Albeit largely unknown at home, many Bangladeshi technology companies have established their footprints in overseas markets, representing the country with their head holding high thanks to quality services.
Dhaka-based Systems Solutions & Development Technologies Ltd (SSD-Tech) is one of them.
Started out with lease finance automation 15 years ago, it has initially worked with two Fortune 500 companies – Petronas and British American Tobacco – in Malaysia and later with global telecom giants Telenor, Axiata, and Ooredoo as technology partner.
Today, SSD-Tech provides solutions to many major telecom operators, financial institutions and large enterprises globally. It is a registered company in Bangladesh, Malaysia and Myanmar.
It employs 650 people and has offices in Bangladesh, Malaysia, Singapore, Myanmar, India and the US.
“In the area of telecom services space, I can confidently say that we are no less than companies such as Huawei, Comviva and so on,” Mahbubul Matin, chairman of SSD-Tech, told The Daily Star in an interview recently.
He said more than 4,000 registered ICT companies have emerged in Bangladesh in the last one decade and the landscape is changing fast.
With the change of technology and target market, company like SSD-Tech will represent Bangladesh outside Bangladesh, Matin said.
SSD-Tech is accessible to 400 million subscribers of 15 operators across 10 countries such as Malaysia, Myanmar, Bhutan, Kuwait, Sri Lanka and countries from Latin America.
It looks forward to add some more countries to its list.
It is also managing more than 120 partners and close to 250 different types of services across these operators. And these robust telecom platforms process close to 1.5 billion service requests every month, according to Matin.
“Among our solutions, you will find those that have helped save lives by connecting rural areas with doctors, reducing maternal and child mortality rates by educating mothers and caregivers and empowering others to improve themselves by enabling them to easily learn English using any media.”
“We are obviously a small part of a big bang called telecom but our unique capability and understanding gave us some breaks that humbled us,” said Matin.
Matin, a graduate from Delhi University who later obtained an MBA from the Institute of Business Administration of the University of Dhaka, started his career in investment banking before moving to entrepreneurship at an early stage of his career.
Business house automation is also an important area for SSD-Tech.
Matin has transformed SSD-Tech consciously from a business-to-business IT service provider to a business-to-customers technology enabled services entity.
It is running one of the finest internet services in the country named Carnival Internet, previously known as Doze.
He said as the data goes, Bangladesh enjoys an average speed of 5Mbps and data consumption stands at a little more than 1 GB data per user a month.
“But there is a lot of room to grow.”
“As I look at Carnival, we deliver a minimum and consistent speed of 20Mbps, which is four times the national average. Our average household consumes 450 GB data every month, which is 450 times the national standard.”
Carnival has taken a project in the largest village of Asia in Baniachong in Sylhet division. Every day, Carnival is getting users in the village who speak highly of the quality of internet and shed light on the good it brings to their life.
Carnival is also spreading fast internet in the tea stalls of the village in the form of WiFi in a box – called Carnival WiFi Haat.
“There are bigger players than Carnival, and we wish they will also join the Carnival bandwagon to bring lasting impact,” Matin said.
SSD-Tech has made foray into insurance technology business. Pathao, one of the top ride-sharing platforms, is taking the service and has secured about 15 million rides with an average claim settlement lead time of five days and that too with zero paperwork.
It has developed Audra, an internet security and parental control solution, which has been introduced in international markets like Singapore and Malaysia.
The solution will be available throughout Asia very soon through tech retail channels and partners internet service providers, Matin said.
Sohoj is another platform from SSD-Tech that allows migrant workers in Malaysia to get assistance for local and cross-border top-ups and remittance transfers.
“We are working to take it to many other countries to connect these deprived workers with life's betterment, with ease and trust,” Matin said.
In order to give a boost to local blue-collar job seekers' capability and income, it has started the first-ever Facebook Messenger bot-based service RutiRuji. Top brands are partnering with SSD-Tech.
SSD-Tech has launched e-learning platform MindCurrant to unleash the power of online learning and connect the distant village student with the quality education available in the cities.
Its business messaging platform BoomCast is serving big players such as bKash, Unilever, ACI, and Pathao, helping them to reach target groups effectively and efficiently, channeling 30 million messages per month.
Under a competitive evaluation process, BBC has recently awarded SSD-Tech the licence of BBC Janala, a popular English learning platform aimed at Bangladesh market.
It has developed online payment gateways Foster Payments and Codero to make payment system easier.
Logistics service provider eCourier, which is gaining popularity at home and abroad, has investment from SST-Tech.
“As a business, making profit is a major focus of SSD-Tech. But we also value the impacts of the solutions in users' life,” Matin said.
According to the entrepreneur, the last 10 years have been very inspiring for Bangladesh and the country's growth has caught the attention.
“Bangladesh holds a superior capability and has the talent and drive to make it bigger and better,” he said.