Dengue in Bangladesh

The IEDCR has records of the number of cases reported since 2014.

16,223 Reported cases in July 2019.

Dengue Reporting from Different Districts in 2019

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Dengue has spread to all of Bangladesh’s country’s 64 districts, but Directorate of General Health Services (DGHS) records show more than 86 percent of cases in the country are concentrated in the capital.

Who has been infected?

Both men and women in the age range of 15 to 35 years old. More women than men are dengue patients. View this chart on Tableau.

How are these cases distributed across Dhaka?

There are a greater number of cases reported in Moghbazar, Rampura, Jatrabari , Malibag  than other areas in Dhaka city.

The Aedes aegypti mosquito is the primary vector of dengue. The virus is transmitted to humans through the bites of infected female mosquitoes. The dengue mosquito can breed in just a teaspoon of standing or stagnant water. The Aedes aegypti mosquito lives in urban habitats and breeds mostly in man-made containers. Common breeding areas are discarded tires, barrels, plastic drums and jerry cans. Unlike other mosquitoes Ae. aegypti is a day-time feeder; its peak biting periods are early in the morning and in the evening before dusk.

“Cities like Dhaka, where development is taking place in an unplanned manner, the grounds are ripe for mosquitoes to breed and procreate.”

Bangladeshi urban planner Dr Sarwar Jahan told Al Jazeera.

Cases reported earlier in the year, more recorded cases in 2009 than any year in the last 10 years

Reported cases of Dengue over the years. View chart on Tableau.

Dengue reporting related deaths over the years in Bangladesh. View chart on Tableau.

The incidence of dengue has grown dramatically around the world in recent decades. (WHO, https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/dengue-and-severe-dengue). This is the case for Bangladesh as well.

Usually, the first cases of dengue are reported in late May or June and go away by late August or early September. However, this year, the number of reported cases begin in January and drastically increased in 2019.

Who is the data source?

These data are sourced from the Institute of Epidemiology Disease Control and Research

The present Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research (IEDCR) were established in 1976. The institute conducts research on epidemiological and communicable diseases and runs disease control programs mainly in the form of parasitic and entomological containment of vector-borne diseases through the application of epidemiological principles. For example, in recent years, they have conducted tuberculosis prevalence survey, a national serosurvey of dengue exposure in Bangladesh and estimated the incidence of maternal deaths from HEV in Bangladesh. Other activities include surveillance, outbreak investigation and training and workshops on related issues.

PDF versions of these reports are also available for download from this URL (https://www.iedcr.gov.bd/index.php/dengue/dengue-current-situation).

HungryNaki goes green, introduces eco-friendly, electric delivery vehicles

Cover photo courtesy: The Daily Star

The first on-demand online food delivery company of Bangladesh ‘HungryNaki’ is completely changing its delivery fleet to clean, eco-friendly electric vehicles to deliver food to its customers.

By the end of 2019, HungryNaki will change 200+ of its motorcycles to electric bicycles and install solar charging stations at its local hub offices. It will discontinue all petrol-driven motorcycles in order to eliminate the company’s carbon footprint. By 2020, they will deploy an additional 500 such vehicles to support the growing demand for food deliveries. Since its inception in 2013, HungryNaki has been serving 500,000+ customers across Dhaka, Chittagong, Sylhet, Cox’s Bazar, and Narayanganj through its network of over 4000 restaurants in these cities.

Read more: Country’s first bicycle-sharing service, JoBike, launches in Dhaka

Towards a zero-carbon future

The company management has identified that delivery operations such as their’s generate a significant amount of carbon emissions from motorcycles as the company grows every year. These observations lead to the planning for achieving zero carbon emissions from their operations, and this announcement is the first step towards that goal. And they are the first company among all the food delivery companies in Bangladesh to take this kind of initiative.

