Being an entrepreneur is all about managing the human resources and categorising time slots and executing the actions according to the plan, this is what Emon Chowdhury thinks. Being a DJ for more than a decade, he is running a successful event management company as well but now he has started an e-commerce platform offering all sorts of imported food items. During an interview with Nahid Riyasad, Emon shares his journey
FOR the last twelve years, Emon Chowdhury has cemented his spot as a front-line DJ in Bangladesh. However, the COVID-19 situation has seriously hampered his passion and profession as Bangladesh adopted different safety measures including less social gatherings limiting the number of programmes.
In the meantime, a lot of his friends, who used to consume imported foods, could not get their hands on the desired product. So he started to source imported food items for his friends during the lockdown. Then he realised this could be a huge chance to start a business.
‘I have been in the event management sector for the last three years and the last year I did particularly well due to some events in the most exclusive venues in Dhaka and profits from these events gave me the initial capital,’ Emon told the New Age Youth during a conversation.
‘My cousin H M Maruf is in the information technology sector; during a night-long conversation, we planned the entire business and he is handling the IT part of our e-commerce platform,’ he added.
Graduated in human resource management from the University of Derby, Emon also has a higher national diploma and post-graduation diploma besides completion of Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) second part. Currently, he is a post-graduation student at City University, Malaysia.
The conversation with Maruf was on May 31 and Emon bought the domain and created the logo of the company of June 1. He selected Malaysia as his sourcing point because of reasons like top quality products at affordable prices, logistical ease and his connections in the country. Another major reason was taxation, as importing the same product from Europe would cost more in taxes and more shipping time and charges. These are some of the reasons for hiring a second warehouse in the south-east Asian country.
‘After we completed the groundwork, we had to apply for all the necessary papers. As I had a lawyer to take care of the paper works, the process was smooth but the most challenging part was collecting the e-Commerce Association of Bangladesh for which I had to wait a month and a half. We also have the membership of Bangladesh Grocery Business Association under the chamber of commerce’ he said.
New Age Youth asked him about how these memberships can help grow a business and Emon answered, ‘E-commerce is a booming sector in Bangladesh and thousands of people are trying to make a business here, as a result, credibility is a serious concern for the buyers. When a customer sees that a certain vendor is a member with these top-level organisations, it certifies that this vendor is verified as the government is encouraging e-commerce platforms to connect with e-CAB.’
Emon has already bought another domain, ENB.Asia to expand his business in other countries by the next year. Malaysia will be its first outside vendor and has plans to sell dealerships in Sri Lanka and Nepal eventually.
‘For markets outside Bangladesh, I have very different and specific plans. Malaysia has quite a large Bangladeshi population and Bangladeshi products are at high demands. I plan to bring Bangladesh leather products in those markets. Made in Bangladesh will be the highlight of those products,’ he said.
At the initial stage, a lot of products have to be bought from importers as ENM.BD did not have any import licenses. The company has now their importing license and can bring products at their terms and price.
Even though the initial capital was created from Emon’s previous earnings, there are still some struggles and shortcomings. ‘As we are in the start-up stage, I have to multitask on a different level. On busy days, I have to clean the office, collect products and deliver them myself. This is hard work but the process is enjoyable,’ he said.
New Age Youth asked about the kind of response they are getting. ‘As people start a business first and then response comes, however, in my case, I saw the demands and started the business. So the response is quite good at this moment,’ Emon said.
Nahid Riyasad is a member of the New Age Youth team.
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