Categories
Work

The Untold Story: Beginning of G&R

This story is originally published in Medium, both in Bangla and English. As the story is too long, I am publishing it here dividing in different chapters.

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!

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Random

A Story to be Told

Necessity is the mother of invention, literature is the grandchild of crisis!

Last five months, most of the space of my brain was captivated by one single idea – hot to tell a story about an ongoing history.

After multiple attempts finally it’s published now! I choose Medium as the publishing platform because it’s easier to write long stories there.

I was not always very happy in working at G&R. I actually attempted to quit several times and plan my career in a whole different way. But somehow I wasn’t able to do that. Love often causes pain and for some strange reason, we always accept it, and often enjoy it.

From The Untold Story of a Bangladeshi Startup

Some stories to be told loudly as most people don’t want to hear – we all are busy with telling our stories.

Categories
Random

G&R 3.0, the New Era Began

Things are changing too fast and the same thing happening here at G&R. In last 1 year, we’ve experienced lots of growth in too many ways.

In this circumstance G&R is proudly presents the latest version of the Ad Network, G&R 3.0!

G&R has changed the way local digital content in Bangladesh is monetized by operating and optimizing Bangladesh’s largest online advertising marketplace. This market connects local website owners with advertisers and serves 15,000,000+ ads per day across 1,500+ websites.

This new version of ad network will allow our advertisers to start any campaign within a few minutes. The realtime dashboard will let them review the performance and various optimisation tools will help them to get the maximum ROI.

Similarly a publisher can monetize by placing G&R ads in their website or app in a simple and guided process. They also get various optimization tools to control and accelerate the revenue.

Our agency partners are getting a brand new dashboard with advanced controls to manage their clients, campaigns, ads and revenue.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lM5gNSZnppQ&w=640&h=360]

Growing isn’t always exciting. We often miss our old days, our childhood. At G&R, though we’re missing our ‘no regulation’ days, but we always keep our attention in improving the product experiences with latest and updated technology.

Categories
Work

G&R Featured in Google I/O 2014

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IHYd0f_kVS8&w=640&h=360]

This might be one of the prestigious moments I’d always love to remember. Talking in front of a camera wasn’t a very new experience for me. But it was really difficult to keep my nerves normal when I knew that this conversation has a chance to be featured in Google I/O.

Our story was featured on the wall of startups in Google I/O 2014 . Thanks to my colleagues and the camera crew from Google for their supports. It seems we were looking good when the video was showing on Google I/O wall.

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Random

Amar Bornomala, the Next Steps

The Amar Bornomala team is working hard to release their 2nd font. You’ll be able to download it from the same site. We’re also collecting people’s feedback for the 3rd font which going to be released on next Pohela Boishakh.

Those who believe in Bangla, keep the same right to contribute in developing it. We are expecting your active and constructive inputs so that we can set some standards for Bangla fonts. We hope it’ll help the upcoming typographers to be more interested in developing new Bangla fonts.

You can upload a scan copy of your handwritings here which may include the suggestions for how you want to see the alphabets. Based on experts selection, we’ll create a font combining different handwritings of different alphabets.

Categories
Work

To Download the New Bangla Font of Amar Bornomala

The new free bangla font launched by Amar Bornomala is open to download since the 1st minute after it was inaugurated by the Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. In last 22 hours it got around 3,000 downloads. If you yet to download it, please use this link.

It’ll ask your email or phone number before the download starts. We are taking this info so that we can notify you the next update, as well as if other fonts are here to download.

So far we’ve got thousands of feedbacks via comments, direct contacts, Facebook post, over phone etc which encouraging us to work harder. We are ensuring you that we are reading each of your feedbacks and working on it.

As there were no academic standardizations in creating Bangla fonts, our aim is to establish this culture. Also we want to create a platform from where people can get beautiful Bangla fonts for free.

So your support is very important!

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Random

The Beginning of Amar Bornomala

The beginning was back in 2010 when I first started thinking about an academic thesis entitled ‘Amar Bornomala o Somosamoyik Bangla Typography‘ (my alphabets and contemporary Bangla typography). Those were some dots which needed to be connected.

In last two years I’ve tried to connect those dots. I’ve talked with several people, organizations, institutes to get supports. But I never imagined that the country chief will inaugurate this initiative!

The primary goal of Amar Bornomala is to standardize the Bangla fonts with academic principles. The Honorable Prime Minister of Peoples Republic of Bangladesh, Sheikh Hasina has inaugurated the first font at the very first moment of 21 February 2013 from the Central Shahid Minar premises. Other two fonts are coming within next couple of days.

Access to Information (a2i) programme of Prime Minister’s office initiated this project in association with Bangla Academy and Department of Graphic Design from University of Dhaka. You can also download this font from this link.

Well, it wasn’t an easy journey and at the same time was a long process of learning. You shouldn’t limit your dreams, ever! Most of the times you won’t be able to imagine the solutions, but you can be sure that there must be a solution if you are able to create a constructive problem.

Categories
Insight madness Process sleepless nights

Building an Internet Company in Bangladesh

[slideshare id=15984618?rel=0&w=638&h=514&fb=0&mw=0&mh=0&style=border: 1px solid #CCC; border-width: 1px 1px 0; margin-bottom: 5px;&sc=no]

these slides were presented at Dhaka Startup Weekend, held in 10 – 12 January 2013. the learnings are real and you can ask for the details. we have the stories to tell you.

Categories
Universe

When Social Media is Managed by Unsocial People

Facebook is doing a really great business in Bangladesh though we don’t have a proper, easy or legal way to make international payments. I think the amount is bigger than many other countries who might have a better way to make payments! From my personal research I got an impression that now days Facebook is getting more orders than their capacity!

Well, is this a good sign? I am sure very few of you will come up with a straightforward answer. But I have a clear stand on this regard – I am considering it as growth of stupidity.

I used to login to Facebook to see these stupidities and I am kind of paid for that. My friends (except business owners, spammers), once who were the reason of using Facebook now hardly post anything there.

Being social doesn’t mean Facebook and engagement doesn’t mean increasing the number of Likes. If you really think that way – pity on you, you actually never have a balance social life or you have very boring friends.

Categories
Random

Facebook Apps, A New Culture Driving Businesses in Bangladesh

I’ve started working with designing Facebook apps since February 2012. It was a great feeling after completing the 1st one which was My Special Valentine launched by Airtel. It was a great experience to see how people interact with the big brands.

In the later months Airtel has given us the chance to create few more apps like Bangladesh in My Lens, Ankbo Amra Dekhbe Bishwa and Monsoon in My Lens. Each of these apps have engaged the audiences in different ways and brought some wonderful returns for Airtel.

With these huge experiences I’ve got more chances to work with other brands like 7up, Pepsi, Durex etc. The Durex one worths some highlights as it was planned for a different kind of users engagement. The privacy was the biggest consideration as it’s a vital issue for any engagement with a brand like Durex.

Very recently I’ve got a chance to work with Grameenphone which was a very new kind of experience for me. I got to plan, design and develop the app Bond of Friendship which should be considered as one of the biggest social engagement case studies from Bangladesh.

Well, it seems the journey is just began. Most of the marketers are now talking about these kind of social engagements. This is the easiest and cheapest way to count the direct public feedback.