrigerators apart from a good number of air conditioners and lifts.
Digi-Tech produces cell phones, computers and accessories.
"Dedication and hard labour over these years have put us in this position. We will be Bangladesh's top company in the future," said Ashraful Islam, managing director of Walton.
Explaining the reason behind Walton products' growing popularity, he said, "We always try to produce goods according to people's demand, taste and necessity and keep the prices affordable."