Widely untapped online marketplace: the experts

Bangladesh currently has one of the largest untapped online markets, as the country expects 80 million more smartphone users by 2030.

This makes Bangladesh a very promising hub for such a market, with local start-up systems being a turning point.

These possibilities were discussed by speakers during the virtual inauguration ceremony of the “DataBird LaunchPad 2021” yesterday.

The Minister of State for ICT, Zunaid Ahmed Palak, was present as the main guest while NM Zeaul Alam, Principal Secretary of the ICT Division, joined him as a special guest.

DataBird LaunchPad 2021 is a platform that aims to help young innovators solve their various problems only with technology.

The platform works with the ICT division, LICT Bangladesh, Durbar, BASIS and The Daily Star to broaden its horizon and create more opportunities for future innovators of the digital ecosystem.

The event started with Kashef Rahman, CEO of DataBird, giving a brief overview of the company’s initiatives.

Olympic Industries Executive Director Tanveer Ali explained how the country could achieve full internet inclusivity across all industries.

According to him, promoting local innovation towards new Internet verticals, enabling local technological talents, connecting local innovations to international opportunities and accelerating the “Digital Bangladesh” initiative could facilitate the process.

Sia Kamalie, Founder of Skycatcher and Board Member of DataBird, said Bangladesh is a very promising internet market as the country remains largely untapped in this regard, offering a first-come advantage.

“We will see a thousand times more money from the market by 2030,” he said, adding that Bangladesh is considered the most promising market as it will add 80 million smartphone users and 350 billion dollars to its GDP by 2030.

“We want to support DataBird initiatives that work with students, SMEs, micro-traders and promote Bangladesh as a technical hub over the next decade,” said Tina Jabeen, CEO and Managing Director of Startup Bangladesh.

Syed Almas Kabir, president of the Bangladesh Software and Information Services Association, said the initiative was a great initiative for new innovators and business owners.

“We provide different kinds of services including accounting, tax preparation, product packaging, etc. to our clients free of charge. This platform will make that work easier,” he added.

The DataBird LaunchPad could also help the country’s youth and business leaders be more creative, according to Md Tajdin Hassan, head of strategy and digital transformation at The Daily Star.

“We need to be more creative and this platform could help young people to become more innovative and make such a change,” he said.

The launch pad shows that Bangladesh is heading towards a more digital society as DataBird has offered various services to include those left behind on internet inclusion, said Sami Ahmed, LICT policy adviser.

NM Zeaul Alam PAA, Principal Secretary of the ICT Division, mentioned that digital tools are being used to eradicate poverty and develop the country’s human resources.

“In addition, the ICT division is already working on different aspects of Vision 2021,” Alam said.

The ICT division continues to encourage digital innovations, according to Minister of State for ICT Palak.

“The ecosystem of local startups is the cornerstone of our innovation-driven development,” he said.

Over $ 30 million has been spent in the local startup industry over the past 3-4 years.

“I hope this launch pad will encourage our young people to take up the country’s challenge of creating internet products by amplifying the power of Bangladesh to create such products locally and help us become self-reliant,” added Palak.