Success Stories

Success Stories: Binatone

Binatone owns 28% of the UK telephone market and 10% of the Sat Nav market – Wholesale Scout looks at the company’s success to date.

The Binatone brand was created over half a century ago in 1958 by brothers Partap and Gulu Lalvani. The brand, inspired by their sister’s name, started out in the electronics industry. The owners concentrated on sourcing wholesale electronics from across the globe and for many years have been seen as competitors to Amstrad entrepreneur Lord Alan Sugar.

The company sourced wholesale electronics and imported products to the UK and distributed them to the public. In 1959 they hit a milestone as they were the first company to import transistor radios into the UK from Japan.

Perhaps one of its biggest successes came in 1981 when Binatone created a version of the personal music player, the Walkman. The company went on to sell more units than Sony during the first year of sales! Throughout the 1980s the company began to expand and opened offices across the world including in Spain, Japan and India.

A few years later more offices were opened and the business was divided – with Gulu Lalvani looking after the Binatone Electronics brand and Partap Lalvani heading up the Binatone Industries brand. The Industries brand now employs over 300 people in 10 countries and electrical products include DECT phones and household appliances.

Gulu Lalvani’s son, Dino, bought the company in 2008 and it has gone on to expand substantially – in 2009 it became the third largest manufacturer of satellite navigation systems in the UK.

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