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Bangladeshi start-ups contributing role in economic growth

Magnito Digital is running their operation successfully. is basically doing what a dime a dozen startups are doing in India – maybe even better – in the online shopping sphere. Meanwhile, Bangladeshi music lovers have, an online audio distribution website streaming the best of country music.

These are just a few of the many success stories which are making waves in the Bangladeshi startup scene and disrupting the whole business ecosystem. While the bottom line impact these startups make to the country’s final economic figures is always debatable, one thing is for certain: they are changing the way business is done on the subcontinent.

With 160 million people and 100 million mobile subscribers, Bangladesh is one of the most exciting new places for entrepreneurs to do business and, rightly so, they are taking up the opportunity with full vigor.

Leading property portal Lamudi Bangladesh takes a closer look at how startups are helping change the economic outlook for the country.

● Closing business process loopholes: Take one look around and it is not uncommon to find a gap or problem which can be solved to make the service faster, more efficient or much more customer friendly. Startups are exploiting the gaps and creating exciting new business models left, right and center. From the way the government gives out tenders to disrupting the way businesses use social media, there are plenty of new startups doing work previously unheard of in Bangladesh.

● Job creation: While creation of jobs is a bit of misnomer, what with the abundant jobs available in the country, what is more important is the creation of exciting new opportunities for young people to pursue their hobbies and interests. This is something new in Bangladesh. The common practice of joining banks, export houses and large corporations may be a thing of the past, with youngsters’ leaving the corporate world in large numbers, preferring the startup scene to regular nine-to-five jobs.

● M&A activity: While startups are disrupting the business ecosystem, the final impact they make is debatable given the high number of failures associated with these businesses. This is owing to a lack of either enough support from government policies, unfavorable market conditions or most importantly, a dearth of enough qualified startup professionals who can drive marketing and lead generation. A lot of big businesses are either using the ideas, or buying out these startups or the founding team. This has made big corporate firms more agile and forced them to be innovative and smart to compete. These large corporations also have the advantage of much larger economies of scale, making the final impact much more powerful compared to that of a three-member startup.

● VAT and Tax Earning: Over the last couple of years, the Bangladeshi government has done an excellent job collecting the VAT and tax from businesses. Previously many businesses were able to avoid making these payments. But after successful campaigns and awareness programs, businesses are now serious about these issues. Start-ups are also playing a major role in this revenue collection. Most start-ups are owned and run by young and educated individuals, who are more conscious of these issues.

● International Trade: Start-ups are doing business with international markets in two key ways: exporting or importing products, or sometimes even new services. Through this international trade, Bangladesh’s gross domestic product and revenue is increasing.

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