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The conglomerate is also going to manufacture smart and feature mobile handsets along with other accessories like headphone, battery and charger, at the Pran Industrial Park (PIP) in Narsingdi.

"Our factory has the capacity to manufacture 100,000 smartphones and 150,000 feature phones per month. The handsets are expected to hit the market under the brand 'Proton' in March this year," the official said.

Besides, the company is also setting up a poultry industry on 150 bighas of land with an investment of Taka 400 million in Moulvibazar and Chunarughat of Habiganj, Kamal said, adding around 150 million eggs and 360 tonnes of chicken meat would be produced there annually.

Since the business group has taken initiative to expand the production capacity of its footwear and glassware factories, Kamal said the PRAN-RFL Group also looked at producing different types of underwear and polo shirts at the Barindra Industrial Park in Godagari of Rajshahi.

The factory being constructed on 25,000 square feet of land with an investment of Taka 500 million would create employment opportunities for around 2500 people in the northern region, which is scheduled to be launched in the next month.

Noting that currently 129,000 people are employed at 23 factories and different retail outlets across the country, he said the new investment of around Taka 17 billion this year will create employments for about 20,000 people.

The official said PRAN-RFL group's one of the objectives is running business through creating employment and working to contribute to socio-economic development.

"Therefore, we are now establishing all of our factories outside the capital. We are trying to set up our labor intensive factory in the remote areas," he said.

Assistant general manager (public relation) Touhiduzzaman and manager Maksud-ul-Islam were present at the programme, among others.

Founded by Amjad Khan Chowdhury at an initial investment of Tk 500,000, Pran-RFL Group started its journey in 1981 as Rangpur Foundry Limited (RFL) with tubewells and agricultural equipment to provide pure drinking water and irrigation facilities to the poor.

In 1985, the company entered the food processing business with a small-scale in Narsingdi by forming Agricultural Marketing Company Limited. At present, the group has an array of 6,300 categories of products.

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