National F-Commerce Summit 2015: Exploring Emerging Opportunities

What strikes me the most about the two-day long National F-Commerce is the sheer level of enthusiasm and activity displayed throughout the event. Not only by the energetic speakers and the organisers, but also the audience, who turned up in droves despite the ongoing strikes.

Student entrepreneurs, independent business owners, industry veterans, you name it—they were there, interacting with the panelists, satiating their genuine interest about the emergence of this collective of business platforms dubbed ‘f-commerce’.

And why wouldn’t they? Even if we were to go by Facebook alone, the growth of social media activity in Bangladesh has been explosive. There are already 10 million Bangladeshi users on Facebook, and that number is growing exponentially every day. With over 70% of Bangladesh’s population being under the age of 35, there’s prime potential for growth of not only customers, but entrepreneurs in this area as well.

Marketing through Facebook, which was a nascent practice only 4 years ago, is now not only commonplace in Bangladesh, but highly organized. A variety of specialist firms are paving the way for efficient and effective utilization of this vast resource.

Why is NFSummit 2015 a success?

National F-Commerce Summit 2015 provided a highly engaging introduction to the f-commerce phenomenon. It showed its audience the scope and scale of this marketing medium, and celebrated Bangladesh’s contributions to this social media revolution in style.

Organised by Geeky Social on February 7 and 8 at EMK Center, the event featured 10 interactive sessions that explored the best practices of social media marketing in the country right now. Links between similar emerging marketplaces, such as e-commerce, were also discussed, along with the future potential of these rapidly growing marketing platforms.

The Organisers

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Founded by BBA graduates from Dhaka University, Geeky Social specializes exclusively in social media marketing. Geeky’s co-founder, Mahadi Hasan Sagor, shared the reasons behind this event and what he hopes to achieve with it.

“Starting is a big challenge for most entrepreneurs in Bangladesh. Capital is a big problem, of course, but there’s lots of other difficulties. Starting your business from Facebook is lot easier compared to that. You can scale your business up from there as it grows.

Along with promoting f-commerce success in Bangladesh, we also wanted to show how you can do it effectively. We are also hoping for some policy and infrastructural support for this growing industry, so that it can progress to a more mature stage.”

Key partners of Geeky for this event include BASIS, ajkerdeal.com, EMK Center, NewsCred and Bangladesh Startup Cup.

Key Highlights

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“Remember, be social both online and offline. The key to quality branding is consistency, and that’s something we in Bangladesh kind of suck at when it comes to branding. Don’t confuse your customers!”

                      -G Don Sumdany, from Don Sumdany Facilitation & Consultancy, at the Social Media for Professionals session.

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“Did you know that, in last Eid-ul-Fitr, shoppers withdrew an extra Tk. 2000 Crore, which almost caused a liquidation crisis? WE caused that, those of us who are working on e-commerce and f-commerce. We are already an established platform, and we have a very positive future.”

Debashish Phani, from ajkerdeal.com, at the E-commerce Experience session.

“70% of our customers are on Facebook now. Missing them out means missing out business opportunity.”

Junayed Mustafa, from kaymu.com.bd, at the E-commerce Experience session.

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“Content is king when it comes to social media marketing. Make things that people will love to talk about. Put a trigger in your content that invokes emotions from audience. Integrate trending topics that the public is already engaged with and package the practical value of your product with it.

Most important of all, tell a good story. Storytelling is the most important when it comes to building your brand.”

                      -Riyad Hussain, from Magnito Digital, at the Social Content session.

“If content is king, then distribution is queen. You need to create your audience to survive in a marketplace where everyone’s competing. Even if you create the best content, no one will care until they see it.”

                      -Zayeema Sarwar, from NewsCred, at the Social Content session.

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“Here’s how you can go viral on YouTube. Be confident. Practise your freedom of speech. And last, but not the least, market your brand with skill. Use content that’s already relevant.”

                      -Salman Muktadir, Salmonthebrownfish, at the Content Virality session.

Going Forward

The spotlight put on the f-commerce community by this event will hopefully bolster its presence and support significantly. The encouraging stories of success and the helpful attitude of this community demonstrates that it’s a good time to be an entrepreneur in Bangladesh, and if things go right, the future is going to be even better.

 

 

Muhtasim Sarowat Rayed

A third year BBA student from IBA, Rayed is keen to gain valuable first-hand knowledge about today’s entrepreneurial landscape. He is fascinated with innovative ideas and seeks to understand how they are generated and realized from context to context. Hobbies include reading books and comics, writing fiction and some gaming when there’s time.

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