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Friday, August 6, 2021

‘We want to be the one app financial solution for Bangladesh’

A little chit-chat of Landen Co-Founders with Fintech

With a vision of being the most reliable fintech company, country’s first invoicing fintech app Landen Technology is committed to providing one tap solutions for the financial issues of the users leveraging state of the art technologies and fostering financial inclusion in the digital economy.

Landen Co Founders Parvez Ahmed and Shaba Shams with Shuvro recently talked to Fintech team regarding their innovative startup company in the FinTech space.

Tell us how did you start your venture and what inspired you to start this?

Parvez: Last year during the pandemic I ran an F-commerce business. While running my business I was facing some problems like customers were asking for invoice, delivering the product efficiently, collecting payments from customers, tracking sales growth, tracking profit and managing inventory. So one day I shared this with my friend Shaba, who is also the co-founder of Landen whether we could develop an app to solve this problem. He instantly agreed with my thoughts. This is how our venture started.

Shaba: When Parvez shared this with me on the back of my mind I was thinking about the viability of the product and thought that many people using Facebook nowadays to run their business are facing similar problem. So I agreed with his notion and we entered in the arena. We sat together to design the storyboard and then I designed couple of screens and sent it to Parvez. Parvez gave the green signal and we started the development and completed it within 2 months.

How customers are benefitted through Landen?

Parvez: We started with some basic features like adding products, adding customers, daily expenses, monthly expenses and creating invoices by our app which will in terms generated their daily sales, daily profit, daily expenditure, monthly expenses and show it on their dashboard. Also from the saved customer data they will get to send in-app messages to their customers.

Shaba: Our users who are sellers can send the generated invoices to their customers for bill collection. On the second phase we incorporated payment collection of the pending bills. Then we incorporated product delivery through our app. So our customers are getting multifold benefits. The ultimate benefit they are getting is transforming their manual business into the digital business. Also in terms we will provide a one app solution for all the financial problems of our customers.

What is your market response? Are you satisfied with it?

Shuvro: Since launching we have been getting quite good market response. We have gained 1500+ users in just 5 months. Our users generated 65K+ events in the last one month alone using our app. However, we are not yet fully satisfied .

Our target is 100k users by 2022 and 1M users in 2023. Until achieving that goal we will work tirelessly to improve our app and reach our TG.

Landen got selected in Bangabandhu Innovation grant. Tell us bit about it.

Shaba: During the launch Parvez called me to say that he wanted to apply in BIG. I was a little skeptical since we were quite new as a Startup. But he insisted that we should apply. So I agreed and he applied. We also got shortlisted on the BASIS National ICT Award that is also an achievement we didn’t expected.

Parvez: After applying we being the first shortlist sent our pitch deck. Then BIG authority called us for pitching round. Then we gave our pitch. Judges were very interactive and we were happy with our pitch. Perspirations trickled down from the forehead as we were waiting for the result. On the announcement day we waited in our office for the result but it was delaying so we left for home as it was night and due to COVID situation streets were empty. After getting back home Parvez called me and yelled “We got selected.” We started congratulating each other and so did our family members. We continued screaming for couple of minutes out of excitement as it was the first recognition of our work.

You are also working with women entrepreneurs. What is your thought with women participation in this business?

Shuvro: Women’s participation on business needs to be increased not only locally but also globally. In our observation women are very meticulous in their work which might be business or job or as a homemaker. We are surviving in this world because we have women who are taking care of our world. Our PM is woman, our speaker is woman and our opposition leader is also a woman and see, the rise of our country. In business you can see women entrepreneurs growing in numbers and doing excellent.

Shaba: You can see there is almost no women enlisted loan defaulters of our country when there are some big women entrepreneurs. So our thought is to empower more women to be entrepreneurs and we will work on this. Besides teaching, my mom used to run a small boutique from home where she used to make custom design dresses from village women and she started recruiting them from remote villages where women know the craft and who felt the need earning source for their family. She used to do it back in nineties. So we do have respect and do believe women need to be encouraged more to participate in the digital economy and therefore we need to create more opportunities for women entrepreneurship.

Loan facility is one of your projects. Who are basically eligible under this loan?

Shaba: Often time small business owners require urgent fund to run their business. It’s very difficult for micro-merchants to get a loan from bank or financial institutions. However, if they can get the loan they will be able to expand their business generating income. Also, it took 1-3 months minimum to get loan from bank and financial institutions. Nevertheless, adequate funding is very necessary for business growth and this is where we are giving emphasis.

Parvez: MSMEs are the growth engine of any economy. MSMEs generate employment and income that can contribute hugely in the national economy. Hence, we are making money available to those who need it most and do not get it. Micro-merchants who have legitimate business and use our app to operate their business will be eligible under our loan facility. We will make ticket size loan available within 72 hours to our users.

Tell us about your digital payment collection and its services?

Parvez: So during the last lockdown, I was facing problems to collect cash so while developing the app we consider collecting payment. In the first phase we couldn’t incorporate this feature because we didn’t have partnership. However, after launching we got to strike the partnership with Foster Payments, a payment gateway.

Shaba: Being partners with Foster we started incorporating the feature in our app. Users can include a payment link on the invoice they generate for their customer and send the invoice to collect payment. It’s the first time in any app in our country that have this kind of feature. We hope this will serve the need of our users.

What is your future plan with Landen?

Parvez: We have long future plan with Landen. We want to be the one app financial solution for our customers i.e. micro-merchants and Facebook merchants and that too in the cheapest way possible with the most convenient way possible. Nevertheless, along with users we are also focusing on a sustainable business that has a positive social impact. Furthermore, we also are looking forward to maximize shareholders benefit and win-win situation for all our stakeholders.

Shaba: Like the words of Parvez, we want to have a sustainable social impact for all our stakeholders. Most of all we want to build superior and affordable tech solution for our community that will serve the purpose of our users. Keeping that in mind we are also working for help achieving our country SDG goals, Goal 1: No Poverty, GOAL 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth, GOAL 9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure.

Thank you very much for giving your valuable time to us.

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