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Munimul Islam on what worked for Misfit Technologies in the early days

Munimul Islam is the CEO and co-founder of Misfit Technologies Limited. Founded in 2017, Misfit provides tech solutions to companies across industries in the Asia Pacific region. Over the last few years, the company has experienced excellent growth in a number of markets and has become a leading provider of tech solutions to a long list of companies across industries including telecom, FMCGs, e-commerce, travel, and B2C. 

In an interview with Future Startup published in 2021, Munimul shared some of the strategies that worked for Misfit Technologies and helped it find success in the early days. 

On finding the right partners 

The first right thing I would say is that we chose the right partners. Jamil, Fahad, Shuvo, and I understand each other well. We got along very well with the investors who came on board. You need an operation or management team that works well together. For us, it worked brilliantly.

Four of us come with complementary skills. Fahad is a thinker and very good with strategy. Shuvo is superb at execution. Jamil is a brilliant operation guy. And I had the connections. This combination has helped us.

This is critical for every business. If your founding team is not in sync, it is a problem. We know stories of companies that simply failed because of founder issues. It has been a blessing for us that the four of us never had an issue. Of course, we have a lot of debates, and arguments but these are all constructive.

We know our roles. We have separated our businesses but we are informed about what's going on in which company. We talk regularly. I think this is the most important thing, getting the right team. Then comes finding the right people, putting together the structure, and many other small things.

On go-to-market strategy 

We also took a different go-to-market strategy in those early days. We decided that we would become a big player in at least one of the markets in South Asia or South East Asia. It was a challenging ambition. And we did not target Bangladesh in those days. Instead, we decided to go to markets where strategically we could win. Markets like Myanmar or Cambodia or Nepal, etc where there are demands.

Many people decide to go to America or Europe because those markets have more money. While American and European markets have money, competition is also steeper in those markets.

The different strategies we took going to these developing countries where there is a digital boom happening helped us to find a ready market.

Many big tech companies you see today are going to these markets such as Indonesia and Vietnam, etc because digital growth is happening in these markets.

I don't see a lot of Bangladeshi companies in these markets. These markets are dominated by Indian players. We made a strategic decision early on that we would play around in these markets which worked for us quite well.

We went as a Bangladeshi company and delivered quality at par with the market. When we started we were a little bit less expensive than other options in the market. The strategy worked and we received excellent responses. Now we quote quite high. We passed the phase where we had to offer price benefits to customers to compete.

Having said that, it has not been any easier for us to build businesses in these markets. These markets are unique. You have to understand the local dynamics to operate and succeed in these markets. If I did not come to Myanmar before starting the business, I would have never been able to offer relevant solutions. You have to go to these markets, research, and build solutions. Also, we were lucky that we had a network in these markets.

On knowing your market 

Finally, in every market we operate, we go as a local company. When I attend an RFP in Myanmar, I do it as a local company. I don't propose as a Singaporean or foreign business. We take a local approach in every market we operate which also helps. We have local people in every market on the business end of things. It has helped us. Understanding the market is important. We have quite a multi-cultural team which helps with learning and healthy competition for growth.

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