“The food delivery market in the country is growing rapidly, and HungryNaki is growing bigger year to year, so if we do not take proper measures now, then our carbon emissions will not go down further, rather it will increase in the future. Moreover, we are not only going to become more energy-efficient and environmentally friendly, but we have been able to make significant progress in ensuring faster delivery time, better food quality and increased comfort for our delivery agents.”

Said Ibrahim Bin Mohiuddin, the Deputy CEO of HungryNaki

Local partners

In partnership with local electric vehicle manufacturer Advanced Dynamics, they have tested their electric bicycles on several routes in different cities of Bangladesh. They have already launched these electric bicycles in a couple of delivery zones inside Dhaka.

Unboxing Asus Vivobook X512

The Asus Vivobook X512 is what you get when you combine style with performance. This stylish lightweight laptop houses a dedicated Nvidia GeForce MX250 graphics processor, making it an ideal machine for both work and play. Watch to know about more of its features.

Samsung Galaxy Note 10+ arrives in Bangladesh

Pre-order for the much-coveted device begins from August 08, 2019

Samsung Mobile Bangladesh has announced that the pre-order of its latest flagship device Galaxy Note 10+ has started from August 8 2019, in the Bangladesh market. 

Specifications

The Galaxy Note 10+ comes with the most powerful 7 nm Exynos 9825 processor, 12GB of LPDDR4X RAM, 256GB of ROM, 4300 mAh battery which gets fully charged within an hour, Quad rear cameras and much other industry-leading specifications, the Galaxy Note 10+ truly offers the new next level of power with an improved S pen.

All this power & creativity will be showcased on the glorious 6.8” WQHD+ Dynamic Amoled near bezel-less display. The rear quad cameras offer unparallel video stabilization, live focus on video, professional-grade video editing in the phone among other unique features.  

Available in new, bold colours, Aura Black and Aura Glow, Galaxy Note 10+ will help its owner stand out from the crowd.

Exclusive offers

During the limited-time pre-order period Note 10+ will be available at the price of BDT 1,34,500, after a discount of BDT 10,000 from the regular price. The City Bank’s AMEX credit card users can avail another additional cashback of BDT. 5,000 when a purchase is made through EMI (0% interest, up to 18 months).

Also, for an exchange offer, up to BDT 20,000 additional cash back is offered on top of the determined exchange value (applicable for selected models of smartphones only from particular brands). Offer also includes up to BDT 100,000 discount voucher for selected Samsung Real 4K UHD Smart TV. Upon purchase of 2nd year warranty, one-time screen replacement (Never mind offer) is free.

Grameenphone subscribers can avail free 20 GB Internet upon tagging and get upgraded to Platinum Plus Star in GP Star program. The pre-order period is till August 31st.     

To pre-order visit: www.preordernote10.com

ShareTrip, Bangladesh’s first travel app that lets you play and travel

The most tedious part of any trip is planning it. There are a hundred services nowadays that compartmentalize the trip planning procedure. And we might now have the most efficient of them all. Because it’s on an app. And everyone knows apps are very productive and efficient.

TBBD becomes ShareTrip

ShareTrip is Bangladesh’s first travel management app. It was formerly Bangladesh’s first OTA (Online Travel Agency) known as Travel Booking Bangladesh. It rebranded as ShareTrip and recently they have launched an app as a window to their services. Through this app, you can plan, pick and manage every aspect of your trip. Be it booking a flight, picking from holiday deals, booking hotels, transfers, and tours. With ShareTrip, you can do it all. There are countless options for you to choose hotels, flights and holiday packages across the globe.

Read more: Travel Booking BD – fresh approach to becoming an award-winning travel agency

Gamification

In addition, there are two features that you should know about. ShareTrip has introduced an in-app currency-esque aspect called Trip Coins. These can be used to save money by getting discounts on future trips. The primary way of winning these coins is a game called Spin to Win.

This game can be played to earn coins, win free air tickets or entire trips daily.

In addition, Trip coins can be redeemed by simply using the app to book trips as well. They are also available on sharing your trip through social media and referring the app to friends and family.

