A Story of My Venture

Last updated 23 Jul 2019 . 1 min read

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Growing up, it has always been my keen desire to become a social worker, specifically to help others. 

For me, helping others never meant to assist someone by giving charity, but rather to create a work opportunity so that helpless people, especially women, can get help by themselves - I am a believer of teaching someone how to fish, rather than giving someone a fish. 

I was 16 years old when it all started; while studying for my O' levels, I was profoundly inspired to have a business of my own, by my brother who also is an entrepreneur - though I was a student of pure science background. I was constantly trying to brainstorm an idea for a business which I could have started, without hampering my studies and also which would not require me to travel outside too much - a common barrier for Bangladeshi girls of my age.

After months of communication with different sources, and establishing vendor links, and product suppliers through Facebook networks, and purchasing materials in person, in 2016,  I created the Facebook page named Products For You, where I posted photos of different products along with its details, as I was concerned about consumer's satisfaction and wanted to ensure utmost satisfactory service to the customers.

As online shopping was not that much popular that time, I had to be patient and continued trying for 2 weeks to get my first order. As I was new in this world of e-commerce, I didn't know about the delivery system to send my products.

I searched for a  courier company but unfortunately, when I got one, I was too late to send my first product, as the client cancelled the order. I was heartbroken, and lost all motivation - I had invested almost all of my savings but didn't get any return, and didn’t know whether I would ever or not.

But I didn't lose hope and started my work again. This time, I tried to understand people's demand and turned some of my products like craft beads to beads hijab pin - I was hopeful, once again. Then finally, magic happened, on that very day, I got 3 orders after posting the photo of my handmade hijab pins! It was overwhelming! I was beginning to get the idea of consumer demands.

Little did I know that the biggest challenge of my life was waiting for me right around the corner; I realized that it was not an easy job to maintain a balance between studies and business, especially at this age.

There were failures, disappointments and even sad faces of my close ones, as I couldn't do that well in studies as expected from me. In a country like Bangladesh, where grades are considered everything, no one really appreciated the fact that I do business which is somehow hampering my studies.

But I had to, and I did convince my family to support me and they finally understood. Yes, I didn't leave my passion because it is something I love doing the most. I realized that being human, there will be times where I will lack in one aspect or the other but I will have to keep trying to maintain the balance, and never give up. It was a new beginning for me.

Then came the next challenge. In early 2016, I faced a lot of problems with that courier service that I appointed - who didn't send my parcels safely; it was a big hurdle to the growth of my business. Finally, I found Pathao Delivery: I registered on their website and my journey with Pathao started since 2016.

It was time to expand, In 2017, I created a virtual workspace for other unemployed people who were housewives, students, single mothers and unemployed women.

I started an affiliate market chain. I made that by providing them with the demanding products' photos at a wholesale price to re-sell products without any investment at all!

I believe that true entrepreneurs employ real people who provide best products and services to original customers - so now here I am with almost 30 real employees with a lot of original customers who genuinely review my products; which really boosts me to serve for them with an even better quality of products.

Now I'm independent at the age of 20 and moving forward on my way with my keen desire to help others.

Alhamdulillah, I have already made a lot of people to help themselves but I want to help more. I want to become a social worker.

From my venture, I learned and gained a lot of things like some really good sources of products, learned how to deal with a customer or any other person with patience, consumers/employees psychology and behaviour. It increased my patience level, market bidding skills, surviving with a competitive world and making me learn every day!

I would like to say that every person has a latent talent to do something big and revolutionary so try to discover yours! 

Sf Shagufi
I'm an entrepreneur, a teacher, creative, nature lover, passionate to learn new things.

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