PriyoShop, one of the earliest online retail startups in Dhaka, has turned 7 this month. Founded by Asikul Alam Khan in 2013, the company started its journey out of 600 sq. ft. office and with a tiny 3-member team. Today, it is a team of over 130 people and through its business-to-consumer direct online marketplace platform, PriyoShop offers clothing, fashion accessories, electronics, gadget, bikes, home appliances, daily needs products and everything in between. When we first covered PriyoShop in August 2016, it was doing about 300-500 deliveries per day. Today, it handles over a thousand deliveries per day. From a humble beginning, PriyoShop.com has come a long way.
On the eve of PriyoShop’s 7-year celebration, we went back to find out how the ecommerce startup was created.
Question: How did you come up with the idea of PriyoShop? How PriyoShop was created? What went into building the initial operation?
Asikul Alam Khan: I first came to the world business in the year 2006. I was just a freshman at Jagannath University when we started an initiative called Student-wish.com, a couple of my friends and I joined together to build a team. That was how I got into this business thing.
Later, when we completed our graduation in 2010, we got our trade license and started Splendor IT. At Splendor IT, we took a number of freelancing jobs both in Bangladesh and from abroad. We developed a couple of pretty famous websites in Bangladesh, like Jewel Aich and Tomy Mia’s website. We provided software services to several companies as well.
That year, we also helped build ecommerce sites for a few of our international clients. That is when we thought about doing something similar in Bangladesh. We realized that there is a problem with shopping in Dhaka. Time is a pretty serious concern in Dhaka. Traffic jam is only going to get worse unless we have some sort of effective interventions. Moreover, shopping is time-consuming and not for many people who live in perpetual time scarcity. So, we thought ecommerce could be a very useful solution.
But, we did not have the capacity and resources to start an ecommerce site at that time. But we did not give up. We kept gathering more knowledge and worked harder to build an even stronger team. Long story short, after much toil, we managed to put together the website in 2012. We formally launched it at an ecommerce fair on February 7, 2013, after our post-graduation.
When we started PriyoShop we had very few ecommerce companies doing warehousing and logistics, most of the ecommerce companies were deal sites. We, along with Biponi.com, started the ecommerce platform with logistics service. We also started to warehouse products at our place so that customers can get their products whenever they order.
We started with very little resources. But we have been extremely passionate about our work and resilient as a team. We have worked extremely hard in the past years. During our early days, we were only a 3-member team in 600 sq. ft. office. Today, we have grown to a 30-member team and 7,000 sq.ft. office space.
This is an excerpt from our interview with PriyoShop Founder Asikul Alam Khan. To know the rest of PriyoShop story and how it has come to where it is today, you could read our in-depth interview with PriyoShop Founder Asikul Alam Khan here.