This is a whole different world. Whoever is going through this, never got a chance to imagine it. We’re already in a new world and all these happened just in 100 days!
It was a bright sunny day when I started at Deligram. The entry was simply gorgeous – something like the best onboarding of my life. For some reason few of my friends and colleagues thought it could be a newsable incident. Luckily it didn’t go that far.
We spend most of our time figuring out – what’s coming next. In most cases we predict the wrong or often we forget what we’ve predicted. The people whom we recognise as successful are mostly doers, who hardly get any time to think about the future.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not talking about Elon Musk or Bill Gates. They are successful and they talk about future a lot. But they are too heavy to take them as role models. I’m talking about people around me who invented some hacks to have a relatively better life. Most of them are just brave people.
It’s really not so important to be a master on how accurately someone can predict the future. We live in present and we hardly have any control over it. Fearing the future is good as it indicates about taking some risks or getting out of the comfort zone. Bravery is being the only one who knows you’re afraid.
To a brave man, good and bad luck are like his left and right hand. He uses both.St. Catherine of Siena
Sometimes we make mistakes in distinguishing the differences between bravery and stupidity. It’s okay, some stupidities actually made this world a better place.
And He it is Who sends the winds as glad tidings before His mercy, and We send down pure water from the sky, That We may thereby give life to a dead land, and give it for drink to Our creation — cattle and men in great numbers.Al-Qur’an, Al-Furqan 48 – 49
Rain is like a bless for us – it brings life to everything, cleans the air, makes the river flowing. Often rain causes flood which makes the land fertile.
Rain is the result of an obvious cycle of nature. The existence of life will be impossible if somehow this cycle is collapsed.
Based on the official record, I’ve spent exactly 9 years and 2 months at G&R. There were 2 leap years within this time. So it’s my 3,348th day at G&R and it’s going to be the last day here.
If I include the inception period of G&R as well, few more hundreds days would be added. Compare to my current age, it’s around 30% of my lifetime!
9 years ago when I started at G&R, we were just a team of 3 people. Today when I’m leaving, we’re a part of such a big family that it’s hard to get the exact count of the members.
Working at G&R was one of the best things of my life. Though it was challenging most of the time but it was exciting too. In the meantime I grew in many ways – from 27 to 36, bachelor to a husband, no one to a father of 3 kids. Moreover now I’m not just a confused university student like I was in the beginning.
At G&R I’ve learnt the best lessons – it’s not only about work but also about many other things all of which I will take with me throughout my life.
I got the chance to work with so many people who are not only super talented but also great human beings. There were total 55 colleagues who worked with me in this 9 years of time. I’ve signed several hundreds of cheque in the name of our publishers which I always considered as the most rewarding part of my career.
As many of you already know that in the next chapter, G&R will be operated as a fintech utilizing the NOC it has received last year to develop an ewallet. Hopefully it’s going to be the next big thing.
For me, the next chapter is to focus on something which I really love. Stay in touch.
It’s nothing new, there are a few thousand similar tools to make your work process automated and transparent. But we’re kind of reinventing the wheel – JossWork is an email service with some other additional features to make your workstation smarter.
Just one setup and you’ll get work email, automated office attendance system, customer and pipeline management tools, invoicing system and many more for your business.
Automated attendance is one crucial feature that’s producing a lot of attention. We’ve built a relatively efficient and smart process for recording office attendance. Existing internet connection is enough to get it done, no hardware setup required. It also offers a standard leave management system with a multilayer approval process.
Other features such as journal, messaging, pipeline, basic CRM are also working pretty well and our users are loving them.
After ZipDial, an Indian based missed-call marketing company was acquired by Twitter, a new hype can be felt in the tech scenario of Dhaka. Several companies started following the path, building almost the same thing.
BDCOM, a market leader in SMS and other telemarketing solutions is already doing pilots with some top brands for this missed-call marketing solution. CallSpring, a platform launched by Hackhouse is also started pitching the customers. G&R, the leading ad tech startup is also testing a platform called JossCall.
In Bangladesh, tech entrepreneurs are struggling to determine the exact idea which actually can drive the growth of revenue. Media and Publishing still leading the game but the success is limited within few mainstream top brands.
Less than 10% of our people have the access to internet so far while more than 90% people are using mobile phones. So this a promising area where technology can contribute something.
Dhaka has witnessed a mayor election last month when Mr Annisul Haque was elected to lead the northern side of the city development for next 4 years. As usual the election was controversial but Mr Haque is being considered as the right person for his vibrant and charismatic approach.
Though it’s just 2 weeks but we’re already witnessing that there’s a new mayor in the city who is trying so hard to bring some differences.
We’re living in a city with too many problems. Every time we see a new leader in power, we start assuming that we’re going to have the same fate. So even though we’re witnessing some developments going on, most people are considering it as an eyewash.
Mr Mayor, please prove us wrong!
In Bangladesh, around 15 million people actively use Internet. It’s 6.5% of our population and we’re in the position of 157th in the world in terms of population vs users ratio. But our penetration is 28.5% which is really high compare to many other countries.
Hopefully by end of 2015, the number of active internet users will be around 30 million which is a very ambitious prediction though.
Our users have a very different approach to internet than what we see in developed country – we consume contents rather than spend online. So it seems e-commerce isn’t going to be any big hit here in near future.
The majority portion of internet users are on-boarded by Facebook. An interesting insight is – many of them have a guilty feeling for wasting their money for no good cause.
Local startups who’re taking internet as their business platform, are yet to set long-term objectives. It’s really hard to imagine what’s going on here as technology and people’s mind – both are changing too fast.
It was September 2005 when I first realised that websites could be made by ordinary people like me. Before that I imagined that making websites was similar in difficulty to building spaceships. I have always been very relaxed at work, but when I discovered the ease and beauty of website development – when I realised that this spaceship was easily attainable – I knew I’d discovered the secret to a long and happy life.
I was always good at maintaining pixels. This practice began on the first day of design school, where most of my friends were far better than me at drawing. I knew I couldn’t compete with them with my drawing skills alone, so I began using graph paper to make design plans and layouts. This helped me learn the manual process of using pixels. Over time, I became a pixel dancer. This helped me grab the attention many influential people.
One fine day in 2009, I received an unexpected email from London. A man I’d never heard of wanted to meet me to talk about the current status of the Internet in Bangladesh. At the time, his queries were irrelevant to my work. I was busy consulting for overseas clients who paid me an hourly wage. I had even been tasked with redesigning The Daily Star website! But I really never thought that the Internet could bring any change to Bangladeshi society.
The man from London had an extensive knowledge about the Internet and had even spent time working at Google. He taught me to see the potential of the Internet in a completely different way. I was extremely excited and finally felt that I could finally be a useful creature in society.
We had our first discussion about the Internet in Bangladesh in March 2009. G&R received the certification for incorporation in July 2009. Ours is an amazing story.
Our very first days at G&R were spent doing nothing but exploring possibilities. Early on, we decided to partner with a software company called eBizzsol for technical support. We held several brain storming sessions and drank a few hundred cups of tea. We were trying to find a single solution that would solve a few hundred problems. The word localization was on top of anything. We started following the tagline, Your local site!