As relatively a young person, Ruhullah Raihan Alhusain, has quite a resume to show off. He has already acquired considerable experience in building and operating high performing FinTech and mobile financial service endeavors, and delivering innovative solutions and thereby creating value for customers and driving measurable results to the organization.
On the corporate front, he led and managed mobile money operations service of Airtel Bangladesh for a long period Under his leadership, Airtel Bangladesh won the Mobile Money Global Award 2014, and was shortlisted Nominee for the Best Payment Deployment (Asia) and Retail Innovation Awards 2015. He also worked as the business head for ipay systems limitedand provided strategic direction to sales, marketing, and customer service department of the Start-Up.
At present, he is working as Chief Digital Business and Marketing Officer at ADN Group.
Raihan talked to Fintech recently and shared his experience and knowledge on digital business. Here is the excerpt for our readers.
ADN Group has a number of concerns. Tell us briefly about each of these.
ADN group has several SBU’s or concerns. ADN Telecom, one of the concerns of the group, first started its journey back in 2003. It is an enlisted company and we provide all sort of connectivity to our customers. We can connect anybody anywhere in the world. Tech Valley Network, the other concern of ADN Group deals with system integration. We integrate all IT systems to run the offices and Tech Valley is being here for a while as well. TechValley recently launched Cyber Security services which is one of the most important services needed in the Banking and Financial Sectors. We have Ingen technology and it’s been working for the last 15 years. Ingen Technology deals with solar power energy. We’ve been working closely without government at this sector.
Then we have ADN Technology that deals with financial service and you may see the POS machines that are mostly provided by us at different merchant points. Besides we provide ATM machines and most of the listed banks are our customers. Then we have ADN EduServices that basically provides professional training and education. Actually, our EduServices works to relate with all sort of upcoming technology.
You know, Tapan Kanti Sarkar is the Managing Director of ADN EduServices and involved with CTO Forum, so it is more beneficial working with this sector. Then Finally, ADN Digital and I can say we have started this back in one and half years focusing mainly on digital transformation. And I lead this group from the beginning. ADN Digital though remains at its tender point is demandable indeed because I know in future everything will be digitalized. IoT and other sectors are coming in Bangladesh so I think the future of this ADN Digital is brighter enough.
Talk about the products and services by ADN Digital. What is your market share?
I’d like to start with digital marketing; we provide all kind of digital marketing services to the clients. Social media marketing, SEO marketing, content marketing, digital marketing strategy, media buying are some of the services we provide through that wing. We also emphasize on custom made software development. We make the software according to the customer needs. However, we are also the reseller of 25 software’s which we sell to our clients. And we have another wing through which we offer all type of services related to traditional marketing.
One of our main products that we have is SMS marketing.We provide bulk SMS service and we are connected directly with all the Telcos to provide our SMS service to the clients through our SMS Gateway. We also have our ADN email gateway from where we provide email marketing services to the customers. Then we have app development, web development services. We maintain our web development in different way like we do everything what is needed to secure it tight. Many people go to WordPress and take support from it to work for web development but we do it in a different way. Different multinational companies, in this regard, are our customers. Besides, we have another service in which a customer can purchase cloud service through online with Bangladeshi currency. In words, people can get domain hosting server from us to host their web sites. And you can call this is the biggest USP of us. If I say about market share, we have been in first 30 according to last fiscal year. It’s an achievement to be here in this stage being a new company. I am not going to say that it’s a great achievement but good indeed.
With more digitization, server services are growing. Talk about this area. What innovative or disruptive tech you provide to your customers?
Advancement of e-commerce, as I supposed to tell you before, is indeed an optimistic thing. What we usually see many of the e-commerce businesses start from Facebook. It’s normal. since social media provides this chance to the business holders but definitely at one stage they will think of owningtheir websites and then comes the necessity of server. Henceforward, we are not lagging behind.
We have dedicated server for the customers and to be frank we are completely customer centric service provider. Each customer has right to choose their service in their own way, I mean a customer himself can choose the service options from the server and we call this system ‘Crowd Sourcing’. We have actually done it such a way that customers will be able to choose their package from us. It is a disruptive technology which we have made for the customers. We make the server packages in accordance to the requirement of the customers instead of making it straightforward. And undeniably, our server business is growing rapidly. This is one of the highest growing products for us right now.
