Categories
Work

My Last and 3,348th Day at G&R

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.

Categories
Work

JossWork, for the Love of Working

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.

Categories
Insight

Missed-call Marketing, the New Hype in the Town

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.

Categories
Universe

New Mayorship in Dhaka

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!

Categories
Universe

Growth of Internet Users in Bangladesh

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.

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!

Categories
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.

Categories
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.