JeteChao.com: Inside Dhaka’s Fledgling Events Listing Platform
They say: opposite of happiness is not sadness, it is boredom. We want to be anything but bored. And yes, in today’s world it is hard to be bored. The ubiquitous access to social stream keeps our brain busy and seldom spare us to feel ourselves let alone be bored.
However, you can only scroll so much.
We are social being and we need to go out and interact with other humans. Moreover, as part of life we get to work and require self development. Hence, we go out. Meet people. Socialize. We attend events, workshops, trainings, and more. These are, at times, ways to improve ourselves, and also to keep the loop of excitement open. However, good events, events or meetups that one wants to attend are difficult to find in Dhaka. Facebook is, so far, the home to events in Dhaka. But it has limitations. It is hard to find an event, search one, and there is no directory to look up to. This is where a Dhaka based startup, JeteChao, comes in.
Founded by Mehnaz Tabassum and Reem Shamsuddoha, JeteChao aims to become a source of enjoyment, a guide to explore Dhaka, and something that helps one to get rid of boredom when also enriching life. While listing events, that are happening, about to happen, in Dhaka, JeteChao also plans to personalize events search on its platform and connect one with the events he/she is looking for. “often we hear that Dhaka is boring and that there isn’t much to do here,” says Mehnaz, “we want to solve that problem! JeteChao is an events listing website and our whole idea is to bridge the gap between the youth and the information about what is happening in Dhaka. We believe that JeteChao is not just a list of events. It is a source of enjoyment, exploration and happiness; a little something that adds value to your life.”
Born and brought up in Dhaka, Mehnaz finished her undergraduate from Northeastern University in Boston in 2011. She studied economics and international affairs. Then she worked in New York and Singapore for a couple of years until she moved back to her home country.
Other co-founder, Reem Shamsuddoha, grew up in Dhaka and went to Fordham University in New York to complete her undergraduate degree in Business and Economics. Upon graduation she worked in New York for two years before moving back to Dhaka in 2013. Both founders, known to each other, came up with the idea of Jetechao two years back along with their friend Fahim Saleh of HackHouse but could not manage to start back then. This year though it seemed different and they pulled off the gear and started out.
Jetechao offers few things now: 1) a list of events starting from entertainment (Food, Arts, Literature, Music), Business, Children, Education, Sports/Fitness and Technology. 2) participants registration mechanism for partners. If you are holding an event and want to keep track of your attendees and also want to send invitation to only select ones, you can simply do it by using JeteChao platform.
“We provide registration option for our partners, which we really encourage our partners to use, says Mehnaz, “this benefits our partners as well us to keep data for the future. Events in Dhaka do not require registration and event organizers sometimes have a difficult time sending out the right emails/newsletter to the right audience. We provide this service and we can customize the registration form according to however our partners want it.”
Mehnaz and Reem look far and beyond and plan to be long runners. “We definitely plan to sell tickets in the near future, and most importantly expand to the other major cities in Bangladesh, says Mehnaz, but we don’t want to rush. The platform plans to attract audience of a particular age frame, 18-40 years, and aims to make the platform useful to these people first. “To us customer service is important, says Mehnaz, and “one of the reasons we don’t want to rush is because we want our users to fully understand and adapt to our platform and also we don’t want to mess up with customer service”.
There is business for an event listing platform. The challenge is to have enough users to attract paid users and to take advantage of ticket selling service. Founders of Jetechao set eyes on no less. As Mehnaz puts it: “in the future, we want to be the number one event registration platform in Bangladesh.”
Being said that, the journey is not going to be any easier. It is true, we need a local events listing platform in Dhaka but we are not sure about an ideal model for such a platform. Two fundamental reasons are of-course: 1) facebook is too dominant here and 2) technologically we are heading towards a different phase than the time Eventbrite or similar platforms started. The good thing is: JeteChao founders are ready to embrace the hard work and walk the path, “the process of building a startup is very challenging, says Mehnaz, we want to believe that we are not really facing any problem but are ready to accept all the challenges that come our way.
Note: Edited by Ruhul Kader and Nezam Uddin.