Sadequa tells banglanews
Rural youths now reluctant to migrate abroad
Maria Salam, Asst Output Editor
DHAKA: The idea of ‘e-commerce’ is not new for the world but, in Bangladesh, the idea is just started working. Future Solutions for Business (FSB), a new generation on-line based company, introduced the idea in 2008.
With the slogan of ‘turning dreams into reality’ some young entrepreneurs spread the idea and gain success within a very short span of time.
Banglanews Assistant Output Editor Maria Salam recently got a chance to talk to Managing Director of FSB Sadequa Hassan. She mentioned different aspects of the project while talking to banglanews in an exclusive interview.
Banglanews: You have introduced the idea of ‘e-commerce’ in the country. What was the story of its inception?
Sadequa Hassan: I along with my husband, Ataur Rahman, the technical director of FSB, was started living in London in 2007. Ataur’s educational background was e-commerce.
After completing his graduation, Ataur set up e-commerce based company FSB for the local Bangladeshi community in London in the end of the year. And we became very popular within a very short period.
But, I always wanted to work for the people of my country. With a view to changing the digital discrimination between the rural and urban people in my country, I came back home in 2008 and started working with some renowned brands here.
After the initial success, in October, 2009, I started preparing the project titled “Amar Desh Amar Gram” with some 200 local women in my home district Mongla.
Banglanews: You have launched your projects one after another. But, so far I can realize, it was not so easy. What problems did you face in this regard?
Sadequa Hassan: It’s true that it was not so easy in the beginning. We faced a lot of troubles as we did not have any capital and the government also did not have any particular policy in this regard.
We shared our plan with Project Director of A2I Nazrul Islam Khan. He assured us to provide all necessary assistance. But, the main problem was, our country was yet to introduce on-line credit card transactions service. Then, we knocked the Bangladesh Bank governor Dr Atiur Rahman. Finally, he officially allowed the on-line credit card transactions within 15 days.
Besides, it was very difficult to get necessary help of local administration and influential people in the beginning.
Banglanews: Tell me about your working process.
Sadequa Hassan: Currently, we are working in three main sectors. They are computer literacy programme, online rural market and country network portal. We have seven centres across the country. We work with the primary level producers of rural areas through these enters. Our customers are getting opportunity to buy products directly from the primary producers in reasonable price through online.
Banglanews: How do you operate the money transaction system?
Sadequa Hassan: We have some 5500 primary level producers, five staffs and a number of volunteers in each center. None of them are our paid employee. They are our shareholders, we call them small entrepreneurs. They are working and getting their share on basis of monthly sell. For example, we add extra 15 percent charge on the price of a product. The extra 15 percent is equally divided among FSB, centres and bank.
Finally, centres distribute its profit among its staffers and small entrepreneurs.
Banglanews: How do you measure your success?
Sadequa Hassan: Although, I did not get enough monetary benefit from the project, I achieved cent percent success. Our main aim was to involve youths in development work in rural area apart from making money.
They are now working for their development and getting money for that. An elderly woman or a child even can manage to operate computers in many areas.
The biggest success of our project is that now young people of rural areas are no more interested in migrating abroad. They are now thinking about doing something locally.
Banglanews: Do you want to thank any individual or organization for helping you?
Sadequa Hassan: Of course, at first I want to thank my mother as she supported me always and helped me a lot to set up the business.
Besides, I thank the government for introducing “Digital Bangladesh Vision”. It made our work easier. I specially thank State Minister for Science and ICT Yeafesh Osman and Bangladesh Bank governor Dr Atiur Rahman for their policy support.
Banglanews: Tell something about your future plan.
Sadequa Hassan: We want to curb the basic technological difference between the rural and urban people through our work. We are working so that the primary producers can get fair price for their products. We are thinking for setting up some 64 separate centres in 64 districts in order to help those primary businessmen.
Apart from this, we want to run our activities in abroad after successfully run it in home.
BDST: 1918 HRS, MAR 18, 2012
Edited by: Asst Output Editor M. Mahbub Alam