Bangladesh a potential market for Sri Lankan retailers
ECONOMYNEXT – Bangladesh is a potential markets for Sri Lankan retailers to expand into, Ranjan De Silva, Partner, Sensei International, a business consultancy said.
Bangladesh has over 200 million people, and the economy is expected to grow by 7.3 percent next year, much higher than the 4.5 percent for Sri Lanka.
“There are about 30 supermarkets at the scale of a Food City or a Keells Super, which means that for a country with 200 million people, there is huge market potential out there," De Silva told a business forum organized by Sri Lanka’s retail chains.
"There are two big malls, but beyond that you wouldn’t have much retail competition."
He has a background in retail, and was part of the team that formed Keells Super. He is also part of the team that set up the Agora supermarket chain in Bangladesh.
De Silva said real estate and infrastructure development, and a stable government as some of the positive indicators.
"Bangladesh is a huge sourcing area. Similarly it is consumer based as well."
"A lot of Bangladeshis travel to Bangkok, Singapore, Malaysia and Sri Lanka for shopping and holidays. So they are waiting for good retail brands to be there. Not just food, fashion brands as well," he said.
Addressing the question of why Sri Lankan retailers would do well in Bangladesh, he said that there is a lot of respect for Sri Lankans in there.
"I think Sri Lankans started off the apparel industry in Bangladesh and right now a lot of the apparel companies are run by Sri Lankan professionals."
"Sri Lankans are well respected for professionalism in Bangladesh." (Colombo, 22 October 2018)