Mobile phone Subscribe Growth Update, Creative Products Marketplace Tukitaki and Niche on the Internet

Mobile phone subscribers growth bounce back: After a decline in the total number of subscribers between March-June amid the coronavirus pandemic, mobile phone subscription has bounced back with a 2.4% year-on-year growth to 16.81 crore subscribers in October, reports the Daily Star. The industry experienced a negative growth between March-June as the country went into a full lockdown to prevent the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. 

Internet users: With the increase in mobile phone subscribers, the country has seen a 10.25% year-on-year growth in the number of internet users from 9.95 crores in October last year to 11.07 crores in October this year. Of which 10.21 crore subscribers use the internet through mobile devices and the rest use broadband and other services. 

Read our analysis on how mobile internet is changing Bangladesh here


Meet Tukitaki: Tukitaki is a niche ecommerce marketplace that works with creative entrepreneurs and sells a myriad of creative products from home decor to paintings, artworks, bags, potted plants, toys, jewelleries, tableware, books, plant and accessories, fashion items, photographs, T-shirts to handcrafted soaps, etc. The company claims to have the largest online art galleries in Bangladesh. It collaborates with a long list of creative professionals from artists to crafters, fashion designers, authors, jewelry designers, photographers, people knitter, embroider, make soap, candles and any other creative product makers. 

Co-founded by Leonika Hannan, former Head of HR for Bangladesh of NewsCred, Tukitaki started off as a small side project as a Facebook page in 2016. The company evolved and eventually launched an ecommerce marketplace in July this year. 

The company, currently a team of 8 full-time people and two consultants, aims to empower creative professionals from different walks of life from housewives to retired professionals to pursue and monetize their creative works. TBS published an excellent feature on Tukitaki last week, check it out here. 

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The Internet has a dichotomy: it enables both aggregation and the niche. As a result, you see companies like Amazon, where you can find everything, as well as companies like Tukitaki, where people of certain taste and need come together to build a community and a business. 

As we have seen exceedingly powerful aggregators on the internet, we have also seen that people are building exceedingly successful niche businesses too. On the internet finding your tribes is easy. From internet and entrepreneurship

In 2008, Wired magazine’s founding editor Kevin Kelly published what is now a widely referenced article on the power of the internet and niche titled 1,000 true fans where Kelly explained “To be a successful creator you don’t need millions. You don’t need millions of dollars or millions of customers, millions of clients, or millions of fans. To make a living as a craftsperson, photographer, musician, designer, author, animator, app maker, entrepreneur, or inventor you need only thousands of true fans.” 

Kelly showed that the internet allows creators to build direct relationships with their users and that in order to build a viable operation one does not need a million users but a thousand who would be willing to pay for the products and services of the creators. 

A16Z’s Li Jin goes further. In a recent article, she suggests that 100 true fans should be enough to begin your journey as an independent creator in the age of the internet. 

The Internet not only allows niche, it empowers small groups. The internet is good at empowering niches because it can better enable discovery. This is yet another example of how the internet is increasingly powering individuals to pursue their individual creativity and make a living out of it. 

Take, for instance, on Substack there are successful newsletters on running marathons, on China, and on many other niches and small topics that do not interest a large audience but still these newsletters attract a sizable audience because on the internet people can easily find their tribes.”

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The advantage of serving a niche in the long run is that you can go deep serving the same niche. In the case of Tukitaki, it is the creative entrepreneurs community and access to market. There might be many other challenges that these entrepreneurs face that a company like Tukitaki might help to address. The challenge for any niche player, however, comes from the temptation of pursuing growth outside of that same niche. Thus finding a balance between maintaining one’s integrity and growth is a challenge these companies find themselves in as they grow. 

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