Very few startups in Bangladesh are working to solving two major problems. Pathao, Bangladesh’s one of the fastest growing technology start-up is working to create solution in logistic sector as well as in the transportation sector.
Pathao is developing tangible solutions to battle the country’s biggest infrastructural problems. After establishing e-commerce Delivery Company in Bangladesh, they are now expanding into the ride-hailing transportation space. Using a dynamic fleet of motorbikes, Pathao’s solutions are harnessing the power of technology to change the face of Bangladesh.
Recently SD Asia had the chance to talk with Hussain M Elius, CEO of Pathao. He talked about the influence behind Pathao, Business plan and some challenges of managing a logistic startup.
Influence behind ‘Pathao’:
‘Pathao’ is trying to tackle a local problem. ‘’Being born and bred in Dhaka we recognized traffic was one of the gaping problems in the city. We set about to solve that in their own way – first by building infrastructure around mass moving packages and now into more on-demand point-to-point deliveries and packages’’ Elius said.
They recognized the booming e-commerce industry and decided that is something that needs our service so that was their first target. After that, they moved on to transportation. Given the agonizing hours spent on cars and CNGs we knew two-wheelers to be the most viable option in a crowded but compact city like Dhaka. They are demo testing on demand motorcycle ride in Dhaka city now.
Pathao’s plan with the recent investment:
Pathao is currently looking to expand its team with industry leading professionals. Backed up by international venture capital, they are one of the most rapidly growing teams in Dhaka and want to stay true to the start up roots. Thus, culture is very important to us. They are looking for high achievers who will go above and beyond their job descriptions to fulfill our long-term vision. So we are investing in getting an A-Class team in place who are entrepreneurial, open to using the latest technology and want to super-charge their career out of the regular 9 to 5.
The tech they have built is extremely scalable, and they will be positioning theirselves for growth in upcoming months.
There are 100 people in Pathao fleet and 40 people in the executive and development team. By end of December, they expect to have a total of 200 people in the team. They have a plan to have the largest last-mile delivery fleet in Bangladesh by the end of 2016.
Business model Marketing and Future plan of Pathao:
They are providing delivery and cash-collection support to businesses through Pathao Fulfillment and transportation service through Pathao Rides.
The idea of Pathao has always been to scale across different verticals. They will use the same base infrastructure to serve different markets. Pathao Rides is only one of our new verticals and more will be coming online, as early as the first quarter of 2017.
In the near future, Pathao is planning want to activate thousands of bikers on the street involved in hyperlocal deliveries and transportation. They are creating a new profession – entrepreneurs powered by technology who can work as hard or as little as they want, but still be accountable and earn more than their average peer.
Logistics startup’s challenges in Bangladesh and How to overcome:
According to Elius, “The challenges are enormous, but not insurmountable. It took a lot of trial-and-error, a lot of studying the data and a dash of luck to finally have a stable system that can cater to our hundreds of active merchants. Getting trust of businesses was the most crucial in the process. We were fortunate to have a great team in place’’.
They are also facing the problem of cash handling. They are looking at Cash-On-Delivery as an opportunity instead of a problem.
If you are interested in using Pathao app, you can download at- https://goo.gl/zOVMJj