Developing the largest service platform in Bangladesh

Dhaka,  Fri,  28 July 2017
Published : 12 Jul 2017, 22:30:39
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Interview

Developing the largest service platform in Bangladesh

Shaha Rakesh Nishan
Sustainability for any business comes with solving real world problems and addressing the gaps in the market. Entrepreneurs, who do so, have the vision to make a greater social impact. SHEBA.XYZ, commercially launched in July last year, has been successful in providing quality services to their customers and is currently the largest service platform in Bangladesh. They provide  convenient way for customers to avail different types of services such as home appliance repair, pack and shift service, automobile maintenance, daily services, etc. Apart from ensuring efficient supply and providing service warranty, SHEBA.XYZ helps customers hire verified and professional service providers. They won the Bangladesh Startup Award 2017 in May this year.

Shaha Rakesh Nishan interviewed Adnan Imtiaz Halim, the CEO of SHEBA.XYZ. He shared the organisation's journey and provided his insights regarding entrepreneurship.

Q: What made you take the leap into entrepreneurship? Where did you get the idea of SHEBA.XYZ from?

Answer (A): I had the opportunity to work in various multinational companies. In all these organisations, I tried to utilise  my full potentials, to ensure the organisations benefit from my endeavours, but I always had an urge about creating a social impact. I wanted to contribute to my society's welfare. Hence, I decided to start an organisation of my own.

There was a need for a platform similar to ours where customers will find it easy to avail everyday services. SHEBA.XYZ wanted to address this gap in the market since no other organisation provided such services. Additionally, I felt that by doing this we can work with the customers directly and add value to their daily life and needs.

Q. In most cases, startups face many different hurdles in their initial phase. How did you cope up with that phase?

A: Obviously, there were obstacles. For instance, the commitment level, lack of skill and professionalism of partners were something we had to confront initially. With time and dedication from our team, we managed to cope up with these issues.

Other problems like security concerns, online payment issues and technological adaptability were also there. I would not say that we have solved all the problems, but we are doing it gradually.

Q. Customer service is one of the key driving forces of your organisation. How do you ensure that best possible customer service?

A: We have different departments handling different issues. We have dedicated front-seat and back-end employees who cater to our customers' needs. Additionally, we have a quality assurance team that works with complaints and feedbacks from our customers.

Q. How do you recruit the correct employees and how do you retain talent?

A: We hire individuals who have dedication, the passion for learning and the urge to contribute to changes in our society. Of course, they must have the required skills but it is equally important to have those aforementioned qualities.

Usually, in startups like these, we do not always have the capability to provide monetary incentives. The motivation to continue comes from the joy of being a part of the success story and adding value in the lives of our customers.

Q. What was the growth of SHEBA.XYZ so far? What are the future plans?

A: SHEBA.XYZ has had a remarkable journey so far. Currently, we have a 27 per cent month wise growth. Since it was commercially launched, we have raised USD 600,000 and have completed 34,000 jobs delivery. We also have many renowned corporate clients including GP, Robi, Coca-Cola, Philip Morris Bangladesh Ltd. etc.

SHEBA.XYZ is going to complete one year of its operation on July 29, 2017. Utilising the ideal blend of right people, technology and business process, this organisation is catering to the needs of people of Bangladesh. From July 29, 2017, SHEBA.XYZ will be serving its customers 24/7 and therefore, have the capacity to respond to any emergency requirement.

Our goal is to be a global company. But first, we want to ensure that people from all over our country can use our services. We hope to provide our services countrywide from next year. Apart from that, our mobile app will be launched in October this year, making it more convenient for our customers to avail our services. Additionally, we are testing corporate services currently and hope to start utility bill payment service from September this year.

Q. How do you believe evolving technology will affect the way we do business over the next 15 years?

A: Today, technology has reduced paperwork, made things more efficient and automated almost all the processes. I believe things will only improve from here onwards. Many people claim that it is reducing jobs and I agree with that to some extent. But although certain redundant departments of an organisation are closing down, there are also new departments being launched. In this era of fast-paced technology, things will change. Hence, it is important for employees and organisations to adapt themselves to changing technology.

Q. We see a rise in startups these days. Do you have any advice for the new entrepreneurs?

A: First and foremost, you have to be patient. There will be times when you will feel like packing your bags and leaving. However, you will see that only those who were dedicated and patient enough to see through the initial hurdle phase are successful entrepreneurs today.

Second, you have to grow continuously. Failure is imminent if your organisation does not grow. Apart from that, one also needs to have a good team with shared goals and be open to suggestions.

I would recommend individuals, who are planning to be an entrepreneur, to first gather some experience by working in an organisation. This is because you need to have an idea about the marketplace first.

The writer is a student at the Institute of Business Administration (IBA), University of Dhaka,

nishanrakesh20@gmail.com
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