With the rapid growth of internet penetration, 68 million people have access to the internet, and smartphones usage, there are 117 million mobile phone subscribers, digital very much looks like the future of Bangladesh. Digital advertising in the country is a fast-growing industry. According to some sources, it is now an over BDT 1.00 billion market yearly.
That said, Google and Facebook, the two global ad giants, control the majority percentage of the market share while local ad networks such as G&R, which serves about a billion ads a month, and RITS Ads take a small share of that market.
RITS ads, a digital ad network launched by Dhaka-based IT company Raise IT Solutions Limited, is a relatively new player in the space. Started in 2013, RITS Ads used to largely serve foreign ads to Bangladeshi audience, today the network offers services to a host of local advertisers and works with over 5000 local publishers. The network uses a third party platform and claims to be the only programmatic ad network in the country that has the capacity to prevent fraud and ensure better ROI for your advertising investment.
In a recent interview with Future Startup K. A. M. Rashedul Mazid, co-founder, and CEO of Raise IT Solutions, spoke about RITS ads, digital ad network business in Bangladesh, how RITS Ads is doing and his plans for RITS going forward. You can read the full interview of Mr. Mazid here.
Tell us about RITS Ads. How did RITS Ad network come to exist? What is it? How does it work?
When we launched RITS ads, it was financed by our parent company, Raise IT. Our target was to build it successfully and then turn it into a separate brand.
We are still operating it as a part of Raise IT, but the model is already successful and it has got satisfactory standalone value.
RITS Ads is offering holistic solutions for digital advertising. Using RITS Ads platform an Advertiser can get to the right consumers at the right time by targeting them using our programmatic platform. The advertiser can target specific devices along with city and keywords.
Special features of RITS Ads is advertisers can do any kind of display advertisement in local language whether it is expandable or take out ads.
Our platform can ensure more than 70% conversions from an advertising click. As a part of 360-degree advertising solutions, our advertiser can also buy facebook, google, twitter and LinkedIn Inventory using self-serve platform offered by us.
You've got competitors like Google and G&R in Bangladesh market. What are the aspects that differentiate your product from the rest?
I don’t consider G&R as our competitor. In fact, we have a collaboration with G&R. I think our local market is quite big and growing rapidly and it can accommodate multiple players. G&R has done great work creating awareness about digital advertising in Bangladesh over the past years.
We are good at a couple of things that give us significant upside. Fraud is one of the major risk factors in digital advertising and it is often hard to keep track and prevent fraudulent activities. We have come up with a solution to this largely-overlooked problem in association with Fraudlogix.
We are the first one in Bangladesh to provide a solution to fraud-related concerns. If you spend 'x" taka on an advertisement, we ensure that you will be served with exactly 'x' taka worth of advertisement. On top of that, there is no human intervention in the process.
We can serve advertisement in the local language, all types of advertisement like rich media, overlay, takeout, expandable etc.
We have partnered with OpenX, which is currently the number one programmatic advertising technology company in the world. We are their only premium partner in Bangladesh.
What are the key challenges for you in the local market?
When we started, the first challenge was that we were very new in the market and our USP was also relatively new and it was hard to make people understand. People know about fraud but they don't understand how it happens.
Advertisers back then didn't even take fraudulent activities as a challenge. They were unaware of the fact that at least 30% of their investment was being stolen away by frauds.
That challenge remains these days, making people aware of programmatic advertising and its advantages.
How has the growth been for RITS Ads?
Currently, we serving over 60 million impressions per day. We have covered almost 80% of Alexa ranking sites in Bangladesh. We are the first one in Bangladesh to do something about fraudulent activities. We are the first who introduces programmatic and RTB in Bangladesh market. We have the direct partnership with over 5000 publishers.
We look at two metrics: i) how many advertisers we have got and ii) how many publishers we have onboard. The number of our publishers is increasing daily.
As for the number of advertisers, we have many direct advertisers including companies like Huawei, Symphony, Rangs Ltd, Mercedes Benz Bangladesh, TeleTalk Bangladesh, The City Bank Ltd., Mentos, Ogilvy Bangladesh, Digital Bagher Baccha, Bagdoom, Lotto and Gadget & Gear. We are also finalizing deals with several agencies soon.
When we started first, we used to serve 5 million ad impressions daily. Now, after 2 and a half years, it has grown by 1200%.
Currently, 12 people are working in our ad-network team. There are 4 other people in the sales department and the rest of the teammates are in campaign management, monitoring, accounts and others.
What are your plans for the future?
Our main goal is to morph this project into a separate company. We want to establish RITS Ads as the #1 Digital Advertising Company in Bangladesh. We want to be the go-to place for programmatic advertising.