ShareTrip’s tagline is “Travel-Save-Repeat”. And they aim to keep you engaged in the said manner through the app. We must say we’re pretty excited!

Yoda to start campus activation at BUP on August 4th and 5th

Yoda, the first and largest digital marketplace for verified educators in Bangladesh, is going to start its campus activation program at Bangladesh University of Professionals on August 4th and 5th.

Prior to the activation, Yoda and BUP’s Development Leader’s Club signed an agreement to hold the activation from August 4th at 10.00 AM to August 5th till 5.30 PM where BUP students can register themselves as an educator.

During the signing were present Yoda’s Founder & CEO Mohammed Salman & Head of Operations Mohiuddin Kazi Showron and on behalf of the BUP Developments Leaders Club F.H. Yasin Shafi, Moderator, BUP Development Leaders’ Club & Lecturer, Department of Development Studies, Bangladesh University of Professionals (BUP) and Md. Mamun-Or-Roshid, Assistant Joint Secretary, BUP Development Leaders’ Club. & Student, Department of Development Studies, BUP.

Under the agreement, Yoda will offer internship and part-time jobs to prospective students. Moreover, students signing up for Yoda can easily verify themselves via the BUP Development Leader’s Club.

Foods that help increase platelet count

Platelets are the smallest of our blood cells, seen only under a microscope, circulate within our blood and bind together at the site of a damaged blood vessel. On receiving the signal from damaged sites, the platelets rush to the site, bind together and clamp the damaged vessel, thereby controlling the damage. You can call them, “On-site repairing engineers”. So, maintaining a normal count of these tiny blood cells is very important.

A normal platelet count ranges from 150,000 to 450,000 platelets per microliter of blood.

However, for certain conditions and diseases, such as dengue, something in the blood prevents the formation of platelets. This can be understood from a low platelet count from a routine blood test called a complete blood count (CBC). Once this happens, consulting a doctor and getting further tested is the first step. Once the patient is diagnosed with what is causing the low platelet count, there are certain foods that aid recovery:

Papayas

Papaya can be consumed in both solid and juice form and it helpe elevate platelet counts.

Lemon & Orange Juice

Eat other Vitamin C rich foods to promote antibodies. It is vital to boost immunity. Make a smoothie with a combination of these fruits, add in honey, turmeric, ginger which are advisable for regular consumption.

Amla

This fruit is good to add to the diet. It is another source of vitamins and readily available in summer seasons.

Pomegranate juice

This fruit is also packed with essential nutrients and counters the fatigue that comes with a low platelet count.

Leafy vegetables

Vegetables like spinach are rich in vitamins, iron, and omega-3 fatty acids. These nutrients help in boosting the immune system and a better immune system helps recover faster. However, the vegetables should not be consumed in an oily or spicy manner. Preferred method of preparations is to boil it sufficiently, absolutely avoiding any raw vegetables.

This is a recommended diet to aid recovery, it is not meant as an alternative to medicine and formal healthcare. Do not self diagnose.

Low platelet count is a common symptom of a strain of dengue.

To read how to prevent dengue in the first place: https://m.hifipublic.com/en/2019/07/26/preventing-dengue-steps-that-you-must-take/

Preventing dengue: Steps that you must take

The dengue situation in the country has reached an epidemic level at this point. Hospitals are getting filled up fast by the affected and many are dying due to lack or delay of treatment.

The situation is only made worse by the unique type of dengue that is being observed this year. The symptoms are not being visible early on, leaving many unsuspicious of their dengue fever.

