Local Champions Leading the Way

The Bangladesh economy has displayed strong performance over recent years and is on course to emerge as a USD1Tn economy in the coming decades. In this report, Boston Consulting Group (BCG) dives into the fascinating reality of this high-growth economy, looking at the bold business ambitions and fertile local conditions reaffirming Bangladesh’s status on the global stage.

With an average annual GDP growth of 6.4% between 2016-2021, Bangladesh has outpaced major Asian peers such as India, Indonesia, Vietnam, Philippines, and Thailand. This buoyant growth is driven by 8 factors:

  1. Solid optimism – 57% of Bangladeshis believe next generation will have better lives
  2. Early participation in gig economy – 650k freelancers; 2nd largest supplier of online labor globally (15% global share)
  3. Rise in consumption – Fastest growing consumer market in the world over the next decade to become 9th largest consumer market globally by 2030
  4. Young, growing workforce – Median age of 28 years and 113 Mn working age population ready to create value
  5. High economic resilience – High savings rate (34% for Bangladesh vs 27% globally) and low national debt (35% for Bangladesh; lowest amongst peers)
  6. Digital momentum – Mobile cellular subscriptions almost doubled between 2012 and 2021, reaching 182Mn, while internet penetration grew six-fold, reaching 48Mn by 2021; digital financial transactions expected to take off given the impending launch of Binimoy (Digital Transactions Platform)
  7. Government shaping the economy – Public spending quadrupled from BDT532Bn in 2012 to BDT2,236Bn by 2022. Government efforts led to 70%+ literacy rates and 300kWh+ electricity supply per person
  8. Large, well-managed private sector – 2nd largest apparel exporter globally; number of large companies (>USD200Mn revenue) grew from 10 in 2016 to 28 in 2021; 1200+ active start-ups receiving USD700Mn+ in funding; 8th largest mobile market in the world driven by private cos.

BCG undertook an extensive study to get to grips with the DNA of Emerging Champions—those Bangladeshi companies at the forefront of corporate transformation. We leveraged our knowledge from BCG’s proprietary “Beyond Great” study to develop a point of view on how Emerging Champions from Bangladesh are gearing up for the future. Informed by more than 20 years of collaborations with public and private sectors clients in Bangladesh, and detailed analysis of local Emerging Champions, we have been able to better understand what makes these companies tick, what it takes to make a leap in performance from domestic leadership to global success, and how that translates into an exciting economic future for Bangladesh.

Our study reveals an ecosystem of bold, ambitious companies that are Growing Beyond, Operating Beyond, and Organizing Beyond Great to succeed in a dynamic and disrupted modern operating environment. It shines the spotlight on some intriguing elements of a uniquely Bangladeshi roadmap, in a landscape driven by always-on transformation and a commitment to delivering positive societal impact

  1. Always-on transformation:78% Emerging Champions strongly believe they must build a culture of continuous transformation
  2. Bold, ambitious vision:83% have an ambitious vision with61% pursuing strategic international expansion on the path to establishing globally-recognized brands
  3. Societal impact at the core of the business:56% having social impact top-of-mind, all as part of a pioneering strategic vision
  4. Ecosystem development: 40% building their own ecosystem through investing in end-to-end vertically integrated operations or partnering with wide variety of stakeholders
  5. Multi-local delivery networks: 40% investing in building manufacturing centers close to consumption hubs

We hope you will find our analysis interesting, and that this perspective permits a robust dialogue on the path ahead for the Emerging Champions of Bangladesh