Binatone is a brand that is now co-owned by two private companies. Binatone was started in the United Kingdom in 1958 to import and distribute consumer electronics by two brothers, Gulu Lalvani and Partap Lalvani.
In 1989 the company was divided, Partap and Gulu dividing the business geographically. Both then controlled their own Binatone groups operating in different parts of the world.
Partap Lalvani's Binatone became Euro Suisse International in 1993. Today the product range consists of small electronics like personal care products, cooking appliances and DECT telephones.
Dino Lalvani's Binatone Communications Group is headquartered Hong Kong and has offices in London, Bruxelles, Indianapolis, New Delhi, Bangalore and Shenzhen. Main product categories are communication (landline, mobile, senior phones), baby monitors and multimedia (tablets, e-readers, GPS sat Nav). These products are sold under the brands Binatone, iDECT and Voxtel and the licensed brands Motorola and AEG.
In 2008 the two Binatones celebrated their 50th anniversary. The two companies today co-exist independently.
Binatone was founded in 1958 by two brothers Partap Lalvani and Gulu Lalvani in London. The company was named after Bina, their younger sister. The company was set up to import audio products from Japan, the second part of the brand was chosen accordingly to Binatone. Over the next decades the Brand Binatone became famous for making innovative consumer electronics available for reasonable prices.
In 1959 Binatone started importing transistor radios into the UK. The Lalvani Brothers were the first to import transistor radios from Japan. Over the years the brothers grew the audio based product selection from radios to a vast audio product range including world receivers, clock radios and later cassette players and audio towers.
1974 marked the year that Binatone entered the TV games market, growing the sector five times in two years. In 1978 Binatone had the best selling TV game in the UK. Binatone for a time also sold TVs in various markets. In 1980 the company introduced its HipFi portable cassette player and which in 1981 outsold the Sony Walkman in the UK market.
After the deregulation of the telecommunications market in the United Kingdom the brothers decided to step into the opening market for landline phones. In 1983 Binatone was the first in Europe with fixed line consumer products that could be bought at electronics retailers. This marked the beginning of a gradual change from Binatone's focus on Audio & Vision to Telecom products.
After opening a first buying office in 1970 Binatone opened its Hong Kong headquarters in 1989 to prepare for an increasing production market in China and a growing demand for consumer products all over Asia.
Binatone Communications Group
Gulu Lalvani focused his company on the telecommunications market, which after the deregulation of European telecommunication markets became one of the biggest consumer electronics markets of the world. He renamed his Binatone to Binatone Communications Group. His vision was to make innovation and great design in communication available to everybody.
Gulu Lalvani was one of the founding members of the DECT forum and in 1996 was the first to introduce DECT telephones in Europe. In 1992 Binatone established a joint venture as Loewe Binatone GmbH with Loewe, a German TV manufacturer and sold mass market telecom products under Loewe and Binatone brand name in Germany. By 2002 Binatone was the 2nd largest DECT telephone manufacturer in the world and in 2005 Binatone Communications sold its products in 55 countries, growing with an average of 30% per annum. In 2007 Binatone was appointed as one of five council board members of Deutsche Telecom. 2004 Binatone entered the Russian telephone market with its own Voxtel brand for mobile phones and landline phones. By 2006 Binatone was the 3rd largest telephone manufacturer in Russia with 25% market share.
In 2007 Binatone introduced its satellite navigation range in Europe and Asia Pacific.
In the year 2008, Dino Lalvani, son of Gulu Lalvani and formerly Binatone's COO and Sales & Marketing Director, purchased the company from his father and took over as CEO. Dino Lalvani had been primarily responsible for Binatone's international expansion and success. His intention was to change the overall direction of the company. Gulu focused his attention on his new company, the Royal Phuket Marina.
One of Dino Lalvani's first changes was initiating license business to increase the scale of Binatone's DECT production and to open new product areas for the company. In his first year as CEO Mr. Lalvani signed the contract with Motorola to become North American Licensee of Motorola Digital Corded and Cordless Phones. In the same agreement he also managed to secure the Global Licensee of Motorola Digital Photo Frames and also of Video and Baby Monitors. This move was a genius stroke as the baby monitor market subsequently grew year after year to become a big consumer electronics segment. By 2012 Motorola Baby Monitors, developed, produced and sold by Binatone, have become market leader in UK and USA and are in the top three market positions in Europe and many Asian countries.
Dino Lalvani continues to launch innovations in the communications market. In 2009 Binatone entered the Mobile Phone market launching the Speakeasy 100, a specialist big button mobile phone for the senior market. In 2010 Binatone launched the world’s first Android powered home phone – the iHomePhone - under its second brand iDECT. Same year Binatone enters the eBook market launching the Binatone ReadMe.
Based on the success of the first licensing contract with Motorola Binatone in 2012 became the European Licensee of AEG for mobile phones, landline phones and two way radio. Already experienced with licensing brands Binatone immediately launched the brand with an innovative retro design direction. The flagship product AEG Eclipse received the iF award in 2012 for its outstanding elliptical design.
Also in 2012 Binatone launched its Android-based tablet aimed at children, the KidzStar, which after only 2 months became one of the best selling toys in the United Kingdom.
Binatone was the official shirt sponsor of Queens Park Rangers Football Club in 2003/2004, 2004/2005 and 2005/2006.
- Binatone Electronics International Ltd
- Euro Suisse International Ltd
- Kidz Star
- AEG telephones