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
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
Insight

Internet trends in Bangladesh

This article was published in IT & Telecom page of The Daily Star on 13 July 2012.

The rapid growth of digital technology is fundamentally changing the world as we know it. Global internet penetration in 2010 stood at 1.9 billion people and is expected to grow to 5 billion by 2015. It is unsurprising that with this in mind, information in the world (videos, music, documents etc.) that is stored online is also projected to grow from 800 exabytes to 53 zetabytes (eMarketer, 2011).

To put this into context, Google recently announced that there is 60 hours of video (YouTube Blog, 2012) uploaded onto YouTube each and every minute.

The average user accesses the web on 3 separate occasions throughout the day, with usage peaking during the morning hours. In addition, a total of 4 different websites are typically visited during these sessions.

Personal research

Mobile adoption is another factor that is further accelerating access to the internet. The “Queen of the Net” Mary Meeker forecasts mobile internet usage to outstrip desktop/large screen by 2015.

So why is this relevant to us in Bangladesh?
In Bangladesh, with mobile subscribers just over 92 million and mobile internet access over 25 million users (BTRC, March 2012), it is fair to say, that these “pocket computers” will be the first entry point into the internet for many people in this country.

As access to internet explodes, the internet will increasingly become where people, of all ages and demographics, spend their time and as a result it will lead to significant changes in the way we go about our daily lives.

It is second nature for an individual in New York to purchase a flight via the internet and changes such as these are soon to take place here.

G&R Ad Network, a company that manages internet ad campaigns across over 150 local websites reaching over 90% of Bangladeshis online, has built-up unique insight into how users within the country and abroad browse the web.

G&R analysed millions of data points and put together 3 key trends that can help show where the internet in Bangladesh is going.

1. Internet consumption is accelerating
The internet subscriber base in Bangladesh (excluding mobile) currently stands at just over 1.5 million (BTRC, Feb 2012). However, total desktop internet users in Bangladesh is actually far greater than that number, likely driven by heavy usage in offices, internet cafes and multiple users accessing the internet from a single household. Local industry estimates suggest that in 2011 access to the web was closer to 8 million users, having grown 300% since 2010 and expected grow a further 500% by 2020 (BCG, 2010). This acceleration of internet consumption is undoubtedly fueled not only by the growth in access, such as through WIMAX modems, but also through the proliferation of increasingly affordable laptops, desktops and tablets.

2. Those with access browse a lot
Until now, it wasn’t clear how people in Bangladesh actually spend their time on the web on a daily basis. The data G&R gathered sheds some more light on consumer behaviour online.

The average user accesses the web on 3 separate occasions throughout the day, with usage peaking during the morning hours. In addition, a total of 4 different websites are typically visited during these sessions.

While usage of social networks and email services account for a considerable portion web activity, the data collected by the G&R indicates that Bangladeshis also spend a lot of time browsing the web. Such users are actively seeking information and content online and this is only going to grow further as more local websites and web applications start to enter the public domain.

3. Web usage varies considerably by day of week
Which days are Bangladeshis most online is a question that has been asked a lot at G&R. As visualised in the chart on left , web usage varies considerably based on the day of the week. Internet traffic among local Bangladeshis peaks on Mondays and is generally higher during the working days. Fridays represent substantially less traffic, but it is worth noting that internet consumption remains high for non-resident Bangladeshis visiting local Bangladeshi sites on Fridays.

Final thoughts
The rapid development of the online space in Bangladesh is very exciting and promising. The frenetic popularity of global platforms like Google, Facebook and Twitter as well as the innovation and growth of local websites, Bangla content, localised online tools and e-commerce which indicates that the internet will have an increasingly positive impact on the daily lives of people in this country.

  • Muhammad Nazimuddaula is COO, G&R
  • Nasheet Islam is director, G&R
Categories
Random

G&R Ad Network – Internet Comes of Age

[slideshare id=13596866&w=638&h=514&fb=0&mw=0&mh=0&style=border: 1px solid #ccc; border-width: 1px 1px 0;&sc=no]

Back in 2005 when I first came to know about the process of building of internet product, I was really surprised. Before that it was actually impossible for me to imagine how a simple website works!

In last few years I’ve spent most of time in learning. The same thing still going on and I am not sure how long I should keep learning. The best part of this learning process is – I’m loving i’!

The attached slides were presented at Digital Marketing Summit 2012, held in Dhaka. We had shown few insights which is driving the growth of G&R.