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Sunday, December 10, 2023

‘ArmadeA’ Grapples to Become a Local Authentic Leather Brand

Entrepreneurship is one of the most challenging occupations to opt for, however, entrepreneurs contribute significantly in today’s world. Even if an entrepreneur has a brilliant idea, obstacles may arise at any time, causing the business’s growth to plummet.

Fintech spoke with Alauddin Sohel, the founder of ‘ArmadeA,’ about his journey and how he carved out a path to become the entrepreneur he always wanted to be.

When Fintech asked to Reminisce about the good old days, Sohel explained and said “I was a Mechanical student and I had to take a break from graduation to care for my family after my father’s business failed. As a result, I decided to start a business. Aside from business, I began coaching, fish farming, and other endeavors, but capital has always been a stumbling block. But I’ve always been a bit of an entrepreneur.

Can you tell us how did you begin your career?

After multiple failed attempts, I founded OKSHOP, a new e-commerce firm. Success began to follow shortly after the formation of OKSHOP.

For a while, I locate the leather business idea in its continuation. Since 2019, I’ve been selling leather items under the name ‘ArmadeA.’ It’s a subsidiary of ‘OKSHOP.’ Initially, we gathered products from a variety of sources. Later, with the help of my architect wife and my efforts, I established a leather bag factory with only one artisan. Since then, we’ve progressively progressed to where we are now.

What are the strategic areas where ‘ArmadeA’ is concentrating its efforts?

As the proprietor of Okshopbd.com, I am a young entrepreneur. “In June 2015, I started my firm with only a Tk 5,000 investment,” Alauddin Sohel told Fintech. My e-commerce company now employs 9–10 individuals.

ArmadeA is currently focusing its efforts on manufacturing, branding, marketing, and exporting various types of leather items.

What are the next ArmadeA products?

Every year, we focus on developing new items, and this process has been ongoing since the factory’s start. As a result, a few more products will be introduced to our fleets, which include all forms of leather footwear, bags, and other accessories. Our new launching product is a leather jacket.

What are you doing to achieve ArmadeA’s goal or objective?

To meet Armadea’s goals and objectives, we are primarily focused on enhancing product quality, assuring the highest level of customer satisfaction, and providing all forms of technical support to our valued customers.

What technical advances are you doing to better serve your customers?

We are working on technology advancements such as a user-friendly website interface, an easy payment system, a one-stop information service, and an easy delivery system to provide better service to our customers.

What are the plans for ‘ArmadeA’ in the future?

ArmadeA’s long-term goal has been to open showrooms in all of Bangladesh’s divisional and district cities since the company’s beginnings. By 2026, we hope to have created more than 100 employment. Our goal is to export all of the products we make around the world, increasing the demand for and quality of our domestic leather goods.

What are the different types of products?

Our products include leather jackets for women and men, official bags, laptop bags, messenger bags, wallets, belts, and notebook covers, among others.

What is the current number of manufacturing workers?

At the moment, the plant employs 15 full-time manufacturing workers (artisans).

What are your thoughts on digital marketing?

We promote our items through digital marketing, which allows us to offer targeted product adverts to specific customers in a short period at a low cost. Digital marketing allows domestic products to reach overseas markets considerably more quickly.

What are the difficulties of becoming a business owner?

Lack of trained staff, the challenges of investing, and a scarcity of high-quality accessories were all obstacles when the company first started. Furthermore, we had to rely on foreign accessories on occasion, which increased the cost tremendously.

What can you tell us about the current ‘ArmadeA’ promotion?

We currently promote ourselves using our website, Facebook, YouTube, Linkedin, SMS marketing, and a variety of trade shows. All of this is the responsibility of the sales and marketing staff.

What actions does ‘ArmadeA’ need to take to compete in the international market?

In the foreign market, we are growing and performing tremendously well, but there is always the potential for development. Upgrading machinery for making innovative leather products in accordance with recent international trends can extend the reach of this trade.       

The vision of OK Shop BD?  

OK Shop BD’s sole mission by 2021 is to provide product services to ordinary people in every village in Bangladesh, launch new products, and earn the trust of 100 percent of customers. We intend to employ at least 200 men and women in near future.

In addition, one of my personal goals is to make OK Shop BD one of Bangladesh’s top ten e-commerce enterprises. By 2030, our goal is to have OK Shop BD available in at least six nations. 

Sharif Ahmed

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