Shamdanee Tabriz, a young entrepreneur’s journey

When most business students aspire to become a top executive of a multinational company, Shamdanee Tabriz took the risk and become a successful entrepreneur at a very young age. Maureen Nawer writes about his journey  

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We all dream. But how many of us actually have the guts to pursue the dream we have? Because we are slaves to the society, and care more about what ‘people will say’ we tend to just go with the flow instead of doing something out of the box. So many students are studying Business Administration. These students are taught about ‘entrepreneurship’ but never encouraged to do that. They study BBA with the dream of working in a Multi-national company, becoming a corporate person instead of dreaming of becoming a business tycoon, doing something for their own country. The person I will be talking about today decided to chase his dreams instead of becoming a slave in an MNC.

Shamdanee Tabriz has always thought of becoming an entrepreneur and for that he did not wait till his undergrad was done. He did his research on the market of Bangladesh for four months to find out what this country needed and has taken his steps accordingly when he was a third year BBA student at BRAC University. After a survey with about 200 people via google forms, he knew what his start-up should be. He was done with his required courses and was due for an internship when this little brainchild of his was only a year old. Instead of giving up, like most people would, Shamdanee went up to his internship advisor and requested for an exception. He could not think of leaving his little startup for working for someone else for 3 months. A faculty then seemed to have understood what he meant and has helped him in every way possible. Finally, BRAC University has granted an exception for him. Instead of internship report, he was allowed to have an entrepreneurship report. After all, that is what BBA is all about.

We all do a little online shopping these days, don’t we? Facebook is a part of our daily life, and so are the online shops. With the e-commerce booming in this small country of ours, we have entrepreneurs all over the country providing goods and services that is using their facebook pages and groups as the bridge to the customers. These online shops need someone to take their products to the customers and that is where Shamdanee’s service comes in. Rapido Deliveries takes the product from the sellers and delivers these to the customers for a small amount of money as their fee.

On April 4, 2015, Rapido was officially launched. Doing things on your own is never an easy task, so Shamdanee took a school friend as his partner. Why this person out of so many, because he was looking for someone who has at least tried something and this guy has once failed his startup. They started their journey in this business without any trade license or any idea about the industry and with two cycles. They delivered the products to the customers by themselves between classes riding cycles. Since they did not take any money from home for their startup, it took some time for the revenues to build but it did, and they hired an employee. When three people together could continue with this little ‘business,’ Shamdanee thought it was time for them to focus on the administration and management. With that intention, they started working on building up a proper management for Rapido. After the fourth month, it was only employees doing the deliveries, and the managers got busy with arranging the business. Until this point, their main focus was just delivering the parcel somehow, but now they thought of scheduling things accordingly. And, they successfully did. Rapido now has its own office and everything is done by the ticktocks of the grandfather on the wall with particular employees doing their job in their own assigned areas.

Talking about what the future plan is, Shamdanee mentioned his plan of buying smart phones for all his employees so that the tasks can be assigned through the app, and it is more convenient for the customers to track their shipment, which the traditional courier is not even bothered about. It is like a version of Amazon in our country. He is still not very happy about the beta version of the app so he refused to talk about it. He will reveal it once he is satisfied with how he wants it to be.

I asked about the achievements and milestones of Rapido so far and what Shamdanee said is that, he considers the recognition as the first milestone. The ICT Division of Bangladesh held a competition to connect startups for the first time. ICT Division was concerned about creating job opportunities in the market through entrepreneurship and startups. Four hundred startups from all over the country took part in it, where top 25 were chosen after 7 months of training and assessment.  Rapido was one of those top 25 teams. This was one of their achievements. They also received funding from the government, straight from the prime minister’s office under the banner of Innovation Funding for the Most Innovating Startup. They also won the CED project of BRAC, which is the Centre for Entrepreneur Development, which comes from the World Bank Group. They got that too. However, Shamdanee does not really consider these as achievements in true sense. For Shamdanee, achievement is the faith the e-commerce market put in him and Rapido. The relationship he has with his customers is the most valuable to him in this field.

Rapido has a rating of 4.9 on its facebook page right now with its closest competitor at 4.3 out of 5. With that being said, let’s wait for the upcoming food delivery service Rapido is coming up with to make our lives even easier. Once again, they are determined to top the ones dominating the market right now.

 

Maureen Nawer is a student of BRAC University.

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