Started business with 7 lakh rupees as a student and now 50 crores!
Mohammad Azizul Haque started earning his first income by connecting different parts of computers together and making them usable while studying in his second year of graduation, Started a business with 7 lakh rupees as a student and now 50 crores!. His classmate and friend Abdullah Al Masud were associated with him in this work. This initiative taken by them as students later led to their interest in the business in the technology sector. After the success of the first venture, they developed technology services such as vehicle tracking systems, OTT platforms, and digital set-top boxes.
Started business with 7 lakh rupees as a student and now 50 crores!, He founded a company called Nexdecade Technology Limited, which employs around 150 people. Mohammad Azizul Haque, Chairman of NextDecade Technology, winner of the SME Entrepreneur of the Year Award 2021 (Medium Category), talks about his ventures and his achievements in the technology sector. During the conversation, he said that even 15-20 years ago, there was not so much use of technology at all levels of the country. There was also a shortage of people working in this sector.
However, Dhaka City College computer science student Mohammad Azizul and his friend Abdullah Al Masud always wanted to work with new technologies. But regular work was not available then. So due to low income, many families advise to leave this job and look for a job. But the two friends did not give up. They continue to try to do something in the technology sector. That effort eventually brought them success. Azizul said, “In 2003-04, fully-built computers were hardly available. Parts had to be bought and assembled. That was the first business idea that came to my mind.
We started selling complete computers by assembling various parts. There was a profit of four thousand takas. After this, Mohammad Azizul, son of Chandpur, became interested in hardware as well as software. Companion as usual friend Abdullah Al Masoud. The two started working together to develop software and websites. Their capital continues to grow. Azizul said, “Masood and I used to do web hosting and domain registration.
We used to get 20 to 25 thousand rupees for each job. From then on, we started saving money for bigger things. Thus, after some savings, the two friends thought of institutionalizing their joint venture in the technology sector. Next decade Technology was founded in 2006 from that thought. They started the journey with only 7 lakh rupees and 15 workers, Started business with 7 lakh rupees as a student and now 50 crores!.
Now it is an organization of 200 employees. The initial capital of the company was their own savings and loans from close relatives. Azizul said that their future plans also worked behind the choice of the organization’s name. Their goal is to work on the next decade, i.e. potential technologies of the next decade. In addition to the earlier work, the two friends started developing recurring (bill accounting) software for various organizations through the new company.
Also, spend time researching other technology businesses. The success of this research comes after two years. Azizul said, ‘There was no car tracking technology in the country around 2008. But the neighboring country was India. As we have seen, it is possible to keep the car under constant surveillance if the automatic control system of the car can be developed using technology.
It can also reduce car theft. From this thought, they developed a technology called Nexdecade Vehicle Tracking System (VTS) in 2008. By using this technology, the car owner can know the location of the car at all times. Even after creating VTS, he faced a crisis in its marketing. So, in 2010, he signed an agreement with a company in the telecom sector to bring this new technology service to more customers. Later they tied up with two other companies in the telecom sector for VTS technology.
As the business grows, the need for new capital arises. So the two friends added two business partners under new investment terms. After that, they did not have to look back. To date, approximately 40,000 customers are using the VTS technology developed by NextDecade.
Currently, apart from private cars, their tracking technology is being used in buses, trucks, CNG, and water vessels. And with the help of VTS technology, about two and a half hundred stolen cars have been recovered so far. After the success of VTS, Azizul and Masood started working together to create an OTT platform. Azizul said, “We saw that OTT is going to be the future popular medium in the entertainment world. So I started working hard on it.
After creating an initial framework, in 2019 we signed an agreement with Banglalink, a telecom sector company, named “Toffee”. Building an OTT platform. Now their dream is to take the country’s OTT platform to a global level like Netflix, and Amazon. Meanwhile, due to a government decision, the use of digital set-top boxes is increasing in the country since last year.
But seeing the use of this technology in other countries, Azizul and Masood realized its importance in 2014. Realizing the future potential, two friends and four other partners started building digital set-top boxes. But this time, instead of Nexdecade, he opened a separate subsidiary called Plus Tech Industries. Azizul said, currently around 1 million digital set-top boxes are being used in the country.
Out of this, about two lakh rupees belong to their organization. These set-top boxes made with Chinese technology and raw materials are manufactured in the country only by their company.
Azizul said that currently 33 workers are involved in making set-top boxes. The way the business is expanding, the turnover of their company will be 40 crore rupees next year.
In this situation, Azizul’s dream is to open software training centers in all Upazilas of the country to involve the youth of the country in the technology sector. According to him, technology is an expanding and promising sector. So you can never give up. Success in this sector will come if you stick to and increase the scope of knowledge.