The term “multinational” can be broken down to “multi” which means many and “national” which refers to a particular nation or country. In other words, the term multinational company refers to a company that has its operations set up in several other countries apart from its own country of origin. As it stands, there are currently several multinational companies, or MNCs, in Bangladesh. These organizations have massive capital and are some of the most influential corporate bodies in the country. Even some MNCs have revenues larger than the GDP of an entire country. These mega-corporations are also significantly contributing to the growth of a country’s GDP as well as improving employment rates. Hence, in this article, we will be looking at some of the biggest and most influential MNCs that are currently operating in Bangladesh.
Top MNCs That are Operating in Bangladesh
There are several multinational companies in Bangladesh that have been significantly contributing in the country’s economic growth and improving the country’s infrastructure along with living standards. Among them, the presence of the following MNCs in Bangladesh has attracted massive international attention and helped Bangladesh to step foot on global reach.
List Of Top 10 Multinational Companies (MNC) Operating in Bangladesh
- Unilever Bangladesh
- Nestle Bangladesh
- British Americal Tobacco Bangladesh
- Japan Tobacco International Bangladesh
- Gramenphone Ltd
- Standard Chartered Bank
- Bata Shoe Company
- P&G Bangladesh
- Coca Cola Bangladesh
- Chevron Bangladesh
1. Unilever Bangladesh
Unilever is arguably the biggest MNC in Bangladesh. The Anglo-Dutch consumer product manufacturing giant is the owner of 400+ brands and is currently operating in more than 190 countries. It has been revealed in Kantar Worldpanel’s Top 50 FMCG brands that Unilever owns 13 of them, which include the likes of Lifebuoy, Sunsilk, Knorr, Dove, Lux, Sunlight, Pepsodent, Surf, Rexona, Vim, Brooke Bond, Close Up, and Lipton.
It has been estimated that over 90% of the total number of households in Bangladesh have used at least one of Unilever’s products. Unilever officially began its operations in Bangladesh back in 1964. During that time, Unilever decided to enter the Bangladeshi market via a joint venture with the Government of Bangladesh, where Unilever retains approximately 60% of the company and the rest of it belongs to the country. The company was called Lever Brothers Bangladesh Ltd. up until December 2004, before it officially changed its name to Unilever Bangladesh. There are more than 10,000 employees that work directly or indirectly under the FMCG giant. Unilever Bangladesh’s head office is located at ZN Tower, Plot #02, Road #08, Gulshan-1, Dhaka.
2. Nestle Bangladesh
What can we say about Nestle that hasn’t already been said? It is one of the most popular FMCG brands in Bangladesh that almost everyone in the country knows about to some degree. The company is based in Switzerland and is one of the largest food brands in the world. Nestle is spread out across 186 countries and has approximately 2000 brands under its belt. Nestle Bangladesh commercially began its operations in 1994.
It started out as a joint venture between Transcom Limited and Nestle S.A. but then would go on to become a fully owned subsidiary of Nestle S.A. in 1998. There are several Nestle products that are very popular among the people of Bangladesh, which include Nescafe, Nestea, Maggi, Koko Krunch, Milo, Cornflakes, Coffee Mate, Nido, Cerelac, and so much more. It was reported by The Daily Star on Jun 17, 2022, that Nestle is currently one of the most dominant brands in the country’s baby formula industry! The company holds around 60% of the total baby formula market share in Bangladesh with just two brands. And the reason for Nestle’s immense success in the Bangladesh market is the organization’s core philosophy that always prioritizes quality and safety first. This led to the people of Bangladesh developing a sense of trust with the corporation throughout its 26 years of operation in the country.
3. British American Tobacco Bangladesh
British American Tobacco, or BAT for short, is one of Bangladesh’s most sought-after companies in terms of career. The tobacco manufacturer is based in London, England, and operates in over 180 markets. There are several cigarette brands under BAT Bangladesh which include the likes of the very popular Benson & Hedges, John Player, Capstan, Star, Royals, Derby, Lucky Strike, Pilot, and Hollywood. Although a lot of people claim that the company was established in 1947, its roots can be traced back to as far as 1910.
The company was initially called Imperial Tobacco, which was then later changed to Pakistan Tobacco Company. However, after the independence of Bangladesh in 1971, the name of the company was changed to Bangladesh Tobacco Company Limited. Finally, in 1998, the company would change its name for one last time to the British American Tobacco Bangladesh, thus officially aligning with the BAT Group. Currently, BATB is in the first position with a total market share of 66.6%. And with a total market value of BDT 292.63 billion, BATB is one of the biggest companies in all of Bangladesh. Their head office is located in New DOHS Road, Mohakhali, Dhaka-1206.
4. Japan Tobacco International Bangladesh
Since we talked about BAT, we also have to include the second most influential multinational tobacco manufacturer on this list – Japan Tobacco International Bangladesh. Since its formation in 1999, the tobacco maker has expanded its operations all across the world, including in Bangladesh. However, the way JTI became one of the key players in Bangladesh’s tobacco industry is quite interesting.
The company officially acquired the entirety of Akij Group’s tobacco business for approximately $1.5 billion, hence making them the second largest tobacco manufacturer in the country. This made JTI the official owner of several world-class tobacco brands like Winston, Camel, LD, etc., and also the owner of several local brands like Sheikh and Navy. Currently, JTI has a market share of about 12.6% and is one of the top revenue contributors to the national exchequer, with an amount that exceeds $1 billion. The JTI Bangladesh headquarters can be found on the 9-12th floors of the Rangs RD Center, Plot SE(F, 3 Gulshan Ave, Dhaka 1212.
