Ready, set, done
Nusaira A Hassan

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Dhaka being the traffic capital of the world makes it an extraordinarily difficult place to navigate. It is frustratingly difficult to deliver or send goods from one part of the city to another. That's where Pathao comes in. A logistics service provider by trade, Pathao was founded with the sole intention of solving this very problem.

One of the co-founders and the managing partner of this firm is Hussain M Elius, a dynamic personality who took time out of his busy schedule to discuss his foray into the world of logistics.

The business
Time constraint coupled with heavy traffic greatly hinders the delivery of goods, creating numerous problems for the Bangladeshi E-commerce industry, an industry that is growing at an estimated rate of 300% per annum. Pathao, being a logistics service provider, immensely contributes to the growth and development of online shopping in Bangladesh. As a matter of fact, Pathao provides logistical services to the online shopping website, Bikroy, a major client of theirs. Initially, Bikroy had its own Logistics support, but now relies on the expert hands of Pathao.

The inception
With a background in technology, three friends decided to come up with a solution for the logistical issue faced by consumers in Bangladesh. According to Elius, they wanted to make logistics as easy as sending an email. Just about a month later, the Pathao app was released. The easily accessible app can be downloaded from the company’s website, or by accessing this link http://pathao.com/downloads .

The aims
Using the tagline, “Delivery made easy,”Pathao and its founders aim to revolutionise the way things move by ensuring fast, secure and easy delivery services for its customers, be it E-commerce vendors or individual clients.

There are a lot of couriers operating in Bangladesh, all of whom are generally slow and inefficient. Elius and his fellow co-founders wanted to leverage the wonders of technology to bring a paradigm shift in how goods are transported. They believe in making the world a better place by bringing the power of logistics to the masses.

The founders
Fahim Saleh is a successful entrepreneur from New York who envisioned a venture on Bangladeshi soil, a venture intended to help, rather than focus on profit maximisation. Through Pathao, Saleh wanted to create jobs and provide employment opportunities for people. On the other hand, Hussain M. Elius and Shifat Adnan, the chief technology officer, have been working together for a long time, creating tech solutions for foreign and domestic business entities. With the help of Pathao, Adnan and Elius believe they have the opportunity and the scope to change the world as we know it. Their years of hard work and unrivalled expertise in the field of technology have allowed them to come up with the operational concept of Pathao. In fact, what sets Pathao apart as a logistics service provider is the proprietary technology that the founders have developed themselves. As Elius proudly states, the strongest part of Pathao is their team and said team can not only dream, but make those dreams a reality.

The obstacles
However, it was not entirely smooth sailing for Pathao. Since the pioneers of the company have a well established background in technology, they believed that it was the solution to every problem. They soon learned that setting up and operating a business venture, especially a business in logistics can be quite messy. Elius and co were used to working in small groups for specific projects that entailed building products. They soon realised that building products and building a company are two vastly different things. As a result, Pathao’s operational activities took months to be properly established.

The future
Initially, Pathao only offered its services within Dhaka, but has now expanded its network to Chittagong as well.

The start-up is a constantly evolving company and strongly believes in embracing dynamism. The company’s founders hope to expand their network to include the whole of Bangladesh and ensure that everyone gets the opportunity to reap the benefits Pathao provides. Elius states, “10 years ago, Apple came up with the iPhone, and now almost every individual uses a smartphone instead of relying on computers and laptops. We believe our idea can influence the everyday life of a person in a similar manner.”

Pathao is part of the digitalisation that has taken the world by storm and while the electronic realm in Bangladesh is not on par with the global stage yet, it is still growing rapidly. E-commerce is the future of the economy, and Pathao is going to play an integral part in its technological advancement.

 

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