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Berger Paints has a new recipe for fuelling sales amid pandemic

  • Published at 12:47 am December 6th, 2020
Berger Paints Bangladesh

Announces the country’s first-ever home renovation reality show

Berger Paints on Saturday announced a home renovation reality TV show, which would be a first for the country, as part of the leading decorative paint maker’s efforts to maintain sales growth amid the pandemic by tempting consumers to go for repainting their homes.

Called ‘Berger Happy Home’, the show’s objective is to help people renovate their homes with better design, paint and architectural solutions. 

Experts in the show, which will air on Channel i every Friday this month at 9:35 pm, will address the common home management issues, such as space utilisation, furniture arrangement, wall colour harmony with corresponding décor accessories, ventilation system, lighting and many more relevant aspects, the company said in a press release yesterday.

The show is part of the multinational paint manufacturer’s plan to drive up sales amid the pandemic. Thanks to being a discretionary product, the paint industry has been one of the casualties of the economic fallout from the pandemic. 

“We have aligned our operations to cope with the pandemic if it persists in the long run,” Rupali Chowdhury, managing director of Berger Paints Bangladesh told Dhaka Tribune yesterday.

Chowdhury is optimistic that the scenario will not be getting worse in the future.

“But we are doing everything to cope with the new normal. The economic slump may result in a slowdown of business activities, but it will not completely shut down the organisation.”

The show would be hosted by actor and architect Aupee Karim and architect Asif M Ahsanul Haq 

Between July and September, Berger Paints saw its profit soar 50 per cent to Tk 66.1 crore on the back of pent-up demand from the preceding three months, which was more or less a washout thanks to the countrywide shutdown to flatten the curve on coronavirus.

Bangladesh announced its first confirmed cases of COVID-19 on March 8 and three weeks later, the government put the country on shutdown, bringing economic activities to a screeching halt. 

The July-September quarter’s earnings take the company’s profits in the first half of its 2020-21 financial year, which runs from April to March, to Tk 76.9 crore, down 19.6 per cent year-on-year.

The shutdown was lifted on May 30 and with it seems the demand for paint returned gradually.

Between April and June, the country’s leading decorative paint manufacturer logged in sales of Tk 71 crore. 

And in the following three months -- which coincided with the monsoon season, when construction activities and repainting work hits the slow lane -- sales stood at Tk 165 crore, up 11.5 per cent year-on-year.

Chowdhury credited the sales spurt to pent-up demand from the shutdown period.

“Consumers could not place orders or buy during the shutdown. Besides, infrastructure works were on hold. They bought our products in the July-September period,” she added.

With social distancing becoming the norm, households were reluctant to immediately allow painters in. 

To get around this predicament, Berger Paints -- which has a 52 per cent market share in Bangladesh, according to a research of LankaBangla Investments -- rolled out disinfection services and hand sanitisers.

Called Berger Mr Expert Advanced Hand Sanitiser, the product, which is manufactured by following the formulation of the World Health Organisation, comes in a 250ml bottle and carries a price tag of Tk 180.

Its disinfection service, called the Berger Expert Sanitisation Service, provides up to four weeks of protection against virus and bacteria.

The service cost is Tk 3.50 per square feet if the premise is less than 5,000 square feet. It is Tk 3 for premises between 5,000 and 10,000 square feet. The service charge is Tk 2.5 when the premise is larger than 10,000 square feet.

The company is also working to come up with a product with an anti-microbial coating that will protect against viruses.

“Berger is continuously assessing customers’ requirements, and consequently, we will develop our strategies prioritising their needs and market evolution,” Chowdhury said. 

The second-quarter showing though failed to cheer the market: shares of Berger Paints, which has been listed since 2006, lost 5.7 per cent in the past three months. Its shares closed last week at Tk 1,349.

The company disbursed 295 per cent cash dividend for its financial year that ended on March 31, up from 250 per cent a year earlier.