Top 10 Multinational Companies (MNC) Operating in Bangladesh

Top Multinational Companies Operating in Bangladesh

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

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. Reckitt Benckiser Bangladesh Ltd.

Unlike Unilever and Nestle, Reckitt Benckiser isn’t as well known among the people of Bangladesh. However, with the portfolio of products and brands that the MNC owns, it is quite easy to say that Reckitt Benckiser is one of the largest consumer goods manufacturers in the country. The company owns several highly sought-after brands like Dettol, Durex, Harpic, Lysol, Mortein, Veet, Strepsils, and Air Wick, just to name a few.

The leading UK brand began its operations in Bangladesh on April 15, 1961 under the name Robinson’s Food (Pakistan) Limited. Then after the liberation war in 1971, the company would then changed its name to Robinson’s Food (Bangladesh) Limited, before finally merging with Benckiser to form Reckitt Benckiser Bangladesh Ltd. According to Barrons, the company has a total market value of BDT 22.69 billion in Bangladesh. Whereas, Unilever has a Bangladesh market value of BDT 34.04 billion. In other words, Reckitt Benckiser isn’t too far behind Unilever Bangladesh, which makes them a part of the upper echelon of MNCs that are operating here. The company’s address is The Glass House, Level – 9 & 10, Plot -2, Block- SE(B), Gulshan Ave, Dhaka – 1212.

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. Right now, Bata is valued at BDT 12.64 billion and holds approximately 40% 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. Siemens Bangladesh

Not a lot of people know much about the impact Siemens has had on the country’s development and infrastructure. The company is responsible for bringing several high-end, state-of-the-art technologies to Bangladesh and has been influential in the advancement of many industries of the country. The company has been involved in industries like the energy sector, healthcare sector, infrastructure sector, automotive sector, oil & gas sector, etc.

Siemens Bangladesh is a fully owned subsidiary of Siemens AG which is located in Germany. The company was formally formed in 1956 via the partnership between Bangladesh and Siemens AG. Its headquarters is located at Laila Tower 7th & 8th Floor, 8 Gulshan Avenue, Dhaka – 1212, Bangladesh.

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. 

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