ACI Limited is one of Bangladesh’s top conglomerates. It has various concerns like pharmaceuticals, chemicals, electrical, agri-business, FMCG, machinery, and retail chains under it. However, among these, ACI Motors is one of the most successful concerns of the group. ACI Motors has become a leading Agro Machinery & Motors brands in Bangladesh with an annual turnover of over BDT 2500 Crores. Operating in different sectors of the country, ACI Motors has introduced various famous machinery brands in Bangladesh.
In 1968, a British multinational Imperial Chemical Industries (ICI) branch was established in the then East Pakistan. After independence, ICI Bangladesh Manufacturers Limited was established as a public limited company on 24 January 1973, Which was listed on Dhaka Stock Exchange on 28 December 1976. Later on,5 May 1992, ICI plc transferred the majority shareholding (70%) of the company to Bangladeshi shareholders, and the name of the company was changed to Advanced Chemical Industries Limited, which is now popularly known as ACI Limited. Several other concerns under the ACI Limited umbrella include Pharmaceutical, Electrical, Agri Business, Healthcare, FMCG, Motors, Biotech, Chemicals, and Retail Chains.
Along with the economic growth of Bangladesh, the use of heavy equipment and motor vehicles in the agricultural sector is constantly increasing. Even though crop production in Bangladesh is growing continually, most farmers still work manually, from planting the seeds to harvesting and threshing the rice. Currently, the market size of agriculture machinery in Bangladesh is BDT 3000 core, but the potential market size of this market is BDT 30,000 core. By giving importance to this issue, the journey of ACI Motors started in 2007 by Subrata Ranjan Das. Subrata Ranjan Das completed his BSc in Agricultural Engineering from Bangladesh Agricultural University in 1993. At the start of his career, he worked as a Regional Sector Specialist of BRAC till 1999. That year in October, he joined ACI Limited’s Crop Care Division as a Marketing Officer. After successfully serving in various positions there for a long time, in 2007, the ACI launched its Motors Division on his initiative. Subrata Ranjan Das is currently serving as the Executive Director of ACI Motors Limited. Under his supervision, the company management team has more than 1500 employees aged from 27 to 29.
ACI Motors Limited mainly operates in different segments like Agricultural Machinery, Automobiles, Infrastructure Development Machinery, Musical Instruments, Generators, and Lubricants.
In 2007, ACI Motors introduced the Indian brand Sonalika Tractor in the agricultural machinery segment in Bangladesh. This tractor is quite popular in India as well as in the international market. Even now, this tractor is being exported to more than 130 countries around the world. ACI Motors imported this tractor to Bangladesh, and gradually it became quite popular in the country. And today, Sonalika occupies more than 35% of the tractor market in Bangladesh.
But, since the price of the tractor is usually between 11 to 16 lakh taka, most of the farmers in Bangladesh couldn’t buy a tractor at such a price. Keeping this in mind, the following year, in 2008, ACI Motors introduced its second product, the ACI Power Tiller. The power tiller basically offers almost the same benefits as the tractor, and since the price range is between 1.5 and 2.5 lakh taka, power tillers are affordable for many farmers. ACI Motors basically manufactured their power tillers in China and brought them to Bangladesh. Currently, 1/3rd of Bangladesh’s total cultivation is done using Sonalika tractors and ACI power tillers. Along with tractors and power tillers, in 2009, the company added diesel engines to its portfolio, which are being used in remote areas of the country for shallow machines and boat engines.
Besides these, in 2010, ACI Motors introduced the first combine harvester in the Bangladeshi market as advanced agricultural machinery. Since then, the company has started various training and awareness programs on mechanized harvesting among farmers in Bangladesh. Note that, the Ha0r area is one of the top rice producers in the northern region of the country, meeting more than 60 percent of Bangladesh’s rice demand.
However, during the rainy season, when the area is often flooded, it severely damages the crops. Even in the Covid epidemic period, there was a shortage of manpower. ACI Motors distributed more than 300 harvesters to farmers in the Haor region of the country to harvest crops before the full onset of the monsoon season when there was a shortage of manpower. In terms of planting seedlings, Bangladeshi farmers have been planting seedlings by hand for a long time ago. But for planting seedlings by hand, seeds are first sown in the soil, and seedlings are produced by pulling them by hand and then planting them in the field. In this process, the roots of the seedlings are damaged during manual lifting of the seedlings from the soil, which is one of the major reasons for yield reduction. Again, hand planting may damage the seedlings by sudden rains or floods without firmly establishing them in the soil. To solve this problem, in 2011, ACI Motors introduced the “Rice Transplanter” machine in the Bangladeshi market. With the help of a rice planter, seedlings can be planted in a fully automatic manner at a low cost and time. According to ACI Motors Executive Director Subrata Ranjan Das, rice transplanter reduces the cost of rice planting by up to 50 % and increases rice yield by 10 %, and helps reduce 80 percent of the farmer’s labor. In the same year, the company introduced its ACI Water Pump. In the country, several other companies have water pumps. However, the ACI Motors water pump is very popular among consumers because of its high quality. Currently, ACI Water Pump is used by more than 10 lakhs households in Bangladesh. In 2016, ACI Motors was able to set the benchmark of providing on-spot service within 6 hours for After Sales Service in Bangladesh’s Agriculture Machinery Industry. ACI Motors currently has an after-sales service team of more than 450 service engineers who reach the customer’s doorstep within a maximum of 6 hours to resolve all machine issues. To ensure customer satisfaction, the company constantly monitors the service engineers’ performance. Also, In 2019, the company introduced YANMAR Harvester and Transplanter in collaboration with Japanese brand YANMAR, which has already become quite popular in Bangladesh. Yanmar, one of Japan’s leading agricultural machinery, diesel engine, and heavy machinery manufacturers.
