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“Global e-commerce content production holds unbounded potential for Bangladesh in the BPO market”

An interview with Kowser Ahmed Nirob, CEO of CutOutWiz

A young and enthusiastic entrepreneur Kowser Ahmed Nirob runs his own company named CutOutWiz which is an e-commerce content post-production company in the global marketplace and employs around 520 people. He recently spoke to Fintech and shared his insights on outsourcing work and his company.

Here is the excerpt.

Tell us your story of starting CutOutWiz.

Before founding CutOutWiz, I had been part of a small garments buying house for a few years during my study years and honestly, it wasn’t running that well. Out of mere curiosity, I happened to ask them about the total workflow of their businesses. It was then when the opportunity of booming e-commerce industry and its importance of great product images hit me. There were so many conversions and people were eager to buy through digital platform or e-commerce more than ever. One of my buyers suggested me the new emerging process of doing business that adopt technology. His words sounded promising and made me think about it. Soon I found myself looking into the idea. I had a laptop of my own and hired two friends to work with me. That is how CutOutWiz started its journey and since then I never had to look back.

What are the policies you take to run your business?

We help global e-commerce companies with their creative contents and e-commerce segment such as: Amazon and others. We edit their various contents which include: photos, videos, clipmaking and what not. We edit the raw images and make them look professional- the way they are featured in online stores. We edit these photos and make the photo syllables. We do everything at our studio. Our services include: removing backgrounds, retouching, spot changing and many more. Our business operates in two different markets. The first one is B2B,where we serve large retailers and brands for their bulk volume of images.  If you ask how we operate, we simplify the workflow or we streamline our process according to the needs of our customers, we get the technical capabilities, and then drop all the files in Cloud, we store them in our server, necessarily we download them and then we start our work with all those. In fact, we have conferred about the significant role of the photo studio in the entire e-commerce supply chain and we measure productivity including external partners offering photo editing services. Our services include: background removal, photo retouch, ghost mannequin, masking or shadow creation etc. Our main purpose is to offer tailor made Image Editing Solutions with multiple advantages.

Why is your company different from others? What is your basic strategy regarding this?

Well, I must say, in this regard, it is our technical skills that sets us apart. We work with automation; we integrate with the store or systems to create a gateway for seamless file transfers and editing. We offer integration options through our apps and custom integrations. Besides, we have our apps for smaller merchant platforms like Shopify and BigCommerce. Also, customers can simply login to our web app by creating an account and keep sending and receiving images easily. We ensure safety, securities to the customers through end to end encryption. Our business model has been pivoted to a couple of things: efficiency, proper reporting & data analytics. We are always ready for our customers. Another thing that makes us stand is our time management I.e. turnover time. We take pride in delivering services on time and sometimes even before the stipulated time due to our advanced tech resources.

What is your core line of business?

As I said, we work for image editing solutions. Our services include video editing, image editing as well as creative productions. We do raster to vector conversion, image manipulation, color correction, shadow creation and other related services at the minimum price range available in the market. Along with all these we’ve got a solid studio partner network across the world with 8 studios total in Europe and the US. So even when our customers look for photos to be shot, we offer photo shoot services as well.

Who are your prominent customers? How they become benefited through your service?

Due to the non-disclosure agreement and the nature of the work that we do, we are not able to disclose the names of organizations that we work with. But I can disclose, we work with more than 500 companies across the world. We haven’t started serving our local businesses yet but we intend to soon. What happens at the end of the day, you see, you have all the images in within the short span of time. Our standard turnover time is around 12 to18 hours for work and the customers get their expected deliverables within the expected time. Another incentive for our customers is, of course, the price we offer which is very reasonable and affordable for them. But I wouldn’t say, our service being from Bangladesh is cheaper. Rather we offer the most reasonable price in the market. When people say, it’s a low-cost business country, I agree. However, it is our efficiency and speed that make us a low-cost destination, not the price.

What are the challenges in this business?

Business cannot move without challenges. The very first challenge of this business would be global reach. There are cultural differences as well. You have to speak to the clients considering their mindset and match their needs and expectations at the right time in the right place. Since we have all overseas clients, we need to sync with their time zone and hours. Sometimes it gets quite challenging, operating from Bangladesh. That is why our business developers keep working wholeheartedly and they travel like crazy. Also setting up proper automation during on-boarding a customer is a serious set of challenges. Another thing is getting skilled workforce has been a challenge initially. Thanks to the many government initiatives taken to build skilled workforce and creating awareness. I must thank ICT division and other associations involved for organizing more training, workshops and equip the people with every possible resources. So, I think challenges are being addressed and it is our job as entrepreneurs to maximize the benefit out of all this hard work that government is putting into to create a sustainable and trained workforce.

Do you have any training for your colleagues?

Oh yes! When people join us, we walk them through a 12 to 14 days of training sessions where they are introduced to our culture, our strategy, assessment, workforce, plans, attitude of clients, how to handle customers including job descriptions and equip them with all our available resources. We also set up the data flow structure of every individual during this period so that our customers can relate to the reporting that we create for them.

What is your future plan and where do you see your company in next 5 years?

We aspire to become the largest image editing company in Bangladesh and during this process create thousands of employment opportunities in our local market. Our vision is to constantly pivot ourselves with technology as much as we can. Being agile is our competitive advantage. Given all the initiatives taken by our government with a vision to create a 5-billion-dollar IT/ITES export economy, it is high time we, as entrepreneurs, came together, contributed and made this vision become a reality.

Thank you very much for your time to Fintech.

Thank you too.

 

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