Here are 6 steps that you can take to make sure you stay safe from the epidemic disease:

  1. If you have water clogging around the room or your house, clear them at least every three days
  2. Do not let water accumulate anywhere, including flower pots, containers, used up cans and other similar objects
  3. Use a mosquito net while sleeping, whether it is night or day. Aedes mosquitos are known for flying around during daytime as much as the night
  4. If possible, consider wearing light coloured full-sleeved tops and pants at all times
  5. Use mosquito repellants on the hands, legs and uncovered area of the face whenever possible
  6. Shut the windows, doors and nets during dawn and dusk

Dengue is deadly, but it is preventable and treatable. If you are caught off guard with a fever, get yourself checked as early as possible. Don’t wait for the symptoms to show up. Stay safe and spread awareness.

Galaxy A80: World’s First rotating triple camera phone

Samsung has revitalized Galaxy A series for the generation that prefers to stay ‘Live’ all the time. Samsung Mobile Bangladesh has launched its first rotating triple camera, Galaxy A80 on July 25, 2019.

The Galaxy A80 uses a rotating camera setup, powered by a motorized mechanism which allows people to take selfies with the rear camera. The phone features a triple camera with 48MP as the primary lens, an 8MP ultra-wide sensor for a wider view than what the human eye can see, and a 3D depth sensor for accurate bokeh effect as well as AR-based measurement applications.

Specifications

This powerhouse performer packs a Qualcomm Snapdragon 730 Processor along with 8 GM of RAM and 128 GB of ROM.

The Galaxy A80 also features Samsung’s first new Infinity Display, an expansive, edge-to-edge, 6.7-inch FHD+ Super AMOLED screen. This new display allows people to immerse themselves in a cinematic multimedia experience. The phone also packs in a 3,700mAh battery, backed by an ‘intelligent’ algorithm that will identify the user’s usage patterns to reduce any wastage of power and will offer the most engaging performance.

The Galaxy A80 is available in three colours – Ghost White, Phantom Black, and Angel Gold.

Special offers and promotions

To heighten the excitement of the customers, Samsung will be running a launch promotional campaign from 25th July to August 31, 2019, when customers will be able to purchase the phone at a discounted price – BDT 74,490, instead of BDT 77,490.

During the campaign, customers will also receive a discount voucher of up to BDT 60,000, which can be used when buying selected Samsung refrigerators.

Moreover, if the customers purchase Galaxy A80 with a credit card of either BRAC Bank or LankaBangla Finance, they will enjoy 0% interest EMI up to 12 months. BRAC Bank account holders will get an option of choosing the EMI option or receiving a cashback of BDT 1,000. Additionally, there is also 0% interest in EMI for 6 months for other selected leading banks. Furthermore, customers will enjoy 50% off on the ‘Never Mind’ offer upon purchasing the 2nd year extended warranty. And finally, in this limited time offer, customers will also get a premium back cover in the box.

With Handymama, the Uber of Handymen, revolutionizing household services

If one was to name 10 most prominent start-ups in the country in the recent years, Handymama would undoubtedly hold one of the top positions. With its on-demand cleaning, repair and pack and shift services, Handymama has quickly and conveniently become a trustworthy name in the industry of household services.

Recently, HiFi Public met with its CEO Shah Paran and CSO Rezaur R. Robin over a cup of coffee discussing the story of Handymama, what makes them unique, their ambitious plan to go global in the future and the ups and downs in the start-up scenario in Bangladesh.

HiFi: To start with, could you tell us a bit about Handymama?

Shah Paran (CEO): To get the idea behind Handymama, Handymama is basically an on-demand platform for maintenance and handyman services. It’s like Uber for handyman services. Like Uber, Handymama connects users or customers with verified service professionals like painters, carpenters, plumbers, etc. Basically handymen. We launched in April 2015, so this is our third year in the industry. Our services are available all over Dhaka and so far, we have over 1200 verified service professionals on our platform who work actively and at the same time we have had over 30,000 users in thee 3 years. Besides from that, over 1500 business have also taken services form us, using our platform, that is. This is where most people make a mistake however. They mistake Handymama itself for a service provider. But we are only a platform where we connect the customers with the professionals and ensure fair pricing, safety and security and quality maintenance of course. This is what Handymama is.