5. Grameenphone Ltd.
Undoubtedly, one of the biggest telecom service providers in Bangladesh – Grameenphone Ltd., is one of those companies that everybody in the country knows about. Grameenohone began its journey on 26th March 1997 with the goal of empowering the rural population of Bangladesh. One interesting aspect of Grameenphone is its logo. Many people know that initially, the logo for Grameenphone was much different than it is now.
As a matter of fact, the logo for Grameenphone is exactly the same as Telenor, which is one of the biggest cellphone network service providers in the world. Well, that is because Telenor actually owns 55.8% of the whole company, whereas Grameen Telecom owns about 34.2%. It has been reported that Grameenphone holds a market share of approximately 46.39% as of October 2021, making it the leading telecom service provider in the entire country. This article would be too long if we were to list everything that Grameenphone does. But for the sake of being brief and concise, some key digital services provided by Grameenphone include GPAY (mobile wallet), MyGP (all-access solution to GP services), Bioscope (video streaming service), and GP Music (music streaming service). The company’s head office is located at GP HOUSE, Bashundhara, Baridhara, Dhaka-1229.
6. Standard Chartered Bank
Standard Chartered Bank Bangladesh, the oldest and largest foreign bank in the country, has been serving customers with excellence for over a century since its establishment in 1905. With its initial branch opening in Chittagong in 1948, the bank has expanded its presence to include 24 branches and 96 booths across Bangladesh. Renowned for its expertise in foreign currencies and treasury instruments, Standard Chartered Bank offers competitive prices to its customers.
In 2009, the bank introduced Islamic banking services, adhering to Shariah principles. Islamic banking products and services, such as savings and deposit accounts, investment accounts, and trade finance, provide customers with Shariah-compliant options. Standard Chartered Bank Bangladesh has been acknowledged for its commitment to innovation and customer service, receiving accolades such as the Best Digital Bank Award in Bangladesh for 2020.
As a leading international bank, Standard Chartered Bank Bangladesh remains dedicated to supporting the growth and development of Bangladesh’s economy. Through its comprehensive range of services and proactive initiatives, the bank contributes to the nation’s progress. Its longevity and strong presence in Bangladesh reflect its unwavering commitment to the country’s prosperity.
7. Bata Shoe Company
Although a lot of people associate Bata with primarily being a Bangladeshi manufacturer of shoes, the truth is the company is actually based in Zlin, which is a city in the Czech Republic. Bata started its journey in 1962 by setting up a factory in East Pakistan.
What’s interesting is that during the liberation war, William A. S. Ouderland, who was the CEO of Bata Bangladesh at the time, would actually help out the Mukti Bahini by supplying them with valuable information about Pakistani operations and would also provide them with food, medicine, and weapons in a secret freedom fighter camp beside the Bata Tongi factory. Currently, Bata has a market valuation of $125 million and holds approximately 40 percent of the entire shoe market of Bangladesh, making them the largest manufacturer of shoes in the country. Bata is the owner of several popular brands such as Bata, Ambassador, B-First, Ballerina, BubbleGummers, Comfit, Insolia, Marie Claire, North Star, Pata Pata, Power, Red Label, and Weinbrenner. They run their operations from Tongi Gazipur, Bangladesh and have several outlets and factories all across the country.
8. P&G Bangladesh
Are you familiar with brands like Pampers, Ariel, Tide, Gillette, Head & Shoulders, Old Spice, Pantene, Crest, Oral-B, and Vicks? If you are, then you already have an idea about how significant P&G is to the Bangladesh market. Proctor & Gamble, an American MNC that primarily focuses on personal care items, is one of the largest consumer goods companies in the world. The company has been operating in Bangladesh since 1994 and has had a big impact on the country’s market.
What’s more is that P&G has partnered with PRAN Group in order to manufacture grooming products like Gillette Guard Razor here in Bangladesh. This is a significant step towards P&G’s commitment to invest in Bangladesh which will lead to the development of the country’s social and economic condition by creating employment and partnering opportunities. Their office is located at Road# 123, Gulshan-1, Dhaka-1212, Bangladesh.
9. Coca Cola Bangladesh
Coca-Cola is a big beverage company known worldwide, including in Bangladesh. It has been in Bangladesh since 1965 and is one of the top beverage companies in the country. Coca-Cola makes different drinks like Coca-Cola, Fanta, Sprite, and Kinley. People in Bangladesh trust Coca-Cola because they make good-quality products.
Coca-Cola has many retailers and distributors in Bangladesh, with over 750,000 retailers and 20,000 distributors. They care about the environment and do things to help, like reducing their carbon footprint. They also work to make communities better. For example, they give clean water to communities that need it and support education.
Coca-Cola has won awards for being a good company and for doing things that help society. In 2018, they won the Best Corporate Social Responsibility Award at the Bangladesh Business Awards. They keep working on new ideas and taking care of the environment, so they will continue to be an important company in Bangladesh’s beverage industry.
10. Chevron Bangladesh
Chevron is the world’s leading energy company and through its subsidiaries in Bangladesh, the company operates three fields in the northeast part of the country which comprises of areas in Bibiyana, Jalalabad, and Moulavi Bazar. Chevron signed the Product Sharing Contracts with the Bangladeshi government in 1995 and then proceeded to start production in the following years.
The energy conglomerate is the largest producer of natural gas and condensate in the domestic market which accounts for 55% and 85% of the total production respectively. Chevron’s offices can be found at either “Khandker Tower” (9th Floor), 94 Gulshan Avenue, Gulshan-1, Dhaka – 1212, Bangladesh or at Lackatoorah, Airport Road, Sylhet – 3100, Bangladesh.