Syed Tahmid Zaman, Director, Marketing and Service, Best Electronics
Dhaka : The Best Electronics has grown from a 12-outlet retail brand to over 120 outlets in a span of a few years by earning the trust of the customers from all walks of life.
Best Electronics started its journey in 2014. The planning, albeit, started much earlier.
Syed Tahmid Zaman, Director, Marketing and Service, Best Electronics said, "We began with 12 outlets. It could be called a family-owned business. However, what's unique about us is that many of our employees also own equity in the company."
"The early-day story of our company, however, is inseparably linked with the story of my father's career. He got his first job in the electronics industry at Singer. I cannot recall the exact period as to how long he worked there."
"In 1987, he founded Butterfly along with several partners. He stayed at Butterfly till 2012."
"While working there, he realised that almost all of the electronics shops in Bangladesh, including Butterfly were selling products of only one or two brands."
"But traffic was, as at present, a huge problem at that time and customers found it inconvenient to move from one shop to another to buy different brands," said Syed Tahmid Zaman.
"Thus was conceived the idea of Best Electronics, a multi-brand shop where electronic home appliances of a vast array of brands would be showcased and sold. The value proposition was straight forward_ we offer a one-stop shopping experience for electronics products to customers," he said.
"In the beginning, we experienced difficulties in getting authorised dealership licences. We were selling genuine products but had to buy them from wholesalers bypassing the original manufacturers," he stated.
"For instance, we used to sell Hitachi products at that time which we had to procure from a distributor in Singapore because we did not have a relationship with from Hitachi itself," Syed Tahmid Zaman informed.
"This was the situation in case of almost all of our products. However, it has changed eventually as our business grew over the years. We are now the authorised distributor for almost all the brands that we sell," he added.
Talking about its evolution, he said, our operation has expanded to almost 60 districts around the country with many big cities like Dhaka, Rajshahi, and Rangpur having more than one showrooms.
The most important change since our inception has happened to the size of our operation. There were only 20 people at Best Electronics when we first started. The team is now a strong sales-force comprising of 800 efficient managers, salesperson and logistics personnel and so on. We started with only 12 outlets, today we have 120 outlets.
As to how Best Electronics attracted customers, Syed Tahmid Zaman said, "In retrospect, I think a number of factors have given momentum to our new company.
"Due to the consistent economic growth in the last couple of years, purchase capacity of our consumers have risen remarkably. This has benefited our business by enabling the consumer to pay for premium products."
"Secondly, we ensured convenience. Instead of dropping by multiple shops plying though jam-ridden streets, we brought together a vast array of brands for the consumer under a single roof. It provided them with the ease of shopping. This convenience, coupled with our huge collection of products, has resulted into the increased reliability of Best Electronics as a retail brand.
Moreover, in order to help consumers with a budget constraints, we have introduced lucrative installment deals. And the results are satisfactory. More mid- and low-range consumers are now buying premium products from us because they could afford it using our installment option.
Syed Tahmid Zaman said, the growth of Best Electronics has not been ignored by the global market. From 2014, many international brands began to approach us. Very soon, we wrapped up distribution deals with Whirlpool, Panasonic, Philips, Hitachi, Toshiba, Midea, V-Guard, and so on.
There are a few things about Best Electronics that we believe makes it different from other companies. We have also employed some marketing strategies that are unique to the industry.
In order to provide consumers with a memorable buying experience, we emphasise on making them feel welcomed to our doors.
When a customer comes to our shops we greet them regardless of whether they make a purchase.
We have put importance on building a brand over the years. We use the same air-fresheners across all of our outlets which helps the buyers to feel accustomed to our atmosphere.
Moreover, we are extremely cautious about our post-sales service. Most of the products that we sell are high-end electronic appliances and need expert personnel to repair.
We currently have 15 service centres that provide repair and maintenance services. We make sure that our customers receive immediate service when they ask for it. We have even formed a separate subsidiary to look after customer service called Zaman Service Co. Limited which has recently launched an on-demand service platform called "Drooto."
Secondly, we ensured convenience. Instead of dropping by multiple shops plying though jam-ridden streets, we brought together a vast array of brands for the consumer under a single roof. It provided them with the ease of shopping. This convenience, coupled with our huge collection of products, has resulted into the increased reliability of Best Electronics as a retail brand.
Syed Tahmid Zaman said, distribution partnership in the electronics business works in a pretty straightforward way. We provide Letters of Credit (LC) directly to international brands and relying on that they send us the requested products.
Although the manufacturers help us with service personnel training and other relevant supports, we determine the warranty and guarantee provisions ourselves. The process, as it is, is simple.