GRAMEEN-BITEK Ltd. is a manufacturing industry, primarily of electronic nature, arising out of a joint venture between GRAMEEN FUND and a sister concern of internationally reputed GRAMEEN BANK, and BITEK (Bangladesh Innovative Technology Group). Grameen Fund, BITEK and UTC Associates signed a fresh MOU to expand business in the country. This new company combines the managerial and economic power of the Grameen Fund and UTC Associates with the technological and manufacturing expertise of the entrepreneurs of Grameen Bitek. The latter succeeded in introducing a new product “VOLT-GUARD” into the market through appropriate vision, quality maintenance, sustained perseverance and commitment. Through this joint venture the promoters expect to expand the manufacturing and marketing base to cover the whole country and subsequently to go into export. New items for production will continually be added through in-house R&D or through licensing arrangements and will eventually result in diversification of the industry. Grameen Bitek will provide the much needed infrastructure through which useful technologies developed by other researchers in the country will also be manufactured commercially after necessary industrial refinements and modifications. Grameen Bitek Ltd. is also committed to the promotion of technology based small industries in the country and has plans in the near future to organize and establish small industries throughout the country through dissemination of technology and supply of machinery and raw materials.
An introduction to the Grameen establishment, one of the partners of this joint venture, and headed by international personality Professor M. Yunus, would not be necessary as it enjoys a global fame and sets its own standards. Since the other partner Bitek is not so well known, a brief introduction is expedient at this point.
The BITEK group was founded in 1993 by Professor K. Siddique-e- Rabbani of Dhaka University, an electronic expert of national repute, together with his students and few other associates with a commitment to establish commercial manufacture of technology designed and innovated locally starting with ‘Volt-Guard’. This was preceded by four years of trial manufacture and marketing of a similar device while the first such protective device for home use was designed and made by Dr. Rabbani in 1981 after an astounding 400V on the line damaged every electrical equipment in his household. Though unusual for scientists to come into business directly, the Bitek team had to take up the challenge of entrepreneurship as
infrastructures and facilities for commercial exploitation of a new technology do not exist in the country as of date. The challenges were too many. The product was unknown in the market, and the team had no financial capital to start with. Here again they had to combine resourceful and innovative ideas to cut into the market and learn business as things went along.
There were technological insufficiencies too, which happens for any new product. By encouraging customer feedback the team was able to identify their own weaknesses and various power line problems that can arise in our country, and the electronic circuit of Volt-Guard went through refinements and additions in order to solve such problems. As of date most of the power line problems encountered in developing countries like ours have been taken care of and different ranges and models of Volt-Guard have been produced to protect different types of equipment under varying power line conditions. Through this continuing process, the Bitek team has acquired knowledge and experience regarding such power line problems and their solutions superseded by no one else in the world. Today, thousands of equipment in Bangladesh are under the protection of different models of Volt-Guard with brilliant records of success even under extreme abnormal power line conditions when alternative devices like conventional voltage stabilizers from other manufacturers could not provide the desired protection.
With such a high technological standing of Bitek and the proven administrative and economic strength of Grameen establishments and UTC Associates, the new Joint Venture Grameen-Bitek Ltd. aspires to provide a pioneering lead in the technological arena of the country and be of service to the nation.