Taking initiative is not a new thing for Ovick Alam, Co-founder, and CEO of Webable and Founder of BridgeWee. Ovick started BridgeWee, an Admission coaching center for English medium students to help them with public university admission tests when he was a university student. Ovick himself went to English medium and, instead of going abroad for higher studies that the majority of English medium students do, Ovick attended Dhaka University. One of the reasons was that Ovick could not pursue foreign education. This is true for many English medium students.
Parents send their children to English medium schools to have a good education, but once it comes to sending their children abroad for higher studies, very few parents can afford that. Hence, students face a serious problem. Ovick went through the same path and got into the University of Dhaka, and that is when he thought of helping other students like him to get a good degree from the most prestigious institution in Bangladesh. That’s how BridgeWee started.
In 2009 Ovick started BridgeWee online at a very small scale. “The response was huge, said Ovick; it was kind of my opportunity to validate the idea. Once I saw people are interested and there is a clear need for it, and started operating BridgeWee out of the web.” With an unconventional approach to teaching and marketing, BridgeWee took over the education scenario in Bangladesh and we are constantly evolving. We have more groundbreaking ideas for our venture and with time, it's only going to get more innovative and empowering for the student community. BridgeWee is a platform to nurture and cater knowledge and is here to grow and spread.
In 2009 Ovick started BridgeWee online at a very small scale. “The response was huge, said Ovick; it was kind of my opportunity to validate the idea. Once I saw people are interested and there is a clear need for it, I rented a place in Mohammadpur, Dhaka and started operating BridgeWee out of the web.”
The Journey Of Enabling Web
Once BridgeWee got its foundation right, Ovick started to look for opportunities to start something new and exciting and potential. That’s when Ovick met Shadab. They discussed the prospects of online marketing and concluded that something exceptional had to be done to help small startups use unconventional, creative, and data-driven marketing strategies to take their businesses to the next level.
Shadab, who has been working as a freelancer since 2009, was working as a junior copywriter for a U.S software company back then. His learning and experience about how to market businesses online, how e-commerce works, and how different online marketing tools work made him eager to explore the online marketing dimensions of the businesses in Bangladesh. A year later, they launched their first campaign with JAGOO and their ideas combined with their efforts turned out to be a huge success. This is how Webable was born. Later Ovick met Anis Hannan Chowdhury, another co-founder, right after Webable came into being. Anis, who is passionate about websites to apps, social media to content marketing, design to optimization, with a vision to build something larger than life, joined the Webable team later as a co-founder.
At WebAble, we take culture very seriously. We admit that paychecks and perks are important, but that’s not why we go to work every day. We define WebAble’s culture as its foundation to build a lasting company for generations to come; it is beyond technology, individuals and business landscape. For us, culture is what we value in our colleagues - it’s not limited to what we write on our wall. And it helps.
Road And Walk
Webable is a digital media agency passionate about community building and storytelling through design, content marketing, and social media campaigns.
Although started well, the journey of Webable was not at all flowery. Like every other startup, it faced challenges. Resource constraint was one of the major challenges and with a small team, it was a struggling journey to get clients. But fortunately, within a short span of time of 4 months, Webable was approached by a wave of clients including Dell, Kaspersky, Dell, Aarong, BAT, I am real, Bit Defender, Okapia, Rahimafrooz, Olympic Industries Ltd, etc and many more.
Once asked about what led to the exponential growth of Webable in such a short time period, Ovick said: “At WebAble, we take culture very seriously. We admit that paychecks and perks are important, but that’s not why we go to work every day. We define WebAble’s culture as its foundation to build a lasting company for generations to come; it is beyond technology, individuals, and the business landscape. For us, culture is what we value in our colleagues - it’s not limited to what we write on our walls. And it helps.”
Ovick’s journey as an entrepreneur was not easy. Putting together a company is painstakingly hard work; consistent support from a few friends kept him going during the difficult times.
“I am an evangelist of the Internet as a key to human development, said Ovick, I believe in the power of youth and creativity to change the world. That’s why I co-founded WebAble Digital to empower companies and individuals through cutting-edge design, technology, and analytics. At WebAble, I have surrounded myself with creative, talented, and brave young people who strive to make a difference every day.”
Ovick believes our biggest obstacles and greatest challenges lie within us. Our doubt makes us weak and our ties hold us back. During a moment of trying, we are the first ones to doubt ourselves. To me, said Ovick, the greatest solution to any problem is accepting it first and convincing oneself that one can still be successful.
Ovick believes our biggest obstacles and greatest challenges lie within us. Our doubt makes us weak and our ties hold us back. During a moment of trying we are the first ones to doubt ourselves.
An individual’s journey should start in their late teens, said Ovick, late teens are all about learning and exploring; twenties are for hard work. One should slog throughout their twenties because they won’t have the energy or the enthusiasm in their thirties and onwards. They should travel frequently to meet new people and get fresh perspectives so that they learn to see the world through the eyes of a stranger. This is the time when young minds should learn to live with their drawbacks and accept who they really are.
Ovick is passionate about building great teams, creating an uncompromising culture of excellence, and solving problems. Ovick chooses to be an entrepreneur because he thinks it is a great way to make a positive and sustainable impact. Being a student of the country’s leading business school made him confident about his entrepreneurial abilities. He believes that entrepreneurship is not only about profit, but also about making meaningful contributions to society, which, if significant, the society itself rewards with profit and equity.
The traditional businesses in Bangladesh have a limiting philosophy. It focuses on monetary returns only and ignores the bigger picture of understanding the deep-rooted problems of society and work out solutions to address those problems. Ovick believes as an entrepreneur your job is not only to see and understand the problems around you but also to play your part in solving those problems.
Credit: The story was written by Fatema Mohammad for Future Startup, Edited by Ruhul Kader, and Images by Webable