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Lessons From WebAble

In 2013, digital was slowly becoming a thing in Bangladesh. It was yet to be a mainstream thing, but a sense of ‘morning shows the day’ was there. Ovick Alam and Shadab Mahbub could feel the change in the air. Although both of them studied business at Dhaka University, technology was a common fascination. They saw an opportunity to do something in the digital marketing space. Anis Hannan Chowdhury, another avid tech enthusiast, joined them shortly. Thus WebAble was born in 2013. Over the years, Dhaka has seen many digital marketing companies come and go but WebAble remains - steady and strong. From a small operation of 6 people in its early days, WebAble has grown to 70 people team in less than five years.

Digital marketing is a hyper-competitive space in Dhaka. There is a perception in the market that starting and building a digital marketing agency is relatively inexpensive. A steady torrent of new companies enter the digital marketing space every year and perish at an equally fast pace. So when a new digital marketing agency enters the market, people seldom care. Broadly, digital marketing agencies seldom draw serious attention from the industry.

WebAble has proved otherwise. It has managed to achieve steady growth through relentless innovation, replenishing its positioning time and again, and building a strong company culture that fuels creativity and innovation. WebAble today works with a long list of clients spanning multiple industries. It has expanded beyond social media marketing to content, community building, web development, lead generation, digital production, analytics, event activation, and much more. It has contributed to shaping the idea of digital marketing in Dhaka and established a progressive positioning in the market.

That said, building a business seldom easy. WebAble went through its share of challenges, suffered from slips in relationships with clients and partners. But it has never stopped evolving. That’s what makes WebAble different from many digital communication companies - its relentlessness attitude.

WebAble
WebAble Directors Anis, Ovick, Monoshita, And Shadab (From left to right) | Photo by WebAble

WebAble digital has turned five this month. Surviving five years is a huge feat for any startup. If you can find the product/market fit and grow, you must be very lucky. WebAble has managed to do both. Started as a tiny operation, it has managed to maintain steady growth throughout its five years of existence. Most importantly, it has done so without any external investment.

Birthdays are an occasion for reflection. In the 5 years since its founding, WebAble has helped shape the digital communication landscape in Dhaka in many ways and its journey as a bootstrapped success has a lot to offer to aspiring entrepreneurs about how to approach the challenging act of building a company.

First, be precocious. WebAble was founded by three extremely precocious young people. To many experts, precociousness is the most important entrepreneurial trait for a young founder. WebAble founders had it in ample amount from day one. The mature positioning of WebAble has helped the company create its own place in the market.

Second, try new things. Paul Graham famously said relentlessly resourceful is one of the most important qualities in a founder. What if you could build that quality into your company culture, that’s what WebAble has done. Over the past five years, it has tried many things from starting new businesses to introducing new services, to adding new partners, and much more. Growth is often a long tail thing. If you run a hundred experiments, one would click and make all the others worth it.

Third, culture eats strategy for breakfast. “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.” That’s Ovick Alam, Founder, and Chairman of WebAble, in an interview with Future Startup in 2015.

Fourth, evolve and tell your story better. WebAble is among the few digital communication companies that have routinely invested in building its own brand in the market. A few years into its existence, WebAble launched a rebranding and a new tagline “webaboulous experience”. It quickly caught the attention of the industry insiders and helped the company find the right positioning. It routinely sends out newsletters. Its digital marketing blog Bable is one of the few active blogs on the subject in Dhaka. WebAble has done a great job at telling its stories to the world.

Over the past two years, a lot has changed for WebAble. It has invested in new verticals. It plans to enter new territories in the coming days. As WebAble celebrates its five years anniversary, we congratulate the team WebAble and wish all the best for the days to come.

Communication in general, digital communication in particular, is changing rapidly - both communication as a business as well as a job. Agencies across the board are facing new challenges. Being said that, the demand for creativity and ingenuity remains all-time high. As WebAble moves forward, to continue its growth, WebAble has to be more than a mere communication agency. Figuring out what that would be should make a good adventure moving forward for the team WebAble.

Disclosure: WebAble is a branded content partner of Future Startup. This is editorially independent content.

Cover photo: WebAble Social media page

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