HF: So, what’s your USP (Unique Selling Proposition)?

SP: Our USP, firstly, the convenience, of course. Then there’s a matter of safety and security. It’s a one stop solution, you get everything in one place. You don’t need to have separate contacts of plumbers, repairmen etc. You can get everything on this platform and it is easily accessible any time. So, the convenience and easy accessibility is our USP, basically.

HF: How do you source your partners?

SP: A very common question and an important one. You see, the blue-collar people in are Bangladesh are mostly uneducated and not even institutionally trained enough. What they do is learn by practice, or by non-institutionalised mentorship. They don’t have a certification, they don’t follow any particular standard. So, working with them gets quite difficult actually. Our supply development team are the key people here. We have a few steps to source them. Initially our team goes to them in person, they talk to them, make them understand what Handymama is and how it works, how working on this platform is beneficial to them etc. Some of them understand and agree, some of them do not. Those who agree go through several screening processes and trainings. We supply them with standard tools and instructions. There are a few steps like these and after completing them, we make them our service partners.

Handymama, the story of a startup revolutionizing household services in Bangladesh

HF: Why do you think it’s profitable for them to partner up with Handymama?

SP: Let me give you an example, we have finished some B2B projects in mid-2017 where more than 3000 painters have worked whose income has grown by 47% by working with us. And continuously they’re getting jobs! And this is what basically happens when they partner up with us. Maybe in a particular area there are a few workers, and people know them because they’ve worked in that area for a long time. But what about those who have started out recently? They have no marketing or exposure. Handymama gives them a platform. They get more call for works now, and they’re getting works on a regular basis. We do not only fish out work for them, we also train them in skills like how to use an app, how to follow basic safety measures, instruct them on effective communication. These skills are as important as the work themselves!

What’s the best part you ask, that is when they work on they’re own, and almost in all the cases they are not aware or simply do not care enough about safety measures. So, they are not liable to anyone for any unfortunate accidents. Here in Handymama we bring in insurance for them once we finish training period.

Then there’s the matter of payment. In many jobs on their own, they face haggling customers, and the payment is usually on the basis of a verbal negotiation. Someone might dupe them or pay them less than what they were promised and there’s virtually nothing they can do about it. At Handymama we maintain a payment card for them, Handymama Secure Payment System, as we call it. We give them separate bank accounts, and after every job, the payment is transferred to them securely. So, there’s the convenience of payment of course.

You see, the shared economy is a revolution. If you look at Uber, when Uber arrived in Dhaka, people slowly stopped using rent-a-car services and the rent-a-car drivers migrated to the Uber platform. Consumers found Uber to be cheaper and convenient and rent-a-car drivers started losing jobs and shifted to being Uber drivers and started earning more. The same goes for the household sector. In the future, people will start using platforms like Handymama more, thanks to their convenience and workers will find it more profitable to use platforms like these instead of going solo.

HF: Indeed. So, you’re obviously aware of your competitors. Why shouldn’t I use Sheba.xyz instead of Handymama?

SP: If you talk about competitors, the local service professionals are also our competitors! You may as well ask why one shouldn’t directly go to them instead of using the platform of Handyamama. Anyway, so we don’t think that we are at the competition stage yet. The industry is huge, you know. I think you could still fit 10-15 players in this industry.

Where we differ with Sheba is, you see, Sheba is like a marketplace. It accommodates vendors and lets you choose your services and vendors. The payment, the services, the quality all of these are based on the negotiation between you and the vendor you choose. The decision making is entirely up to you. What Handymama does is that it lets you of the hook, we connect you with the best vendor considering the prices, ratings and services. You do not need to go through the entire decision-making process, the pricing, the negotiation etc. We connect you with the best one in the market. And in terms if quality, we have more control. We can impose the quality and pricing. And not to mention the safety security. These are not up to the vendors when they’re working with us. We control the pricing and quality, minding of course the welfare of both consumers and service providers. So, considering all these and from the user perspective as well, I think Handymama is more convenient and user friendly.

