When you think of startups the first thing that comes to your mind is a group of young people trying to bring their idea to life and scale it up. In the 4th Batch of Grameenphone Accelerator, for the first time we met a team who didn’t fit this usual image of startups. MARS stands for Meteorological And Related Services Ltd. 6 retired Bangladesh Air Force officers with years of experience decided to to use their skills and do something useful with it. Their mission is to provide weather forecast to save lives, properties and prepare people to tackle natural calamities.
Bangladesh is a country that gets severely effected during the monsoon season every year. From rural farmers to urban commuters, this is one issue that everyone has faced. In rural Bangladesh farmers have to suffer when the rain ruins their crops which they worked on for months. In Dhaka and other major cities the roads get clogged and daily life gets hampered and also result in heavy monetary losses. Although infrastructure is the main problem of clogging but if people could get an accurate and timely forecast it would save a lot of damage and loss in the urban areas. Every year farmers, tea gardens and brick fields have to loss billions due to lack of accurate forecasting.
MARS Ltd. has been providing weather services commercially to brick field owners since November, 2015 and City weather forecast to Dhaka city dwellers since March, 2017. It has been exploring collaboration with government and non-government organizations in sharing its expertise in this field.
The founders developed a weather forecast service that gives timely and accurate updates to people ranging from farmers and telling them when to irrigate, harvest and fertilize; brick field owners and telling them when to stop production or when to cover raw bricks and finally to urban commuters telling them when to go out or when to be careful and be prepared to save there valuables. The reason for the success behind the idea of MARS is the fact that these people have had years of training and experience of working in home and abroad which leads to more precise work.
In order to maintain this precision MARS follows a reliable data source and reaches the correct interpretation with the help of their past work experience and prior knowledge. There are many ways to avail the services of MARS varying from SMS services, website and personalized consultancy. All these platforms provide specific location based weather updates to subscribers on a regular basis. In future there are plans to expand MARS services to more platforms.
By now the services of MARS have led to many success stories. Farmers who have subscribed to MARS have been able to reach out to their communities and help everyone with weather updates. Brick field owners are saving a lot with the timely weather updates of MARS. Since the beginning of their operation MARS has grown and reached more people everyday. In this short period of their operations, MARS has locked Biman Bangladesh, Radio Today, Ventura Properties and many other clients. They have also started collaborating with Robi for forecasting in future.
In the recent Startup Expo, Digital World and Investor Dinner; MARS has received great positive response from everyone. We are hoping to see more from them in future and become the pioneer private weather service in Bangladesh