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FS Weekly 58: This is the best time to build, lessons on dealing with hardships, new founder interview, and more

Entrepreneurship, Technology, and Society | 26 February 2023 | No. 58

Hello there, Welcome to another edition of FS Weekly. I'm Ruhul. I convene Future Startup Weekly to help you understand entrepreneurship and the technology landscape in Bangladesh and beyond.

This edition features:

  • 1 founder interview 
  • 04 Analysis and essays  
  • 01 company deep dive
  • 01 New enterprise
  • 01 Opening announcement
  • 03 Recommended readings

Future Startup Interview

Dumebi Egbuna Chezie
Dumebi Egbuna Chezie

Founder at Work: Dumebi Egbuna on building Chezie, all things employee resource groups (ERGs), and the founder’s journey 

Dumebi Egbuna is the Co-founder and CMO of Chezie, an East Coast-based startup that provides an all-in-one solution for building, tracking, and managing employee resource groups (ERGs). Before starting Chezie, Dumebi worked at IBM within their sales organization where she was responsible for driving the company’s strategic initiatives for data and AI brand. Read.

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 FS Analyses and Essays

1. 6 takeaways from the layoffs and spending cut hitting Dhaka’s startup scene right now 

There has been some news about the layoffs happening in Dhaka’s tech startup scene. Delivery Hero-owned multinational food delivery company Foodpanda announced a fresh layoff of 20+ people. The company has already been going through cost-cutting amid a slowing down of demands and rising costs. Previously, Alibaba owned Daraz, and its sister concern HungryNaki slashed jobs. Grocery delivery leader Chaldal closed its operation in at least three locations outside Dhaka that it launched early last year. Sheba laid off a significant percentage of its people last year. Read. 

2. This is as good a time as any to start a company

The challenges of starting something in a time of crisis are obvious. For instance, the overall funding activities have seen a huge decline over the two years. In 2009, early-stage venture capital invested in the U.S. saw a $5 billion YoY drop, a 39% decline from 2008. Read. 

3. How affiliate marketing can grow your startup 

Affiliate marketing refers to hiring people to promote your brand and rewarding them with a fixed salary per post or on a commission basis. While often used in tandem with other marketing strategies, businesses can't turn a blind eye to its effectiveness. Affiliate marketing is a popular strategy because it delivers results, quantified through increased traffic and sales, as a few factors. Read. 

5. AHM Modasser Billah on learning new things, self-improvement, and dealing with hardships  

Learning new things and self-improvement are important aspects of personal and professional development. Engaging in continuous learning helps individuals acquire new skills and knowledge, broaden their perspectives, and stay current in their fields. Additionally, self-improvement can lead to increased confidence and better satisfaction in everything. Read.

 Company deep dive: Brain Station 23

Founded in 2006, Brain Station 23 is one of the most successful software companies in Bangladesh. The company has seen excellent growth over the years. Read our collection on Brain Station 23  here. 

Inspiring story

Enabling grassroots women: The inspiring journey of Zarrin Tasnim

Zarrin's mission started with a simple yet powerful vision: to preserve the local heritage of Nakshi Katha while providing financial stability to women in rural areas who were struggling to make ends meet. Undaunted by the challenges ahead, she began her journey with a handful of women and a steadfast determination to succeed. Read. 

Launch event

Khaas Food opens new outlet in Banasree, aims to make safe food accessible to more people

Khaas Food, the Dhaka-based fast-growing omnichannel safe food company, opened its 16th retail outlet on Tuesday in the capital’s Banasree area. The new outlet, located at Banasree Block E, Road 4, House 43, will allow Khaas Food customers from Banasree and adjacent areas conveniently shop for Khaas Food products. Read. 

 Outside FS Ideas

  1. Remaining Ambitious. Read
  2. A Retreat, a Walk, SMS Publishing, Advice to a Young Me. Read.
  3. Number One in Formula One. Read
Mohammad Ruhul Kader is a Dhaka-based entrepreneur and writer. He founded Future Startup, a digital publication covering the startup and technology scene in Dhaka with an ambition to transform Bangladesh through entrepreneurship and innovation. He writes about internet business, strategy, technology, and society. He is the author of Rethinking Failure. His writings have been published in almost all major national dailies in Bangladesh including DT, FE, etc. Prior to FS, he worked for a local conglomerate where he helped start a social enterprise. Ruhul is a 2022 winner of Emergent Ventures, a fellowship and grant program from the Mercatus Center at George Mason University. He can be reached at [email protected]

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