Handymama, the story of a startup revolutionizing household services in Bangladesh 2

HF: Great. So, as the founder of Handymama, could you tell us a bit about your journey? Obviously, there must have been a few bumps you hit on the road.

SP: Of course! I started out in the late 2014s, and at that time, there was nothing like Handymama! There were a few websites, yellow pages where you can get numbers of plumbers and service people. But there was nothing organised! I’ve hit a few bumps when I started.

I was responsible for the entire office setup when I was setting up my first office. This was before Handymama. So, I needed plumbers, electricians, carpenters and I had to go out and walk on the streets and personally get the workers to help me set up my first office. It took an entire month for me to set up my first office. It was then the idea of Handymama occurred to me. When talking about challenges with Handymama, the biggest challenge was reaching out to the blue-collar people at first. Because at that time, there was nothing like Handymama. So, there was a big trust-gap between us and them. There was the matter of security, payment, convincing them to work for us and making them understand how this is better for them. It was very difficult to make them understand the appeal of the idea.

And of course, since we were a new start up back then and the concept was entirely new, we had a hard time getting people on our team. But times are changing and more people are open to the concept of working with a start-up. We’re getting quite a number of CVs these days. It takes time, you know.

Also, starting out as a start-up in Bangladesh was never easy. The ecosystem isn’t quite ready yet. There were a lot of issues, mentorship, investments etc. We didn’t use to get that many users in the beginning. There were of course trust issues and the introduction of a new concept, it’s never easy. We do get a lot of customers now. Repetitive customers even. We’re growing.

Running a legal business gets pretty expensive too! But times are changing now! They surely are.

HF: Can you tell us a bit about your users? What is the target group like?

SP: You see, the product we’re trying to sell is not tangible. We have users from two perspectives, the blue-collar people who use our platform to get to customers and the customers who pay them to get the services using our platform. And the customers, they don’t take these services for themselves, they take the services for their households, offices etc. so, technically our users are the households, offices and establishments. People just pay for that. In Dhaka there are about 2.2-2.3 million households and this is a very big, a very opportunistic market for us.

Now if you talk about Target group, it’s mainly the middle affluent class to upper class families in the city.

HF: How to you reach out to customers, who are, say not our generation. Older generation. Typically, they are the household heads in our society, so there must be a certain trust gap here. How are you reaching out to them?

SP: Well, you can’t change these common perspectives over night actually. Obviously, there is a trust gap, it’s a new concept for them. The convenience of technology was a new concept for them a few years back and it’s slowly growing. It’s only obvious that they’ll be reluctant at first but once the reap the benefits of the convenience of this platform, I’m sure they’ll come back for more.

We’re reaching out to them through different outreach programs and campaigns. It’ll take time. It cannot change overnight. We have customers aged from 20 to 60 or more years old. I think that’s a phenomenal feat!

HF: Do you have any strict payment policy, say, to deal with haggling customers? You must face cases like that.

SP: Of course! We do face situations like that actually. Not too often, but we do. In some jobs, people have to pay upfront, you know. There’s the case of buying materials and things like that. But in most cases, generally they have to pay afterwards. And we are working on a secure payment system to ensure that it gets down smoothly.

We have a specified time period of course. You have to pay within 72 hours of availing a service. Anyway, yes, we are working on a secure, specified method to ensure payment for services. It’ll take some time I’m afraid.

HF: Great. So, what are your plans for the future? Short term and long term.

SP: We’ll be expanding our service in a few other cities in the third quarter of this year. And Dhaka is a huge market for us, you know. We want to fully capitalise on it. We want Handymama to be synonymous for household services. May be in 5 to 7 years down the line. You could term this as a long-term plan. And hopefully by 2020, we’re planning to go global and expand in a maybe 3 to 5 countries. We’re working on it.

So, by 2019 hopefully we’ll expand to the major cities and by 2020, we’ll hopefully go global.