If you think of Digital Bangladesh, you will definitely need to ensure servers and storage of your services and hence server business is growing rapidly for any digital space. Moreover, we are not only serving local customer but international clients also and all this has been possible for our segmented digital marketing strategy because digital marketing has no limit. You can bring your clients in this market from anywhere to anybody.
With your SMS service you average 10 million SMS per month. Talk a little bit about this service.
Well, we have two types of SMS services. One we call ‘Masking’ which allows you to send SMSs using your brand name like name of the person, company and this can help building more acceptability and brand awareness. Another is ‘Non- Masking’ and that is just vice versa of ‘Masking’ SMS. Basically, ADN SMS offers intelligent enterprise messaging solution straight from your smart devices like smartphone, tablet, desktop, laptop and any other device of any OS. Our intelligent SMS communication services enable enterprises to create better customer experiences. Greeting people, sending products or services related information, spreading organizational announcement or promoting products – ADN SMS is your one stop solution.
Actually, SMS marketing is not new in Bangladesh. Many companies do this but when we started, we wanted to bring different features on it. A customer can get the options to handle all the things himself. We care about customer’s conveniences. Our SMS gateway contains custom audiences classified by location, age, gender, purchase behavior, occupation, interests and much more. Besides, we have campaign management, cross channel, compatible API system as SMS service provider. Through our advance gateway, you can send SMS both in English and Bengali language. A customer needs to let us know his or her contact details and required SMS contents. After verification, the job gets done. I think, this is a customer centric age so we all should work like this way so that the customer can boost our service by dint of their experiences.
You have a number of Software as Service products. Can you talk about thos?
As you know we are a professional company for software and mobile apps development, we are pledged to help our customers’ businessand buildloyalty. We deliver better customer value and enhance engagement, transform processes and stand out from the competition. We provide custom software solution and we also have Hospital Management Software, Inventory Management Software, Billing Software etc.
Actually, we offer services/ products that are made to emphasize every type of businesses. We have banking software, software for MFI besides our core software’s. Even we have some unique software as well for unique products. We are going to launch some new ones which I don’t want to disclose now. We’ll let you know after the launching ceremony.
You have web designing service and other related services. Sometimes web design is thought of as simple tech-wise. Can Bangladeshi companies make world class websites?
I believe it is definitely possible in Bangladesh. There’s no doubt. Our country possesses massive human resources who work for themselves as Freelancers and companies outsource their jobs hem. So, I must say they have that skill to develop world class web sites. You may make a website within a shortest possible time like by doing drag and drop. But if you think of a bank or MNCs, you need to build the website from the scratch, not just by dragging from a common source. Bangladeshi people can develop such kind of websites. I have seen many websites which were developed by Bangladeshi people. They created those sites from the scratch using the latest technology available and they built it in accordance with each frame and section. We also follow the same. Our websites are developed from the scratch. The websites we develop for our clients are SEO friendly, secured and our rich contents make the customers happier indeed.
You are very passionate about working in disruptive tech. Tell us about what disruptive tech we will see in Bangladesh in the near future that will have big impact.
It’s going to have a huge impact. If I talk about FinTech, its growing rapidly in Bangladesh. We can now see mobile financial services offered through post office, known as ‘Nagad’, We also have iPay here and many more services, innovations that are known as disruptive techs. Another technology that must be in a tech disruption is ‘blockchain’. I think there is a lot to learn andwe are bit confused but I think we have to work more on it. So blockchain will be the biggest disruption in the FinTech arena and we have to be ready for that. Our regulatory bodies need to be able to actually regulate that section because it’s much important since the framework of blockchain is not so easy.
Furthermore, another disruptive teach would be the big data analytic. Big data can help you to pin point your sale point, specific group at specific zone so that your sale can get the perfect boost. The work will be easier at this and we can learn about the data from the analysis. I am proud to say that we have already started working on big data because I think; a company can lead in markets working with this. Finally, I can talk about regulatory framework. If we can make automation in the regulatory framework, it will help regulate blockchain in later phase.So I think, it has gigantic impact in near future for Bangladesh.
What’s ahead for ADN Digital?
What I pursue for ADN Digital is that we would like to be the most preferred digital business partner, to me customers are ‘partner’, at home and abroad and that is our vision. Already we have started working on this. In fact, for us, customers are everything. The power is in the hand of the customers, so all our services are focusing on that strategy. In future, I believe, we will be one of the most preferred digital service providers in the country.
Thanks a lot for providing your valuable time to us.
Thank you too.