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Speakers for improved, coordinated online services for smooth digitalization

  • Published at 12:33 am October 15th, 2018
roundtable discussion
Speakers at the roundtable discussion Mehedin Hasan/Dhaka Tribune

They said the laws relating to online services should be changed according to the demand keeping businesses as priority

To meet high customer expectations, the government must accelerate the digitization processes as upgrading online services and customer engagement are must for boosting country’s economic growth, speakers said.

They said the laws relating to online services should be changed according to the demand keeping businesses as priority. 

They came up with the suggestions at a roundtable titled “Digitalization for Life” jointly organized by Citibank NA and The Daily Star and was held at the latter’s office in Dhaka on Sundayay. 

Arif Nezami, founder of Preneur Lab, said the social system and academic institutions in the country do not focus on businesses despite the fact that youth adopt technologies swiftly. 

Asiqul Alam Khan, the CEO of PriyoShop.com, said connectivity is very important for rural development, which help spread e-commerce significantly, boosting the local economy.

Around 90% transactions are still made on the cash-on-delivery basis as most of the customers lack awareness and knowledge of paying online, he said hoping that e-commerce can turn the society into a cashless one.

Pointing out that supply-chain finance as a major obstacle in e-commerce, he urged banks to offer services to attract online clients.

Olympic Group Executive Director Samad Milary said Bangladesh is on the right track of attracting investment, but it needs to use ethical technology.

Features required for start-ups are still scarce, as new entrepreneurs need government sponsorship for the perfect ecosystem of e-commerce and digitalization, he viewed. 

Citing his bank’s activities targeting a cashless system, DBBL Managing Director Abul Kashem Shirin said banks and e-commerce can boost online transaction if only they work in coordination with long-term plans.

Coherent adoption of technology and policies is a must for smooth economic growth, said bKash’s Chief Finance Officer Kamal Qadir.

There should be consistency between the regulators and policymakers for the greater interest of digitalization, he added.

According to Tanjib Alam, Bangladesh ranks 175th among 193 countries in terms of e-commerce since it is facing challenges due to legal mechanisms.

Loopholes in the law relating to e-commerce confuse stakeholders regarding the size of investment in ventures of both intellectual property and tangible assets, Tanjib said.

He recommended for an updated transaction system to ease barriers in the online financial system.

Most government payments are manual and government officials are scared of digitalization since there is no scope of graft there.

Ashish Chakboborty, chief operating officer of SSL Wireless, pointed at changing the traditional payment system.  

He suggested a regulator in placing orders to oversee the quality issue as customers hardly trust products sold online owing to their quality.

Quazi Zulquarnain, country lead of Uber Bangladesh, recalled his struggle when they brought in ride-sharing venture in the country with the people close to him and the Uber team discouraging the latter.

“It is as tough as turning a society from a cash-based system to a cashless one,” he stated asking the people to change their mindset on start-ups.

Pathao CEO Hussain Elius echoing the similar sentiment said a joint platform for a massive digital transaction system needs to be tech-based entrepreneurship.

Proper and timely implementation of relevant regulations is must as most of the e-commerce clients have no knowledge of online transactions and mobile service is not satisfactory, he said. 

Raihan Shamsi, chairman of DevoTech Technology Park, recommended forging an e-commerce platform out of the shared-platform concept, engaging young entrepreneurs among other stakeholders to get rid of cash transactions.

Fahim Mashroor, CEO of Ajker Deal, said the government must bring all the online service providers and e-commerce stakeholders under the one umbrella for a balanced and well managed service. 

Ali Kamran Zahid, joint director of Bangladesh Bank, suggested on paying more attention on the digital ecosystem than attracting bigger investments.

Moderated by Mohammad Akher, vice president of Citibank, the event was addressed, among others, by Bangladesh Bank’s managing director, Shekhar Rajashekran and Mahfuz Anam, editor of The Daily Star.

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