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How TechCare Was Created

TechCare is a Bangladeshi origin and Edmonton, Canada-based UX and UI-focused Software Development Company. From a small bootstrapped project, started by two computer science undergrad students of Rajshahi University of Engineering and Technology (RUET), TechCare today has a fast-growing business, serving hundreds of clients across markets. 

In an interview with Future Startup’s Ruhul Kader published in July 2021, TechCare co-founder Tofael Hossain shared the origin story of TechCare and how the company came into being as a detour. Tofael and his co-founder Solehin originally started a computer hardware servicing company that did not work. The failure eventually led to TechCare, which they started as a small passion project. The rest is a fascinating story of entrepreneurial grit and serendipity. 

This is an excerpt from our interview with Tofael, you may read the full interview here

On entrepreneurship and the origin of TechCare

In 2014, I graduated from Rajshahi University of Engineering and Technology (RUET) with a B.Sc degree in CSE. This was my first time outside of Mymensingh, where I was born and raised. Solehin Islam, my business partner at TechCare, was my first RUET acquaintance. The relationship has evolved and changed both of our lives. Solehin and I have always had an entrepreneurial spirit. We have always wanted to do something unique.

Back in 2012, while we were in our 2nd year, it came to our attention that computer repair was challenging in Rajshahi. There were only a handful of stores in New Market run by Diploma engineers or those who learned by doing. It was challenging for computer owners to carry their computers to shops for repair.

By leveraging our knowledge of hardware and software, we decided to solve this pain point of customers and incorporated this service into a business model. In a nutshell, this is how TechCare came into existence. Room 121 of Zia Hall, RUET became our office. We began delivering on-demand computer repair services in people's homes with the help of our friends. We received a great response since consumers were getting professional engineers to help them with their computer issues.

Things were going well. The business was generating good revenue. We could see that the market offers an opportunity to build a large business. But we could also see that scaling the business would require a big investment. Because it was essentially a hardware firm, it proved extremely difficult to operate on a shoestring budget. As students, we knew we couldn't manage that kind of financing.

So, in 2013, we shifted our focus to software and registered TechCare as a software company. Solehin, my business partner, secured some projects for us with the help of his network. After working for a while, we realized that the success or failure of a tech product or service depends a lot on the user experience and how easily a user can embrace it. That is when we began our extensive research and moved our focus to UX and UI.

We were lucky to have some substantial projects around this time. We worked on several projects with the OnnoRokom Group around this time. We developed the mobile app for Prohori, a vehicle tracking system, as well as Rokomari's internal mobile app, which kept track of salespeople's calls.

We were stationed in Rajshahi until 2014. After our graduation, we relocated to Dhaka in 2015 and rented office space. We were handed a substantial project to design the platform for Onnorokom Pathshala. We received some overseas clients the same year.

There were plenty of software development companies in Bangladesh when we began TechCare, but none were focusing on user experience or UX. Design firms were also present, with a focus on graphics and web design. People were still unable to grasp the significance of user experience, thus they focused more on technology factors. We recognized this market gap and capitalized on it to the best of our ability. The UX-centric approach has had a significant impact on our clients' businesses, proving our hypothesis: user experience is the most conducive to business success.

On building the initial operation and finding the early growth

During our first and second years, we were doing tuition just like any other university student. Almost everyone had a PC at home and wanted to avoid the headache of repairs. We inquired if they wanted their repair services done at their home, and everyone responded in the affirmative.

We relied on word of mouth and published fliers at strategic locations throughout Rajshahi to market our service. This required a significant amount of manpower as well as logistics. We consulted several experienced members of our network, who recommended we seek funding once we had reached a particular level of maturity. Shohag bhai, the Chairman of Onnorokom Group, has been one of our biggest supporters and mentors.

We transitioned to the software side since it wasn’t as capital-intensive as the hardware business. We collaborated with our CSE department friends who were skilled at programming and software development. Most of these collaborations were project-based. The number of team members varied depending on the size of the project.

With the proceeds from our software business, we shifted to Dhaka in 2015 with an ambition to launch our hardware business here. We wanted to operate on a warehouse model similar to Chaldal, with our IT hubs strategically located around Dhaka. However, we experienced several challenges. The operations required significant funds and resources. We realized that it would be wise to postpone the on-demand technical service business and focus on our software business. So we continued working in the arena of software development.

As the number of projects grew, we decided to form a team. In 2015, we hired three new employees, which grew to four in 2016. We were still in our growth phase at the time, working on mid-level projects. Many times, we were unable to provide the desired levels of user experience. We learned as we went along.

This is an excerpt from our interview with Tofael, you may read the full interview here

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