Walsh has formed Momentum International Ltd to market the production of two Bangladesh bicycle factories:the long-established Meghna factory and the new Transworld factory.
Walsh has a 50 percent shareholding in the Transworld factory which began production in May.
Meghna’s main customer is Concept Cycling, and has been for the past four years. Meghna has also produced own-label bikes for customers in Holland, Germany and Austria.
Concept has ordered up to 200 000 Meghna/Transworld bikes for 2004.
Robert Pollard, MD of Concept Cycling, said:
"We are very impressed with the quality of the bicycles coming out of these two factories. Their paint finishes are fantastic and their packaging is the best in the business."
Bangladeshi bikes are exempt from the anti-dumping duties levied on bikes from China and some Taiwanese factories.
"We make and paint our own frames and forks, rims,spokes and nipples, pedals, grips, handlebars, seat-posts, tyres and even cartons.
"Very soon we will start production of decals and saddles. We also work with European components such as Selle Royal and Zefal. We will produce more components in-house to enable us to compete with China prices if dumping duty is removed in 2005.
"We only work with Shimano freewheels and Shimano front and rear derailleurs with Shimano or microshift changers. We use quality components such as Lee Chi brakes and Disc brakes and Zoom suspension forks. We work with genuine Y.S. paint using Japanese painting machinery. Our tyre factory was established as a joint venture with Innova, who supplied all the machinery and technology. In fact, the Meghna factory was originally a joint venture with Raleigh over 40 years ago.
Momentum is partly owned by Mizanur Rahman who owns the Transworld factory jointly with Walsh.
"We are in this venture together," said Rahman.
"Steven is like my elder brother. We have a strong bond of loyalty to each other and our business ethics and strategic thinking are very similar."
Rahman is also the BMW car importer for Bangladesh and is also Chairman of the largest private Bangladeshi bank.
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