Infrastructure Development Machineries
In 2014, ACI Motors joined the Earth Moving Industry of Bangladesh, And the world’s leading full-line construction equipment manufacturer, “CASE Construction Equipment,” launched equipment like Backhoe Loader, Soil compactors, and Tandem rollers in the Bangladesh market. In 2017, ACI Motors also added products from the leading Chinese brand “LOVOL Construction Equipment” to its Wheel Loader and Mini Excavator segments. Also, in 2018 ACI Motors achieved a new milestone by introducing one of the world’s most popular Japanese brands, “KOBELCO,” in their High-end Excavator segment. Kobelco’s heavy construction equipment is also being used in megaprojects like Ruppur Nuclear Power Plant, Metrorail, and Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport’s third terminal.
In 2016, ACI Motors became the official and sole distributor of YAMAHA Motorcycles, one of the world’s most popular Japanese motorcycle manufacturing companies in Bangladesh. Yamaha is one of the top motorcycle manufacturers in the world. Apart from motorbikes, the company also manufactures various types of motor vehicles, including musical instruments. In 2019, ACI Motors also got the license to manufacture Yamaha motorcycles in Bangladesh as the sole worldwide distributor.
ACI Motors’ sales and marketing efforts have made Yamaha one of the most popular motorcycle brands among Bangladeshi youth in just a few years and are currently one of the highest-selling bike brands in the country. Yamaha R15 in the country’s sports bike category, and Yamaha FZ series bikes in the sports commuter bike category are the most popular bikes in Bangladesh. The Yamaha biker community in Bangladesh is one of the largest biker communities in the country. Currently, Yamaha has more than 100 servicing centers across the country. Following the success of Yamaha motorbikes in the country, in 2020, the Dutch government’s private sector investment institution FMO, Singapore-based SDI Pte Ltd., invested TK 126 Core with ACI-Motors in a joint venture with it. Besides, in 2018, ACI Motors started distributing Foton’s medium and heavy-duty trucks, light-duty trucks, vans, and pickup buses in Bangladesh with an agreement with Chinese commercial vehicle manufacturer Foton Motor Group. Foton, one of the world’s top-selling companies in the commercial vehicle segment, sees Bangladesh as a lucrative market and plans to set up its assembling facility in the country in the future. Foton’s light commercial vehicles have already established a strong presence in the domestic market, and this segment is constantly expanding.
Most of the musical instruments available in Bangladesh are imported from abroad by local traders and sold in the local market. Since 2019, ACI Motors has become the Bangladeshi distributor of the world-famous brand Yamaha Music. Besides, ACI Motors is also importing Yamaha, Yorpower, and Mimoinsa brand generators. Apart from this, in 2021, ACI Motors started the distribution of Italy’s top lubricant brand ENI in Bangladesh.
One of the reasons behind the current success of ACI Motors is the company’s young and dedicated workforce. Currently, the company has more than 1500 employees. With a valuation of around Tk 2500 core, ACI Motors has now become one of the leading machinery and motor brands in Bangladesh. In the financial year 2021-22, the total revenue of the company exceeded Tk 2300 core.
Although the potential size of Bangladesh’s agriculture machinery market is Tk 30,000 core, actually only Tk 3000 core of machinery is being used. One of the reasons for this is the increase in the price of imported machinery. Keeping this in mind, ACI Motors is currently trying to manufacture world-class Yanmar brand machinery in the country through an agreement with the Japanese brand Yanmar.
Besides, ACI Motors has several achievements, this includes the First International Impact Investment Summit Award from Build Bangladesh in 2016, and the first prize as a supplier of all types of machinery required for agricultural mechanization at the National Agricultural Machinery Fair in 2018 and 19 consecutively. Besides, on March 26, 2018, ACI Motors Limited was able to get a name in the Guinness Book of World Records by creating the world’s most oversized motorcycle logo. In 2021, ACI-Motors won the ‘Best Customer Care’ award from Foton Motor Group. Also, in 2022, ACI-Motors won the “Foton Global Excellent Brand Communication” and “Foton Global Service System Construction Merit” award.