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Small Is The New Big: Local Startup Horin Branding Aims To Enable SMEs To Fight Big Brands

Rafiq is a genuine business man. He runs a small bakery. He understands bits and pieces of his business. He understands his customers’ needs. He knows what service means-both good and bad. He has been in this business for years now. He makes bread, biscuits, chanacur, muri, and few other regular items. Once he was the leading supplier to most of the retail shops in his area.

But there are good days and bad days in business. Days are bad for Rafiq now.

He has lost a significant portion of his market share. He is no more a leading supplier in his area. There are big brands with nice packaging and all. They spend handsomely in advertising and promotion but Rafiq can’t. He does not afford the cost of advertising let alone big branding budget. Rafiq thinks his days in business are numbered.

Team Horin Branding
Team Horin Branding
Image by Horin Branding

This has become the reality for many small businesses of the country since the day big brands started to invade with new product lines in their territories. Once we bought bread from small bakeries but today small bakeries are nowhere to be found. This scenario escalates in almost all other industries. With increasing appetite for expansion big brands now have presence in industry where once small companies dominated.


“Whenever I go for shopping I often face options: products from big companies and products from small ones. For instance, there are different types of breads in market-from both-SMEs and big brands. More often than not these products offer similar quality but small companies seldom win the game. I saw an opportunity in this uneven game; even I have a soft corner for these SMEs. I thought what I can do for these SME brands: I can help them with branding, may be! That’s how the idea of Horin Branding is conceived” says Rishad, Co-Founder of Horin Branding.

SMEs are the life blood of our economy. Their contribution to GDP is way larger than many multinationals combined. But with every passing day small businesses are losing their market share to big brands. Against huge marketing budget of giant brands SMEs can do very little and often lose the battle without a fight.

Horin Branding aims to help SMEs not only to fight this battle but also to survive, even win.

Image by Horin Branding


There are advertising companies and branding firms but most of these companies offer their services at a price that small businesses can’t afford. These companies don’t target small businesses, thus seldom design service packages keeping their needs in mind. On the other hand, very few small companies are aware of the importance of marketing and branding. The problem lies in perception of high cost and understanding. But days are different now. Everything is changing. Small businesses need to understand competition and act accordingly.

Horing Branding

Horing Branding takes the pain to understand the needs of SMEs and devises plan and strategy to better serve them and enable them to fight back and survive in the market. Horin Branding offers brand planning, design support, and digital marketing service to SMEs at a price which is almost 20 times less than conventional marketing firms. The purpose is to help SMEs to understand competition and prepare them to stand the competition.

In last six months of its being, Horin Branding has served six clients. All of them are more than happy and recommend them to others. Rishad thinks this is what will help them not only to survive but also to grow. “We just don’t want to be a low cost branding firm and a lesser option for low budget; we want to deliver world class quality and best possible service at a affordable price for small businesses” says Rishad.

Recent works
Recent works
Image by Horin Branding


Horin Branding team consists of four members: Rishad Ahmed, G.M. Fahim Mugdho, Nishat Farzana Sinthy, and S.M. Waliullah. Rishad says, we call ourselves a team instead of a company because it only makes sense. We work from our own places and don’t use a formal office because maintaining office is a matter of huge cost. Since we offer low cost solutions this helps a lot.

However, this ‘not using an office’ becomes a real problem for them. In Bangladesh people don’t take it easily when you say you don’t have an office-says Rishad. We have lost deals, even after final confirmation just because we don’t use an office.

So far, team Horin Branding has done pretty good. They are growing fast: from one client now they have five, clients are more than happy in their work, and they have big plans. "We are passionate about our work," says Rishad, "and we want to maintain a consistent year to year growth and serve more SMEs on the process."

Mohammad Ruhul Kader is a Dhaka-based entrepreneur and writer. He founded Future Startup, a digital publication covering the startup and technology scene in Dhaka with an ambition to transform Bangladesh through entrepreneurship and innovation. He writes about internet business, strategy, technology, and society. He is the author of Rethinking Failure. His writings have been published in almost all major national dailies in Bangladesh including DT, FE, etc. Prior to FS, he worked for a local conglomerate where he helped start a social enterprise. Ruhul is a 2022 winner of Emergent Ventures, a fellowship and grant program from the Mercatus Center at George Mason University. He can be reached at ruhul@futurestartup.com

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