Last year, market research firm Euromonitor International singled out Bangladesh as one of the APAC region's “next generation of consumer markets”, alongside Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Sri Lanka.
“Bangladesh is probably best known for its ready-to-wear garment export sector, but its scale and economic prospects mean it has the potential to be a vibrant consumer market in its own right,” the firm explained in an overview of the country.
Shiseido's efforts to establish a presence in Bangladesh suggest the company is keen to position itself as one international player ready to profit from the predicted market growth: since its 2011 launch, the brand's CSR programme has reportedly now reached over 50,000 people.
Bangladesh set to rise
Bangladesh is tipped for healthy growth in the upcoming few years, as new consumer groups enter the market and per capita spending begins to rise.
“Although consumers in these countries have limited purchasing power, growth is strong and rapid urbanisation, poverty reduction, economic growth and the establishment of modern retailing formats are supporting sales of a wide range of consumer goods,” Euromonitor's report observed/
According to the research firm, Bangladesh is expected to add 1.6 million urban inhabitants per year up to 2030, which is an annual equivalent in size to the US city of Philadelphia.
“With per capita spending of only US$880 in 2014, low purchasing power means it is not an easy market for multinationals, [but] it offers opportunities for those with the right products and services,” the firm has stated.
Shiseido's grassroots programme sees it equip local women across rural regions to deliver hygiene awareness workshops using the brand's products.
It allows the company to gain a foothold in the consumer consciousness of the wider country, setting it up to be a brand of choice once purchasing power and consumer numbers begin to see their projected rise.
“Business models must be rethought – strategies cannot be simply imported from advanced economies, or even necessarily from other emerging markets,” the Euromonitor report explained, and singled out CSR initiatives, such as that of Shiseido and skin care, as a key way to gain traction.