A well-known brand in the consumer durables industry made famous by sewing machines, Singer Bangladesh Limited is a Multinational Company operating since 1905 in Bangladesh. The company has a long history dating back to 1851, when Isaac Singer invented the first practical sewing machine. It has the largest chain of retail stores branded as Singer Plus, Singer Mega, and Singer Pro, spread throughout the country’s administrative divisions.
Singer in East Pakistan functioned as a branch of Singer Pakistan after the Indian subcontinent was divided in 1947. The East Pakistan Branch Office was promoted to a Country Office upon the liberation of Bangladesh. The Singer sewing machines were made available from various Singer overseas sources.
Singer Bangladesh Limited was incorporated as a Private Limited company on September 04, 1979. It was converted into a Public Limited Company in 1983 by offering shares to the public.
Although Singer had been popularly known for its sewing machine, with time, Singer began transitioning from a sewing machine firm with a single product to a multi-product consumer durable company in 1985 to support future growth and expansion.
The company produces a range of consumer durable goods, electronics, and kitchen appliances. The company’s main products include refrigerators, air conditioners, television, washing machine, microwave oven, water purifiers, and kitchen appliances.
In 2019, Arçelik A. S., a Turkish home-appliance company that ranks among the Fortune 500 list, acquired 57% stakes in Singer Bangladesh Limited. International Appliances Limited (IAL) is a subsidiary of SBL which was incorporated to carry on the manufacturing business and sell refrigerators with the brand ‘Singer.’ Now, under Arçelik, Singer has an even bigger vision to materialize in Bangladesh. This facilitates cross-border ties between Bangladesh and Turkey and shows potential channels of deeper collaboration between the two countries.
Singer in the society
Singer Bangladesh Limited is doing business with the slogan ‘Embrace Life Now.’ Singer has been operating in Bangladesh for over four decades and has established itself as one of the leading consumer durable brands in the country. The company has achieved this success through a combination of factors.
Its commitment to customer satisfaction and corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities have helped it establish a strong brand image. A strong distribution network, a wide range of products, a reputation for quality, reliability, durability, and excellent after-sales services have helped the cause.
Singer has been actively involved in CSR activities in Bangladesh by providing scholarships, setting up school computer labs, etc. The company has been providing underprivileged people with sewing machines, which help them to earn a livelihood.
Three hospitals in and around Dhaka received ventilators from Singer Bangladesh Limited as part of the ‘Singer for Society’ program for critically ill COVID-19 patients during the pandemic. They gave freezers, washing machines, and microwave ovens to several hospitals across Bangladesh.
According to a UCB Asset Management report from 2021, Singer competes with Walton as the second-largest brand, holding 12% of the refrigerator market share and 11% of the television market share, respectively, to Walton’s enormous 72% and 27% market shares in those two categories. Only in air conditioners does Singer trail General and Gree with a 13% market share, and with an 18% market share, it is attempting to catch Samsung in the washing machine market.
Indeed the pandemic dented the growth, and Singer Bangladesh Limited could not achieve the anticipated sales target, resulting in a loss of Tk 8.50 crore from July to September 2022. According to a company statement, the Russian-Ukraine war has dimmed the chances of a post-pandemic recovery. Economic activity remained subdued as the adverse effects of rising freight, energy, and food prices persisted. These have been exacerbated by the taka’s sharp depreciation against the US dollar.
Singer has heavily invested in marketing and advertising campaigns to attract new customers and sponsored several cultural and sporting events. In the Bangladesh Special Economic Zone at Araihazar, Narayanganj, Singer has invested Tk 800 crore to begin building its cutting-edge manufacturing facility. The new facility will draw technology from Arçelik, one of the world’s top cooling and white goods manufacturers.
Cemal Can Dinçer, Chief Commercial Officer of Arçelik, stated that Singer aims to manufacture 90% of its products domestically, up from the current rate of 52%. Additionally, the business would support the growth of regional suppliers for the electronics and home appliance sectors. The company is hopeful about getting back on the growth track soon.