It was always our vision to take Handymama to a global stage and make it big enough.

Rezaur Robin (CSO): It was also our vision to work on employment and create at least 20,000 jobs within the next 7 years, specially focusing on women employment. We want service to be productized. We want people to buy services like they buy products.

Also, if we want to talk about impact, you see, people are losing jobs due to automation. Look at the RMG sector. So, the people in these sectors, what happens is that they have a very vertical skill set. They lose jobs if the industry adopts new mechanisms of productions that cuts off their need. We want to empower them with a diversified skill set. We’d like to train them and empower them with jobs, incorporating them into this shared economy. This is one of our core goals actually. To create employment.

HF: Do you think Handymama is leaving an impact?

SP: Definitely! As I’ve already told you, in one project we have employed around 3000 painters and their income has increased 47%. Also, what happens generally is we certify these workers. Since they do not have an academic or institutionalised validation, these certificated work as a validation for them. You get to know how skilled your serviceman is. You don’t have to rely on word of mouth. We even do police verification of these workers in many cases. Specially if they are going to work for our premium customers. And yeah, if we think about the user impact, as a user you don’t have to go around looking for a plumber if you want to get your plumbing fixed, just give us a call and we’ll take care of everything. You’re leading a very smart life that way.

RR: I can give you a breakdown. We have around 578 taskers who are getting works regularly, one in every 3 days period. Their income has increased about 200 times working with us. We have over 300 taskers who are earning an income of more than 1 lakh taka per month by using our platform. This is phenomenal isn’t it?

So, a cleaner who used to work small jobs here and there are now getting continuous jobs almost every day and earning beyond what they would’ve earned if they’d have worked solo. As you already know, we’re training them, providing them with tools, smartphones in many cases. We’re empowering the supply side and we hope that they pass these skills and trainings on others on their own. We’d want to create a chain like this. Create more trained and skilled workers. Transform the service sector.

HF: Can you elaborate on the premium customers that you spoke about? How does one avail the premium services?

RR: Our premium customers are specially the ones who are with us from the very beginning.  Handymama has been always a data driven and feedback driven service and the feedbacks of our early users has helped us a lot. So, we try to reward them with a premium service. Besides that, we have several CIPs and VIPs taking services from us, they get the premium services. These services include police verified workers, more skilled workers, early accesses to new services and the choice of requesting the same handyman for the next job.

SP: We’re planning to get the premium services under a more formal structure called Handymama elite. This is still in the works.

Handymama, the story of a startup revolutionizing household services in Bangladesh 3

HF: Great. Looking forward to it! So, that was a very insightful conversation about Handymama. Now, here’s a question for both of you. What do you think about the start-up ecosystem in Bangladesh? Honest opinion.

SP: I think the ecosystem is a lot more mature than it was in our time. Now with the accelerator programs and such, people are more educated about start ups and more welcoming. This is an indicator in the right direction, I’d say. But I think, as a very mentor-driven person myself, there is still a gap in the mentorship level. People who are experienced, who are expats, who work in HR, in marketing, in operations, they should come forward in helping out the young start-ups, because launching a start-up successfully is not an easy job. You need all the help you can get. We need to work on this. We need to nurture the young start-ups.

RR: I can vouch for that. Handymama had a huge backing from the Founders Institute and we have grown grammatically and the start-ups like us who has grown like these, they have collected money from very good sources and not just money, they have gained valuable mentorship, experience and guidance as well. We think this is important. Those who are entering this ecosystem needs to grow grammatically, taking all the help they can get. You need to seek outlet and knowledge on your own. Luck actuates effort you know. So, reach out for help.

SP: So, that’s it. The ecosystem is growing steadily, we think. And with a little goodwill and effort, this ecosystem will not buzz down anytime soon.

HF: Right. It was great knowing you both. Thank you so much for this very insightful conversation and the lovely cup of coffee. We wish Handymama a great success!